Google+

Welcome to Philadelphia Jazz Project




9

Hothouse At PAFA After Dark - The Willow Trio

Willow 1

HotHouse At PAFA After Dark Concert Series

Wednesday, September 7 - 7PM / The Willow Trio

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts / PAFA

118-128 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

For Tickets: Click Here


HotHouse: A musical laboratory for Jazz/New Music/Improvisors and Cutting Edge Artists - providing a public space for experimentation, rehearsals, concept and project development with an audience-response/dialogue component built in. HotHouse will present a series of five events as part of PAFA After Dark during their Fall 2016 season. Featuring some of Philadelphia’s most creative Jazz/New Music/Improvising Artists, HotHouse will shock, entertain, challenge and confront.


The Willow Trio will present sound and music that is rooted in world rhythms, as well as straight-ahead Jazz. We take inspiration from all forms of music and follow our own muse.The concept of the Willow Trio is to create music that is like a flying kite, earth-based, but free to adjust to its environmental freedoms.

 

The musicians in Willow bring diverse backgrounds. Bassist, Bert Harris plays reggae, ska, New Orleans funk and blues, straight-ahead Jazz and avant-garde Jazz. Trumpeter Paul Giess' recording, “U Suite U” covers a wide range of jazz styles that are folkloric and spiritual. Paul also performs in a number of ensembles throughout the city, performing classical music, theatre performance and Jazz. Drummer Kevin Diehl brings the rich history of Afro-Cuban styles combined with the avant-garde impressions of Ornette Coleman. As leader of the Sonic Liberation Front, Kevin has released several CD’s and recently collaborated with Jazz icon, Oliver Lake.


The Willow Trio is...
Bert Harris: Electric and Double bass
Kevin Diehl: Drums and percussion
Paul Giess: Flugel Horn

 

HotHouse At PAFA After Dark Concert Series

Wednesday, September 7 - 7PM / The Willow Trio

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts /PAFA

118-128 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

For Tickets: Click Here


PJP spoke with bassist, Bert Harris of the Willow Trio about their music and approach.


PJP: Can you briefly describe your musical direction?


Willow Trio: We play world beat grooves from New Orleans street parades, the Caribbean and Africa. It's all Africa really. And it's all different shades of funk, from the deep, one-drop beats of reggae to Fela Kuti's Afrobeat, of South Africa and the jazz soul gospel of Abdullah Ibrahim. To me, Funk is a deep spiritual feeling that makes you move. All these genres are in me, through me and effortlessly come out of me when I play. When  I hear and perform this music it feels like my ancestors are coming out to direct, inspire and sometimes direct. I have am so appreciative to perform with Kevin Diehl, with whom I have performed a few times with The Sonic Liberation Front. Kevin and I have similar musical grounds. Paul Giess brings a very deep spiritual Jazz feel with his talent and musical curiosity. He also writes some "bad" tunes. We will play our original compositions and tunes by Abdullah Ibrahim, Rufus Reid, Don Cherry and Thomas Mapfumo.

 

Bert Harris 1PJP: What and whom are pivotal musical influences on your creative approach?


Willow Trio: The New Orleans and World Beat influenced dance band PHILLY GUMBO is where I was "funkatized" into the deep history of New Orleans Music such as Professor Longhair, The Meters, The Wild Tchapitoulas and Dr. John. That feeling from NOLA, when I perform never leaves me. Recording and performing with Byard Lancaster is where I learned it was fine to follow one's muse and incorporate all of what you hear into making "the sound, your sound." I recorded two CD's with Byard Lancaster, "Pam Africa" and "Ancestral Link Hotel. He used two bassists on these recordings; the legendary bassist, Ed Crockett and myself. Byard was a great musical influence because he was open to hearing everything and encouraging his musicians to do the same. Of course, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis and John Coltrane are pivotal influences as well.

 

PJP: What are you going to present at Hothouse/PAFA?
 
The Willow Trio will present our original music and tunes by some of the aforementioned artists. My compositions are based in the blues, spiritual Jazz and Afro jazz. The trio is Kevin Diehl on drums and percussion, Bert Harris on electric and upright bass and Paul Giess on flugelhorn.
 
PJP: Some artists don’t like to share the behind the scenes views of their creative process, in what ways do you as an artist benefit from having the audience engage in your Art In Process?

 

Kevin Diehl 2Willow Trio: You have to develop a rapport with the audience. Don't just play. Byard use to say, "the music should tell a story." Tell the audience the story behind the compositions. Two of my compositions, that we will perform are "Blues for Trayvonn" and the other is "Stop The Killing," easy to tell by the titles, the stories behind these tunes. Another composition is "Sunday Sermon On Mars" which a tune that is a homage to Philadelphia avant-garde Jazz legend, Sun-Ra.

 

PJP: How do you manage the task of creating and encouraging fresh, new, forward moving musical ideas, while simultaneously exploring, celebrating and documenting the past?

 

"All know that the drop merges into the ocean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.” - - - - quote by Kabir.

             

For me, this statement captures the timelessness of music, ever flowing and circulating from the past to the present to the future and back, endlessly. It's no wonder, that much of today's music uses hooks, beats and melodies from past songs. And many of the songs sampled today, those musicians used beats from the shores of Africa from hundreds of years past, through the middle passage to slave work songs, lullabies of slaves, shouts and screams from oppression to freedom. This is all in the sound sea we pull from, some times consciously, but more often, unconsciously.

 

PJP: When listening to your music, what advice would you give to audiences to aide with greater understanding and enjoyment?

 

Paul Giess 1Willow Trio: I don't know that our music has to be understood. Actually, I would like it to just be loved, which is more of an emotional process. Just be open to it, and if you understand it fine and enjoy it great. Give us a gig !!!

 

PJP: Why Jazz? When you could be doing anything else, why Jazz?

 

Willow Trio: I developed into a Jazz artist by playing funk, rock, blues and reggae. I think it was Louis Armstrong or James Blood Ulmer who said, "Jazz is the teacher, funk is the preacher." One thing about being a musician is if you truly love it, you must play. If I don't touch/play my instrument on a daily basis, I don't feel alive. It's one of the things, I am on this planet to do. I am really that into calling it Jazz. I'm more into playing it and someone else can label it.

 

HotHouse At PAFA After Dark Concert Series

Wednesday, September 7 - 7PM / The Willow Trio

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts /PAFA

118-128 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

For Tickets: Click Here

 

See you at the PAFA After Dark!

 

HotHouse At PAFA After Dark Concert Series is produced by Philadelphia Jazz Project in collaboration with Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts / PAFA.

 

PJP Logo           PAFA

 

Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the Culture Trust | Greater Philadelphia, with funding provided by The Wyncote Foundation.

 

<< Go back to the previous page

Tags : HotHouse PAFA PAFAAfterDark MusicalLaboratory PhillyJazz NewMusic Improvisors TheWillowTrio BertHarris PaulGiess KevinDiehl Reggae Ska NewOrleansFunkandBlues Straight-AheadJazz Avant-GardeJazz PennsylvaniaAcademyoftheFineArts

9

Philly Jazz Quotes

The stuff McCoy Tyner did was earth-shattering for me. The modal thing, the way he voiced chords in fourths, the way he used the pentatonic scale -- all those things were very new.
Kenny Barron

Other Info

FBk

ars

9

tumblr


Jazz News



Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the Culture Trust | Greater Philadelphia, with funding provided by The Wyncote Foundation.