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Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber

103 Dike St, Providence, RI   (view map)

The level of talent involved and range of musical expression that Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber encompasses is jaw-dropping. The collective was formed in 1999 by Greg Tate, the prolific writer/interviewer/thinker, and bassist Jared Michael Nickerson. Twenty-two players are listed as current members; another baker’s dozen is on the “short list” of past members and guests. Their credits include stints with TV On the Radio, the Holmes Brothers, David Murray, Phish, and many more. Tate (conduction, guitar, bass, laptop) states: “Burnt Sugar got the nerve to claim Sly Stone, Morton Feldman, Billie Holiday, Jimi Hendrix, and Jean-Luc Ponty as progenitors. Our player-ranks include known Irish fiddlers, AACM [Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians] refugees, Afro-punk rejects, unrepentant beboppers, feminist rappers, jitterbugging doowoppers, frankly loud funk-a-teers, and rodeo stars of the digital divide.” Phew! Oh, and there’s a manifesto; the key line: “The intent . . . is to make every performance a fresh interpretation of its constituent parts.” Those parts have gathered for a two-day residency at Brown University, where Tate is a Visiting Professor of Africana Studies. Events include a conversation about Africana music (on the 15th from 4 to 6 pm at the George Houston Bass Performing Arts Space in Churchill House, 155 Angell St); a presentation on “The Art and Craft of Conduction” (on the 15th at 8 pm at Grant Recital Hall, 1 Young Orchard Ave); and a performance tonight at Fête Lounge (103 Dike St, Providence), where the Burnt Sugar crew will mash-up the songbooks of James Brown and David Bowie. Watch in awe as Ziggy Stardust gets on the good foot and the pretty things make it funky at 9 pm. Admission to all events is free |

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