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Mondo: Joanna Wallfisch...

Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 8:00 pm

An evening of music, talk and bike-tour documentaries. Join us for an open discussion with Taylor Ho Bynum and Joanna Wallfisch about their respective bicycle-concert tours, the inspiration behind them, the challenges, joys, failures and successes. Both will present a short live performance before each film is screened. An exclusive and very special event, especially for All About Jazz. Introducing two professional jazz musicians who have chosen slightly different paths to the ‘norm’ - one of adventure, physical endurance, and risk, reaching around fame and fortune in search of meaning, environmental ethos, and inspiration driven from nature, silence, solitude and spontaneity. Meet vocalist -songwriter Joanna Wallfisch and cornettist-composer Taylor Ho Bynum. Both educators, both performers, and both, let’s be honest, slightly nuts! Taylor Ho Bynum has spent his career navigating the intersections between structure and improvisation – through musical composition, performance and interdisciplinary collaboration, and through production, organizing, teaching, writing and advocacy. Bynum’s expressionistic playing on cornet and his expansive vision as composer have garnered him critical attention on over twenty recordings as a bandleader and dozens more as a sideman, notably through long associations with legendary figures like Anthony Braxton and Bill Dixon and forward thinking peers like Mary Halvorson and Tomas Fujiwara. He is currently the director of the jazz and creative music ensemble at Dartmouth College, where he also teaches composition and improvisation. His most recent album, The Ambiguity Manifesto, was a top-10 choice in the 2019 NPR Jazz Critics' Poll, and The Temp, his secular oratorio for orchestra, big band, vocal soloists and choir, will be released in the fall. The film from his 2014 West Coast Acoustic Bicycle Tour is available at This short documentary captures Taylor Ho Bynum's 2014 Acoustic Bicycle Tour, a 5-week, 2000-mile performance journey in which he traveled down the entirety of the West Coast from Canada to Mexico solely by bicycle, presenting concerts along the way and collaborating with 50 different musicians. The endeavor was an act of composition, a performance art piece, a philosophical statement, a celebration of musical community, and an exercise in extreme physicality. When professional adventurer Charlie Walker told Joanna she was a "true jack-of-all-trades" she took it as the utmost compliment. As a musician, painter, and adventurer, British-Australian Joanna Wallfisch has made a pledge to herself to combine all of her passions into one life, career and vocation. Of her original music, she has been critically acclaimed by Downbeat Magazine as "an exquisite singer-songwriter," and World Music Report states that "this is quintessential heart-music by a vocalist who seems to have connected with the deepest recesses of her being emerging into brightness again with songs of haunting beauty." Indeed, her songs convey a beauty of a many-coloured sort that speaks to straight to the human condition, revealing personal truths about love, loss, adventure, home and hope. Born in London into a family of classical musicians, Joanna studied fine art at Central Saint Martins. During her undergraduate studies, she spent three months in Paris where she busked with a jazz band on the bridges of the Seine - which led her to decide to pursue music full time. Following her heart, she moved to New York City in 2012 to pursue a career as a jazz vocalist. This opened fantastic opportunities including touring with The Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra, performing at jazz clubs like Smalls and Le Poisson Rouge, and collaborating with some of the world's best musicians including Dan Tepfer and Jesse Elder. Her music career has taken her around the globe, to international festivals including The Woodford Folk Festival, Australia, The Salisbury Arts Festival, UK, and the Lima Jazz Festival, Peru. She has released five critically acclaimed albums, including two on the Sunnyside label. Her latest album, "Far Away From Any Place Called Home," was self-released in 2019. In 2016 Joanna met an existential stumbling block. The more she toured and hustled for the next gig, the more conflicted she felt about her negative impact on the environment by flying so often. So, she came up with the idea of doing a zero-emissions concert tour by bicycle, which she called The Great Song Cycle. Her first tour would be Portland to Los Angeles. This turned out to be a life changing decision, which led her to rethink her entire outlook on her career and life. In 2019 she released a new album, and published her first adventure memoir, entitled "The Great Song Cycle, Portland to LA on Two Wheels and a Song" (UWA Press), then toured the project in Australia, 2000 miles, by bicycle of course! The documentary "The Great Song Cycle, Down Under" is about to be premiered at the Geelong International Film Festival, 2020 in Australia. Learn more.


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