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Bill Frisell Opens FIAF's 2012 CROSSING THE LINE FESTIVAL with Three Concerts, 9/14-15

Bill Frisell Opens FIAF's 2012 CROSSING THE LINE FESTIVAL with Three Concerts, 9/14-15

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York's premiere French cultural center, opens the 2012 Crossing the Line festival with three unique concerts by Grammy Award-winning guitarist and composer Bill Frisell. In a career spanning more than 35 years and more than 250 recordings-including over 40 albums of his own-the guitarist, composer and bandleader has established himself as a visionary presence in American music. This series of events offers unconventional settings in which to experience Frisell's singular artistry, including his first-ever early morning concert and a Crossing the Line commission in which he, violist Eyvind Kang and visual artist Jim Woodring will use Frisell's work notebooks to guide an intimate performance that includes live illustration and musical improvisation.

On Friday, September 14 at 8pm, Frisell opens FIAF's newly renovated Florence Gould Hall with a special concert uniting two of his groups, the 858 Quartet (featuring Eyvind Kang, Hank Roberts, and Jenny Scheinman) and the Beautiful Dreamers trio (featuring Eyvind Kang and Rudy Royston). Frisell will present Early (Not Too Late), an unprecedented early-morning solo concert in Brooklyn's St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church on Saturday, September 15 at 8am. Later that evening, at 8pm, Frisell will present the Crossing the Line commission Close Your Eyes, a unique glimpse into his creative process with longtime collaborator Eyvind Kang and visual artist Jim Woodring.

Tickets to all three concerts are $50 can be purchased online at or by phone at 800.982.2787. Venue details and information on tickets to individual events can be found below. For more information, visit or call 212.355.6160.

Bill Frisell with the 858 Quartet and Beautiful Dreamers

Tonight, September 14 at 8pm

FIAF, Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenue)

Advance $30, Day-of $35, FIAF Members $25, Student Rush $10, All three events $50

Bill Frisell launches the Crossing the Line 2012 festival in FIAF's newly renovated Florence Gould Hall with a rare concert that unites two of his seminal groups, the 858 Quartet, featuring Eyvind Kang on viola, Hank Roberts on cello, and Jenny Scheinman on violin, and Beautiful Dreamers, a trio featuring Eyvind Kang on viola and Rudy Royston on drums.

Early (Not Too Late)

Saturday, September 15 at 8am

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montague Street Brooklyn, NY

Advance $25, Day-of $30, FIAF Members $20, Student Rush $10, All three events $50

Bill Frisell's first ever early-morning solo concert, offered in the serene setting of Christ Church in Brooklyn's Cobble Hill. Inspired by the special hour and sacred space, Frisell will demonstrate his distinctive approach to contemporary music on electric guitar.

Close Your Eyes featuring Eyvind Kang and Jim Woodring

Co-presented with The Invisible Dog Art Center, Saturday, September 15 at 8pm

The Invisible Dog Art Center, 51 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NYC

Advance $25, Day-of $30, FIAF Members $20, Student Rush $10, All three events $50

Bill Frisell offers an intimate insight into his creative process in this commissioned work from Crossing the Line. He invites viola player and longtime collaborator Eyvind Kang and acclaimed visual artist Jim Woodring to explore his extensive notebooks. During the performance, while the two musicians seek to make sense of Frisell's musical thoughts and ideas, Woodring illuminates what he hears with real-time illustrations.

Bill Frisell has collaborated with a wide range of artists, filmmakers and legendary musicians. But it is his work as a leader that has garnered increasing attention and accolades.

The New York Times described Frisell's music this way: “It's hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell. Mixing rock and country with jazz and blues, he's found what connects them: improvisation and a sense of play. Unlike other pastichists, who tend to duck passion, Mr. Frisell plays up the pleasure in the music and also takes on another often-avoided subject, tenderness.”

Frisell's recordings over the last decades span a wide range of musical influences. His catalog, including 20 recordings for Nonesuch, has been cited by DownBeat as “the best recorded output of the decade.” It includes original Buster Keaton film scores to arrangements of music for extended ensemble with horns (This Land, Blues Dream); compositions originally written as soundtracks to Gary Larson cartoons (Quartet); interpretations of work by other classic and contemporary American composers (Have a Little Faith); and collaborations with the acclaimed rhythm section of bassist Viktor Krauss and drummer Jim Keltner (Gone, Just Like a Train; Good Dog, Happy Man).

Other releases include an album with Nashville musicians (Nashville), the solo album Ghost Town, an album of his arrangements of songs by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach (The Sweetest Punch), a trio album with jazz legends Dave Holland and Elvin Jones, and a collection of American traditional songs and original compositions inspired by them entitled The Willies. The Intercontinentals, nominated for a Grammy in 2004, combines Frisell's own brand of American roots music and his unmistakable improvisational style with the influences of Brazilian, Greek, and Malian sounds. His 2004 release, Unspeakable, won a Grammy Award. His two-CD set East/West features his two working trios recorded in concert on both coasts.

Crossing the Line is the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)'s annual fall festival presenting interdisciplinary works and performances created by artists from around the world in New York. The festival provides opportunities for New Yorkers to explore the dialogue between artist and participant, examine how artists help re-imagine the world, and engage in the vital role artists play as critical thinkers and catalysts for social evolution. Curated by Lili Chopra, Artistic Director of FIAF, Simon Dove, Director of the Herberger Institute School of Dance at Arizona State University, and Gideon Lester, Director of Theater Programs at Bard College, Crossing the Line is initiated and produced by FIAF in partnership with leading cultural institutions and takes place this year from September 14-October 14, 2012.

Inaugurated in 2007, Crossing the Line has enjoyed increasingly strong audience response from diverse segments of the New York City area, as well as critical acclaim. The festival was voted “Best of 2009” and “Best of 2010” by Time Out New York, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. The New York Times has said, “The French Institute Alliance Française's annual Crossing the Line has carved out a particular identity as an invigorating, unpredictable, occasionally provocative mix of genres and disciplines…It's the artistic equivalent of a splash of water on the face.”

FIAF's mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression.

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