What a treat. Over a year ago, The Matthews was privileged to have Tracy Silverman perform on our stage. His 6-string electric violin concert was one of the hits of the season. We’re so happy to report that Tracy will be back in November. There’s an added bonus — he’ll be joined by his longtime friend and musical partner, Roy “Futureman” Wooten. The performance takes place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19. This is the second event in our 2015-16 Subscription Series.
“Fleet agility and tangy expressivity with wailing hints of Jimi Hendrix.”
– Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
“Charismatic” – Stephen Pettitt, The Evening Standard
“Am endearingly blissed-out.” – Marion Lignana Rosenberg, Newsday
Concerto for Two
Tracy Silverman’s groundbreaking work with the 6-string electric violin synthesizes his eclectic background in classical, rock, jazz and world music into a genre-bending performance of stylistic breadth and emotional depth. Equally eclectic is his longtime musical partner, renowned composer, innovator and 5x Grammy-winning percussionist Roy “Futureman” Wooten (of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones).
Together they present arrangements of electric violin concertos written for Silverman by John Adams, Terry Riley, Kenji Bunch, Nico Muhly, and Silverman himself, as well as original compositions and a few “derangements” of Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Beethoven, and Bach.
check. it. out.
Concerto for Two video
Lauded by the BBC as “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin”, Tracy Silverman’s groundbreaking work with the 6-string electric violin defies musical boundaries. The world’s foremost concert electric violinist, Silverman has been the subject of several major orchestral commissions composed specifically for and with Tracy.
While developing this new instrument, Silverman discovered that he had also developed a new approach to string playing. “The additional 2 lower strings open up a door, not just to an additional lower register but also, surprisingly, to a new approach to using the bow. The possibility of playing the violin as a chordal instrument like the guitar forced me to imagine a more rhythmic way of using the bow which I call ‘Strum Bowing’.”
“My voice as an electric violinist comes from the fact that I have always been interested in non-classical music—rock, jazz, music from India, Africa, and Brazil. I entered Juilliard wanting to be the next Jasha Heifetz, but I left wanting to be the next Jimi Hendrix. It was actually fortuitous that I couldn’t play guitar or saxophone and was limited to finding a way to get all those sounds out of a violin instead. My musical odyssey has brought me full circle—from classical roots to rock and jazz and Brazilian and Indian music and now back to the classical world again with these concertos by John Adams and Terry Riley and Nico Muhly—made all the more sweet for the long journey I took. It took me years to forget everything I learned at Juilliard,” says Silverman
A link between the classical and vernacular worlds, Silverman is also an in-demand composer with commissions and performances with orchestras all over the world.
Silverman has recorded with a virtual who’s who of the new music, jazz, and rock world. He has established a long-standing relationship with Windham Hill Records, where he appears on dozens of compilation CD’s. His 1999 self-produced Windham Hill release, “Trip to the Sun”, has become a cult favorite which Billboard Magazine heralded as “the most adventurous Windham Hill album ever.”
“I had an amazing teacher named Deborah Schwartz when I was in my teens and I learned almost everything I know about the violin from her. Then I studied with Lewis Kaplan and the legendary Ivan Galamian at Juilliard. I’ve been so lucky to work with so many great musicians of every kind.”
An international touring artist, Tracy has performed at major concert venues from Sao Paulo to Vienna, from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl.
Silverman is currently touring internationally as a soloist with orchestras, with his solo “Concerto for One” performances, “Concerto for Two” with 5-time GRAMMY winner Roy “Futureman” Wooten, with his rock ensemble, “Eclectica”, and with Three Part Invention with pianist Philip Aaberg and cellist Mike Block. Tracy lives with his wife and 4 children in Nashville, TN.
About Roy “Futureman” Wooten
Best known as the drummer/percussionist for popular jam band Béla Fleck And The Flecktones, Roy “Future Man” Wooten has used his passion, inspiration, and curiosity to make quite a career for himself. He has invented an electronic guitar studded with drum triggers named the “Drumitar” that allows him to play drums with his fingers, and a piano named “RoyEl” whose keys are arranged based on the periodic table. While the Flecktones took the past year off, Wooten teamed up with Street Maestro Jeremiah Able and formed the Future Man Project. A collection of turntables, samples, downtown beats, and electronic hand drums, it is a perfect avenue to share his musical ideas with the world, though it’s not his only one.
Much like there is no easy way to describe the Flecktones’ music, there is no simple way to describe Wooten. He certainly is eccentric, and his descriptions of his work fly out of him in an overwhelming flurry of words that leave you more confused than when you first started. The hard part is not listening, however. His energy is too infectious.
Thank you to the sponsors that help us bring art shows, plays, concerts, and other live entertainment acts to The Matthews. We couldn’t do it without you.
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This presentation is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from South Dakota Art Council and General Mills Foundation.