By the Editors
- April 3 - 15: Space is the Place: Afrofuturism on Film at BAM. What does a film festival have to do with music? Everything! One way to look at cutting edge African-American musical culture is as a quest to understand how the society that they helped build is so alienated against them. Maybe, like Sun Ra (Space is the Place 4/9), they’re from outer space. Maybe Hip Hop (Beat This!: A Hip Hop History 4/3) is a way to carve out an alternate future. Maybe you will dig The Brother From Another Planet, Afronauts, the Robots of Brixton, and especially Ornette: Made in America (4/11).
- April 7 & 16: Our very own Steve Dalachinksy, last of the Beat poets, the man who knows everyone and sees everything, is reading in a series at Clemente Soto Velez. He will be in the company of other excellent poets and some of the finest jazz and improvising musicians, including Yuko Otomo, Lenny Pickett, and Black Host (4/16)
- April 7: Before Bach opens at Carnegie Hall. An almost insane abundance of riches for anyone who is interested in music from the early Baroque period. Throughout the month of April, visiting artists like L’Arpeggiata, Fretwork, Pomerium, the Tallis Scholars, Richard Egarr, and the English Baroque Soloists will bring vocal, instrumental, and dramatic music to all three of Carnegie’s performance spaces. Not to be missed are a solo viola da gamba concert from the monumental Jordi Savall (4/13), and back-to-back concerts of Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine and L’Orfeo (4/30 - 5/1).
- April 11: Tyvek at Silent Barn. Last time Tyvek was in town, last November, the bruising punk band from Detroit was taking part in the closing night festivities for Death by Audio. For the sake of Brooklyn’s remaining DIY venues, here’s hoping Silent Barn stays as resilient as tonight’s headliner.
- April: 13 - 18 MATA Festival at the Kitchen. Boasting a full week of new music, MATA returns with a fresh array of young composers and new compositions. The success of last year’s festival promises ear-opening, satisfying music for every contemporary taste and philosophy.
- April 15 - 18: Crash at Roulette. Robert Ashley’s final opera, the posthumous masterpiece Crash, premiered last April at the Whitney, and although there were three performances, space was so limited that less than 150 people actually got to see the piece. Now it’s set for a four night run at the much larger Roulette, and you should make this a priority. Crash is the most concentrated and moving of Ashley’s considerable body of work, a combination of first-person narrative drama and formal structure that places it on the same level of achievement and importance as L’Orfeo.
- April 15: Ali Akbar Moradi at Elebash Hall. Tambourist Moradi is a master of the repertoire of Inranian Kurdish Sufi music, a style that is full of supple rhythms and propulsive, intense melodies. He is making a rare appearance, and the music, called Yarsan, is ancient, pervasive in one of the most troubled parts of the world, and barely registers in New York outside of ethnic enclaves. This will make a permanent impression.
- April 16 - 18: Brooklyn Acoustic Ecology Festival at the Old Stone House. The local outpost of the World Soundscape Project, inspired by R. Murray Schafer’s revolutionary thinking about our audio landscape: the “soundscape.” This three day series of discussion, sound and music is curated by Andrea Williams and Dan Joseph, profiled by Steve Dalachinksy in our March issue.
- April 17: Hope for Agoldensummer at Littlefield. Listeners to the Shrunken Planet show Saturday mornings on WFMU will know Hope for Agoldensummer from DJ Jeffrey Davison’s occasional pleas for the Athens, GA group to record a follow up to 2012’s Life Inside the Body. Davison and his followers will have to settle for hearing the ethereal voices of sisters Page and Claire Campbell at Littlefield (or the following day at Pete’s Candy Store), in support of Barbez.
- April 17: Brokeback at Trans-Pecos. Brokeback, founded by Tortoise’s Doug McCombs, plays instrumental rock music that evokes a sort of big sky Midwestern restlessness. The long-running Chicago band brings its meandering anthems to Brooklyn, joined by Chris Brokaw of Pullman—albums by both groups are slated for re-release on Record Store Day, April 18.
- April 18: Ava Luna Album Release Show at Silent Barn. Brooklyn’s Ava Luna marks the release of Infinite House, their latest LP, with a show at their home base, the Silent Barn. Press for the new record speaks of a Southern Gothic influence on the band’s frenetic indie-funk sound. This preview track, “Billz,” doesn’t disappoint.
- April 18: Brooklyn Raga Massive plays In C at JACK. Something of a cultural full circle; without the influence of Indian music, Terry Riley might not have produced his seminal In C, and now this local, Indian-music collective returns the favor. A special kind of masterpiece, In C has turned out to be both all things to all musicians, and a singular experience.
- April 19: Matt Nelson at Trans-Pecos. Matt Nelson, whose intrepid solo sax record Lower Bottoms, released last year, was matched in intensity only by Battle Trance’s Palace of Wind—not bad, since the latter bumped the number of saxophones from one up to four—opens a night presented by Northern Spy and featuring Beep!, Gerald Cleaver’s Black Host, and Kim Cass.
- April 22: Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, Thalia Theater at Symphony Space. For the last installment of the World Music Institute’s Global Salon series, Symphony Space hosts Olav Luksengård Mjelva, Anders Hall, and Kevin Henderson, who together form the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc. Natives of Norway, Sweden, and the Shetland Islands, respectively, the three players engage with their homelands’ rich fiddle traditions. When APM launches A Taiga Home Companion, these guys will be the first guests.
- April 23: Gilberto Gil at Town Hall. One of the titans of Tropicália music, alongside figures like Caetano Veloso, Maria Betânia, and Os Mutantes, Gilberto Gil is an essential ticket.
- April 25: Wall to Wall Johnny Cash at Symphony Space. You might switch on the WKCR’s Tennessee Border show on a Sunday and hear Live from Folsom Prison in its entirety, courtesy of an indifferent undergrad DJ, but Symphony Space’s Wall to Wall seven-hour marathon of the Man in Black’s music promises to be a little more lively. Featured performers include Bruce Molsky and Eric Mingus. Admission is free, on a first come-first served basis, but you can reserve a seat if you’ve got the means.
- April 28 - 29: 50th Anniversary of the AACM. In performance with the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, Ostravská band, and conductor Petr Kotik, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Henry Threadgill will present their compositions in a series of concerts that will honor how essential the AACM has been to the expanse of post-WWII creative music. You’ll hear from their rightful peers—John Cage, Chrisian Wolff, and Kotik—as well.