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Mysterious Traveler - Ross Bellenoit

Ross Bellenoit 1
Mysterious Traveler 3 Concert Series

May 22, 2017 - 7PM | Ross Bellenoit

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


All events in this series are FREE.


Mysterious Travelers 3: Internal Investigations - a collaboration between The Free Library of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Jazz Project. Back by overwhelming popular demand! FREE concerts every fourth Monday night from September 2016 through May 2017 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 celebrate the massive and amazing collections of the Free Library by granting our performers access to explore them as a source of inspiration for the creation of new musical works and arrangements.

 

Ross Bellenoit is a guitarist, sound engineer and music producer. A graduate and current faculty member of the University of the Arts, Bellenoit became an extremely active guitarist-for-hire, willing to play with anyone at a moment's notice. He has shared stages with many local acts including Cowmuddy, Chris Kasper, Hezekiah Jones, Denison Witmer, George Stanford, Gillian Grassie, John Mallinen, The Sweetback Sisters, Joseph Parsons and others. Bellenoit's own music is a unique blend of songwriting, equal parts Richard Thompson and Elvis Costello, with the tragically lyrical poetics of Joe Henry and Leonard Cohen. He has also released a record documenting his original jazz repertoire, entitled “Driving North”, in 2015, and was featured on the Philadelphia Jazz Project’s,PhillyCAM Sessions: Electricity” series.

 

Check out this video with Ross Bellenoit from PJP's Electricity series on PhillyCAM recorded in the Summer 2015.

 

 


Guitarist, Ross Bellenoit will be our next guest artist in the Mysterious Traveler Concert Series


PJP spoke with Ross Bellenoit, about his music, his approach and the new project that he will reveal in the Mysterious Traveler Concert Series.


Ross Bellenoit 2PJP: Can you briefly describe your musical direction


Ross Bellenoit: I’m fascinated by melody, particularly the way melody and harmony can work together to create that lump in the throat, the hair standing on end, and the moisture in the eye. I’ve been influenced by so many types of music, but for this particular project, I’m interested in setting simpler folk melodies inside a more traditional jazz guitar trio landscape. My goal is to successfully match the economy of Lorca’s language with big, wide open sonic spaces.


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


Ross Bellenoit:   My creative approach always comes from a purely song based perspective. I’m not interested in dense harmony and tricky time signatures for the sake of it. It HAS to linger in the brain long after the music has stopped. The actual workshopping of the material is a LOT of me improvising melodies with Lorca’s words in front of me and finding effective settings for them.


PJP: What are you going to present at the Mysterious Traveler Concert Series?


Ross Bellenoit: I will be presenting a series of poems by the legendary, Spanish poet, Federico Garcia Lorca set to music.  There's a series of poems written by Lorca entitled, Flamenco Vignettes. It is these pieces that I have decided to set to voice/music. The music is meant to shape and portray the mystically morbid scenes that Lorca paints in these selections of prose. Elements of folk, jazz and subtle undercurrents of flamenco shape the music's foundation.

 

PJP: Why is this theme/concept so important? Can you explain your process and the steps that led to this performance?

 

Federico Garcia LorcaRoss Bellenoit: While reading Lorca’s work from a particular collection called “Poem Of The Deep Song”, I was struck by the extreme musicality of his words and his phrasing. As a lyricist of my own material, I am intrigued by the challenge of putting these words to music even when they weren’t initially meant to be presented that way. There is a looseness to the phrasing that would meld well with the an improvisational approach and surrounding, while I will also be trying to root it’s melodies in folk-jazz surroundings.

 

PJP:  Can you explain your process and the steps that led to this performance?


Ross Bellenoit: The process basically involves sitting down with the a set of selected poems, guitar in hand, and improvising melodies to certain poems. I have also been wanting to work in the vocal jazz idiom and look forward to working with one of my favorite Philadelphia vocalists, Elizabeth Radigonda.


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?


Ross Bellenoit: Well, we’ll see if I SUCCESSFULLY manage the task at all! That’s up to the pundits.

 

Ross Bellenoit 3PJP: When listening to your music what advice would you give the audience to assist with greater understanding and enjoyment?


Ross Bellenoit: Open ears, open minds, and open hearts are able to experience, to their fullest limits, unfamiliar music.

 

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


Ross Bellenoit: There is a freedom within jazz music that is at once incredibly risky, and yet, at the same time, it is the most comfortable playing experience for any musician. Because when you’re playing with like-minded musicians, you all have each other’s back. It’s a team effort. And I like teams.

 

To keep up with the musical adventures of Ross Bellenoit, visit his website at RossBellenoit.Com

 

Mysterious Traveler 3 Concert Series

May 22, 2017 - 7PM | Ross Bellenoit

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


All events in this series are FREE.

 

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Mysterious Traveler 3 - Internal Investigations Concert Series is produced by Philadelphia Jazz Project in collaboration with The Free Library of Philadelphia.

 

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

 

 

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