That one day of the year, that is not a holiday, but surely holds ritualistic and sentimental value is approaching us once again, and we all know it as 4/20. Some will most likely have their plans set, but for those of you that do not, there are two shows that will definitely make you excited about this upcoming day.
If you will be around campus, the UNCG auditorium presents Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) with world renowned trumpeter and composer, Wynton Marsalis. But, for those of you who want to be out of town for the night, Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle presents the Los Angeles based duo, Foxygen. Both shows, though oppositional in genre, are highly anticipated.
First, starting at 8 p.m., will be New York-based big band, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, featuring Wynton Marsalis, the band’s artistic director and founding member of Jazz at Lincoln Center. This fifteen member band is made of some of the finest soloists, ensemble players and arrangers in Jazz music today who are on tour, trailing up and down the East Coast.
The band’s recordings are stylistically versatile, with mixtures of North American Jazz, Basque Folk Music and Flamenco in their most recent record, “Vitoria Suite.” The album released prior to that ventured into Ghanaian-inspired jazz, and is entitled “Congo Square.” There is sure to be a blending of styles and inspirations taking stage on 4/20.
Interestingly, JLCO is not only made of talented musicians, but consist of freedom seekers. As their show’s promotional release states, “We believe Jazz is a metaphor for Democracy. Because Jazz is provisional, it celebrates personal freedom and encourages individual expression. Because jazz is swinging, it dedicates that freedom to finding and maintaining common ground with others. Because jazz is rooted in the blues, it inspires us to face adversity with persistent optimism”. Such a beautifully stated metaphor during this turbulent political climate in the United States.
However, what is most exciting about this event is Marsalis’ free talk to the public, starting at 3 p.m. in the UNCG Auditorium. With Marsalis’ impressive career, including his recording of over 60 jazz and classical records, alongside his nine Grammy awards for both jazz and classical music, he will surely have a lot to talk about and plenty to share with young artists. Questions will be welcome.
Next, at 9 p.m., the American Indie-Rock duo, Foxygen take stage at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro performing their most recent melodramatic LP, “Hang.” With their North American tour just kicking off on March 18th, the duo consisting of lead vocalist, Sam France, and guitarist, pianist and backing vocalist, Jonathan Rado, are refreshed and ready for the stage.
“Hang” recorded on Jagjaguwar label, includes a 40-plus piece symphony orchestra, arranged and conducted by Trey Pollard featuring bands like The Lemon Twigs and The Flaming Lips. However, due to space and transportation, the band has planned to bring along a nine-piece band to mimic some of the record’s power.
The Guardian speaks about the duo’s newest LP calling it: “A phenomenal range of styles are lovingly spliced together, from funk to folk, but sweet melodies and sheer musicality make this an invigorating blast”. While SPIN refers to “Hang” as, “…A shag and wood-grained interior as remarkably indebted to its predecessors as it is now warm and full and huge.”
The indie rock duo is constantly inspired by psychedelia and avant-garde, which is consistently showcased in all four of their experimental albums and LPs. Specifically, “Hang” consists of some momentously arranged songs such as “Follow the Leader,” which was recently performed on Conan, and “America,” which was inspired by blending multiple decades-worth of music. Main vocalist, France, is known for his theatrical performances through his crazed and raving behavior as well as his fluctuating vocal range.
Though many of you have plans for this upcoming 4/20, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Foxygen can be some great additions to your day. Be safe, and happy listening.