Pioneering Composer/Pianist/Electronic Artist To Tour Clubs, Universities
9/12/07 - Los Angeles, CA - Don Preston was quite possibly the first person to add synthesis to live rock performances, taking Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention into uncharted musical territories over several tours and albums. Today, four decades after having built analog synthesizers" from scratch before most people had heard of such things, Preston is a living legend and a pioneer who now tweaks synths on his Apple laptop. This summer Preston toured in Europe with his Akashic Ensemble, including stops in Prague, Vienna, and at the legendary, annual ZAPPANALE festival in Bad Doberan Germany. Now, Don Preston will bring his jazz-electronica-experimental trio to the stages in the Northeastern USA. He will also hold lectures at several esteemed Universities.
About Don Preston
Many people know Don Preston's pioneering work with Zappa's Mothers of Invention, with whom he toured and recorded over a dozen records from 1966-1974, including the critically acclaimed fan favorites We're Only In It For The Money" and Roxy And Elsewhere". After the Mothers, Don embarked on a wild ride through a myriad of musical situations that bring him to today. In 2006 alone, Don did three tours with the Grandmothers, toured on two continents with The Akashic Ensemble, performed upright bass for a musical in Los Angeles, played concerts of solo electronic music and his jazz quartet at the LA County Museum, and performed Stravinsky's L'Histoire Du Soldat" in California and Norway.
In 1958 Preston toured Canada playing piano for Nat King Cole, he has also played bass with Carla & Paul Bley, Elvin Jones, Yousef Lateef and Herbie Mann, who he met when they were stationed with the US Army in Trieste, Italy. With a discography of jazz and electronic releases, soundtracks and guest performances under his belt, he's one of those musicians that every eclectic collection contains without its owner knowing it.
Since the rebirth of Preston's current ensemble in 2002, the group has released a CD and toured and with Preston throughout the Northeast. The diverse ensemble includes Cheri Jiosne - drums, percussion, electronics & processing, and Andre' Cholmondeley (of Zappa tribute band Project/Object) on guitar, electronics, synths and samples.
Don Preston also continues to compose & perform with the Grandmothers, a group based around ex-Mothers that Don started in the 80s with Jimmy Carl Black & Bunk Gardner, that now features Zappa alumni Napoleon Murphy Brock and Roy Estrada.
After an extended period of playing Zappa material and originals with his fellow Zappa-alumni in the Grandmothers, Preston was ready to go on tour and play some more 'positive electronic music'. Akashic Ensemble combines ambient moods with sampled vocals, analog tweaks and percussive loops-all with Preston's playful trademark sense of melody, dynamics and drama.
Preston's experience performing with everyone from Elvin Jones, Lou Rawls and Frank Zappa to Carla Bley, Meredith Monk, The Residents, Jack Bruce and Robbie Krieger provide him with a unique perspective on utilizing synthesis, musique concrete and sampling in a myriad of musical settings. His keyboard solos on Zappa and Michael Mantler records, as well as countless soundtracks including 'Apocalypse Now', are groundbreaking moments in synthesizer history. Today, Preston's stylistic range keeps expanding, currently grafting new technologies into his experimental palette with software synths, laptop recording technology and digital interactive effects.
During this tour Don will reach his 75th Birthday (21 SEP) and looks forward to several months of hard work composing, recording and touring to celebrate this long, ongoing life on the cutting edge of music. His performances today range from solo piano that bridges jazz , 12-tone and classical sensibilities, and hard-core experimental electronic music ranging from beats to ambience, flavored by avant-garde polyrhythms and political satire. He already has big plans for 2008 - -fininshing his Symphonic work, another Grandmothers tour and a return to Europe for his Akashic Ensemble.
USA TOUR DATES -- SEPTEMBER 2007
20 THU PRINCETON NJ PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
21 FRI BETHLEHEM PA FUNHOUSE
22 SAT NYC NY MOOGFEST* BB KING'S
23 SUN PHOENIXVILLE PA STEEL CITY
24 MON PHILA PA SCHOOL OF ROCK
26 WED BOSTON MA BERKLEE SCH. OF MUSIC
26 WED CAMBRIDGE MA LILY PAD (7-10pm)
27 THU NEWPORT RI BILLY GOOD'S
28 FRI BOSTON MA THE BULLFINCH YACHT CLUB
30 SUN BURLINGTON VT NECTAR'S
01 MON ALBANY NY UNIV. AT ALBANY
02 TUES BRONXVILLE NY SARAH LAWRENCE COLLEGE
William James/GLASS ONYON PR
828.350.8158 [email protected]
Andre' Cholmondeley/ThinkElectronic Productions