Category Archives: Announcements

Summer ’14 Newsletter

SB @CU 2-12-14Thank you for your continued interest in my music. One has much to write about when their previous newsletter was six months prior. My immediate announcement below is a rare public Street Beat appearance, this Sunday night at a Lower East Side brewery. You’ll also enjoy watching and listening to a pair of Korean broadcasts I was involved in, one TV and one radio. HD videos from Project Hansori’s last concert are up. Sadly, in April we lost to cancer a truly individual artist with whom I was privileged to work, Fred Ho. Two articles about his passing are linked, including one from the NY Times.

Sunday July 13 at (tentatively) 8-10pm
Paulaner Brauhaus: 265 Bowery New York, NY 10002
Join Street Beat Brass Band at the Paulaner Brauhaus in the LES for a post-Germany-final World Cup after party. We hit after the close of Sunday’s match, between 7 and 8pm, and play tentatively until 10pm (depending on game ending time). We’ve done a lot of private gigs lately, but this is the first full-band public performance in some time. If you come early to watch the game there, it will play on two 8-foot screens. So what better world cup atmosphere than a funky brass band at a German biergarten and a room full of over-enthusiastic ex-pats?

The Korean TV network MBC interviewed me about my work exploring Gugak (that country’s indigenous performing arts), and interacting the same with American Jazz. The segment aired on this network’s nightly news show throughout South Korea on 2/10/14. Watch the video:

My wife Heun Choi and I joined Korean multi-instrumentalist Gamin and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi on stage 2/7/14 at Flushing Town Hall. The program included my composition Duduk. The concert was later broadcast on the Korean radio station Gugak FM, and can be heard at the below link. After clicking, you’ll  see a list of broadcasts with Korean titles.  Just click the third green button from the bottom. The entire concert will play on just one track.  Duduk starts after 1:02:00; and we’re also heard on an improvised piece after 49:00.

These were professionally filmed, and then edited by your truly. Due to the time-intensive work, I’ve been able to complete the two songs here. More will follow as I can complete them. Please enjoy and share them. To be notified as soon as I post new videos, just subscribe to my YouTube channel (via the links):
Cumberland Gap
Kangwondo Arirang

My arrangement of John “Dizzy” Gillespie’s Manteca appears on a new record just released by the Band of Bones, called Caravan. This band has eight trombones plus rhythm section. Trombonist Steve Turre and harmonica player Hendrick Meurkens appear elsewhere on the record. B.O.B. has been playing locally quite a bit, so there are plenty of chances to hear them play music from this new release.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 8pm

Secret Theatre, 4402 23rd St Long Island City, Queens, NY 11101
Tickets TBA
Multicultural Sonic Evolution (MuSE) presents a concert of Project Hansori, as part of its 2014 Sound of Arts Festival. This festival will include more than 50 artists and will program the work of only living composers.  I’m happy to be invited as part by my friends at MuSE, a wonderful non-profit devoted to producing artistic events. This is the next concert on the horizon for Project Hansori since its last performance in January at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in Manhattan.

Street Beat played quite a few private events through the winter and spring. We do it all, and couple gems were a proposal in Central Park (orchestrated from Brazil); a party for a German soccer fan club; an Upper East Side rooftop wedding; and an Upper West Side Bat Mitzvah (that unfortunately canceled).
We also gave some public performances including Columbia University in February and May; Sunnyside Gardens Park’s Memorial Day Fair; and a GrowNYC Green Market in June.

Sadly, composer-activist-baritone saxophonist Fred Ho passed away 4/12/14. He was only 56 years old and had been battling cancer for years. Fred performed as a special guest with Project Hansori on several concerts and on the band’s recording Mulberry Street. Fred was a very unique and charismatic individual who spoke his mind, and who leaves behind a large legacy of his work, which deserves much attention. Below is a NY Times article announcing his death and celebrating him:
This announcement by his former student Marie Incontrera is much more personal:
His website is out of date but contains much info about his work:

Thanks for your interest,

Jeff Fairbanks
Composer, Performer, Band leader

Reminder: Tomorrow Project Hansori at CMA

Hi folks, last minute reminder that my big band Project Hansori appears tomorrow (Sunday) in the Asian American Arts Festival in Manhattan:

Sunday, January 5, 2014
12-2pm at the Children’s Museum of the Arts
103 Charlton St New York, NY

While we perform at noon, the overall festival runs 10am-5pm and is free with museum general admission $11 (ages1-65).  Also see complete show schedule for more upcoming shows this month, including a new sideman appearance at Carnegie Hall along with fellow NY Jazz Academy faculty members and our students.  January newsletter forthcoming.

Tomorrow: Free Show in Queens

Fan reminder, FREE concert in Queens TOMORROW:

New Sounds of East and West: Project Hansori with Satoshi Takeishi
Thursday December 19, 2013 at 7pm
All Saints Church 43-12 46th St Queens, NY
FREE admission; donation suggested

Project Hansori performs a grant-funded program of new original music, “New Sounds of East and West”. Blending traditions of American Jazz with court and folk music from Korea and Japan. Beautifully set in a quaint, Gothic style church right off the 7 train and ample restaurants. Link:

Funded in part by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Greater New York Arts Development Fund, administered by Queens Council on the Arts.

…See our other performances under “UPCOMING SHOWS” below.

Thank you,

Jeff Fairbanks
Composer, Performer, Bandleader

New Film and Concert of Project Hansori, and Other Announcements

Temple of Memories JF still shot

Dear Friends,

In the five months since my last newsletter I’ve racked up quite a few noteworthy announcements. I hope to re-connect with many of you when my big band, Project Hansori, saddles up for an entire evening of my brand new music in a beautiful setting in my own neighborhood (details below). But first, enjoy this newly-released video featuring yours truly, embedded above and linked here.

FEATURED IN FILM: I’m thrilled to announce the release of The Temple of Memories, a new documentary short film by Rene Sing and OwlSpring Media, about my experiences performing at the 2012 Locating the Sacred Festival. Entertaining and informative, it takes viewers behind the scenes of an epic and unlikely musical collaboration between Japanese Taiko and Big Band Jazz, set in NYC’s oldest Buddhist temple. We get up close to the Taiko group Soh Daiko and my Jazz band, Project Hansori, interwoven with my close, candid interviews. Link:

Project Hansori and Soh Daiko performing at the Locating the Sacred Festival.
Project Hansori and Soh Daiko performing at the Locating the Sacred Festival.

UPCOMING SHOW: Thursday, December 19th at 7pm
Project Hansori performs “New Sounds of East and West All Saints Church 43-12 46th St Sunnyside, Queens NY 11104 Ph: 718-784-8031 Admission free (donation suggested).
Project Hansori will perform my brand new music in a grant-awarded program called “New Sounds of East and West”. It’s centered on new East Asian-infused Jazz, including our mind- warping take on an ancient ritual shrine ceremony piece — or as I like to call it, Americanized, Koreanized, Chinese music. The concert will feature Satoshi Takeishi on his unique array and style of Eastern percussion. It’s happening right in my neighborhood of Sunnyside, Queens, in the handsome setting of a Gothic style Episcopal church. I’m proud to say “New Sounds of East and West” is funded in part by a competitive grant from the Queens Council on the Arts. Link:

Monday November 4th at 7:00 PM
Hora Decima Brass Ensemble performs a program including my composition Three Dances Christ & St. Stephen’s Church 120 West 69th Street, Manhattan, NY (bet. Bway & Columbus) Admission by Contribution ($20 requested)

Sunday November 24th at 7:00PM
“Now, Here”: a solo recital including my composition Duduk for solo piri (Korean double-reed instrument) Seoul Culture Station 284 in Seoul, South Korea Jin Yunkyong, soloist

ASCAP AWARD: I was just awarded a 2013 ASCAP Plus Award, for my artistic achievements during this year. This makes two years in a row of receiving this honor. Thanks, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers)!

ALBUM APPEARANCE: David Chamberlain’s Band of Bones recorded my arrangement of Manteca last month as part of a session for their next album. It has fully eight trombones, flute, and rhythm section with Latin percussion, set in a funky salsa groove. I got plenty of great comments from band members and I can’t wait to hear it myself. I’ll pass on any announcements about the album’s release.

SINCE LAST TIME: It’s been awhile since my last newsletter, written just before I left for my traditional music workshop in Korea over the Summer. There I was saturated in the world of Gugak (Korean traditional performing arts) for two weeks, learning from incredible world-class artists, meeting sixteen extremely motivated (and fun-loving) fellow participants from ten countries, and taking in the streets of Seoul as well as a side trip to the mystical, muse-full Jindo Island. –An amazing time that surely planted artistic seeds for years to come. …The day after returning to NYC I jumped, fully jet-lagged, right into an intense conference of the International Society for Improvised Music. The three-day event just happened to center on cross-cultural improvisation, with two Korean guest artists (go figure!). There I worked with globe-trotting piri soloist Gamin, and Shin Hyunsik, founder of Ensemble Sinawi; as well as Elliot Sharp, Jin Hi Kim, and other icons of this progressively broad improv scene …My world brass band Street Beat returned to the famous All Nite Soul 43rd annual(!) Jazz festival at St Peter’s Church in Manhattan. This band also did a string of off-the-wall private gigs over the Summer and Fall, such as leading a wedding procession march through Central Park and halfway down the length of the C train; and parading three-year-olds around a hedge fund manager’s estate on an island inaccessible by car (we attract these things). …I’m still laboring away at my commission for the USAF Airmen of Note, acquired by my winning the Sammy Nestico Composition Prize last year.

READ MY REVIEW: In a turn of the tables, I played the role of music critic, in authoring a review of Human Alien, the debut album of Ryan Pate released just last month. Read the review here, and check out Pate’s new album here.  …Incidentally, you’ll have a good chance to see him play live, too, as he’ll join us on Project Hansori’s upcoming concert.

Thank you for your continued interest. Please come say Hi and hear our new program on December 19th!

Thank you,

Jeff Fairbanks
Composer, Performer, Bandleader

My Review of Ryan Pate album, Human/ Alien

Human Alien coverHUMAN/ ALIEN
Ryan Pate- gtr, Dov Manski- pno, Noah Garabedian- bs, Devin Gray- dm
71’30”  8 tracks, all original


Into the eight original tracks of Human/ Alien, leader Ryan Pate packs over seventy minutes of creative thought, a statement unto itself. In his debut as a leader, the quickly- emerging Brooklyn guitarist proves his skills as both a composer and player, bringing a fresh approach to each.

Compositional input beyond that of typical small group outings is immediately evident in the involved bass and piano counter-lines under the melody of the opening Simple Song #3, as well as in its unfolding through-composed form and further polyphony. Pate’s skills as a guitarist also shine right from this track, first soloing convincingly over drummer Devin Gray’s thrashing groove, and later blending tastefully in a more subdued collective improvisation with pianist Dov Manski.

The contrast implied in the album title surfaces often in tension between warm, longing melodies against more abrasive harmonies and unsettling textures. Where this comes out in the segmented form of the title track, it’s best captured in what could be a Stephen King-inspired dream scape (or nightmare scape) called Growth Cycles. Here an especially earthy and organic guitar melody rests over a cascade of expressionistic piano arpeggios. Frequent minor ninths reinforce the colder side of the equation, and Pate wastes no time setting the chilly tone with the opening three chords separated by deep, dark space.
To See One Through captures the album concept perhaps even more, where the contrast equation flips over. After a funky drum intro, six strings become tentacles that slither down the walls to disturbing effect, later returning in more subtle ways. But at two key moments a reassuring chorale progression of earth tones emerges, blossoming beneath an upper pedal. Now human scenery overtakes an alien foreground.

Extraterrestrials prevail, however, in Circulation Adjustment Machine, as all four band members now probe an atmosphere of blips, clicks and pings. From here, motivic amoeba gradually bud into human-discernable life forms, eventually crystallizing into a full organism as the ensemble coalesces into tempo and tutti. However, the parasitic sound swarm that opened the piece never fully recedes, and in fact reveals itself through the host’s skin at times, suggesting a careful self-examination in all of us.

The title track encapsulates much of the composer’s traits found in the album: long, slow-developing forms, occasional quirky passages, subtle color shifts, and multiple episodes that reinforce the piece’s through-composed nature. Here a bass habañera establishes time, shifting colors between ominous and comforting. About midway through the piece, a feeling of human resilience emerges via a lingering three-chord vamp over which Pate and Manski pour convincing, energetic figures.

It’s worth speaking about Pate’s potent palette for a moment. Peppered through the album are his hidden experiments in tambre, from the shimmering piano in the slow unison melody of Pen and Sword, to sitar-like meditative background strumming in To See One Through, to mining a single sonority with staggered brush strokes in E.S., to name a few (and there are many more). The variety of sound heard is significant considering what Pate is able to extract from four instruments. Harmonically, one notices a trait towards chord qualities shifting under a common tone, another example of the leader’s ability to draw more out of less.

Overall one gets a sense of what may be Pate’s style, as both a guitarist and composer: a masterful use of color, a playful quirkiness amid otherwise dark backdrops, and a heartfelt honesty captured in melodies and improvisations that speak fluidly to the listener. But perhaps the greatest offering from Human/Alien is the leader’s unique imagination and his ability to clearly project it. In a field where this isn’t always the case, this deserves a closer and wider look.

Listen to Human/ Alien at

Jeff Fairbanks