Marc Ribot & The Young Philadelphians

29 September 2017

On October 20, at 20:30 at the Stegi Main Stage

Marc Ribot grew up in New Jersey and started playing the guitar in a garage rock band. Always eclectic, he also studied classical guitar with the Haitian virtuoso, Frantz Casseus (1915-1993). Although left-handed, he was forced to practice on a right-handed guitar, a painful experience he remembers to this day as like having "a gun held to my head".

He has been a resident of New York since 1978, when he moved to the city to place with the soul-punk band, the Realtones. He hasn't stopped playing and recording since, performing with Chuck Berry, Rufus Thomas, Wilson Pickett and others over one six-year period. Indeed, he even toured Europe with Pickett.

Then came his collaboration with John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards, which, apart from the many recordings they made together, also gave Ribot the opportunity to contribute to the soundtrack of Jim Jarmusch's cult films, Mystery Train and Down by Law.

The Eighties found him working with Tom Waits, helping him refine the New Americana aesthetic of Rain Dogs and another six of the legendary songwriter's albums. These were followed by a host of recordings with John Zorn.
His current group, the Young Philadelphians, has its feet firmly in two different musical boats: the Philly sound, meaning the disco-soul that emerged in Philadelphia during the Seventies, and Harmolodics, the philosophical-improvisatory method developed by Ornette Coleman—something between free and avant-garde jazz, but a lot more far out than either.

Ribot defined his signature sound in the company of the bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, the drummer G.C. Weston—both of whom received their musical baptism in the Philadelphia sound before going on to play in Ornette Coleman's band—and the superb Mary Halvorson, who made her name with Anthony Braxton. The band is joined by a string trio featuring a violin, a viola and a cello.

The component parts may seem a little 'dissonant', but they are actually a bridging of teenage experience and the distillation of mature thought.

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