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Susquehanna Life

The Bad Plus to Perform Jazz at the Weis Center

Feb 06, 2017 10:33AM ● By Erica Shames
Jazz trio The Bad Plus will perform on Saturday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts.

This engagement of The Bad Plus is made possible through the Jazz Touring Network program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Few jazz groups in recent memory have amassed such acclaim, and inspired such controversy, as The Bad Plus. For seventeen years, they have thrived at the intersection of jazz, indie rock and contemporary classical music, inspiring Rolling Stone to call them “about as badass as highbrow gets.”

The Bad Plus have cemented their place as an original music ensemble. Except for their interpretation of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring — their last four albums focused almost exclusively on original compositions. It’s Hard, however, marks The Bad Plus’ return to an aspect of their roots, the very thing that first made The Bad Plus famous: the deconstruction of songs from the Pop/Rock and R&B worlds.

Among the tightest, hardest-working bands in the world — and there has not been a line-up change or substitution in 17 years — this is a band in their prime, returning to early form, which is an event not to be missed.

The Bad Plus’ 10th studio recording, Inevitable Western, sees bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson, and drummer David King further honing the same conceptual base that fired their inception. Yet again they continue to explore myriad musical forms born of jazz along with any sonic source that forwards music that is uniquely The Bad Plus. Inevitable Western is an album where pop, blues, and folk meld with classic melodies and rhythmic innovation into that rarest of hybrids: intelligent music for the masses.

The Bad Plus came together at the end of the 20th century and has avoided easy categorization ever since, garnering critical acclaim and a legion of fans worldwide with their creativity, idiosyncratic personality, and flair for live performance. Based in New York City, the deeply collaborative trio constantly searches for rules to break and boundaries to cross, bridging genres and techniques while exploring infinite possibilities of three exceptional musicians working in perfect sync.

The Bad Plus has a well-earned reputation for daring deconstruction, pushing the limits on what is expected of a piano-bass-drums trio. The genre-smashing band has created a distinctive repertoire of inventive and exciting original music, along with iconoclastic covers of artists as divergent as Nirvana and Neil Young, Aphex Twin and Ornette Coleman.

A genuinely leaderless trio, The Bad Plus is equal in every respect, from composition to performance to production. The interplay between these collaborators has marked the group’s work from the jump, infusing it with carefully considered spontaneity, subtlety, style, and depth.

The New Yorker says, “The Bad Plus are the Coen brothers of jazz: Midwesterners, both ironic and dead earnest, technically brilliant, beyond versatile, a little chilly sometimes, but funny, surprising, and pretty hard to pin down.”

Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors 62+, $10 for youth 18 and under, $10 for Bucknell employees and retirees (limit 2), $10 for Bucknell students (limit 2), and $10 for non-Bucknell college students (limit 2). Tickets can be purchased online at Bucknell.edu/BoxOffice or by calling 570-577-1000.

Please note that tickets are available in the main auditorium only; the balcony will be closed.

Tickets are also available in person from several locations including the Weis Center lobby (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the CAP Center Box Office, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

For more information about this performance contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

The next performance in the Weis Center’s 2016-17 Season is a family-friendly modern dance performance by Momix, who will perform a work entitled “Opus Cactus” which is based on the American Southwest on Thursday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to Bucknell.edu/WeisCenter or search for the Weis Center on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. 

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