Music: A re-imagining of Joni Mitchell’s “Hejira” LP by all-star quintet The Hejira Project Wed., May 2

The Hejira Project, an all-star group of musicians, plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, May 2, offering up their personalized appreciation of Joni Mitchell’s 1976 album “Hejira.” The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

The group is comprised of Tanner Porter (vocals), Boomer Harold (piano), Mike Frost (guitar), Jack Vees (bass) and David Brensilver (drums).

Joni Mitchell’s “Hejira,” released in 1976, has become one of her most enduring and acclaimed albums. This is somewhat surprising, as it had no real “hits,” and only the average amount of radio play when it was released. However, it does show a mature artist at a crossroads (and maybe taking both of them).

It has elements of her early works, in that it was a return to songs based around her voice and her many unusual tunings of her guitar. It also displays her increasing interest in jazz, and was her first collaboration with bassist Jaco Pastorius.

The Hejira Project. Clockwise from top left: Boomer Harold, Mike Frost, Tanner Porter, David Brensilver, Jack Vees.

We have taken on the project of re-presenting this body of work because of our shared respect for it—its verbal imagery, and adventurous openness to a new sound world. Our desire is not to make a freeze-dried recreation or cover band version, but to show our appreciation for her work by exploring it each in our own way.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Wednesday, Apr. 25. BLUES/FOLK: CODA BLUE

• Thursday, Apr. 26. INDIE ROCK: FIELD DAY, AMERICANA: LOVE LOVE

• Friday, Apr. 27. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS w/ TONY PURRONE

• Monday, Apr. 30, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: SEAN KERNAN’S “THE KAMPALA BOXING CLUB”

•Tuesday, May 1, 8 AM-Wednesday, May 2, 8 PM. THE GREAT GIVE® ONLINE FUNDRAISER

• Tuesday, May 1, 5-7 PM. HAPPY HOUR FOR THE GREAT GIVE®

• Wednesday, May 2. TRIBUTE TO JONI MITCHELL’S “HEJIRA”: JACK VEES

• Thursday, May 3. BLUES ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, May 4. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT feat. ISABELLA MENDES

• Wednesday, May 9, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, May 10, 7:30 PM. ROCK: NOTATTOO

• Friday, May 11, 7 PM. STATE OF THE NATION—PROTEST MUSIC CABARET: SETH ADAM, THAT VIRGINIA, PAUL BRYANT HUDSON, ZOO FRONT, BRET LOGAN

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Sunday, May 13, 2-5 PM. FREE MONTHLY SUNDAY GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, May 17. INDIE ROCK: HOUSE SPARROW (MA), PROCEDURE CLUB, PERENNIAL

• Friday, May 18. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Sunday, May 20, 2-4 PM. FREE OPEN IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Sunday, May 20, 6 PM. INDIE ROCK: FUTURE TEENS, SPIT-TAKE, MINEVA, ALL RIOT

• Monday, May 21, 6:30-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT THIRD MONDAY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, May 22. 7 PM. “AGAINST FORGETTING—READINGS FROM THE PETRY OF WITNESS”: READING BY DAISY C. ABREU & STEPHEN VINCENT KOBASA

• Wednesday, May 23. JAZZ: BOTTOMLEY/SOUZA/MORRISON

• Thursday, May. 24. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Friday, May 25. ACOUSTIC OLD-TIMEY/SWING: THE RED HOTS; AMERICANA: PAT STONE

• Tuesday, May 29, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, May 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: BEN MIKULA/THE LONE GNOME

• Thursday, May 31. JAZZ: MICHAEL COPPOLA & FAYE GREEN

• Friday, June 1. JAZZ: HAMDEN HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ COMBO

• Sunday, June 3, 2-5 PM. FREE MONTHLY SUNDAY GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, June 6. AVANT-GARDE: ERNESTO CÁRCAMO CAVAZOS, HUMAN FLOURISHING

• Friday, June 8, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Thursday, June 14. BLUEGRASS: THE ANGRY O’HARAS

• Friday, June 15, 7:30 PM. ALT-COUNTRY: PAT STONE & THE DIRTY BOOTS; ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Sunday, June 17, 2-4 PM. FREE OPEN IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Monday, June 18, 6:30 PM. GUITARTOWNCT THIRD MONDAY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, June 22. JAZZ: THE PAUL SHANLEY QUINTET

• Wednesday, June 27. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS, DR. MARTINO

• Thursday, June 28, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: JACOB JOHNSON (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, July 1, 2-5 PM. FREE MONTHLY SUNDAY GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, July 10, 5:30-7:30. WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S TEAM SIGN-UP

• Sunday, July 15, 2-4 PM. FREE OPEN IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Wednesday, July 25, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: TOWN MOUNTAIN (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Tuesday, July 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

Music: Jack Vees to play solo bass Wed., Apr. 30, at 8 PM

Jack_Vees_WebJack Vees will perform at the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Apr. 30. The music starts at 8 PM and there is a $5 cover charge.

Jack Vees has been active as a composer and bass guitarist since the mid 1970’s. While still in college he had the opportunity to play with a diverse array of jazz and rock luminaries from Gerry Mulligan to Toots Thielmanns to Carmine Appice. In 1981 his “The Book on Bass Harmonics” was published by Alfred Music and cemented his reputation as a creative visionary of the instrument.

Vees will be performing a solo set, including lots of pedals and an occasional laptop digital frippery, playing a number of unusual low end guitars, including an 8-string bass and a 12-string baritone guitar.

As a composer he has worked with many of the most creative ensembles in the contemporary music scene.  Yet at the same time his works have resisted fitting into any one style, and have been performed from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam to CBGB’s in New York, and his recording of “The Restaurant Behind the Pier” stands as a unique example of an entire CD comprised of pieces exclusively for bass guitar.  For the past 25 years he has taught at the Yale School of Music, where he is the director of the Center for Studies in Music Technology.

Watch Jack Vees do a cover version of The Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy” from “Abbey Road”:

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Apr. 23. ART ROCK: FLOATING LANTERNS

• Wednesday, Apr. 30. AVANT-GARDE SOLO BASS VIRTUOSITY: JACK VEES

• Wednesday, May 7. ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursdasy, May 8. IMPROVISATION: FUCHSPRELLEN

• Wednesday, May 14. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Thursday, May 15. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: FRANK CRITELLI, MARK MIRANDO

• Wednesday, May 21. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, May 22. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ILANA ZSIGMOND, SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Wednesday, May 28. POP: MISSION ZERO

• Thursday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: SAM PERDUTA, JASON PRINCE

• Thursday, June 5. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: KATH BLOOM & TOM HANFORD, BOP TWEEDIE

• Thursday, June 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, June 18. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Thursday, June 26. MODERN PRIMITIVE ACOUSTIC MUSIC: PRESTER JOHN
featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

 

Music: Jack Vees on Wed., Feb. 6, at 8 PM

Jack_Vees_WebJack Vees will perform at the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The music starts at 8 PM and there is a $5 cover charge.

Jack Vees has been active as a composer and bass guitarist since the mid 1970’s. While still in college he had the opportunity to play with a diverse array of jazz and rock luminaries from Gerry Mulligan to Toots Thielmanns to Carmine Appice. In 1981 his “The Book on Bass Harmonics” was published by Alfred Music and cemented his reputation as a creative visionary of the instrument.

Vees will be performing a solo set, including lots of pedals and an occasional laptop digital frippery, playing a number of unusual low end guitars, including an 8-string bass and a 12-string baritone guitar.

As a composer he has worked with many of the most creative ensembles in the contemporary music scene.  Yet at the same time his works have resisted fitting into any one style, and have been performed from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam to CBGB’s in New York, and his recording of “The Restaurant Behind the Pier” stands as a unique example of an entire CD comprised of pieces exclusively for bass guitar.  For the past 25 years he has taught at the Yale School of Music, where he is the director of the Center for Studies in Music Technology.

Jack Vees performing his bass guitar solo piece “Restaurant Behind the Pier”:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Thursday, Feb. 7. ROCK: THE IVORY BILLS

• Monday, Feb. 11. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? FILM SERIES: GONE BABY GONE

• Wednesday, Feb. 13. EARLY MUSIC/CLASSICAL: RAVENNA MICHALSEN & ALEXANDER SMITH

Wednesday, Feb. 20. JAZZ: THE ELLIGERS BROTHERS BANDS

• Thursday, Feb. 21. SINGER-SONGWRITER ROCK: THE STREAMS DUO

• Wednesday, Feb. 27. SINGER-SONGWRITER ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Thursday, Feb. 28. ART SONG WITH TUNED WINE GLASSES: JONNY RODGERS