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April 2018

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Venue:
Johnny Brenda’s1201 Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125 Map
Price: $18 General Admission
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 8:00pm

Bill Orcutt

Bill Orcutt, guitar

Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present a dream bill of solo performances by guitarist Bill Orcutt of infamous noise rockers Harry Pussy and Medeski Martin and Wood percussionist Billy Martin.

The aggression and experimentation of Miami-based duo Harry Pussy, which featured Bill Orcutt on four-string guitar and vocals, proved to be highly influential on a generation of underground noisemakers, but Orcutt seemed to disappear after the band called it quits in 1997. The guitarist relocated to San Francisco, got a job in software engineering and went almost completely silent for the next decade and change. He reemerged in 2009 with the solo acoustic guitar album A New Way To Pay Old Debts.

The overdue return was widely hailed, landing at #3 in The Wire’s Top 50 Release of the Year list and being acclaimed by Pitchfork for its “raw improvisations equally indebted to blues legends like Lightnin' Hopkins and abstract experimenters like Derek Bailey.”

Orcutt has been on the road regularly ever since, releasing a string of solo albums on his own Palilalia imprint alongside collaborations with drummers Chris Corsano and Jacob Felix Heule, cellist Okkyung Lee, guitarist Bill Nace, Hayley Fohr of Circuit des Yeux, and Brazilian trio Chinese Cookie Poets. In 2012 he picked up the electric guitar once again, resulting in 2017’s Bill Orcutt, his first solo electric studio album. The self-titled session features serrated, howling, spacious explorations of familiar tunes from Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” to “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “Over the Rainbow.”

Billy Martin
Billy Martin, drums + percussion

Billy Martin is best known as ⅓ of the influential, genre-defying trio Medeski Martin and Wood, which bridged the harmonic complexity of jazz, the conversational fluency of free improvisation, and the groove and swagger of classic R&B and funk. Prior to co-founding the band, Martin had established himself on the NYC downtown scene, working with the Lounge Lizards and the John Lurie National Orchestra, and the Brazilian music community, where he performed regularly with Pe De Boi, Batucada and several Bob Moses bands for over a decade. Martin has relentlessly pursued diverse musical contexts, from free improvisation to chamber compositions to film scores. He has collaborated with a stunning range of diverse artists, including John Zorn, Dave Burrell, Iggy Pop, John Scofield, Natalie Merchant, Maceo Parker, and many others. Much of his work is available via his own Amulet Records label. He  is also an accomplished filmmaker and visual artist whose work has been exhibited in solo and group installations around the world.

 

With his inventive compositions, writes Jesse Jarnow at AllMusic.com, Martin “pushes the freely sensitive percussion style he developed in myriad downtown jazz and world ensembles into a distinct and poetic percussive voice.”