music

Continuum presents a program of Renaissance Band Music. The musical band is a group of specialized musicians usually playing various types of wind instruments sometimes with added vocals.

Ben Jaffe, Gwen Thompkins and Charlie Gabriel.
Amanda Irizarry / Elephant Quilt Productions

Giants of traditional jazz played here; hell, they still play here: tucked behind walls with a patina worthy of the temple Preservation Hall has been through the years.

The doors opened in 1961. This was to be a sanctuary for America’s original music, born on the banks of the Mississippi. Here, the original sound of jazz would echo down St. Peter Street, even as rock ‘n’ roll swallowed radio.

The songs of Oswald von Wolkenstein, the 15th century minnesinger, the German counterpart of the French troubadour and trouvere, are featured on this Continuum program.

MusicInsideOut.org

As a child, Jason Marsalis watched old television shows as much for the music as for anything the characters were doing onscreen.

“I became a big fan of reruns of the tv show, The Monkees,” he tells Gwen. “My father thought it was just hilarious that I was into this. But when I look back on it, that was music from the 1960s.”

Early Music of the Garden is presented by Continuum on this program. Four different aspects of the "early" garden are visited: The Garden of Earthly Delights, Dreams in a Pleasure Garden, A Dance in the Garden of Mirth, and When Birds Do Sing.

Continuum presents a highly spirited program of joyful songs and dances featuring cheerful sounds and ringing melodies of the late-medieval period. Bombards, shawms, lutes, harps and gitterns provide a rich program of music, with songs and instrumental music from Spain, Italy, France and Britain.

This week’s Continuum features music by the 14th century French composer Guillaume de Machaut, known as the last great poet who was also a composer. His music for the Mass of Notre Dame represents the first known medieval Mass by a known composer.

(L to R) Crystal Morris, Dr. Valerie Jones, Eldric Bashful, Ebonee Davis, Tyrone Chambers II, Aria H. Mason, Brandon Richardson, Givonna Joseph, Ivan Griffin, (Pianist Wilfred Delphin, not pictured)
Derek Bridges / Flickr via MusicInsideOut.org

Givonna Joseph and her New Orleans-based troupe, OperaCreole, tackle some of opera’s most challenging works with gusto, including early compositions written by free people of color in the United States and Europe. So, in addition to Bizet and Puccini and Verdi and Gershwin, OperaCreole gives full attention to composers Andre Ernest Gretry, Edmond Dede, Lucien Lambert and Samuel Snaer, among others.

In doing so, OperaCréole is continuing one of the nation’s longest running opera traditions. New Orleans was home to North America’s first opera house.

On this program Continuum presents recordings by two very early "early music ensembles", the New York Pro Musica, under the direction of founder Noah Greenberg, and the New York Renaissance Band, under the direction of founder Sally Logemann.

Rebirth Brass Band at Underground Arts, 1.11.14
Wendy McCardle / MusicInsideOut.org

This is not John Philip Sousa’s band music.

Don’t get us wrong, Sousa is in the pantheon of them-who-haul-brass-through-the-streets, but we suspect the maestro might be surprised by the music today. Which, if you think about it, is good.

Otherwise, there would only be the old-timey brass band idiom and the genre would have lost touch with the people.

Which is precisely where this music has always lived. With military bands and civic orchestras and parades and funerals and weddings, brass band music has always been popular music.

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