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I Want My JacobTV

Contrary to speculation that the mystery man in Friday’s photo is a Guantanamo detainee or a middle school crossing guard, the fashion-forward gentleman in question is, in fact, the Dutch composer Jacob ter Veldhuis, aka JacobTV, whose work (it says here in the press release) “…has had a huge impact on the European music scene in the past decade, but he is far less known in the U.S.”  It could happen.    

The Whitney Museum of American Art, that well-known new music venue, is concluding its Spring 2007 Whitney Live series with Grab It!, a three-day festival dedicated to JacobTV, Wednesday to Friday, May 2-4, 2007 at the Whitney at Altria in mid-town Manhattan.  The festival is the first large-scale examination of his work on this side of the pond, featuring some of his signature pieces as well as recent compositions and premieres, video, instrumental work, and a new evening-length dance piece set to his boombox music.  He will also unveil a major CD/DVD anthology of his work on the Dutch label Basta, which includes orchestral music, boombox works, chamber music and video. 

That would explain the “three pounds” of CDs I got from the Whitney which, by the way, are still up for grabs although, frankly, judging from the catty comments, you folks are not taking this opportunity nearly seriously enough.

Among the participants and performers in the festival are PRISM Quartet, Miro Dance TheatreNew Century QuartetFrank J. OteriKevin Gallagher, Electric KompanyMargaret LancasterDorothy Lawson, Meehan/Perkins Duo, and Kathleen Supové 

The back story is that Limor Tomer, who curates the “Whitney Live” events,  heard JacobTV’s music when the Prism sax quartet did a whole evening of his work at Symphony Space last year (Prism performs on the May 2 concert, then again twice in Philadelphia a few days later).  She went wild over the music and decided to take the risk of programming three nights of his work, although no one here is really familiar with it.  She hired the terrific new music publicist and all-round hottie Aleba Gartner to promote the show and, of course, we all know about my character flaws in the area of pretty gals.

Speaking of which, Aleba is also promoting the June in Buffalo Festival June 4-10 this year.  This is one of the top festivals in America and it gets surprisingly little coverage although we always try to do our part.  Anybody live in the Buffalo area who would like to “audit” the festival, do a little deep immersion, and keep a daily Sequenza 21 diary of the event?  Something can be arranged.

Other stuff:  I was having a Rome withdrawal attack last night and tuned into Showtime’s new Tudors mini-series.  Pretty good, actually, but my favorite part is when a scruffy young man turns up at the cathedral with a letter from the Bishop of Canterbury introducing him as Thomas Tallis, a bright prospect who plays the organ, flute, sings and “composes a bit.”

And, finally, if I haven’t said so already, I think Steve Layton does a fantastic job week after week with his Click Picks.  Thanks much, Steve.  You’re a big part of our little success.


Comment from Rodney Lister
Time: April 2, 2007, 1:58 pm

I read some where (New York Times?) that, at least in the tv show, Tallis is gay. (?)

Comment from Evan
Time: April 2, 2007, 2:12 pm

I didn’t know JIB hired a publicist. Good. I am of course heavily biased but June in Buffalo is a national treasure, and does, in fact, deserve a lot more attention nationally than it does. Somebody definitely ought to cover it here…

Comment from Evan
Time: April 2, 2007, 2:13 pm

“…nationally than it gets,” that is. although I do kind of like the structure of that original sentence…

Comment from Galen H. Brown
Time: April 2, 2007, 3:08 pm

Dude, I finally visited Mr. Television’s website and listened to some clips and this guy is awesome. Depending on what kind of turnaround time we need (which is to say bear in mind that I’m a slowpoke and three pounds of music is a lot to get through) I might be your guy.

Comment from Steve Layton
Time: April 2, 2007, 3:16 pm

Cool, I knew Veldhius would hook Galen…

Comment from Peter Pearson
Time: April 2, 2007, 5:50 pm

I would be interested if Galen can’t manage it. Hit me up.