In Chatham, New York the July weekend is special at PS21 (Performance Spaces for the 21st Century) as they host the eleventh Annual Paul Grunberg Memorial Bach Concert featuring award-winning American violinist, fiddler, and composer Jeremy Kittel and his exceptional band. The concert will be held Saturday, July 2 at 7:30pm at The Tent at PS21, 2980 Route 66, in the town of Chatham.
The spirit of JS Bach is woven throughout this program of wide-ranging works. “Bach is, without a doubt, one of my personal top five favorite composers, so there may be somewhat of a natural, long-standing influence from Bach in my own compositions and arrangements,” explained Jeremy Kittel. “At least, I hope and strive for the kind of brilliant resourcefulness I hear in his music, and most importantly, the spiritual heights he so often attains… While perhaps the majority of the music will not be Bach, we will also be performing Bach’s music and interpreting it through our 21st-century rhythmic and tonal sensibilities.”
Many instruments have been invented or developed significantly since Bach’s time, some of which are now commonly associated with Bach’s music. “It is the sound, the music, and the expression that is most important – and instruments are really a means to those ends,” Kittel said. “One thing that’s a little bit different about us in regard to Bach is that we’ve decided to embrace our own natural rhythmic approach when interpreting his music. Our band’s rhythmic approach is more informed by modern non-classical music (which in turn is connected to African/American/Celtic folk forms) and it can be a very subtle difference to the listener, but has proven to be worthwhile.”
With musical roots spanning the globe, the Jeremy Kittel Band has the drive of Celtic fiddling, spontaneity of jazz, soul of the blues, and intricacies of chamber music. Kittel has a master’s degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music, received the 2010 Emerging Artist Award from his alma mater, the University of Michigan, and has received numerous other awards over the years. Band mates include Joshua Pinkham (one of the outstanding mandolinists of his generation), Simon Chrisman (dubbed a “dulcimer wizard”), and Nathaniel Smith (a cellist who has collaborated with Yo Yo Ma).
Julio Elizalde, the Olympic Music Festival Artistic Director said of the Jeremy Kittel Band, “They are some of the best musicians I’ve ever met. I’ve been blown away by their creativity, spontaneity and commitment to their craft.”
The eleventh Annual Paul Grunberg Memorial Bach Concert featuring the Jeremy Kittel Band will take place on July 2, 2016 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $35 general admission, $30 for PS21 members, and $18 for students. Tickets can be purchased at www.ps21chatham.org, by calling 1-800-838-3006, or at the door until the show sells out. For other information about this or any other event at PS21, please call (518) 392-6121.
PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century is a not-for-profit organization in Chatham, NY, dedicated to the performing arts and to serving a diverse community with concerts, programs and residencies by professional artists and ensembles, youth and children’s programming and cultural education opportunities for all ages.
PS21 performances are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, business sponsors Metz Wood Insurance, Ed Herrington, Inc., Mario’s Home Center, Main-Care Energy, and the Lofgren Agency, and PS21 members.