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Nonesuch Events for the Weekend of September 20–22

Chris Thile 2013 sq by Brantley Gutierrez

Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile joins Garrison Keillor once again for a live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion from its home venue, The Fitzgerald Theater in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota, on Saturday afternoon. Also on the public radio show this weekend are the Swedish trio Väsen, Motown singer Chic Gamine, and, of course, all the Prairie Home Companion regulars, included the latest news from Lake Wobegon. Tune in on your local public radio station or streaming online starting Saturday at 5 PM CT at prairiehome.org.

Thile then returns to New York for a Sunday afternoon performance with guitarist Michael Daves at The Bell House in Brooklyn, as part of the second-annual Bluegrass Bash. The benefit concert helps raise funds for the ceiling restoration campaign of Park Slope’s Old First Reformed Church. The virtuosic duo performs selections from their 2011 Nonesuch album Sleep with One Eye Open. The night also features Thile’s fellow Punch Brothers Noam Pikelny and Paul Kowert, and many others.

A vinyl edition of Thile’s new solo album, featuring Bach works written for solo violin, will be released this Tuesday, September 24, and is available to pre-order now in the Nonesuch Store. “His timing is meticulous … but his version also has the liveliness that improvising musicians sometimes can bring to written material,” writes The New Yorker’s Alec Wilkinson in a new review of the album. “His elaborate and often stunning playing is laced with sadness but also with a wild, delirious pleasure, a piercing happiness, even a joy.” Gramophone exclaims: “This is extraordinary playing from an extraordinary musician who is willing to stretch stylistic and technical boundaries to further his art while paying homage to one of the greatest composers of all time.”

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John Adams’s Saxophone Concerto receives its US premiere at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore tonight, with Marin Alsop conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and saxophonist Timothy McAllister (for whom the Concerto was written). Alsop leads McAllister and the BSO in an additional performance at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda on Saturday and again at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Sunday. Nonesuch Records will record the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s concert performance of the piece on October 5 for future release.

In advance of the US premiere of the Saxophone Concerto, the New York Times’ William Robin writes that “few contemporary composers are better poised to trade on the saxophone’s ambivalent status than John Adams, who long ago mastered the art of moving nimbly between the classical and pop worlds.”

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Sam Amidon joins Bill Frisell , pianist-composer Jason Moran, and mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Allen Room in New York City for two sets tonight and two sets on Saturday. On the program, titled "Gershwin & Beyond," the artists "explore the beginnings of American music (the backbone)," says Frisell, including works by Billings, Foster, and Ives, as well as Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. This is the first of three programs curated by Frisell this season for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Roots of Americana series. Tonight's sets will stream live at jalc.org.

Amidon’s recently released Nonesuch debut album, Bright Sunny South, is due out on vinyl this Tuesday with a digital download and a bonus 7” disc. It is available to pre-order now in the Nonesuch Store.

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Laurie Anderson performs the last piece in her series of three story works, Dirtday!, at Ithaca’s State Theatre on Saturday, in celebration of the Museum of the Earth’s tenth anniversary. Anderson joins an artist panel, hosted by Barbara Mink, at the museum to discuss the intersection of art and science on Sunday afternoon.

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Jeremy Denk kicks off a three-day residency with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Andreas Delfs, at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts’s Ulhein Hall in Milwaukee tonight, and continues with performances on Saturday and Sunday. On the program is Aaron Jay Kernis’s Musica Celestis; Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, S. 124; and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36. There will be a pre-concert discussion about the music at the Marcus Center’s Anello Atrium led by MSO musicians.

Denk’s recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations with a companion DVD containing video “liner notes” is due out September 30 (October 21 internationally), and is available to pre-order now in the NonesuchStore.

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Dr. John, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance at the Americana Music Association’s Honors & Awards earlier this week in Nashville, performs in three different Californian cities this weekend: at the Granada Theater in Santa Barbara tonight; the Uptown Theatre in Napa on Saturday; and The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley on Sunday, as part of the “Stars at North Star House” outdoor concert benefiting Bear Yuba Land Trust, with fellow New Orleans native son Allen Toussaint.

The Santa Barbara Independent, previewing tonight’s event, interviewed Dr. John about developing his persona; his Nonesuch debut album, Locked Down; and the recording process: “I’m comfortable just about anywhere I can set up with a good room and a mixing board.” You can read the interview at independent.com.

On Saturday, Toussaint gives a solo show at the SFJAZZ Center’s Miner Auditorium in San Francisco.

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Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell , who just picked up two Americana Music Awards for their 2013 Nonesuch album, Old Yellow Moon, continue their North American tour with a performance at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville for Petty Fest, a celebration of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The festival, hosted by Kings of Leon, will include performances by Norah Jones, Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, Jakob Dylan, Buddy Miller, and more.

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Iron and Wine continues the Canadian leg of a fall tour at the Odeon in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, tonight, followed by two shows in Alberta: at MacEwan Hall in Calgary on Saturday, and the Francis Winspear Centre in Edmonton on Sunday. Iron and Wine, aka Sam Beam, and his 12-piece band continue touring across the continent through November, performing songs from his Nonesuch debut album, Ghost on Ghost, released this past spring.

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Lianne La Havas rounds out her three-night residency at Billboard Live in Japan with the second of two performances at Roppongi in Tokyo tonight. She performs songs from her debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough?.

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Audra McDonald continues her North American tour with two university shows this weekend: at the University of Illinois’s Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, followed by a trio-backed performance at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on Sunday. She performs songs from her new album, Go Back Home, and classic American standards, including works by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Stephen Sondheim.

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Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You, the film documenting the 2011 tribute concert for the late Kate McGarrigle in New York City, is being screened at UCLA’s Hammer Museum in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon. The film, which was released on iTunes earlier this week, was directed by Lian Lunson and includes performances by Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Anna McGarrigle, Jane McGarrigle, Emmylou Harris, Teddy Thompson, Norah Jones, Sloan Wainwright, Joel Zifkin, among others. Directly preceding the screening, Rufus Wainwright offers a short performance in the courtyard. Earlier this year, Nonesuch Records released Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle, a two-CD set of songs from the New York show and two others held in honor of the late singer-songwriter.

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Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club round out the Californian leg of their world tour with three performances this weekend: a late-night set at the Monterey Jazz Festival tonight; the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in Davis on Saturday; and Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco on Sunday. The all-Cuban Orquesta features lead vocalists Omara Portuondo and Eliades Ochoa, trumpeter Manuel "Guajiro" Mirabal, trombonist “Aguaje” Ramos, and laúd player Barbarito Torres, all of whom count themselves among the original Buena Vista ensemble. Opening these Californian sets with his quintet is Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca, who has collaborated and toured with Buena Vista Social Club members since 2001. The US tour continues through mid-October with stops in Indianapolis, Chicago, Austin, and New York, among others.

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Joshua Redman joins Norwegian saxophonist and operatic tenor Håkon Kornstad for a rare performance at Wigmore Hall in London tonight. The program, the first in the 2013-14 season of Wigmore’s jazz series curated by Redman, features both solo and duo selections.

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Dawn Upshaw is the guest of honor at the annual gala benefit for MATA, a not-for-profit organization that commissions, presents, and supports the music of a wide array of young composers from around the globe. The special event will be held at Tibet House in New York City on Saturday and features special guests Osvaldo Golijov, Donnacha Dennehy, and Nonesuch Records President Robert Hurwitz offering personal salutes, plus musical tributes from Melissa Hughes, Lucy Dhegrae and others. The event also features a silent auction with rare items from well-known composers, including MATA co-founder Philip Glass, photographers, and others.

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