Preservation New Jersey • 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing • PO Box 7815• West Trenton, NJ 08628
Physical (GPS) address: 101 Scotch Road, Ewing, NJ 08628 Map and Directions
Grand Opening Festival
Jazz Music Series:
Zach Larmer Electric Band
Inner Circle Tour
Zach Larmer (Guitar)
Tal Cohen (Keyboard)
Dion Kerr (Bass)
Rodolfo Zuniga (Drums)
Thursday, September 29, 2016, 8:00 pm
at the 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing
Preservation New Jersey is pleased to present the Zach Larmer Electric Band in the gorgeous acoustics of the 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing!
Zach Larmer is a rising star of the jazz guitar world, and one whose name you should certainly remember. Leading his electric band comprised of Tal Cohen (Australia) on Keyboards, Dion Kerr (New York) on bass, and Rodolfo Zuniga (Costa Rica) on drums, the group is receiving international recognition for their unique blend of progressive funk rhythms with deep jazz harmonies.
The music is groundbreaking in its ability to bridge the gap that is often caused by the label of “jazz”. The band can make an audience move and groove while also seamlessly satisfying the keen ear of the educated listener through an amalgamation of hard-hitting jazz, funk, and soul.
Zach Larmer is a guitarist, composer, and educator living in Miami. A jazz musician with roots in funk, soul, and bluegrass, Zach is the recipient of multiple DownBeat awards. He has appeared on numerous albums and television programs, written for the Steve Miller Band, and shared the stage with artists such as Albert and Jimmy Heath, Mark O’Connor, and Brian Lynch. Currently, Zach’s efforts are centered around his quartet, the Zach Larmer Electric Band, and work with the Miami-based Live! Modern School of Music.
Zach may not hail from a musical family, but his father and mother, respectively an artist and writer, laid for him no small foundation for creative practice later in life. It was, in fact, a need for self-expression that guided him into music. Zach’s education was unorthodox to say the least, indicative of the artistic directions he was to pursue. After flying through standard curricula, skipping grades along the way, he began craving the kind of extrasensory stimulation and never-ending challenge only music can provide. He entered a full-time arts program in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where he dabbled in many pursuits until faced with a turning point. “The director of the school called me in one day,” Zach recalls. “He told me I was good at many things but not great at anything, and that I had to pick something to focus on. It didn’t take me long to decide on the guitar.” Despite having played the instrument for a grand total of eight months, Zach lassoed those six fateful strings around a scholarship to the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music at the age of 15. Zach completed his degree in a record time of three years, even taking Master’s courses under renowned jazz arranger Gary Lindsay while still an undergrad.
Throughout these formative years, Zach was influenced by a handful of the guitar greats. Despite having grown up hearing a lot of Pat Metheny around the house, Zach is quick to frame him as a compulsory rather than conscious influence. “People often tell me they hear Metheny in my playing, but that’s like hearing Charlie Parker in a saxophonist’s playing. He’s been such an influence on modern guitarists that it’s almost unavoidable. Early on it was Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass more than any others who influenced me. Nowadays, of course, there are too many to mention.” On an instrument with such a varied history, it’s all one can do to stand out, but at this early stage in his career Zach has defined a voice. Even with all of this past accomplishment, it wasn’t until 2015 that he began trying his hand at composing his future. His conscious decision to move into original material was motivated by a number of factors. “Mainly, I had to discover how to give myself boundaries in order to free myself,” he explains. “There were too many options that left me paralyzed for a long time.” With his debut album, Inner Circle, that paralysis has been broken.
With such a busy schedule—running a venue and a music school, organizing local events to improve the Miami jazz scene, and, most recently, opening his own recording studio—it’s no wonder that coming up with a distinct sound seem a daunting task. But Zach, like the players with which he surrounds himself, has succeeded with panache. “We don’t feel encumbered by those things that have come before us,” says Zach of his generation, and it’s in the light of this passing torch that the listener can be grateful to sit and bask in the sounds to come.
Now based in the US, Tal Cohen’s unique piano style owes its roots to the Jewish folk songs and classical music he played in his formative years growing up in Gedera, Israel. He graduated from WAAPA in 2008 and immediately began accumulating awards and prestigious performance opportunities. He was the 2015 winner of the Freedman Fellowship Award and in 2014 won the Barry Harris Piano Competition in the US. He has become a regular performer with iconic jazz figures such as Terence Blanchard, Greg Osby and Robert Hurst and continues to tour the world performing his unique brand of improvised music.
Dion Kerr is a bassist and multi-instrumentalist, born and raised in Delray Beach, FL who currently lives and works between NYC and Miami. He has toured and recorded all around the world as a leader and a sideman to a wide variety of groups spanning across multiple genres performing at prestigious venues such as the Blue Note, Dizzy's at Lincoln Center, Smalls and the Umbria Jazz Festival. Dion is a recording artist for the Grammy nominated record label CAM Jazz based out of Italy and holds a BM from the University of Miami and a MM from the Manhattan School of Music with emphasis on jazz performance and classical composition.
Rodolfo Zuniga is a drummer & composer born in San Jose, Costa Rica. After arriving to the United States in the year 2000, he has become one of the most renowned drummers in the Miami jazz scene. He has performed with a wide variety of musicians such as Gary Campbell, Silvano Monasterios, Troy Roberts, Martin Bejerano, Aaron Lebos, among others. Currently he’s also a member of the world famous Julio Iglesias Group with which he tours around the world. Zuniga is without a doubt one of the most versatile drummers today.
Inner Circle is more than the debut leader date from Miami-based guitarist Zach Larmer. It’s a theory put into practice. The title was inspired by Kurt Vonnegut, who in a commencement speech once spoke of the necessity for synthetic extended families in today’s world. In solidarity with this concept, Zach has crafted an audio letter of gratitude for the community he has built around himself. His inner circle is a tight group of musicians who have inspired the guitarist to live out this social politic through music. Keyboardist Tal Cohen, bassists Juan Pablo Diaz and Jermaine Walden, and drummers Rodolfo Zuniga and David Chiverton are the core, while guests Brian Lynch on trumpet, Aldo Salvent on sax, and John Daversa on EVI and trumpet expand their outreach.
Zach may be a prodigy, being only 21 when he made this record, but he doesn’t carry himself like one. There is patience in his approach to songcraft and soloing—all too rare among talents of his stripe. “Over the years,” Zach humbly admits, “people have impressed upon me the value of speaking through your instrument. If you’re saying something with your music, people seem to connect with the genuine nature of it far more than the genre itself. I’m also lucky to be working with some superbly mature players. That sense of space I’ve cultivated comes from them as well.” This spirit of collaboration is clearest in the album’s opener, On The Dock, which starts off with some funky rhythm sectioning, the first strand of a braid completed by horn and guitar. The melodic arc and steady pacing, much in the vein of Manu Katché, are indicative of the band’s easygoing attitude. Which is not to say that moments of piquancy don’t abound. In this respect, Daversa’s flights on the EVI punch a few holes in the lid to get things breathing.
It’s a vibe one feels also in the title track. Inner Circle is a more tribal groove driven by forward-thinking drumming, and one that shows its leader unpacking solos for all they’re worth. His picking is smooth yet, on closer inspection, eclectically grained. As comfortable in the New Orleans-inspired I Left It Bayou as in the more laid-back Garden Of Eden or the elegiac Same As It Ever Was, he navigates Cohen’s futuristic infrastructures and Salvent’s tenorism with chameleonic acuity.
That Zach and his band recorded the album live in the studio, with an audience present and no editing, should come as no surprise to the listener. The new joys inevitably discovered in the recording process are all there to experience. For while Zach enjoys his position as bandleader, he also leaves plenty of open space for the interpretations of his bandmates to run unencumbered. Which is why he fleshed out the set list with two non-originals. Bassist Diaz pens Friedrichshain. Inspired by a district in Berlin, it is an anthemic and conclusive piece that sets us up for Zach’s protracted take on Softly As In A Morning Sunrise. The album’s only standard, Zach sees it as something of a bonus track. Its 13 minutes of goodness use time as a primary tool for expression, all while showcasing the very maturity with which Zach credits his bandmates toward a slow and gorgeous boil. With a follow-up record already in the works, he is one to watch and hear, and now’s your chance to grab the horns before the stampede gets in your way!
Jazz at the 1867 Sanctuary and throughout the Trenton/Princeton area is featured on trenton.jazznearyou.com. Download their app for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire!
Preservation New Jersey is pleased to share the news that the New Jersey Jazz Society (NJJS) is co-sponsoring jazz events at the 1867 Sanctuary. We encourage fans of our jazz concerts and jazz musicians to join NJJS at www.njjs.org so they receive their award-winning Jersey Jazz journal 11 times a year and other special benefits, including a $5 discount on tickets to Jazz Music Series concerts at the 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing!
Tickets are $20 for General Admission, $15 for Friends of the Sanctuary, $15 for New Jersey Jazz Society Members, and only $5 for school and college students with ID. Tickets may be purchased online below by selecting your ticket option and clicking on the "Buy Now" link to use credit or debit card or your PayPal account. If ordering two or three ticket types, each type must be purchased in a separate order. You will receive an email confirmation of each purchase. Online tickets will be held at the box office; please print and bring your receipt in case it is needed to confirm your purchase.
GROUP RATES are now available! Choose the Group ticket option and each ticket will have a $5 discount from the General Admission price (same as the Friends of the 1867 Sanctuary ticket price)! Group rate tickets must be purchased in quantities of 10 or more within a single purchase. Group rates apply only to advance online sales and cannot be purchased at the box office prior to the concert. Groups must present themselves at the box office at the same time. For group orders of fewer than 10 people, the full General Admission rate (less the amount prepaid) may be required at the box office at the time of admission. Group rates do not apply to Student prices.
Tickets may be reserved at the box office for payment by cash, check or credit card by calling 609-392-6409 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door as space allows.
The 1867 Sanctuary is wheelchair accessible using the ramp on the left side of the building.
For only $30.00 per year ($50.00 for families), members of the Friends of the 1867 Sanctuary receive advance notice of special events, our member newsletter, gift shop discounts and $5 off our General Admission concert tickets! BECOME A MEMBER NOW!
September 1, 2016
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