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Nonesuch Events for the Long Weekend of May 24–27

John Adams profile

On this Memorial Day weekend, John Adams closes out his week-long residency as part of the Concerts from the Library of Congress series with two final, free concerts in Washington, DC. Following concerts of his works (as well as a new work by Timo Andres) for the series earlier this week, Adams conducts the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) at the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium tonight in his own Son of Chamber Symphony, as well as Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony no. 1, Op. 9 (which influenced Adams’s Chamber Symphony) and Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat. ICE performed Son of Chamber Symphony on the Nonesuch first recording of the piece in 2011. Adams will also be the guest speaker in a pre-concert presentation.

The residency concludes on Saturday as the U.S. Army Blues changes the pace, tracing Adams’s musical lineage back to the big-band era of his grandfather’s New Hampshire dance hall. Recognizing the ways in which modern composers draw from the past, the band performs pieces by Ellington, Mingus, and Evans at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.

Adams stays on in DC to conduct his symphonic piece City Noir for three nights at The Kennedy Center next weekend; the program also features Jeremy Denk performing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major.

As noted early this week in the Nonesuch Journal, John Adams received an honorary degree from Yale University on Monday. This morning, Dawn Upshaw, who also holds an honorary degree from Yale, receives her fourth honorary Doctor of Music degree, this year from The Juilliard School. Their commencement ceremony takes place at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, streaming live at


Sam Amidon, who celebrated the release of his Nonesuch debut album, Bright Sunny South, with a concert at Bush Hall in London last night, closes out his European tour with three more shows in the UK this weekend: at the Grain Barge in Bristol tonight; the Holy Trinity Church in Guildford on Saturday; and The Met in Bury on Sunday. He launches a US tour in Seattle on June 3.


Devendra Banhart brings his tour to the Pacific Northwest this weekend with a set at The Gorge in Quincy, Washington, on Saturday, as part of the Sasquatch! Festival, and a show at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC, on Sunday. His performances feature songs from his Nonesuch debut album, Mala, released earlier this year.

Also at the Sasquatch! Festival, Bombino kicks off his US tour with an afternoon set on the same stage, celebrating the release of his Nonesuch debut album, Nomad. He performs at the Star Theater in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday, before heading east with dates in Salt Lake City, Aspen, and Boulder.


Björk continues her Biophilia residency with the second of three performances in the round at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California, on Saturday. Her residency includes educational programs for children at the Exploratorium in San Francisco revolving around interactive versions of the Biophilia album created for the iPad. Following Tuesday’s final show at the Craneway, Björk takes the show to the Hollywood Palladium for three shows starting June 2.


Carolina Chocolate Drops continue their US spring tour with two festival sets this weekend: at Evans Town Center Park in Evans, Georgia, for Papa Joe’s BanjoBque Bluegrass Festival tonight, and the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, Maryland, on Sunday for DelFest.


Nataly Dawn takes her European tour, featuring music from her Nonesuch debut album, How I Knew Her, to Germany for two solo shows this long weekend: at Privateclub in Berlin on Sunday and Prinzenbar in Hamburg on Monday.


Richard Goode returns to deSingel in Antwerp, Belgium, to kick off his three-day residency there with an all-Beethoven solo piano recital on Saturday. The program includes the Piano Sonata in E Major, Op. 109; the Piano Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 110; Bagatelles Op. 119 (nos. 6-11); and finally, the Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 111. His residency continues with a free master class in Small Hall on Sunday and a lecture-recital on Beethoven’s Op. 110 on Monday. Goode famously recorded a landmark set of the Complete Beethoven Sonatas for Nonesuch in 1993.

The Huffington Post, reviewing Goode’s recent performance of Beethoven sonatas at Carnegie Hall, says the pianist turned them into “ inspirational pieces full of light, air and beauty.”


Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell cover a lot of ground on their Old Yellow Moon tour this weekend, playing in three different Scandinavian countries: at the Waterfront in Stockholm tonight; Radiohusets Koncertsal in Copenhagen on Sunday, and Konzerthus in Oslo on Monday. Harris and Crowell perform in Helsinki before rounding out their European tour with two dates in Germany next week.


Pat Metheny and his Unity Band—featuring Chris Potter on sax and bass clarinet, long-time collaborator Antonio Sanchez on drums, and Ben Williams on bass—have reached the halfway mark in their six-day residency at the Blue Note in Tokyo with two sold-out sets tonight, followed by two sold-out sets each night this weekend. The Unity Band released its self-titled Grammy-winning debut album last year on Nonesuch Records.

Earlier this week, Pat Metheny‘s latest album Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels, Vol. 20 was released simultaneously on Nonesuch Records and Tzadik. Apart from Sanchez on drums, Metheny plays all the other instruments on the album. NPR’s Tom Moon describes Tap as “an ornate, stunningly vivid sound world that neither artist would have found on his own.”


Punch Brothers return to the stage for the first time in some time to perform at the TD Arena at the College of Charleston in South Carolina on Monday, as part of the Spoleto Festival. The band performs again at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and ROMP in June.


Joshua Redman and his Quartet, featuring Aaron Goldberg on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass, and Gregory Hutchinson on drums, continue their European tour at Werftgelände Blohm+Voss in Hamburg tonight as part of the ELBJAZZ festival. His latest album, Walking Shadows, was released on Nonesuch earlier this month.

Redman and the Quartet performed at the ECHO Jazz Awards in Hamburg, Germany, yesterday, where the Brad Mehldau Trio won Best International Ensemble for its album Where Do You Start. The awards ceremony will be televised on national German television on Saturday via the NDR channel. Additional details at


Rokia Traoré closes out the four-day UK leg of her European tour at Hay-on-Wye tonight as part of the Hay Festival. She then travels to Norway for two performances before returning to the UK for a set at Glastonbury in late June. Throughout her tour, Traoré performs songs from her latest album, Beautiful Africa, set for release in the US later this year.

The Evening Standard gives four stars to last night's show at Cargo in London. "The vocie of Mali is now a confident, powerful force at the centre of a band mixing Western and African musicians," writes reviewer Simon Broughton. "She is one of the most intriguing and distinctive singers in Africa. A rare opportunity to see a star at close quarters." Read more at

While in London,Traoré stopped by the BBC for an interview and performance on BBC Radio 3's In Tune. Listen again online at

The Guardian, previewing Traoré’s UK concerts, describes how her “songs, sung in French, can thrive just as well in a raw and bluesy rock context as they do set against the delicate filigree of traditional instrumentation.”


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