Friday, May 06, 2016

Bringing "Hero's Journey To Life" - Matt Von Roderick - #jazz

The dozen songs that experimental jazz trumpeter-rapper Matt Von Roderick released sans fanfare as “Hero’s Journey” in mid-December on Bandcamp (https://mattvonroderick.bandcamp.com) are about a protagonist in pursuit of burning dreams of love, acceptance, desire, fun, fame and fortune. Now it’s time for the fanfare. For two nights only, Von Roderick will bring his heroic tales to life in an elaborately-staged concert production at The Sayers Club in Hollywood, Calif. on consecutive Thursdays – March 10 and 17. The 90-minute performance, a sensual feast of music, sound, light and dance conceived by Von Roderick and Creating Arts Studios, will run through the entire album that is available now from Invention Records at major digital retail outlets (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) and will be available exclusively at the venue on CD the night of the shows. Tickets are on sale now from http://www.cacstudios.com/hero.

The last time Von Roderick mounted an extravagant production in Los Angeles, The Huffington Post proclaimed “Matt Von Roderick makes jazz dangerous again.” The dates at The Sayers Club are a bit of a coming out party after a cross-country move from his longtime home in New York City and reinventing his sound and himself – including a name change (his earlier critically-hailed collection was issued under Matt Shulman, his birth name). Tucked away in the studio, Von Roderick spent years crafting his new style. Throughout the process, he’d emerge sporadically to release videos for new songs that are included on “Hero’s Journey” with the resultant clips spreading virally to generate over 4.5 million YouTube views. To support the album release, he recently shot a new clip for the daring instrumental exploration “Coexistence” (http://bit.ly/1PBuinx).

Presented on “Hero’s Journey” as sonic collages constructed of expansive jazz forays, electronic hip hop and clubby dance beats, grinding alternative rock grooves and vibrant pop harmonies, Von Roderick spits playful raps and biting rhymes and croons yearningly on “Hero’s Journey.” His lyricism are quests for intoxicating love, spiritual understanding, overcoming life’s challenges and other affirming mantras laced with the occasional sting of disappointment, despair and disillusionment. In concert, the record will be vividly recreated from top to bottom by Von Roderick’s trio, which includes a keyboardist/piano player and DJ accompanied by tantalizing dancers. The set list will be completed by a couple of reimagined classics from jazz icons Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.

Regarded as a trumpet prodigy once named Jazz Artist of the Year at the Independent Music Awards and described by DownBeat as “Taking jazz into the future,” Von Roderick has shared his talent on stage or on record with an eclectic array of artists that includes Neil Diamond, Music Soulchild, Brad Mehldau, Dionne Warwick, Tenacious D, John Medeski, Nnenna Freelon and the Saturday Night Live Band as well as in prestigious locales such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. But that was then and this is now. Von Roderick plans to take the “Hero’s Journey” show on the road (cities and dates will be announced). On record and in concert, “Hero’s Journey” is an empowering experience and a revolutionary exhibition of jazz to behold.

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