The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 4, 2014

Jazz at Bucknell March 5: The Matt Mitchell Quartet

— LEWISBURG — The Matt Mitchell Quartet will perform in concert Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Bucknell Hall at Bucknell University.

The performance, which is free and open to the public, is part of the university’s ongoing Jazz at Bucknell series.

The quartet includes Matt Mitchell, piano; Chris Speed, clarinet and saxophones; Chris Tordini, bass; and Dan Weiss, drums.

The musicians

Pianist and composer Mitchell has lived in Philadelphia since 1999 and performs regularly in New York City, throughout the United States and around the world. His album “Fiction” was released in 2013 on Pi Recordings; it features 15 of his compositions performed in duo with Ches Smith. He is a member of Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, the Dave Douglas Quintet, John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Bird Project, the Darius Jones Quartet, Michael Attias’ Spun Tree, and Quinsin Nachoff’s Flux. Mitchell is a 2012 recipient of a Pew Fellowship from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

A composer, clarinetist and saxophonist living in Brooklyn, N.Y., Speed is “one of the principal figures in a dynamic left-of-center jazz/improv scene in the city” (New York Times). He is a founding member of Jim Black’s Alas No Axis and John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet (two of the most influential working bands today), works with Uri Caine (deconstructing works by Mahler, Mozart, Bach, Schoenberg, Gershwin) and maintains a busy career of touring, recording, performing, composing, practicing and teaching. His latest project, “Endangered Blood” (with Black, Trevor Dunn and Oscar Noriega) was featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts in 2012.

Tordini is an in-demand bassist on the New York City music scene who has toured and recorded with Andy Milne’s Dapp Theory and has played in bands led by other renowned artists such as Greg Osby and Jeremy Pelt. He is a key collaborator in projects led by drummer/composer Tyshawn Sorey and trombonist/composer Michael Dessen. A graduate of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, he has performed and recorded with prominent bandleaders such as Steve Lehman, Okkyung Lee, Tigran Hamasyan, Jo-Yu Chen, Mike Pinto, Andrew D’Angelo, Jim Black, Chris Speed, and John Hollenbeck. He has played at New York City’s most prestigious jazz venues, including the Blue Note, the Village Vanguard, the Iridium, the Jazz Standard, Smalls, the Jazz Gallery and the Stone.

Weiss began playing the drums at the age of 6. He received his bachelor’s degree at Manhattan School of Music with a major in jazz percussion and minor in classical composition. He has toured the world and recorded with musicians such as David Binney, Lee Konitz, Rudresh Mahantthapa, Miguel Zenon and Kenny Werner. In addition to drums, Weiss has studied the tabla under Pandit Samir Chatterjee for almost 20 years, an apprenticeship that has been a major influence in his musical aesthetic.

Named “The Top Up and Coming Percussionist” two years in a row in the 60th and 61st annual Downbeat’s Critic’s Poll, he was called ‘One of the five Most Promising Drummers of the New Generation.’ (New York Times)