(in collaboration with Harare International Festival of the Arts)
Vocal Electrofolk, presented in collaboration with the premiere African performing arts festival, the Harare International Festival of the Arts, will take place Saturday, March 16, 7:00 P.M. at the Greene Space at New York Public Radio, in a performance hosted by Q2′s Terrance McKnight. Innovative vocalists Helga Davis (US) and Netsayi (Zimbabwe, US debut) will perform written and improvised music with Kronos Quartet cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, clarinetist David Krakauer, and Netsayi’s band, Black Pressure.
NETSAYI & Black Pressure
Netsayi’s mbira teacher once told her that she might have been tasked with the responsibility of making Zimbabwean traditional music make sense to a new generation. That new generation takes in the ghetto youth, suburban city-dwellers and those in the Diaspora.
Instead of reiterating the usual tales of disease, poverty and spell-casting, this edgy singer/songwriter uses a shimmering, earthy vocal style and astute observation to represent everyday Africans and the new position in which they finds themselves.
After a two-year hiatus from playing live (which has included touring with Grammy Award winners, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and support the likes of K’naan), Netsayi returns with a refocused sound and new energy. Drawing inspiration from the canon of Zimbabwe’s lesser-known folk songs, she is on a mission to deliver her pimped-up traditional sound to Southern Africa and beyond.
The vocalist and performance artist Helga Davis is one of the two featured performers in the current revival of the Robert Wilson / Philip Glass landmark Einstein on the Beach, and recently performed with cellist Maya Beiser in Elsewhere, which features music by Missy Mazolli. She co-starred in The Temptation of St. Anthony, directed by Robert Wilson, with music by Bernice Johnson Reagon, as well as in The Blue Planet by Peter Greenaway. Davis appears in Paola Prestini’s Oceanic Verses, which premiered at the Kennedy Center and in the River to River Festival in 2012 and makes its UK premiere at the Barbican later this year.
Clarinetist David Krakauer is both a master of Eastern European Jewish klezmer music and a major voice in classical music. He has appeared with the Tokyo, Kronos and Emerson quartets, plus as soloist with the Dresden, Seattle, and Detroit symphony orchestras among many others. With his band, Klezmer Madness!, he has redefined the klezmer genre with major appearances at Carnegie Hall and internationally. Consistently defying categorization, Krakauer has enjoyed major ongoing artistic collaborations with a tremendously diverse group of performers and composers including Dawn Upshaw, Itzak Perlman, John Zorn, Fred Wesley, Music from Marlboro, Abraham Inc, Osvaldo Golijov, the Klezmatics, John Cage, Danny Elfman and Socalled.
His discography contains some of the most important klezmer recordings of the past decade: notably “The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind” (Golijov/Kronos/Nonesuch).
Mr. Krakauer is on the faculties of Mannes, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Bard Conservatory.
Described by the New York Times as “excellent”, Jeffrey Zeigler has been the cellist of the Kronos Quartet for eight seasons. One of the most celebrated ensembles of our time, Zeigler has performed thousands of concerts worldwide, has premiered over 200 works and has collaborated with many of the world’s most innovative composers and performers. Jeffrey’s debut CD, Glaub, is currently in the making, and features new commissions by composers such as Anna Clyne, Mohammed Fairouz, and Felipe Perez Santiago, among others.