Cellist/vocalist/composer Jody Redhage and her band Fire in July will be the third featured performing ensemble in the inaugural season of Music at First on April 16th, 2010 at 7:30pm. Music at First is a new music series held at First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn through May, 2010. First Presbyterian Church is located in Brooklyn Heights at 124 Henry St. Directions are at www.fpcbrooklyn.org. There is a $10 suggested donation at the door with no advance reservations or ticket sales. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
This series, curated by Wil Smith (composer who also serves as organist at First Presbyterian), occurs monthly, featuring one performer or ensemble per evening. Smith describes Music at First as “a diverse mix of New York City’s best new music ensembles and performers, accessible to a wide audience of both community members and seasoned new music listeners.” Flute/percussionist duo Conor Nelson and Ayano Kataoka will close the season with a performance on May 28 (CD release). The series began in February, 2010 with a performance by Threefifty Duo and continued in March with a “critic’s choice” (Time Out NY) performance by pianist Kathleen Supové.
Called an “adventurous cello songstress” by Time Out NY, cellist, composer, and vocalist Jody Redhage is “a new music dynamo…Redhage is cultivating a repertoire of indie art song that breaches genre boundaries and makes for stirring listening” (MusicWorks Magazine). Redhage has spent the past seven years developing the ability to simultaneously sing and play rhythmically complex and intricate lines. Her passion is setting 20th and 21st century American poetry into art song, and she principally composes for her ensemble Fire in July. Redhage’s compositions meld the detail and finesse of chamber music with the energy and drive of jazz improvisation and more popular genres. With tinges of Medieval chanson and hints of Kurt Weill, Redhage creates a captivating blend of genres that simply comes across as her own unique voice.
Fire in July released their debut album Ancient Star on Sept. 15, 2009. Ancient Star has been called “a real accomplishment, refreshing and enjoyable, music that is exploring and pioneering a new style and doing so with real thought and skill” – George Grella, The Big City. The band features: Jody Redhage, voice, cello, compositions; Ken Thomson, clarinet & bass clarinet; Alan Ferber, trombones; Tom Beckham, vibraphone; and Fred Kennedy, drums & percussion. At this concert, the band will be previewing some new music that is being written for the upcoming song cycle “The Spirit of the Garden,” using poetry that explores the nexus of spirituality and nature.
Having begun composing at age 19, Jody studied composition at the University of California Berkeley and cello performance at the Manhattan School of Music. In New York, Jody continued her composition studies with Bang on a Can founder Julia Wolfe. Redhage has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, and on NBC, CBS, and ABC. Redhage’s original compositions have also been featured on several NPR stations across the country, including a recent feature of songs from “Ancient Star” on WNYC’s Spinning on Air.