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Mysterious Traveler - Madison Rast

madison rast1

Mysterious Travelers 2: Great Migrations - a collaboration between The Free Library of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Jazz Project. Back by overwhelming popular demand! FREE concerts every fourth Monday night from October 2015 through May 2016 audiences will hear from veteran, as well as up-and-coming musicians who are shaping the future sounds of Philadelphia with a sharp ear to the legacies of our past. This season will directly honor and celebrate the past century’s brave journey of African Americans to Philadelphia from the South to which we owe our rich urban musical heritage.


Bassist, composer, and Temple University faculty member Madison Rast migrated to Philadelphia, from North Carolina at the turn of this century after a long period of intensive study at several prestigious music schools to our south. He is among our city’s most in-demand sidemen, whose deeply grounded bass lines have supported Mickey Roker, Orrin Evans, Sean Jones, and Joanna Pascale. His debut album of original compositions, as well as a recording of the poetry of Walt Whitman set to original music in collaboration with pianist Garry Dial and saxophonist Dick Oatts, are soon to be released.


Bassist Madison Rast, will be our next guest artist in the Mysterious Traveler Concert Series.


Mysterious Traveler 2 Concert Series - Great Migrations

January 25, 2016 - 7PM | Madison Rast

Parkway Central Library | Montgomery Auditorium
1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189

All events in this series are FREE.


PJP spoke with him about his music and his approach.


PJP: Can you briefly describe your musical direction


Madison Rast: I think my musical direction should be described as future/primitive. That is, deeply rooted to the past (folk melodies, blues) but also looking ahead and trying to explore new sounds and new ways of playing old grooves. Many of my musical heroes embraced this aesthetic, I feel. John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, George Clinton, and Ornette Coleman, to name a few, certainly were ultra-modern for their time but also loved the old, funky music too.


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


rast 2Madison Rast: I don’t know if I have a specific creative approach. I feel that creativity lies in the moment. I try to be present and open when playing and performing music. I want the music to be able to express the full range of human emotion. The only way to do that is to open yourself up to whatever may happen on the bandstand. This allows true communication to occur and thus allows for musical creativity to happen.


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



Madison Rast: Well, we are all products of our past. That is really the only thing that makes each of us unique. Music has gone hand in hand with human experience since the very beginning. So, it is impossible to escape that. I don’t if it is my job as an artist to document the past, but I do celebrate it by celebrating the present. 


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

Madison Rast: Just be aware of how your body is reacting. The body knows…Music is made to move to. That is first. Is your foot tapping? Head nodding? Then, be aware of the mental aspect…Is this engaging? Intellectually stimulating? If the music engages both the mind and body, then you are probably listening to some great music. Call it “mind and booty”. 

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


Madison Rast: I don’t know if I could do anything else. Music is all I’ve ever done. It is almost like a secret language that few know. It has the ability to open you up and connect you to real human emotion and spirituality. It doesn’t happen every time that I perform, but when it happens, I know I am blessed.


Mysterious Traveler 2 Concert Series - Great Migrations

January 25, 2016 - 7PM | Madison Rast
Parkway Central Library | Montgomery Auditorium
1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189

All events in this series are FREE.



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Tags : MysteriousTraveler MysteriousTraveler2 FreeLibraryofPhiladelphia GreatMigration TempleUniversity TempleUniversityFacultyMember MickeyRoker OrrinEvans SeanJones JoannaPascale DickOatts




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