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Jaron Freeman-Fox and the Opposite of Everything
What do you get when you cross a violinist who sings, a clarinetist, a pianist/accordinist, a banjo player, a bassist and a percussionist? It's Jaron Freeman-Fox and the Opposite of Everything, of course! It's creative, interesting, energetic music, it's the first of three TDJ Special Projects concerts, and it happens this Sunday, February 10, 8 pm at Lula Lounge.
Jaron and his collective first came onto my radar a couple of years ago when he made a submission to the festival. I was immediately intrigued - difficult to categorize, the group spans jazz, folk, contemporary classical and world musics. At the time, I didn't have a spot for the band, but I was pleased to see his TDJ Special Projects submission in my inbox back in November.
As I've mentioned in a previous post, the process of selecting the three projects for TDJ Special Project support was fascinating - it was so interesting to hear the perspectives of the four people on the panel. And, when they got to Jaron's submission, they weren't exactly sure what to make of it...they just knew they liked it: the creative bent to the compositions, the quality of the playing, the cross-genre nature of the music - the combination of these elements made the group a top choice.
There is a certain quality to the Opposite's performing that especially appeals to me. Calling it "reckless abandon" may sound negative, but I mean it in the most positive, "let's give it everything we've got and have fun trying" kind of way. The musicians always seem to be having a blast on stage, whether they're playing a subdued ballad or a klezmer reel (is that a thing?) or a Tom Waits-ish rocker. There's a clear respect for the music and for each other which is a joy to watch. Here's a particularly bluesy sample:
Sunday's performance will be a celebration: after three years of touring and recording, the group is releasing a new, self-titled CD. Onstage will be the six-piece group, with appearances by some of the special guests who recorded on the album: guitarist Kevin Breit, banjoist Frank Evans, vocalist Christine Duncan and trumpeter David Travers-Smith. The show kicks off at 8 pm with two opening acts: Ronley Teper and Bull Kelp.
For complete information please visit Jaron's concert page. The next TDJ Special Projects performances are Sarah Jerrom and The Yeats Project, March 16 at The Music Gallery; and Shannon Graham and The Storytellers, April 17 at Gallery 345.