Columbus, OH—The Wexner Center kicks off another season of jazz Saturday, October 3, with Linda Oh Sun Pictures, whose leader has earned praise from critics for her clean, strong rhythm and melody (New York Times) and a sound that taps “both the western classical repertoire and eastern folk tradition, as well as [experiments] with electric fusion-informed sounds” (All About Jazz).
Presented in the Wex’s intimate Performance Space, the best room for jazz in town, these shows will offer an ideal hybrid of concert-quality sound and a cool club atmosphere. An intimate cabaret-style set-up allows concertgoers to experience, up close, some of the leading jazz musicians and innovators on the scene today.
Tickets for each individual performance cost $17–24 for members, $20–28 for the general public, and $13–$16 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at tickets.wexarts.org, at the Wexner Center Ticket Office, or by phone at (614) 292-3535.
The intricate melodic pulse of Linda Oh’s playing, a constant as she alternates between acoustic and electric bass, drives her original tunes with crowd-winning spirit, punch, and improvisational verve. Here with her quartet Sun Pictures, featuring Ben Wendel on sax (returning in November with Kneedelus), Matt Stevens on guitar, and Adam Cruz on drums, Oh will bring a power-packed night of music to the Wex Performance Space. As All About Jazz put it, “Linda Oh's petite stature defies the muscularity that her instrument emanates—a knotty booming bass that's at once authoritative and free flowing, delivered with momentum and zest.”
Outstanding jazz ensemble The Bad Plus (pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer David King) has almost exclusively performed as a trio for its nearly 20-year existence. Although guests have occasionally joined the band in concert, this special collaboration with tenor sax star Joshua Redman is a bold step for a band that stresses its egalitarian identity as a seamless, tightly woven trio. But as rave reviews for their self-titled release on Nonesuch pour in, it’s clearly been a step that has further developed—and added new dimensions—to The Bad Plus’s already distinctive group sound.
Redman has regularly stretched his talents through teaming with artists such as Christian McBride, Brad Mehldau, and Pat Metheny, as well as with the SFJAZZ Collective and his bandmates in James Farm. Redman embraced this opportunity to record and tour extensively with The Bad Plus, which as he explains, “has allowed me to explore a part of my playing, and my musical heritage, that I’ve never before accessed in quite the same way with any other group. The adventure with The Bad Plus pushes me toward the fringes and draws me into the core.”
Kneedelus: A Live Collaboration between Kneebody + Deadelus
Fri, Nov 6 | 8 PM
Adventuresome jazz quintet Kneebody is indicative of the next generation of talent emerging from the LA scene: absolutely fearless in embracing diverse musical trends and able to shape them into a seamless and satisfying cohesion.
Called “one of the smarter bands blenderizing postbop, indie rock, hip-hop and classical music” by the New York Times, Kneebody have consistently earned critical praise for their performances. While Daedelus has also been widely lauded for his vast number of albums, EPs, and remixes (most recently for Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label), it’s what he brings in bold strokes to live improvisational settings such as this collaboration where he especially shines . Those who loved Mehliana—the electrifying duo of Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana—will find a winning formula in Daedelus’s driving electronica combined with Kneebody’s fierce instrumental chops.
Young jazz guitar virtuoso Julian Lage draws on the influence of the classic jazz guitar trio tradition of Jim Hall with an outstanding lineup featuring Scott Colley on bass (who played in Hall’s trio) and Kenny Wollesen (who plays with Wex favorite Bill Frisell) on drums. Lage delights audiences with a deft, nuanced touch and tone underscored by improvisational verve and fluid melodic lines. His years of collaboration with artists ranging from jazz vibes master Gary Burton and fiddler Mark O’Connor to Chris Eldridge of the Punch Brothers and Nels Cline of Wilco have also informed his vast musical vocabulary—a rich command of technique and wide spectrum of ideas that he expresses with each sparkling, cleanly articulated run down the fretboard.