Aoife O'Donovan & Noam Pikelny to Perform at the Fox Theatre, 11/3
KUNC and Z2 Entertainment are proud to present Aoife O'Donovan & Noam Pikelny at the Fox Theatre on Monday, November 3rd, 2014. Tickets are on sale tomorrow, Friday, August 15th at noon for $17.50 in advance or $20.00 day of show.
The new band from Aoife O'Donovan and Noam Pikelny is a collaboration stemming from a musical friendship many years in the making. Arguably two of the most celebrated musicians of their generation within the roots music field, O'Donovan (Crooked Still) and Pikelny (Punch Brothers) have been crossing paths at venues and festivals for the last decade. In 2012, Noam Pikelny released Beat the Devil & Carry A Rail, which featured O'Donovan as a guest vocalist and garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. Pikelny then enlisted O'Donovan to be the lead vocalist on the album release tour. "I found myself in a pretty unique situation- I was out on the road, promoting a mostly instrumental album, but somehow was lucky enough to have my favorite singer in the world, Aoife O'Donovan, in the band. We started arranging some of Aoife's original songs and some of our favorite old bluegrass tunes to help round out the set. It was such a joy, that we both came to the realization that one day we'd have to revisit playing together with that being the central focus." Says O'Donovan, "Noam's ability as a musician goes far beyond his virtuosity as a banjoist. He's a truly keen listener and an unbelievable arranger. As a singer, there's nobody else I'd rather have backing me up." Rounding out the ensemble are bassist Barry Bales (Alison Krauss & Union Station) and fiddler Shad Cobb (John Cowan Band). "Aoife and I wanted bandmates who would be equally adept at playing our new original music as they'd be at classic repertoire. I can't think of any two musicians as versatile Barry and Shad who have such a profound understanding of the roots of this music," Pikelny says. The quartet will hit the road in the autumn of 2014, playing a mixture of vocal and instrumental music, ripe with intricate three-part harmony, and grounded firmly in tradition.
NOAM PIKELNY has emerged as the preeminent banjoist among a new generation of acoustic musicians. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the "pros' top banjo picker," Noam is a founding member of Punch Brothers, a string ensemble which The Boston Globe calls "a virtuosic revelation" and The New Yorker describes as "wide- ranging and restlessly imaginative." In September of 2010, Pikelny was awarded the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. In 2012, Noam's second album, Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail, received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. Pikelny has shared the stage with The Decemberists, Marcus Mumford, Béla Fleck, Dave Douglas, Steve Martin, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and members of the Lincoln Center Chamber Orchestra. Noam continues to broaden the awareness of the banjo in the mainstream through his work with Punch Brothers, collaborating with Wilco, Fiona Apple, Norah Jones, & Jon Brion for the soundtrack to This is 40, a feature song on The Hunger Games soundtrack, and a collaboration with Marcus Mumford for the latest Coen Brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis.
His latest release, Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, is the first complete banjo adaptation of Kenny Baker's 1976 seminal recording of Bill Monroe instrumentals and is poised to take the bluegrass world by storm. The concept for the album first grew out of the word- play on the original album title, but the more Pikelny explored the idea, the more he realized that it was both musically exciting and challenging. Pikelny delved into the intricacies of Kenny Baker's fiddle playing and emerged with note for note versions of Baker's fiddle arrangements for banjo. Joining Pikelny on this tour de force project are the finest instrumentalists in bluegrass: Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Bryan Sutton (guitar), Ronnie McCoury (mandolin), and Mike Bub (bass). Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe shows Pikelny at a new pinnacle of maturation as a banjo player and musician, redefining the role of the banjo in his own way with an unprecedented approach to melodic playing and therefore setting a new standard in bluegrass for years to come.
Aoife's most recent album, Fossils, was released in 2013 to critical acclaim and was hailed as "a vocalist of unerring instinct" by the New York Times. Produced by Tucker Martine (The Decemberists / My Morning Jacket), the album features 10 original songs by O'Donovan, and contributions from friends and frequent collaborators, including Sam Amidon and Dave Douglas. The album was recorded in Portland, OR, and Aoife's adopted home of New York City. Rich in songs and unexpected textures, the resulting album bears the remarkable fruits of O'Donovan's and Martine's creative partnership. O'Donovan is known as the lead singer of Crooked Still and Sometymes Why, and for singing on the 2013 Grammy winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions with Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile and Stuart Duncan. Aoife also sang on Noam Pikelny's 2013 Grammy-nominated album Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail. She received high praise for her performances at both Celtic Connections and Transatlantic Sessions and the stunning versatility and appeal of her voice has brought her to the attention of some of the most eminent names across roots, classical, bluegrass, and jazz, from Alison Krauss and Punch Brothers, to the Boston Pops and Dave Douglas. Aoife is working on her sophomore solo album, due out next year.