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Harris Eisenstadt

Brooklyn-based drummer and composer Harris Eisenstadt (b. Toronto, 1975) is known for his “deep-sighted and elastic view of improvised music in settings that are both small-scale and expansive.” (The New Yorker)

His resume includes studies with some of the most respected names in jazz and improvised music, West African and Afro-Cuban drumming, and performance credits in jazz, film, theater, poetry, dance, contemporary concert music and opera.

Eisenstadt has performed all over the globe, received grants from organizations such as Meet The Composer, The Durfee Fondation, American Composers Forum, Canada Council for the Arts, and appeared on more than 60 recordings since 2000, including more than twenty as a leader. Recordings of his compositions often appear on the Songlines, Clean Feed, and No Business labels, and are consistently included on critics’ best-of lists. He has been included in the Rising Star Percussion and Arranger categories of the Downbeat international critics poll the last several years.

His first work for orchestra, Palimpsest, was premiered by the American Composers Orchestra, as part of the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute (2011). Eisenstadt’s second orchestral work, Four Songs, commissioned by the Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra, was premiered at the Brooklyn Museum (2013). His first string quartet, Whatever Will Happen, That Will Also Be, was premiered as part of Eisenstadt’s twelve-set residency at The Stone in NYC (2015), and released in 2017 on the No Business label. His latest composition project, “Poschiavo 50″ (2017), a collection of fifty compositions for ensembles of any size, has given performances in Switzerland, Brazil, Cuba, New York (2018 concert residency at The Stone), and Canada.

As a writer and radio producer, he has contributed to National Public Radio, Public Radio International’s AfroPop Worldwide, and John Zorn’s “Arcana XVIII: Musicians on Music.” Eisenstadt is an active member of New York’s Cuban batá drumming community and a longtime researcher in African and Diaspora traditions. He has travelled to West Africa twice (Gambia, Senegal) to research Mandinka and Wolof music, and travels to Cuba regularly to study batá. He returns summer 2019 to film the second part of the music and film project “Todos Somos Dignos (We Are All Worthy of One Another)”, a collaboration with the Matanzas-based production house El Almacén.

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8
Album Review

Hu Vibrational: Timeless

Read "Timeless" reviewed by Geno Thackara


An Adam Rudolph recording is less a collection of musical pieces than of sound paintings. The elements he works with are musical ones--any instrument known to mankind might be used, and often even used to play notes--but traditions of form and melody tend to be tossed out the window from the start. The tones are treated as daubs of paint on a palette, splashed here and there whenever they will add something to whichever imaginary landscape he is evoking at ...

12
Album Review

Sara Schoenbeck: Sara Schoenbeck

Read "Sara Schoenbeck" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Sara Schoenbeck is cast against type in the world of bassoonists. The versatile double reed, broad-ranged instrument dates to the Renaissance and is commonly found in wind ensembles and chamber orchestras. But Schoenbeck has brought her classical-leaning instrument to creative music in an electrifying body of work. Her self-titled leader debut is the first such project of her career. A series of nine duets allows Schoenbeck to fully explore the scope of the bassoon in close settings. Not ...

Album Review

Harris Eisenstadt Canada Day: Quartet Live

Read "Quartet Live" reviewed by Stefano Merighi


Il talento percussivo ma ancor più compositivo di Harris Eisenstadt viene confermato da questa incisione dal vivo, che la formazione modulare Canada Day—qui ridotta a quartetto—ha realizzato ad Avignone nel marzo 2018 durante un fortunato tour europeo. Anche se Eisenstadt ha approfondito tradizioni percussive sia africane che centroamericane, la sua musica non sfrutta queste suggestioni, preferendo la lingua franca del jazz internazionale contemporaneo, dove una scrittura sintetica ma solida apre fondali per improvvisazioni dei singoli, che si ...

1
Radio & Podcasts

Harris Eisenstadt, Whit Dickey, Gard Nilssen and More

Read "Harris Eisenstadt, Whit Dickey, Gard Nilssen and More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue


A very eclectic show this time out: drummers are front and center: Joao Lencastre, Whit Dickey, Gard Nilssen, Harris Eisenstadt, Kahil El'Zabar from the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and Germany's Max Andrzejewski. The latter and his band Hütte are tackling the music of rocker/composer Robert Wyatt. If that isn't off the wall, how about a combination of a Spinal Tap piece layered with an Ornette Coleman tune performed by the Michael Leonhart Orchestra? There's freer stuff from the likes of the ...

4
Album Review

Harris Eisenstadt Old Growth Forest: Old Growth Forest II

Read "Old Growth Forest II" reviewed by Mark Corroto


The eternal debate persists. Is Harris Eisenstadt primarily a drummer or a composer? He composes music for orchestra and chamber ensembles, yet he leads several jazz groups including Canada Day (a quintet and sometimes quartet or octet), the small large ensemble Recent Developments, and this quartet with trombonist Jeb Bishop, saxophonist Tony Malaby, and bassist Jason Roebke. Like the new breed of percussion leaders Tyshawn Sorey and John Hollenbeck, Eisenstadt eschews the hulking Art Blakey / Tony Williams / Elvin ...

1
Album Review

Harris Eisenstadt: Recent Developments

Read "Recent Developments" reviewed by Neri Pollastri


Formazione piuttosto singolare questa messa assieme dal batterista Harris Eisenstadt, senza sassofoni, chitarre e pianoforti, ma invece con fagotto, flauto, tuba e violoncello. Strumenti di estrazione classica, che in realtà nel jazz non sono mai mancati, specie alle origini (banjo e tuba) o in ambiti d'avanguardia (flauto e fagotto), ma che tutti assieme è raro incontrare. Ed è forse proprio per questo che il compositore canadese residente a New York ha intitolato questo disco Recent Developments: per sottolineare ...

7
Album Review

Harris Eisenstadt: Recent Developments

Read "Recent Developments" reviewed by John Sharpe


How do you pass the tedium of a long haul flight? Catch up on sleep, or take in those films you meant to watch but never got round to viewing? Few of us spend the time as productively as Canadian drummer Harris Eisenstadt who sketched out the main elements of his Recent Developments suite on the return home from tour. In spite of the prosaic titling the performance by a stellar nine strong band more than matches the standard set ...

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1

Recording

Francois Houle's, Alexander Hawkins' And Harris Eisenstadt's Collective Trio Will Release You Have Options On November 9 On Songlines

Francois Houle's, Alexander Hawkins' And Harris Eisenstadt's Collective Trio Will Release You Have Options On November 9 On Songlines

Source: GoMedia PR

This collective trio was born when the late (and greatly missed) Ken Pickering, co-founder and artistic director of Vancouver’s jazz festival, recommended Alexander Hawkins for the piano chair in a new Houle project for the 2014 festival. Houle already had Brooklyn-based fellow Canadian Harris Eisenstadt in mind—Harris had recently toured and recorded in his 5+1 project (Genera, Songlines 2012). And Eisenstadt and Hawkins had played together for years in the collective Convergence Quartet. The Oxford-based Hawkins however was unknown to ...

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Recording

Harris Eisenstadt's "Canada Day IV" Will Be Released On September 4

Harris Eisenstadt's "Canada Day IV" Will Be Released On September 4

Source: GoMedia PR

Drummer/Composer's Quintet Features Nate Wooley on Trumpet, Matt Bauder on Tenor Saxophone, Chris Dingman on Vibraphone and New Member Pascal Niggenkemper on Bass Canada Day III made many Best of 2012 lists. In the meantime, award-winning drummer Harris Eisenstadt launched a new group, Golden State (with two releases on Songlines). Now Canada Day, his his longest-running band, returns with its most accomplished album yet, a thoroughly entertaining, provocative program of original compositions that blends swinging modern jazz and spikier, off- ...

Contest

Enter the "Harris Eisenstadt - Canada Day III" Giveaway at All About Jazz!

Enter the "Harris Eisenstadt - Canada Day III"  Giveaway at All About Jazz!

Source: All About Jazz

All About Jazz members are invited to enter the Songlines Recordings “Harris Eisenstadt - Canada Day III“ giveaway contest starting today. We'll select FIVE winners at the conclusion of the contest on September 17th. Click here to enter the contest (Following Harris Eisenstadt at AAJ automatically enters you in the contest.) Good luck! Your Friends at Songlines Recordings About Canada Day III Canada Day has been Eisenstadt’s primary vehicle for integrating his divergent interests since 2007, often yielding a rich ...

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Recording

Harris Eisenstadt - Canada Day 2 (Songlines 2011) ****a1/2

Harris Eisenstadt - Canada Day 2 (Songlines 2011) ****a1/2

Source: Free Jazz by Stef Gijssels

By Joe Higham Personnel: Nate Wooley: trumpet; Matt Bauder: tenor saxophone; Chris Dingman: vibraphone; Eivind Opsvik: bass; Harris Eisenstadt: drums, compositions. One might expect daring musical adventures from this group of forward thinking musicians, yet the album the second in the Canada series, is not as avant-jazz as one might expect, however that doesn't mean it's not original. The compositions are excellent, dynamic and complex, the playing (as expected) top quality, and that's what counts in my books. Eisenstadt's 'Woodblock ...

305

Recording

Harris Eisenstadt - Canada Day II (Songlines, 2011)

Harris Eisenstadt - Canada Day II (Songlines, 2011)

Source: Music and More by Tim Niland

Percussionist and composer Harris Eisenstadt is one of the leading lights of the new jazz scene, leading and participating in several bands including this one that includes Nate Wooley on trumpet, Matt Bauder on tenor saxophone, Chris Dingman on vibraphone and Eivind Opsvik on bass. They get a nimble quintet sound with some very nice tunes arranged well by Eisenstadt, beginning with “Cobble Hook" developing fast vibraphone and excellent bass, and engaging a fine saxophone solo to boot. “To Seventeen" ...

57

Recording

Drummer-Composer Harris Eisenstadt and His "Canada Day II"

Drummer-Composer Harris Eisenstadt and His "Canada Day II"

Source: Gapplegate Music Review by Grego Edwards

Drummers aren't usually jazz composers. It has to do with devoting a lifetime to the drums. It can take you away from the rest of the notes that are possible, horizontally and vertically. There have been exceptions. Denzil Best wrote or co-wrote a classic bop tune. Help me out here. I forget what it was. Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette wrote some great music for their groups. Jack continues to do so. And there have been some more in later ...

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Recording

New CDs From Harris Eisenstadt and Equilitbrium Coming from Songlines on April 12

New CDs From Harris Eisenstadt and Equilitbrium Coming from Songlines on April 12

Source: Cary Goldberg

Canada Day II, Eisenstadt's Label Debut, Will Be Supported by East Coast Tour Equilibrium's Mikkel Ploug, Joachim Badenhorst and Sissel Vera Pettersen Follow 2009's Critically Acclaimed Self-Titled Debut with Walking Voices

Two diverse explorations into modern jazz are on Songlines Recordings' schedule for April, 2011: Canada Day II from drummer Harris Eisenstadt's working quartet, and Walking Voices, the follow up to the trio Equilibrium's 2009 self-titled label debut.

Canada Day II is Eisenstadt's first release on Songlines, and is the ...

122

Radio

The Jazz Session #145: Harris Eisenstadt

The Jazz Session #145: Harris Eisenstadt

Source: Michael Ricci


147

Interview

Drummer/Composer Harris Eisenstadt Interviewed at AAJ

Drummer/Composer Harris Eisenstadt Interviewed at AAJ

Source: All About Jazz

Over the past decade, drummer, bandleader and composer Harris Eisenstadt has been a force in improvised music, active in both Los Angeles and New York (where he now resides). It's a testament to his creativity and energy that his ensembles have run the gamut from free-bop in the vein of post-Blue Note small groups, to orchestral works and the recasting of traditional Senegalese popular song into improvisational vehicles. Canada Day is the name of his latest ensemble and disc (Clean ...

161

Performance / Tour

Harris Eisenstadt's Residency at Ibeam Concludes This Saturday

Harris Eisenstadt's Residency at Ibeam Concludes This Saturday

Source: Improvised Communications

Drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt’s March residency at Brooklyn’s Ibeam Music Studio concludes this Saturday, March 28th at 9:00 p.m.

This is the fourth in a series of Saturday night concerts by his new nonet, Woodblock Prints.

The line-up will feature:

Mike McGinnis, clarinet Jason Mears, alto saxophone Sara Schoenbeck, bassoon Mark Taylor, French horn Brian Drye, trombone Jay Rozen, tuba Jonathan Goldberger, electric guitar Stuart Popejoy, acoustic ...

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Timeless

Meta Records
2023

buy

Sara Schoenbeck

Pyroclastic Records
2021

buy

Old Growth Forest II

Astral Spirits
2019

buy

Quartet Live

Clean Feed Records
2019

buy

Recent Developments

Songlines Recordings
2017

buy

On Parade In Parede

Clean Feed Records
2017

buy

Serpentine

From: Timeless
By Harris Eisenstadt

Interlude (duo 2)

From: Recent Developments
By Harris Eisenstadt

The Arrangement of Unequal Things

From: Golden State II
By Harris Eisenstadt

Song For Owen

From: Canada Day II
By Harris Eisenstadt

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