Redwood Jazz Alliance

Harris Eisenstadt's Canada Day
Thursday, March 1, 8 p.m.| Arcata Playhouse

“A venturesome jazz drummer and composer, Eisenstadt walks the line between free-form exploration and meticulous composition with Canada Day.”
—Nate Chinen, New York Times

“Strong proof that jazz is still young and growing.”
—Greg Burk, L.A. Weekly

(For music and links, scroll to the bottom of this page)

Harris Eisenstadt
Photo: Peter Gannushkin
Canada Day
Photo: Jim Newberry

We don’t know if Jason Marsalis had fellow drummer Harris Eisenstadt in mind a couple of years ago when he railed against the “Jazz Nerds International” who are supposedly betraying The Tradition.  But we expect Harris would cop to the label—and we’re right behind him.  In the words of New York Times critic Nate Chinen, Eisenstadt “works along jazz’s progressive fringe but doesn’t generally set out to make a ruckus. In his own music especially, he often seems intent on extracting consonance from dissonance or forging ungainliness into grace.” 

A native of Toronto and an alumnus of Cal Arts (he also studied in Gambia under master drummer Jalamang Camara), Eisenstadt moved in 2006 from L.A. to Brooklyn, and in his travels he’s teamed up with both revered elders (Sam Rivers, Wadada Leo Smith) and young mavericks (Mary Halvorson, Matana Roberts).  Eisenstadt’s eclectic oeuvre for big band, chamber orchestra, and small ensembles draws on his experiences in jazz, rock, contemporary classical and world music.  He’s also written for dance, theater, and film.

The Jazz Journalists Association put Eisenstadt’s 2005 album The Soul and Gone on its year-end Top 10 list, while All Music Guide named it “one of the [year’s] finest North American creative jazz releases.”  More recently, Downbeat awarded four stars to the first Canada Day album (Clean Feed, 2009), while last year’s Canada Day II (Songlines) was an Editor’s Pick.  

The quintet Canada Day, founded in 2007, brings together some of the most radiant young talent on the Brooklyn scene.  The controlled burn of the group’s front line (tenor saxist Matt Bauder and trumpeter Nate Wooley) balances the effervescence of vibraphonist Chris Dingman and the sly rhythmic subversions of Eisenstadt himself.  Like the best of today’s inside-outside bands, Canada Day are “as capable of adventurous timbral explorations as they are of in-the-pocket swing” (Troy Collins, All Music Guide), joining chamber-jazz melodies and spare harmonies with 60s Blue Note grooves.

The working band's bass chair, formerly filled by Eivind Opsvik, is now occupied by another of Eisenstadt’s collaborators, Garth Stevenson.  All the band’s members are rising stars; Wooley and Dingman, in particular, have been getting plenty of press in recent months.  The subject of profiles in Jazz Times and the New York Times and a studio session on NPR Music, Dingman won “Best Debut Album” for Waking Dreams (Between Worlds, 2011) in last month’s Rhapsody Jazz Critics Poll, a survey of 122 prominent jazz writers and heir to the long-running Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll. Wooley, meanwhile, was recently named "Musician of the Year" by the New York City Jazz Record.


Tickets ($15 General Admission, $10 Students & Seniors) are available here at our website, or at Wildberries, Wildwood Music, People's Records, and The Works.

Sadly, a tight travel schedule prevents Canada Day from offering a public workshop, but they will be available to meet the audience after Thursday night's concert.


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Additional support for this show comes from Catherine M. Koshkin Attorney at Law, Lady Anne Victorian Inn, Rustic West Trading Co., and Diane Sharples Taxes & Consulting.

HSU SealThis season's workshops are made possible through the generosity of HSU's Office of the President, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Department of Music.

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