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Guitarist Rez Abbasi & Harpist Isabelle Olivier Tour In Support Of 'Oasis'

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The ensemble embarks on their pandemic-delayed tour in support of the album in November. Joining them will be percussionist Michael Sarin.

Guitarist Rez Abbasi & Harpist Isabelle Olivier Tour In Support Of 'Oasis'

OASIS, the 2019 release from the award-winning guitarist Rez Abbasi and the captivating French harpist Isabelle Olivier, makes the pairing of their respected instruments sound predestined.

The title of the well-received album stands for 'Olivier Abbasi Sound In Sound.' Richard Kamins of StepTempest remarked on its "wellspring of ideas and musical adventures," and Peter Thelen of Exposé Online noted that it "seems to transcend all boundaries."

Says Abbasi, "OASIS was released just before the pandemic, so we didn't fully get the chance to present the music to fans. It'll be exciting to revisit and relive this music because it's a highly unique project."

The ensemble embarks on their pandemic-delayed tour in support of the album in November. Joining them will be percussionist Michael Sarin.

• Wednesday, November 3, live at Maison Francaise, Embassy of France, Washington DC. For information visit https://franceintheus.org/spip.php?page=MF-all-upcoming-events.

• Thursday, November 4, 8 p.m., live at Jersey City Theater Center Global Music Series, White Eagle Hall, 337 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ. Tickets $20. For information and tickets visit https://www.seetickets.us/event/JCTCs-Global-Music-Series-OASIS/446288.

• Friday, November 5, 8:30 p.m., live and livestreamed at Firehouse 12, 45 Crown St., New Haven, CT. Tickets for live performance $25; livestream $10. For information and tickets call 203-785-0468 or visit http://firehouse12.com/performance-calendar/2021/11/5/oasis.

OASIS, released November 15, 2019 on Enja/Yellowbird, features gifted percussionists Prabhu Edouard on tabla and David Paycha on drums joining the two empathetic leaders. Together the texture of the quartet creates a sanctuary of sound, but along with the compositional and arranging prowess of both leaders, the collective flourishes in originating a bold statement. During the opening Abbasi arrangement of the well-known Richard Rodgers song "My Favorite Things," we get a firm sense of what will proceed. Along with their free-spirited willingness to traverse the avant-garde, they remain sensitive to each other and all musical elements. Other tracks such as Olivier's "Timeline" convey a filmlike quality and push her use of electronics, while Abbasi's harmonically bountiful "Stepping Stone" echoes with classical influence.

Throughout OASIS (an acronym for Olivier Abbasi Sound In Sound), the music surges with a uniquely propulsive groove, with sinuous melodies that follow surprising, exotic contours. As soloists, each member displays virtuosity without overbearing the music. Collective improvisations also abound with breathtaking results. As a conceptual team, Abbasi and Olivier are able to combine their compositional spheres to create a varied yet singular program of music.

Rez Abbasi
Guitarist, composer and 2021 Guggenheim Fellow Abbasi is among a rare breed of artists that continue to push boundaries while preserving the traditions he has embraced. Consistently placing on DownBeat's International Critics Poll alongside luminaries Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny since 2014, Abbasi continues to forge new ground with his multi-dimensional projects.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, migrating to Southern California at the age of four, schooled at the University of Southern California and the Manhattan School of Music in jazz and classical music, along with a pilgrimage in India under the guidance of master percussionist, Ustad Alla Rakha, Abbasi is a vivid synthesis of all the above stated influences and genres.

With fifteen albums and multiple composition grants, Abbasi's wide-ranging projects continue to capture provocative sounds rarely heard in today's music. His most recent Django-shift recasts legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt's lesser-known compositions into a modern light.

Jazzwoman, composer and harpist Isabelle Olivier brings a wave of freshness and novelty to the international artistic world with her surprising and unique instrument and strong musical personality. She has recorded eight discs and a DVD of her personal work and traveled to 22 countries to present her musical creations. For the past five years she has divided her time between France and the United States. She has worked with artists from all fields including Agnes Varda and Adbellatif Kechiche in film; Emilie Valantin and Michel Bruzat in theater; as well as the Radio France Choir. She has also given master classes at the Trinity College in London. She is a worldwide ambassador for the new electro-acoustic harp Salvi "Rainbow." Winner of the Prize from the Villa Le Nôtre at Versailles in 2015, she became the first musician and composer awarded by the foundation. In 2017, she was commissioned by the Art Institute of Chicago to compose and perform "In between Gauguin."


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