Music Program

Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.

$18 general admission, $15 students/seniors, $12 members

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Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber


Asbury Hall, Babeville

Special pricing for both nights:
$25 general, $20 students/seniors, $15 members
A Hallwalls Artists-in-Residence Project (HARP)

The Arkestra:

Greg Tate (conduction, electric guitar)
Mikel Banks (vocals, freak-a-phone)
Shelley Nicole (vocals)
Lewis Barnes Jr (trumpet)
V. Jeffrey Smith (tenor saxophone)
'Moist' Paula Henderson (baritone saxophone)
Ben Tyree (electric guitar)
Bruce Mack (keyboards)
Jared Michael Nickerson (electric bass)
Chris Eddleton(drums)

[ARCHIVAL NOTE: Bruce Mack ended up not coming and was not replaced.]

"A multiracial jam army that freestyles with cool telekinesis between the lustrous menace of Miles Davis' On The Corner, the slash-and-om of 1970s King Crimson, and Jimi Hendrix' moonwalk across side three of Electric Ladyland."
- David Fricke, Rolling Stone

Hallwalls is ecstatic to announce a week-long artist residency with the inimitable, transdimensional music entity best known as Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber. The residency will culminate in two evenings of music - the first night will feature music generated from Lawrence D. Butch Morris' Conduction system for collective improvisation. The second night will feature the groups' repertoire of re-invented sonic resources culled from the depths of James Brown, Miles Davis, David Bowie, Sun Ra, Jimi Hendrix, Steely Dan, Melvin Van Peebles and beyond. Our city will be transformed as the Burnt Sugar Mothership lands in Buffalo for a rare cosmic convergence with the Outer Spaceways...

Founded by monster groove bassist Jared Michael Nickerson and Village Voice icon Greg "Ironman" Tate in 1999, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber is a sprawling band of musicians whose prodigious personnel allows to freely juggle a wide swath of the experimental soul-jazz-hip hop spectrum. This very accomplished crew has playing credits that range from Toshi Reagon, DJ Logic, Gary Lucas, TV On The Radio, Tamar Kali, Phish, William Parker, Liz Wright, The Holmes Brothers, Wadada Leo Smith, David Murray, Joseph Bowie.

Arkestra Conductor Greg Tate says, "Burnt Sugar got the nerve to claim Sly Stone, Morton Feldman, Billie Holiday, Jimi Hendrix and Jean Luc Ponty as progenitiors Our player-ranks include known Irish fiddlers, AACM refugees, Afro-punk rejects, unrepentant beboppers, feminist rappers, jitterbugging doowoppers, frankly loud funk-a-teers and rodeo stars of the digital divide."

Our manifesto:

Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber was originally conceived in 1999 as a forum for the New York area improvisational musician to compose, record and perform material which reflects the breadth and depth of American diasparan music in the 21st century. The intent of the Arkestra Chamber, through the deployment of Butch Morris's Conduction system, is to make every performance a fresh interpretation of its constituent parts.

Rather than limit ourselves to the straight jackets that the commercial recording industry uses to market contemporary Black Music, Burnt Sugar freely moves amongst many styles, eras and genres to devise its own exciting hybrids. These hybrids are based on a solid foundation of various musical traditions and the use of cutting-edge music technology. In this sense the group mission honors its deepest inspirations, the first post-modernists of American music—Duke Ellington, Sun Ra, Parliament Funkadelic and The Art Ensemble of Chicago.

As with any venture of this ambitious nature, audience development must come in many forms—live performance, magazine and newspaper profiles, and most importantly, cutting-edge recordings, which seem to generate the former two. Because of the necessity to build the TruGroid brand; Burnt Sugar, and its collective, must continually generate new product highlighting the Arkestra Chamber's continual metamorphosis integrating rhythm and blues vocal extrapolations, rock and roll guitar brio, free jazz horn explorations, 20th century string dissonance and up-to-the-minute electronic manipulations.

Music must be heard—especially music designed to push back current musical boundaries. Burnt Sugar and TruGroid fill a major vacuum in terms of reestablishing a presence and profile for American experimental music on the world stage that is conversant with the idioms and recording techniques of hip hop, drum and bass, jazz and alternative rock. In today's musical context there are few American bands like the Arkestra Chamber that are innovative on stage and in the recording studio.

Robert Christgau says "It's electric Miles with soul, Maggot Brain with a Ph.D., the Hendrix Evans band of dreams, the underwater funk some hear in A.R. Kane."

A Brief History.........

Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber began as a grand and noble idea that begat an ostensibly foolhardy enterprise, an updated Miles Davis Bitches Brew for the 21st century with players who were conversant in a plethora of post-modern musical tongues. What it has become in it's thirteenth year of existance is one of the few modern music groups to freely mash-up any and all forms of vocal and instrumental music like it ain't nobody's business if they do.

Just as Bitches Brew combined acoustic and electric improvisers with electronic manipulation, Burnt Sugar bridges the gap between digital music making and live, orchestral performance. From the outset, the concept was to combine the Bitches Brew approach with an adaptation of Butch Morris' ground breaking Conduction System for Improvisers which utilizes over twenty-five hand and baton gestures to rearrange and compose symphonic, trans-genre suites of music in real time. The band's cheeky motto quickly became 'We Never Play Anything The Same Way Once' and for the next 7 years of recording and performing they never tried to live that artistic ideal down.

In late August 1999 the band's founding members gathered in a Hell's Kitchen rehearsal studio to explore the possibilities of this conceit at Greg Tate's behest. After a few weeks of jamming the band made its debut at the legendary CBGBs. The band at that time consisted of Vijay Iyer and Bruce Mack on keyboards, Rene Akan, Morgan Craft and Kirk Douglas (now with The Roots) on guitars, Jared Michael Nickerson and Jason Di Matteo on electric and acoustic bass, Swiss Chris and Qasim Naqvi on drums, vocalist Eisa Davis and violinist Simi. In December of that year the nascent band recorded the group's first, and some say, best, album, Blood On The Leaf - the first of what now, in 2012, totals over thirteen releases on their own TruGROID & AVANT GROID imprints.

t: 716-854-1694
f: 716-854-1696

Tues.—Fri. 11-6
Sat. 11-2
Sun. & Mon. closed

from Jan. 10, 2020
through Feb. 28, 2020

Sarah Sutton
Knots and Pulses

This exhibition by Ithaca-area artist Sarah Sutton will feature a series of monochromatic oil paintings that combine representational imagery with distortions and abstractions that create scenarios in flux. They are essentially landscape paintings, but Sutton's treatment of the landscape toys with its sense of space and the notion of the built vs. the natural environment.

Katie Bell
Abstract Cabinet

Katie Bell’s exhibition is a site-specific installation conceived of as a one-act drama starring anonymous artifacts. Functioning like a theatrical set, the gallery holds static characters that reference the interior architecture of corporate and commercial spaces. Sculptural objects are often fractured or untethered to a contextual structure. Functioning as a whole, the individual artefacts are a nod to players on a stage, held captive in space and time.