RAVENSCROFT CONCERT SERIES – Mark Guiliana
Hailed by The New York Times as “a drummer around whom a cult of admiration has formed,” Mark Guiliana brings the same adventurous spirit, eclectic palette and gift for spontaneous invention to a staggering range of styles. Equally virtuosic playing acoustic jazz, boundary-stretching electronic music, or next-level rock, he’s become a key collaborator with such original sonic thinkers as Brad Mehldau, Meshell Ndegeocello, Donny McCaslin, Matisyahu, and the late, great David Bowie.
Guiliana’s forward-leaping BEAT MUSIC is more than a band – it’s a community. Over the last decade the drummer has gathered around him a family of like-minded artists who share a passion for the limitless possibilities of electronic music combined with an in-the-moment creativity rooted in jazz improvisation. On April 12, Motéma Music will release Guiliana’s third plunge into that vast musical ocean, the emphatically titled BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! (available now for pre-order). The in-your-face exclamation of that title is no accident; Guiliana’s third recording with his BEAT MUSIC cohort is a bold and vigorous exploration of window-rattling grooves, cinematic imagery, ecstatic atmospheres and a captivating tapestry of textures and voices.
To realize his ambitious vision for the project, Guiliana has enlisted a host of collaborators who’ve become part of the BEAT MUSIC community over the years, including such genre-defying artists as bassists Chris Morrissey, Stu Brooks, Jonathan Maron, and Tim Lefebvre; keyboardists Jason Lindner, BIGYUKI, and Jeff Babko; electronicists Troy Zeigler and Steve Wall; and spoken word samples from longtime collaborators Cole Whittle and Jeff Taylor, as well as Guiliana’s wife, singer Gretchen Parlato (along with his son, Marley).
No matter the focus of a particular album or project, Guiliana’s music blends those three major influences in varying balances: the raw power and intensity of hard rock; the spiritual questing of John Coltrane and the aggressive musical curiosity of Miles Davis; the brain-twisting manipulations and cut-up hybridizations of Squarepusher and Aphex Twin.
Those diverse influences have converged in different ways throughout Guiliana’s career. On one end of the spectrum is his Jazz Quartet and on the opposite is BEAT MUSIC, with which he’s recorded twice before – on a self-titled 2012 EP as well as the 2014 album The Los Angeles Improvisations – and the similarly-inclined outings A Form of Truth (2013) and My Life Starts Now (2014).
In between are a multitude of combinations, from the electro-acoustic duo Mehliana with Brad Mehldau to the increasingly electronic-influenced work of the Donny McCaslin Quartet, which also features Lindner and Lefebvre. Those four players, three of whom are featured on this album, also became the core band for David Bowie’s acclaimed final release, Blackstar. The chameleonic rock icon specifically cited BEAT MUSIC’s Los Angeles Improvisations as a guidepost for that album’s enrapturing sound. To learn more, visit his website here.
For the Ravenscroft Concert Series, doors open at 6pm, followed by the performance beginning at 7:30pm. Choose from a fine selection of wine, craft beers, and catered dinner options for purchase before the show. No food or drink will be permitted inside of Ravenscroft Hall. Complimentary valet parking is also available on-site.