In 2015, Brooklyn Comes Alive proved itself to be the kind of night that is not to be missed by any true fan of live music in New York City. This year there is a collection of performances by what can only be described as an all-star team of jam scene musicians that will go down one night only in 3 venues across Williamsburg – Brooklyn Bowl, The Music Hall of Williamsburg and The Hall at MP.
As music fans we can’t help but feel a connection with the musicians we get to see time and time again at festivals and shows around the country. When you see the same artist perform many times it’s hard to not catch on to their eccentricities and personalities. So one thing I love about the jam scene is that I see musicians such as Joe Russo, Nathalie Cressman, Scott Metzger and Eric Krasno pop up and shows around New York City or festivals as a surprise guest addition to seeing them play with their main projects.
One of the influences cited by the festival organizers is the late night scene on Frenchmen Street during the annual New Orleans Jazz Festival. During the week of Jazz Fest, the many clubs and venues in New Orleans become an open forum for musicians to engage in one-of-a-kind jam sessions and collaborations. While many of the collaborations for BCA have been announced in advance, if it’s anything like last year there are bound to be more than a few surprises in store. Just check out the recently announced lineup schedule for this Saturday’s gathering.
With such an impressive lineup, it’s imperative to decide your schedule in advance, so be sure to start planning your step-by-step moves. Passes are sure to go quick, so guarantee your entry by purchasing here. To give you a hand, check out a preview of this weekend’s most anticipated sets!
Fresh off the Medeski, Martin & Wood 25th anniversary shows, keyboard master John Medeski joins forces with Lettuce drummer Adam Deitch and saxophonist Skerik to form this experimental jazz group. Unlike a lot of the BCA supergroups, DRKWV has performed together before but because of the incredibly busy schedules of each band member there have only be a few select shows so far. Things will certainly get dark and spacey once they hit the stage at Brooklyn Bowl.
Besides providing us with a reference to one of the best TV shows of all time this collaboration between Break Science and the Disco Biscuits should have all fans of jamtronica pumped up. Appropriately the Breaking Biscuits set will take place at the largest of BCA’s three venues – The Music Hall of Williamsburg – during the prime time slot Saturday night. I would not be surprised if we get some Disco Biscuit favorites like “42” or “Helicopters”.
Joe Russo and Scott Metzger are no strangers to the Brooklyn Bowl where this set will take place. Having just wrapped yet another three night run with their Grateful Dead tribute act Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (JRAD) Russo and Metzger will feel right at home and ready to throw down some jams. Having seen Scott Metzger sit in with many acts during Jazz Fest this past April I can attest that the guitarist thrives in these kind of open jam sessions.
The All Brothers Band
Oteil Burbridge continues to have a magnificent year. While still riding the wave of playing with the stadium packing act Dead and Company, Oteil continues to fill his busy schedule with all kinds of exciting projects. The former Allman Brother bassist will team up with his also extremely talented brother of Tedeschi Trucks Band fame, Kofi Burbridge, as well as Neil and Alan Evans from Soulive for this jam. Who knows what we’ll get here. Perhaps some Allman Brothers covers as a nod to the group’s name or maybe a sit-in with Soulive member and 2015 BCA headliner Eric Krasno. Either way I’m expecting some top notch jazz and funk from this Brooklyn Bowl set!
A couple of years ago Holly Bowling became a sensation when her classical composition of the nearly 40 minute “Tahoe Tweezer” Phish jam made the rounds online. Such an intricate transcription of an improvised ambient jam was something that I had never thought could be done. Holly also contributed to last years Brooklyn Comes Alive with a brunch set – which she will also do this year. She also sat in with Eric Krasno on keys and is one of the artists at large I most look forward to seeing this time around. With an album of Grateful Dead classical arrangements out this year, her brunch set will likely feature some of dead tunes as well.
In keeping in line with jammed out takes of classical compositions, Electric Beethoven will also be performing at Brooklyn Comes Alive. Reed Mathis has been building up his Electric Beethoven project into a touring band for almost a year and the group has already hit the road for a few shows including a set at the recent Catskill Chill. Brooklyn Comes Alive still gets one of the first live Electric Beethoven sets with Mathis playing alongside Jay Lane from Primus, Ratdog from RAQ and Tood Stoops from Kung Fu. While the Electric Beethoven studio album is phenomenal and features a large cast of contributors, including Page McConnell of Phish, this smaller touring unit is sure to take off to unknown territory – that’s just the kind of thing Brooklyn Comes Alive is all about!