Billy Martin and Wil Blades Duo, Thurs. May 31
Billy Martin and Wil Blades Duo
New Release “Shimmy” out May 22
Thursday, May 31
Billy Martin and Wil Blades wanna make you Shimmy. The organ/drums duo waste no time getting right down to it on their debut album due May 22 from The Royal Potato Family in collaboraton with Martin’s own Amulet Records. Martin and Blades go old school in the tradition of essential organ-groove sides by the likes of Charles Earland, Brother Jack McDuff and Groove Holmes. Martin, the drummer for the legendary Medeski, Martin & Wood, and Blades, a much buzzed about young organist from the San Francisco live music scene, first came together for a low-key, one-off late night set during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2011. The music that evening was so deep in the pocket that the pair knew instantly there would be more shows together in their future. A West Coast tour was arranged for later in the year, which played to packed houses from Washington to California. In the middle of the run, Martin and Blades ducked into a Berkeley recording studio to capture what would become Shimmy.
With a steady base as one-third of the renowned experimental jazz trio Medeski, Martin, & Wood, drummer Billy Martin has become one of the most forward-thinking, innovative, and influential percussionists in the music world. DownBeat critics poll winner in the Rising Star category, organist Wil Blades has become the San Francisco Bay Area’s first call keyboardists’. The duo creates a musical dialogue that is at once danceable and highly improvisational.
Since his co-founding of Medeski, Martin & Wood in 1991, Billy Martin has believed in the power of music and expression to capture “glimpses of the truth.” Himself being (aside from a drummer) a composer, filmmaker, sculptor and woodworker, Martin’s endeavors all display his commitment to improvisation and being in the moment. As Martin states, “In any circumstance, any medium, you need to be sincere with yourself and with your audience. This is who you are, and you’ve got to be trying as hard as you can to create something for the situation that’s new and fresh.”
From backing up blues legend John Lee Hooker, to organ summits with B-3 master Dr. Lonnie Smith and numerous television and radio appearances, Wil Blades has been steadily gaining critical acclaim and international recognition. A Chicago native, Blades has become the San Francisco Bay Area’s first call organist. In 2007 and 2008, he was named in the Downbeat critics poll under “Rising Star” for organ and for the past several years, Blades has been wowing Bay Area audiences with his various groups.
“It never crossed my mind to start a duo with another organist because I had just celebrated 20 years with my good friend and partner John Medeski. The last thing I wanted to do was make a commitment to another keyboardist,” says Martin. “But after that gig in New Orleans, I knew it was in the stars for Wil and I to collaborate. You never know what’s around the corner. With all the changes this planet has been through, you have to follow the signs when it all comes together like that.”
Billy Martin and Wil Blades Duo
DATE: Thursday, May 31, 2012
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 8:00 PM
PRICE: $20/Adv $23/Door; ½ Price Night for Students. Tickets available at the door with valid I.D.
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org
MORE INFO: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227
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