Saturday, April 18, 2020

Helias Fujiwara Goldberg Trio

Mark Helias (bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums), and Ben Goldberg (clarinet) present original compositions and improvisations.

Bassist/Composer Mark Helias has performed throughout the world for more than four decades. Helias has written music for two feature films as well as chamber pieces and works for large ensemble and big band. His orchestra piece “Stochasm” was premiered by the American Composers Orchestra in June of 2011. Tomas Fujiwara is a Brooklyn-based drummer, composer, and band leader. Described as “a ubiquitous presence in the New York scene…an artist whose urbane writing is equal to his impressively nuanced drumming.” Clarinetist Ben Goldberg has established himself as “one of the most vibrant, flexible, and inventive clarinetists in jazz and improvised music” (Downbeat), “an artist who seems to find beautiful melodies at the end of every path.” (NPR).



Helias Fujiwara Goldberg Trio at the Maybeck
Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 3:00pm
This concert is $30 General Admission


Bassist/Composer Mark Helias has performed throughout the world for more than four decades. Mark began his international career in the Anthony Braxton Quartet and has performed with many world class artists including: Edward Blackwell, Anthony Davis, Dewey Redman, Abbey Lincoln, Oliver Lake, Andrew Cyrille, Marilyn Crispell, Julius Hemphill, Don Byron, Uri Caine, Roswell Rudd, Bobby Bradford, Barry Altschul, Ray Anderson, Jane Ira Bloom, Jason Moran, Nasheet Waits, Don Cherry, Cecil Taylor, and Gerry Hemingway.

Helias has written music for two feature films as well as chamber pieces and works for large ensemble and big band. His orchestra piece “Stochasm” was premiered by the American Composers Orchestra in June of 2011. Twelve albums of his original music have been released since 1984. Mark’s trio Open Loose with Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey has become an archetypal improvising ensemble on the New York scene. BassDrumBone, his trio with Gerry Hemingway and Ray Anderson has been playing together for thirty six years. Mr. Helias performs solo bass concerts and can also be heard in the innovative bass duo, “The Marks Brothers”, with fellow bassist Mark Dresser.

Tomas Fujiwara is a Brooklyn-based drummer, composer, and band leader. Described as “a ubiquitous presence in the New York scene…an artist whose urbane writing is equal to his impressively nuanced drumming” (Point of Departure), Tomas is an active player in some of the most exciting music of the current generation, with his bands Triple Double, 7 Poets Trio, and Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up; his collaborative duo with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum; the collective trio Thumbscrew (with Mary Halvorson and Michael Formanek); and a diversity of creative work with Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Mary Halvorson, Matana Roberts, Joe Morris, Taylor Ho Bynum, Nicole Mitchell, Ben Goldberg, Tomeka Reid, Amir ElSaffar, Benoit Delbecq, and many others. “Drummer Tomas Fujiwara works with rhythm as a pliable substance, solid but ever shifting. His style is forward-driving but rarely blunt or aggressive, and never random. He has a way of spreading out the center of a pulse while setting up a rigorous scaffolding of restraint...A conception of the drum set as a full-canvas instrument, almost orchestral in its scope.” (New York Times)

Beginning in 1992, when his group New Klezmer Trio “kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music” (SF Chronicle), clarinetist Ben Goldberg has established himself as “one of the most vibrant, flexible, and inventive clarinetists in jazz and improvised music” (Downbeat), “an artist who seems to find beautiful melodies at the end of every path.” (NPR). Of the more than thirty albums of his own compositions, The New York Times has noted Ben’s music for “a feeling of joyous research into the basics of polyphony and collective improvising,” and he was named #1 Rising Star Clarinetist in the Downbeat Critics Poll in both 2011 and 2013.

Ben is on the faculty of the Music Department at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches improvisation and jazz studies.

Ben’s 2019 release “Good Day for Cloud Fishing” (Pyroclastic), in which music based on poems of Dean Young served as the basis of new poems by Mr. Young, received rave reviews in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on NPR’s “Fresh Air With Terry Gross,” where Kevin Whitehead called the record “an elegant little zigzag from literature to music and back again; a dialogue between aesthetic worlds.”