CCVII: Cultural Constructions Spring 2006

Sounds of America

Spring 2006 Cultural Constructions Ensemble
Left to Right back: Glenn Jones, Geraldine Barney, Ron Mahdi; front: Matt Glover
photo credit: Ken Field

Saturday, May 20th, 2006 at 8pm
The Boston Creative Music Alliance (BCMA) presents:
Cultural Constructions VII: Sounds of America
Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Theater
955 Boylston Street, Boston
MBTA Green Line: Hynes/ICA
General admission is $10
Tickets available at Twisted Village or (617) 354-6898

Geraldine Barney, voice and Native American Flute; Matt Glover, mandolin; Glenn Jones, guitar; Ron Mahdi, acoustic and electric bass

Media Contact for Cultural Constructions VII:
Scott Menhinick, Improvised Communications
(617) 489-6561

On Saturday, May 20th, The Boston Creative Music Alliance (BCMA) will present Cultural Constructions VII: Sounds of America, the seventh concert in a semi-annual series that brings together four Boston-based musicians of diverse cultural and musical backgrounds. In the spirit of greater cultural understanding, the musicians spend a month working together to create new boundary-crossing music as a uniquely eclectic ensemble. This season's event, the first of 2006, will feature musicians representing the diversity of America's musical traditions, including Native American, roots (American primitive, blues, etc.), avant-rock and jazz.

The performers will be Navajo singer/songwriter and flautist Geraldine Barney, mandolin player Matt Glover, cosmopolitan guitarist Glenn Jones, and longtime Berklee professor and jazz bassist Ron Mahdi. Together as an ensemble they will showcase the diversity of gender roles, cultures and genres within the rich traditions of American music both past and present.

Critics have called Cultural Constructions "outstanding in its ability to bring together diverse performers in programs of the highest level of musicality" (Northeast Performer), and a "semi-annual, must-see concert event in Boston" (Boston Globe). Founded in May 2003, the series is funded with support from the LEF Foundation and the Berklee College of Music Alumni Grant Program and curated by local composer/musicians Ellen Band, Ken Field, Chris Florio, Jonathan LaMaster, Michael McLaughlin, Danny Mekonnen, and Dennis Warren in coordination with BCMA Artistic Director, Ed Hazell. Past concerts have featured musicians representing ethnic Andalusian, Balkan, Chinese, Jewish, Latino, Malian, Pakistani, South Asian and Turkish traditions, as well as musical styles including bluegrass, free jazz, hip hop, improvised electronic and world music among many others.

About Geraldine Barney
Geraldine Barney is a Navajo singer/songwriter whose songs represent both the traditional and contemporary strains in today's Native American music. She is also a performer on the Native American Flute, which only recently began to evolve from its tradition role as a male-only instrument. In addition to her work as musician, Ms. Barney has studied graphic design and printmaking at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and the Kansas City Art Institute. Raised in Buffalo Springs, New Mexico, and currently based in Boston, she was selected by ethnomusicologists from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History to be one of the artists on Heartbeat: Voices of First Nations Women (Smithsonian Folkways 40415), and is currently working on a CD entitled The Eastward Path.

About Matt Glover
A worldly mandolin player and film composer, Matt Glover grew up in rural Newfoundland immersed in the region's music. Heavily influenced by the music of French, Irish, and Scottish settlers, Newfoundland music is related to Down East, North America's first non-indigenous music, and played an important role in the founding of Cajun and Zydeco music. Mr. Glover went on to attend Berklee and study Hindustani music in Varanasi, India. He has performed in Japan, Switzerland, New Zealand, Ireland, and throughout the Eastern United States, as well as compose and record music for films such as 1998's Genie award-winning animated short, When Ponds Freeze Over.

About Glenn Jones
Guitarist Glenn Jones has led Boston's "avant-garage" instrumental rock band, Cul de Sac, since 1989. The band's nine-album discography includes a soundtrack for cult-director Roger Corman and collaborations with guitarist John Fahey and former Can vocalist Damo Suzuki. Equally devoted to acoustic playing, Mr. Jones has written extensively about the "Takoma school," so named after those documented on Fahey's seminal record label, and performed his own brand of solo acoustic guitar music in earnest since 2001. Aural Traditions' Jeff Fitzgerald called his solo debut, This Is the Wind That Blows It Out (Strange Attractors Audio House, 2004), "a beautiful, haunting, and indeed poetic album," and Matthew Baldwin of Monterey County Weekly wrote "Jones conceives his songs with a degree of competence and sensitivity unparalleled by any of today's musicians."

About Ron Mahdi
Acoustic and electric jazz bassist Ron Mahdi is an active clinician, longtime Berklee educator and in-demand sideman who has toured with Roy Haynes, Dr. Donald Byrd, Nnenna Freelon and Teodross Avery. A Berklee graduate himself, Mr. Mahdi has been a member of the school's bass and ensemble faculty since 1982, and currently serves as President of Berklee's Association of Faculty of African Descent. He has performed with such artists as Chet Baker, Donald Brown, Bill Pierce, Kevin Eubanks, Jeff Watts, Roy Hargrove, James Williams, Lenny White, Art Farmer, and George Coleman and recorded with musicians including Jay Branford and the Consuelo-Jon Quintet.