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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo via The Sirius Quartet

Photo via The Sirius Quartet

Time Out New York describes the pianist Uri Caine as “a polymath pianist at home in driving postbop, funky grooves and classical abstractions.” After apprenticing with titans Philly Joe Jones and Hank Mobley, Uri grew fluent in the aforementioned areas through deep collaborations with the likes of Don Byron, Dave Douglas, and John Zorn, which are documented on the dozens of recordings he has released as a leader or collaborator. Yet the Euro-American classical canon has been a pervasive influence in the pianist’s work for decades, and has grown even more apparent through a series of recent commissions. In at least one case, however, the pianist made the first move:

Uri recalls, “The first time I heard the Sirius Quartet was last year [2011] at The Stone in New York City, and after that, I decided I wanted to work together. So I decided to write a piece that showcased the Sirius Quartet, thinking also about a piece that we could play together.” The result is String Theories, a spellbinding work that received its world premiere at the Theaterhaus Jazz Festival  in April 2012, followed by a North American premiere at the Tribeca New Music Festival.

The New York City-based Sirius Quartet describe their own sound as a blend of “the precision of classical music with the raw energy of a rock band…challenging conventional ideas of what a string quartet is capable of.” We’ve seen them do it in the past, most recently on our stage in collaboration with Linda Oh during our 2011-2012 Residency Commissions (watch here); they’ve also worked with John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, and Steve Wilson. “Rarely do you find ensembles who master the combination of new music, avant-garde, and jazz in such a brilliant way,” proclaims the German publication Reutlinger Zeitung.

On Thursday, we are pleased to welcome the Sirius Quartet and Uri Caine to our stage. The program will place String Theories alongside new works by Quartet members Gregor Huebner, Jeremy Harman and Fung Chern Hwei. In anticipation of the show, watch a performance of String Theories.