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Vitamin S and STAMP are proud to present the explosive creativity and dynamic personalities of New York pianist Marilyn Crispell, Richard Nunns and Jeff Henderson.
Crispell will perform solo and then team up with our own national treasure Richard Nunns on Taonga Puoro (Mäori musical instruments) and Henderson, both equally heavyweight in the international arena of contemporary music.
What makes this performance so unique is the collaboration of musical forces and worlds. With the iconic and deeply traditional sound of Richard Nunn’s Taonga Puoro integrated with Marilyn Crispell’s diverse piano style, and Jeff Henderson’s personality on reeds, this is a concert that truly could only happen in this time, and be of this place.
Marilyn Crispell has garnered a well-deserved reputation as one of the most virtuosic players of both improvised and contemporary classical music.
Her live performances and extraordinary technique have been described as:
“ . . . so personal, so explosive, and so devastating that it makes jazz (and most other music) sound like the archaic language of an ancient people.…even simple melodies seem radiantly beautiful.” - Larry Kelp, San Francisco Express
Crispell has performed and recorded extensively with well-known players on the American and international jazz scene. She has also performed and recorded music by contemporary composers Robert Cogan, Pozzi Escot, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Manfred Niehaus and Anthony Davis (including four performances of his opera “X” with the New York City Opera).
Richard Nunns has a long history of personal commitment to researching and presenting/performing the traditional musical instruments of the Mäori, and to organising this body of knowledge into a form which is immediately understandable to people in general, particularly Mäori who have lost contact with such knowledge.
As well as his ethno-musicological expertise, since Richard first began public performances on taonga puoro (Mäori musical instruments), he has developed an amazing international profile, both with the diversity of his recorded work, along with performing with a wide variety of people in many differing settings and circumstances.
Playing with a range of musicians from Moana Maniapoto and Evan Parker to New Zealand Symphony Orchestra his improvisation work is also truly cross cultural and has seen him performing with artists from Iran, Australian Aboriginal, First Nation America, Korea, Bolivia China, Turkey, Germany, Finland and Scotland — a global impact.
Jeff Henderson is a Wellington based musician who specialises in improvised music on saxophones and clarinet. He has performed with such internationally renowned musicians as Steve Lacy, Mark Sanders, Tony Buck, William Parker, Han Bennink, Clifford Barbaro, Mike Nock, Jim Denley, Thomas Lehn, Johannes Bauer, Tetuzi Akiyama, Marilyn Crispell, Anthony Pateras, Clayton Thomas, John Edwards and Kris Wanders.
At home in Wellington he operates performance venue Happy, and hosts the annual OM the Space festival.
This is not the first time the trio has performed together. In 2002, Henderson toured to sell-out audiences his large ensemble work ‘Urban Taniwha’ with Nunns and Crispell as pivotal figures.
Following the trio is the New Pacific Music Ensemble.
The New Pacific Music Ensemble directly reflects the diverse culture within Auckland and constantly pushes the boundaries on creative contemporary Pacific music.
Its innovation lies in creating exciting new sound worlds that reflect the diversity of New Zealand’s cultures. The group achieves this by adopting island rhythms and drums, string band instruments, conch shell and island song, placing in a contemporary music setting integrated with other instrumentation such as Brass, Wind and Reeds, Guitars, Bass, Vibraphone (and other tuned percussion), Gongs, Drum Kits etc.
Forms use a wide range of influences including Island myths and legends, traditional songs, jazz, improvisation, ambient soundscapes, marching and brass/concert band, contemporary classical, groove and dance music.
Featuring John Bell, Tua Mete, Chris O’Conner, Jacob Unuia, Kingsley Melhuish, Mare Thom, LJ Unuia, and joined for this special performance by Jeff Henderson and Richard Nunns.
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