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Peter Apfelbaum

Born in Berkeley, California in 1960, Peter Apfelbaum started playing drums at the age of three, taking up piano and saxophone in elementary school and forming his first band at age 11. A product of the Berkeley Schools' pioneering Jazz Project, Apfelbaum began performing professionally while in his early teens and was a member of the award-winning Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Phil Hardymon. In 1977 - his senior year at Berkeley High - he formed the 17-piece Hieroglyphics Ensemble as a vehicle for composing and exploring non-traditional musical forms. The Ensemble was initially largely comprised of fellow BHS classmates, some of whom would later move to New York and achieve recognition in their own right. The band originally included pianist Benny Green, saxophonist Craig Handy and trumpeter Steven Bernstein and would later feature saxophonist Joshua Redman prior to his move to NY. The band released their self-produced debut album, "Pillars", in 1979 and began to attract international attention for their unique mix of elements of world music with the aesthetic of the jazz avant-garde. Around this time Apfelbaum made his first sojourn to New York, where he worked with Carla Bley, David Amram and the late Eddie Jefferson. He toured Europe for the first time in the Fall of 1979 with Karl Berger's Woodstock Workshop Orchestra, an all-star band which included Lee Konitz, Oliver Lake, Don Cherry, Leroy Jenkins and Trilok Gurtu. In 1981 Apfelbaum returned to the Bay Area and resumed rehearsing regularly with the Hieroglyphics Ensemble. In the mid-80's he toured the U.S. with O.J. Ekemode and the Nigerian All-Stars (first on baritone saxophone, later on drums) and also worked regularly with Cuban percussionist Francisco Aguabella's band, as well as with local reggae and r&b bands. By 1988, the Hieroglyphics' performances had become more frequent, and in the Fall of that year Apfelbaum was commissioned by the San Francisco Jazz Festival to write a suite for the band. The resulting "Notes From The Rosetta Stone" was premiered at the Palace Of Fine Arts and featured the legendary trumpeter Don Cherry as guest soloist. Cherry was so impressed with the band that he took up residence in San Francisco and adopted Apfelbaum and fellow Hieroglyphs Bo Freeman (bass) and Josh Jones (drums) as his "Multikulti" group, touring extensively in North America, Europe and Japan over the next several years. Cherry also continued to appear frequently as a guest with the Hieroglyphics, and featured the band (as well as two Apfelbaum compositions) on his album "Multikulti" (A&M, 1989).

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Album Review

Sana Nagano: Smashing Humans

Read "Smashing Humans" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Violinist Sana Nagano is an idiosyncratic and accomplished artist who is immersed in New York's avant-garde scene. Her sonic experiments are an end in themselves, thrilling and provocative as well as quite intimate. Nagano's debut with her new quintet, the electrifying, Smashing Humans, expresses this singular vision to its fullest, creating a wholly absorbing work of rare beauty. The cinematic “Humans in Grey" starts off with Nagano playing repeating scales that saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum echoes. The entry of ...

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Album Review

Dafnis Prieto Sextet: Transparency

Read "Transparency" reviewed by John Chacona


In Cuban music, emotional grandeur and extravagant virtuosity is built on a foundation of inexhaustible rhythm. So, it's no surprise to find an abundance of juicy melodies and breathtaking drumming on Transparency from drummer and MacArthur “Genius" Fellow Dafnis Prieto. Yet for all the astonishing things he does behind the kit, what stands out on Transparency is the dazzling formal sophistication of Prieto's compositions. Eight of the nine composer credits are his and the outlier, an arrangement of ...

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Album Review

Peter Apfelbaum's Sparkler: I Colored It In For You

Read "I Colored It In For You" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


I Colored It In For You is such a tease. Broad-minded multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum uses this brief EP--the two-part title track and a remix from M.O.D. co-founder Bill Laswell are it--to introduces a sui generis small group known as Sparkler. Apfelbaum, covering vocals, keys, saxophones, and percussion, teams up with rising star trombonist/vocalist Natalie Cressman, vocalist/saxophone Jill Ryan, grooving guitarist Will Bernard, Barney McAll, playing homemade instruments here, and a pair of drummers--Willard Dyson and Aaron Johnston. ...

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Album Review

Peter Apfelbaum: It Is Written

Read "It Is Written" reviewed by Michael McCaw


Peter Apfelbaum writes music for everyone. And without pandering to anyone, he creates honest music that has wide appeal in some aspects but ultimately serves a smaller audience, simply because he fuses so many disparate elements together. Recorded over three days in September in 2004, It Is Written is an album of breadth, to say the least, that never loses its luster even after repeated listens.Still under fifty, Apfelbaum has now recorded three albums with different formations of ...

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Album Review

Peter Apfelbaum & The New York Hieroglyphics: It Is Written

Read "It Is Written" reviewed by Andrew Velez


Composer and woodwind/keyboard/percussion multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum advocates “music without borders and says he writes from “a drummer's perspective. Familiar soundposts are absent and It Is Written, the latest recording of his Hieroglyphics band, requiring a shift in the listener's preconceptions of big band possibilities. For instance, “Prelude is a brief, dirge-like opening in which Jai Uttal's harmonium plays a dominant role. Have I wandered into a rather sad occasion?, one may wonder. “Labile (Unfolding) follows, the mood ...

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Recording

M.O.D. Technologies To Release Peter Apfelbaum's Sparkler, I Colored It In For You, As Part Of Incunabula Digtal Series; Plus CD Release Party At Nublu, 12/10

M.O.D. Technologies To Release Peter Apfelbaum's Sparkler, I Colored It In For You, As Part Of Incunabula Digtal Series; Plus CD Release Party At Nublu, 12/10

Source: hubtone PR

Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum (New York Hieroglyphics) introduces the debut track by his newest band, SPARKLER. Co-produced by Apfelbaum and Aaron Johnston (Brazilian Girls) and featuring Natalie Cressman (vocals, trombone) and Jill Ryan (vocals, alto sax), I Colored it in for You is a multidimensional electronic world music track with lyrics as Apfelbaum explains, “about the act of creating art, and the desire to give it away." Also included with I Colored it in for You Pts 1 & 2 ...

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Recording

Record Release: Viva with Peter Apfelbaum and the NY Hieroglyphics

Record Release: Viva with Peter Apfelbaum and the NY Hieroglyphics

Source: All About Jazz

ROCK VOCALS, DENSE HARMONIES & HEAVY GROOVES PERFORMED EXPERTLY BY ALL-STAR 10 PIECE BIG BAND Viva with Peter Apfelbaum and the NY Hieroglyphics take the stage at Nublu playing original music from their new record “Electric Cabaret" NuBlu 62 Avenue C between 4th and 5th Streets East Village, Manhattan 8-11 pm, $10 PETER APFELBAUM is an extraordinary multi-instrumentalist and composer. He has shared his skills, taste and musicality with artists such as ...

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Performance / Tour

Peter Apfelbaum & the New York Hieroglyphics - Fri. Nov. 4 at Symphony Space

Peter Apfelbaum & the New York Hieroglyphics - Fri. Nov. 4 at Symphony Space

Source: All About Jazz

PETER APFELBAUM & THE NEW YORK HIEROGLYPHICS celebrate the release of IT IS WRITTEN (ACT Music/High Note) FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 ~ 8:30 pm Symphony Space/Thalia Theatre Broadway @ 95th Street ~ 212-864-5400 Peter Apfelbaum (tenor sax/piano/percussion) Peck Allmond (trumpet/reeds) Josh Roseman (trombone) Jessica Jones (alto & tenor sax) Tony Jones (tenor sax) Dayna Stephens (tenor & baritone sax) Charles Burnham (violin)

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Performance / Tour

Peter Apfelbaum & the New York Hieroglyphics ~ June 3 & 4 ~ Jazz Gallery

Peter Apfelbaum & the New York Hieroglyphics ~ June 3 & 4 ~ Jazz Gallery

Source: All About Jazz

Peter Apfelbaum & the New York Hieroglyphics Friday & Saturday, June 3 & 4 ~ Jazz Gallery 290 Hudson Street ~ 212-242-1063 sets at 9:00 & 10:30 ~ $12 reservations recommended!

Peter Apfelbaum - tenor sax, flute, piano, melodica, percussion; Peck Allmond - trumpet, reeds, percussion; Josh Roseman - trombone; Jessica Jones - alto & tenor saxes; Tony Jones - tenor sax; Norbert Stachel - bass & baritone saxes, flute; Charlie Burnham ...

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Event

Dean Bowman and Peter Apfelbaum Partner in

Dean Bowman and Peter Apfelbaum Partner in

Source: All About Jazz


Photos

Concerts

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Smashing Humans

577 Records
2021

buy

Transparency

Dafnison Music
2020

buy

I Colored It In For...

M.o.d. Technologies
2015

buy

Listen Both Ways

Playscape Recordings
2012

buy

It Is Written

ACT Music
2005

buy

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