Saxophonist/Composer Rudresh Mahanthappa performs music from Bird Calls on tour
September 16–October 23 in the US and November 4–18 in Europe
Bird Calls examines the influence of Charlie Parker through a 21st century jazz lens
“The concept here is so inspired, the playing so incendiary that five stars might not be enough... Breathtakingly brilliant.” – Bill Milkowski, The Absolute Sound
“…one of the most cohesive, convincing and profoundly satisfying recordings of Mahanthappa’s career.” – Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
“A fantastic album.” – Arun Rath, NPR All Things Considered
“Rudresh Mahanthappa is one of the most important alto saxophone voices working in jazz today.” – Jazz Times
Saxophonist and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa presents the music of Bird Calls, his critically acclaimed Charlie Parker-inspired CD of the same name, with performances September 16 - October 23 in the United States and November 4 - 18 in Europe. The band will also perform early 2017 shows at Dartmouth College and Bucknell University. The tour comes on the heels of Mahanthappa’s July 2016 appointment as Director of Jazz at Princeton University.
Bird Calls earned high praise including Best Album of the year from the DownBeat International Critics Poll and NPR Music’s Jazz Critics Poll, as well as in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, iTunes, Huffington Post, New York City Jazz Record, and All About Jazz, among others. The DownBeat Critics Poll also named Mahanthappa its #1 Alto Saxophonist of the year and the Village Voice called him their Best Jazz Artist.
United States Tour Dates:
• Friday, September 16, 8:30 p.m. at The Side Door, 85 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT
Tickets: $35. Mahanthappa with Adam O’Farrill (trumpet), Matt Mitchell (piano), Francois Moutin (bass), and Dan Weiss (drums).
• Tuesday, October 4, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. at the Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St., NYC
$25. For information call 212-576-2232 or visit www.jazzstandard.com. Featuring Mahanthappa with Adam O’Farrill (trumpet), Matt Mitchell (piano), Thomson Kneeland (bass), Rudy Royston (drums).
All other US shows feature Mahanthappa with Adam O’Farrill (trumpet), Joshua White (piano), Thomson Kneeland (bass), and Dan Weiss (drums).
• Thursday, October 13, 7:30 p.m. at Outpost, 210 Yale SE, Albuquerque, NM
For information call 505-268-0044 or visit www.outpostspace.org
• Friday, October 14, 7:30 p.m. at MIM Music Theater, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, AZ
Tickets $33.50-$38.50. For information call 480-478-6000 or visit www.themim.org
• Saturday, October 15, 8 p.m. Angel City Jazz Fest at LACC, Clausen Hall, 855 North Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA
Tickets $15-$25. For information visit www.angelcityjazz.com
• Sunday, October 16, 8 p.m. at Café Stritch, 374 1st St., San Jose, CA
For information call 408-280-6161 or visit www.cafestritch.com
• Monday, October 17, 7 p.m. at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, CA
Tickets $25. For information call 831-427-2227 or visit www.kuumbwajazz.org
• Tuesday, October 18, 8 p.m. at Humboldt State University, Kate Buchanan Room, 1 Harpst St., Arcata, CA
Presented by Redwood Jazz Alliance. For information visit www.redwoodjazzalliance.org
• Thursday, October 20, 7:30 p.m. at The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., Portland, OR
Tickets $20-$30. For information visit www.pdxjazz.com
• Friday, October 21, 8 p.m. at the Seattle Art Museum, 1300 1st Ave., Seattle, WATickets $24, $22 members and seniors, $10
students and military. Presented by Earshot Jazz Festival. For information call 206-654-3100 or visit www.earshot.org
• Saturday, October 22, 7:30 p.m. at the Myrna Loy Center, 15 N. Ewing St., Helena, MT
For information call 406-443-0287 or visit www.myrnaloycenter.com
• Sunday, October 23, 8 p.m. at Vieux Carre, Hamm Building, 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul, MN
Tickets $30-$35. For information call 612-332-5299 or visit www.dakotacooks.com
The performances in Albuquerque, Portland and Seattle are funded, in part, by the Presenter Consortium for Jazz, a program of Chamber Music America funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
European Tour Dates:
All shows feature Mahanthappa with Adam O’Farrill (trumpet), Joshua White (piano), Francois Moutin (bass), and Rudy Royston (drums).
• Friday, November 4, 8:30 p.m. at Bimhuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. www.bimhuis.com
• Saturday, November 5, 6 p.m. at So What’s Next Festival, Muziekgebouw Frits Philips, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. www.tivolivredenburg.nl
• Saturday, November 5, 9 p.m. at Tivolivredenburg, Utrecht, The Netherlands. www.tivolivredenburg.nl
• Monday, November 7, 7:30 p.m. at Stenhammarsalen, Gothenburg, Sweden. www.gso.se
• Wednesday, November 9, 8 p.m. at Nasjonal Jazzscene, Oslo, Norway. www.nasjonaljazzscene.no
• Thursday, November 10, 8 p.m. at Jazzclub Fasching, Stockholm, Sweden. www.fasching.se
• Saturday, November 12, 10 p.m. at Guimaraes Jazz Festival, Centro Cultural Vila Flor, Guimaraes, Portugal. www.ccvf.pt
• Sunday, November 13, 10:30 a.m. at Café Latino, Ourense, Spain. www.cafelatino.es
• Monday, November 14, 8:30 p.m. at Voll-Damm El Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona, Conservatori del Liceu, Barcelona, Spain. www.theproject.es
• Wednesday, November 16, 9 p.m. at Teatro Prinicipal, Puerto Real, Cadiz, Spain.
• Thursday, November 17, 7:30 p.m. at Auditorio del Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid, Spain. www.condeduquemadrid.es
• Friday, November 18, 9 p.m. at Teatro Lopez de Ayala, Badajoz, Spain. www.teatrolopezdeayala.es
2017 Bird Calls Dates:
• Wednesday and Thursday, January 25-26 at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
• Thursday, March 23, 7:30 p.m. at Bucknell University, Bucknell Hall, Lewisburg, PA
Charlie Parker was a key influence for Mahanthappa from the time a junior high music teacher handed him the Parker album Archetypes along with a copy of Jamey Aebersold’s well-known collection of transcriptions, the Charlie Parker Omnibook. “I was blown away,” he recalls. “I couldn’t believe the way he was playing, gorgeous with so much charisma and flying all over the horn. I think hearing Charlie Parker was what planted the first seeds of wanting to do this for the rest of my life. It was very powerful.”
Poring over the transcription book, which listed catalogue numbers for the compositions but not album titles, the young altoist noticed that nearly half of them were accompanied by the label Savoy 2201. Not long after, while searching the bins at a local chain record store, he spotted a copy of the collection Bird: Master Takes – and there, on the spine, was the magic number: Savoy 2201. He describes the moment as “like finding the Holy Grail.”
Despite the stunning array of influences that have impacted his playing since that time, Parker has always remained an overweening inspiration. “If I ever feel uninspired or down I can always go back to Charlie Parker,” he says. “That always makes me feel invigorated and joyful about playing jazz and playing the saxophone. I always say that what I play still sounds like Bird, just a little bit displaced. It’s coming from the same language and the same foundations. I feel like I’ve always been playing Bird.”
Few musicians share the ability of alto saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa to embody the expansive possibilities of his music with his culture. What has materialized is a sound that hybridizes progressive jazz and South Indian classical music in a fluid and forward-looking form that reflects Mahanthappa’s own experience growing up a second-generation Indian-American.
Mahanthappa has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, and numerous commissions. He has been named alto saxophonist of the year five of the past six years in DownBeat Magazine’s International Critics Polls and for six years running by the Jazz Journalists’ Association. In April 2013, he received a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, one of the most prominent arts awards in the world. In 2015, he was named a United States Artists Fellow. In 2016, he was named the Director of Jazz and the Associate Director of the Program in Musical Performance at Princeton University.