The Bee Eaters
Presented by notloB Folk Concerts at the Unity Church and at Unity Somerville
April 7, 2011
notloB Folk Concerts is pleased to welcome The Bee Eaters on Thursday, April 7, doors 7:30, concert 8:00, to Unity Somerville, 6 William Street (corner College Ave., 3 blocks north of Davis Square), Somerville. “(The Bee Eaters) combine chamber music’s finely calibrated arrangements with Bluegrass’s playful virtuosity and pop music’s melodic resourcefulness.” The Boston Globe “The Bee Eaters are the...
notloB Folk Concerts is pleased to welcome The Bee Eaters on Thursday, April 7, doors 7:30, concert 8:00, to Unity Somerville, 6 William Street (corner College Ave., 3 blocks north of Davis Square), Somerville. “(The Bee Eaters) combine chamber music’s finely calibrated arrangements with Bluegrass’s playful virtuosity and pop music’s melodic resourcefulness.” The Boston Globe “The Bee Eaters are the instrumental cream of the brand new string nation. Harking back to the ‘grand old days’ when new virtuosos seemed to spring on the scene fully formed with a whole repertoire of brilliant music nobody had ever heard before, somehow these kids have absorbed everything we had to offer and alchemized it into a new musical world.” Darol Anger “The Bee Eaters’ extraordinary instrumentation …immediately sets them apart from the rest of the progressive string band world. But this band is no novelty. The textures are rich, the tunes are engaging, and the playing is masterful.” Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers) Banjo wizard Tony Trischka has called the Bee Eaters “bodaciously brilliant,” and internationally renowned bassist Edgar Meyer says it’s “a joy to hear both the exploration of this music… and the emphasis on the simple beauty of the acoustic instruments.”
The Bee Eaters trace their roots back to musical traditions as diverse as bluegrass, Celtic, jazz and old-time. While today’s new breed often produces an amalgamation of sounds and styles based on a distant view, the Bee Eaters were raised embedded in these traditions… raised to mold, meld, shape them and carry them forward, leaving their own indelible marks in the process. Brother-sister duo Tristan and Tashina Clarridge, long known and lauded by those steeped in the American fiddle tradition are joined by hammer dulcimer virtuoso Simon Chrisman and guitar prodigy Courtney Hartman. Tashina, the 2005 Grand National Fiddle Champion, has toured with Mark O’Connor and Tony Trischka and has performed at Carnegie Hall as a part of MacArthur Fellow/Grammy-winning bassist Edgar Meyer’s Young Artists program. Multi-instrumentalist brother Tristan is a truly innovative cellist and 5-time Grand National Fiddle Champion. His talents have been sought by Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Bruce Molsky and Cape Breton fiddle phenomenon Natalie MacMaster. In addition to performing with the Bee Eaters, he tours internationally with Crooked Still. A phenomenal guitarist who began her musical journey as a fiddler at age 3, Courtney Hartman is at the forefront of a new generation of acoustic musicians. She has performed in Scotland, Slovakia, Italy, and throughout the US, won numerous flatpicking championships, and is currently studying on scholarship at Berklee College of Music. Matt Glaser, fiddle legend and chair of Berklee’s American Roots Music program called Courtney “an extraordinary bluegrass guitarist and a fluid, inventive improviser… one of the finest musicians i have ever had the privilege of working with.” Hammer dulcimer virtuoso Simon Chrisman brings an unusual style to (what has heretofore been thought of as) an instrument of limited range and technique. His inventive virtuosic touch and sophisticated rhythmic sensibilities are redefining the instrument and earning the attention of musicians from all over the world. He has performed with Darol Anger and Mike Marshall, opened for Bill Frisell and, at the tender age of 16, was a scholarship guest artist at the prestigious Augusta Heritage Festival. Since their formation in 2008 (with original member Wesley Corbett), the Bee Eaters have been on a trajectory of growth, personal and musical. Their ensemble work has taken on mature, textured and nuanced tones, as their compositions have become more thoughtful and intricate. With Tashina’s delicate fiddle and Tristan’s grounding cello wrapped around Simon’s ethereal dulcimer and Courtney’s intricate guitar, they have created a never-before-heard sound in American music. No tricks. No pyrotechnics. Four instrumental voices, united in their musical exploration. Listening to the Bee Eaters is like eavesdropping on a spirited, private conversation.
As wonderful as their recorded music is, watching the Bee Eaters in live performance is an exercise in safe danger. They parry and thrust, challenging each other at every moment. Their focus on their music and on each other is tight and complete. Their melodic lines and rhythmic phrases dance (and sometimes roil) over, under and around each other. There is sometimes dissonance but always an ultimate harmony. With a new CD set for release this spring, the Bee Eaters continue to travel the country performing in clubs, concert halls and festivals, evangelists for their new American acoustic sound. Perhaps Tony Trischka said it best: “Their impressive ensemble work… leaves me breathless. Their music excites, heals and enriches. Listen often.” Yes, listen often.
Band members’ recent performances include: Carnegie Hall, New York, NY Cambridge Folk Festival, Cambridge, UK ETown live national radio, Boulder, CO Hardly Strictly Festival, San Francisco, CA The Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, TN Celtic Connections, Glasgow, Scotland Rockygrass, Lyons, CO Wheatland, Remus, MI Strawberry Music Festival, Yosemite, CA Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Boston, MA Wintergrass, Tacoma, WA The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI The Cedar, Minneapolis, MN Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Telluride, CO The Freight and Salvage, Berkley, CA www.BeeEaters.com