Magic Triangle Jazz Series: Ned Rothenberg's Inner Diaspora

Event Details

April 2, 2015
8:00 pm

Fine Arts Center Bezanson Recital Hall

UMass Amherst Campus

Glenn Siegel

Ned Rothenberg’s Inner Diaspora - which includes Rothenberg (clarinet, bass clarinet, shakuhachi and alto saxophone), Samir Chatterjee (tabla),  Jerome Harris (acoustic bass guitar), Mark Feldman (violin) and Erik Friedlander (cello) -  “moves beyond the confines of jazz, classical and folk genres to create something genuinely new,” writes Thom Jurek. “Inner Diaspora is a deeply moving recording, one that touches the heart with its emotional intelligence, even as it dialogues with history.”

Released on Tzadik Records as part of its Radical Jewish Culture Series, Ned Rothenberg interprets the inner Diaspora as a place of learning and growth. The music is rich in rhythmic invention, instrumental color and lyricism. Drawing upon his extensive experience in world music, Rothenberg explores the possibilities of 21st century Jewish culture through the nuances of scales, modes and feelings of alienation and belonging.

“Woodwind/saxophone ace Ned Rothenberg has a formidable reputation as an innovator,” writes Tzadik Records. “Rothenberg has been celebrated for his circular-breathing techniques, as well as his experiments with overtone manipulation and polyphony. He also shares the restless eclecticism of colleagues like John Zorn and Anthony Braxton, with a particular interest in the more painterly shades of contemporary Japanese classical music. What renders Rothenberg more approachable and, in the end, more significant than many of his peers is the serenity at the heart of his fiercest playing.”

Born in 1956 in Boston, Rothenberg graduated from Oberlin College and studied at Oberlin Conservatory, Berklee School of Music, privately with Les Scott (saxophone & clarinet), and George Coleman (jazz improvisation). However, his trademark solo technique is self-taught. Rothenberg has led his North African-influenced Double Band and the ensembles, Power Lines and Sync. He has toured in duos with the Tuvan throat singer Sainkho Namtchylak, the shakuhachi virtuoso Katsuya Yokoyama, the English saxophone improviser Evan Parker, and worked with many of the most creative musicians in New York City since moving there in 1978.

Rothenberg's musical interests are numerous and his work varies widely in its sonic, emotive and stylistic profiles. As a composer he can move from the contemporary classical setting of his Quintet for Clarinet and Strings to "Jazz-funk in cubist perspective, dizzying, yet visceral" (Jon Pareles, NY Times), to music that is "intense, slightly melancholic, rhapsodic without being sentimental” (Edward Rothstein).  His concentration on an expanded sonic language is directed towards wider possibilities of musical communication, never at technical novelty as an end in itself. 

He has received grants and commissions from the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Arts Council, Mary Flagler Cary Trust, Lila Wallace Foundation, Chamber Music America, Asian Cultural Council, Roulette, Jerome Foundation, Meet the Composer, Japan Society and ASCAP.


Bezanson Recital Hall is located within the Fine Arts Center.

Event Category

Music Music Performance