Radiolab's Jad Abumrad Coming to Benaroya Hall, 9/30

Radiolab's Jad Abumrad Coming to Benaroya Hall, 9/30

For the first time ever, co-host of Public Radio's Radiolab, Jad Abumrad brings this insightful talk to Benaroya Hall. This lecture is on September 30, 2014 at 7:30 pm in the large S, Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium and tickets are on sale now. Abumrad starts the evening by asking one simple question: what does it mean to "innovate?" How does it feel to make something new in the world? (These are questions Jad Abumrad was frequently asked after being awarded a MacArthur fellowship in 2011). Special guest Zoë Keating will accompany Abumrad, spinning cello loops to create a dreamy (sometimes nightmarish) musical backdrop for his talk.

On one level the evening is the personal story of how Abumrad invented a new aesthetic. On another, it is a clinic in the art of storytelling. On a third and more profound level, the lecture is the result of a three-year investigation into the science, philosophy and art of uncertainty, which all began with the two words that are the title of this talk --Gut Churn. What use do negative feelings have during the creative process? Do those feelings get in the way, or do they propel us forward?

Northwest Associated Arts (NWAA) and The Stranger present And Evening with Jad Abumrad: Embracing the Gut Churn. Tickets are $20 - $40. A select number of VIP seats are available at $75 and include a private meet n' greet with Abumrad prior to the talk. All tickets are available through the Benaroya Hall Box Office, at 206.215.4747 or online at

Jad Abumrad is the host and creator of Radiolab, a public radio program broadcast on 437 stations across the nation and downloaded more than 4 million times a month as a podcast. Most days, Radiolab is the 2nd most popular podcast, just behind This American Life. Jad Abumrad did most of his growing up in Tennessee, before studying creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College in Ohio. Following graduation, Abumrad wrote music for films, and reported and produced documentaries for a variety of local and national public radio programs.In 2002, Abumrad began tinkering with an idea for a new kind of radio program, an open-ended radio "laboratory." Radiolab has since evolved into one of public radio's most popular programs. Abumrad hosts the program with Robert Krulwich and also serves as its lead producer, composer and managing editor. Abumrad employs his dual backgrounds as composer and journalist to create what's been called "a new aesthetic" in broadcast journalism. He orchestrates dialogue, music, interviews and sound effects into compelling documentaries that draw listeners into investigations of otherwise intimidating topics, such as the nature of numbers, the evolution of altruism, or the legal foundation for the war on terror. In 2011, Radiolab was awarded the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and Abumrad was honored as a MacArthur Fellow (also known as the Genius Grant). The MacArthur Foundation website says: "Abumrad is inspiring boundless curiosity within a new generation of listeners and experimenting with sound to find ever more effective and entertaining ways to explain ideas and tell a story."

Zoë Keating is a one-woman orchestra. She uses a cello and a foot-controlled laptop to record layer upon layer of cello, creating intricate, haunting and compelling music. Zoë is known for both her use of technology - which she uses to sample her cello onstage - and for her DIY approach, releasing her music online without the help of a record label. Born in Canada and a cellist since the age of eight, Zoë obtained a liberal arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College and spent her 20′s working at a software startup while moonlighting as a cellist in rock bands. She eventually combined the cello and the computer, developing her signature style of live-layered music while improvising for late night crowds at her San Francisco warehouse. In 2003 Zoë quit her tech job to focus on making music. Zoë's grassroots, label-less approach has garnered her much public attention and press. She speaks regularly about artist-empowerment, has been profiled on NPR's All Things Considered and named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She serves on the boards of the San Francisco chapter of the Recording Academy, the Magik Magik Orchestra and CASH Music, a nonprofit organization that builds open source digital tools for musicians and labels. As a cellist, Zoë has played with a wide range of artists, including Imogen Heap, Amanda Palmer, Tears for Fears, DJ Shadow, Dan Hicks, Thomas Dolby, John Vanderslice, Rasputina, Pomplamoose and Paolo Nutini. She has collaborated with WNYC's Radiolab and lends her music regularly to film, television, dance productions and commercials.

Photo by Jon Vachon

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