Bill Frisell’s Big Sur Quintet featuring Eyvind Kang, Hank Roberts, Rudy Royston and Jenny Scheinman; Thurs. Nov. 7, 2013


Bill Frisell’s Big Sur Quintet
featuring Eyvind Kang, Hank Roberts, Rudy Royston and Jenny Scheinman
Thursday, November 7
Kuumbwa Jazz Center

“…the single most important guitarist in jazz.” – Seattle Times

California central coasters will feel an immediate connection to the new project by guitarist Bill Frisell. The piece was commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival and was written at, and inspired by, Big Sur’s Glen Deven Ranch. A pastoral rendering of the wooded California coastline, Frisell’s unique combination of jazz, blues and country compliments the scenery perfectly. The Big Sur Quintet is comprised of string players Jenny Scheinman, Eyvind Kang and Hank Roberts, as well as drummer Rudy Royston. Together with Frisell, the quintet brings the majesty of Big Sur to the stage.

The project began when Kuumbwa’s Tim Jackson paired Frisell with the Big Sur Land Trust, to commission a work for the Monterey Jazz Festival. The land trust offered Frisell the use of the Glen Deven Ranch, where the guitarist spent 10 days, reflecting and composing the lion’s share of the suite. The project was then debuted live at the 2012 Monterey Jazz Festival.

Released on the newly formed Okeh Records imprint, the Big Sur album showcases an unorthodox-formation string quartet augmented with drums. As with most of Frisell’s ensembles, the focus is not on soloing, but the strength of the work presented through the voice of the group, ultimately centered around the spacious echo of his guitar. The opening waltz “The Music of Glen Deven Ranch” announces the project as one that is playful and joyous, with dashes of Americana, surf-rock (“The Big One”) and West Coast music references (“We All Love Neil Young”).

As the New York Times’ succinctly put it, “Bill Frisell has had a lot of practice putting high concept into a humble package. Long hailed as one of the most distinctive and original improvising guitarists of our time, he has also earned a reputation…for teasing out thematic connections with his music.” The Big Sur project is ambitious, with a rustic grandeur and hints of Aaron Copland, the prominent strings lending to the classical comparison. The music is welcoming and warm, built on the natural melodies of the Central Coast that Santa Cruzans know and love so well.

In a career spanning more than thirty years and over 150 recordings, including 25 albums of his own, guitarist, composer, and bandleader Bill Frisell has established himself as a visionary presence in American music. Channeling infinite styles through a modern jazz filter, guitarist Frisell has skillfully dodged pigeonholes along the way.

Violinist Jenny Scheinman grew up in Northern Calfornia, studied at Oberlin Conservatory and in New York with Gerald Beal. She has performed as a jazz violinist since she was a teenager, garnering attention as a “Rising Star” in DownBeat’s critic’s poll for three years.

Versatile, virtuous Seattle mainstay Eyvind Kang has been featured on over fifty recordings, with artists ranging from John Zorn to Wayne Horvitz; in a career spanning just over a decade. Kang was the violinist in the Bill Frisell Quartet of the mid-nineties.

World-renowned cellist Hank Roberts joins his colleagues in sidestepping idiomatic limitations. He plays with equal proficiency within countless genres, and has been heralded by the New York Times for his ability “to shift the best elements of classical music, pop, and jazz into something new”.  He has played and recorded with Tim Berne, Arcado String Trio and Miniature.

Drummer Rudy Royston has played with Javon Jackson, Les McCann, David Gilmore and Ravi Coltrane, to name only a few.

Bill Frisell’s Big Sur Quintet

DATE: Thursday, November 7, 2013
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIMES: 7:00 and 9:00 PM; 9:00 PM ½ Price Night for Students
PRICE: $27/Adv $30/Door, No Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Phyllis Oyama
(510) 528-1191

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