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The Refuge Trio in Concert at UVa

91.1 WTJU-FM presents an evening of modern jazz with

The Refuge Trio
Sunday, April 1st 2007, 7PM
Garrett Hall, University of Virginia

Tickets at the door only - $10 general, $5 students
For info, call Gary at 434-249-6191
Co-sponsored by the Charlottesville Jazz Society

theo bleckmann, voice
gary versace, organ
john hollenbeck, drums

Refuge Trio takes its name from the Joni Mitchell song "Refuge of the Roads". The collaborative trio was formed to play at the 2002 Wall-to-Wall Joni Mitchell Marathon Concert at Symphony Space in NYC. Since then, they have continued to explore delicate and playful music with mystery and exuberance. Their unique voices also play an essential role in the ensembles of Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, Bob Brookmeyer, John Scofield and Maria Schneider. As the Refuge trio, they fashion a transformative experience for the audience with their music and spirit.

John Hollenbeck has gained worldwide recognition as a composer and drummer. He has received commissions to write and arrange his music for the Austrian Big Band Graz, and his large ensemble recently performed for the International Association of Jazz Educators in New York City. He also leads the jazz/post-rock group The Claudia Quintet, which performed here in Garrett Hall last spring to great acclaim.

Since basing himself in New York City in 2002, pianist/organist/accordionist Gary Versace has become one of the busiest musicians around. He has two organ trio CDs out under his own name and appears on new recordings by Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts, Lee Konitz and others. He is regularly featured in bands led by top jazz artists like John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Maria Schneider and others.

Singer/Composer/Performance artist Theo Bleckmann uses his voice like an other-worldly instrument. Employing a variety of toys, electronics and other devices, the listener must "forget everything you ever heard" (Chicago Reader) when attending one of Bleckmann's performances.

But the highlight of last month for me was the extraordinary Theo Bleckmann and his fantastic Refuge trio. His performance at Sweet Rhythm (packed with adoring singers paying tribute, by the way) was intimate, wild, brave, sensual and utterly real all at once. Rarely are singers so true to themselves in their performance that you feel you really know who they are, even without being told in words. And it's simply impossible to describe his music. Avant garde doesn't quite do it, it's too emotionally moving for that. Check him out and define him for yourself. As composer-pianist Kirk Nurock says: "He doesn't just take you to another planet. He creates new planets and takes you there. That's how original this man is."


Garrett Hall (building #17 on this map) is located on McCormick Avenue near the UVa Amphitheater.

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