Fall Arts Preview: Music Listings

The Franklin Kite

Sunday, Oct. 16. 8:30 p.m. O’Brien’s Pub, 3 Harvard Ave., Allston.

“Someone once told me that we sounded like a cross between Coldplay and Beck, but with the seriousness of Spinal Tap,” says Ryan C. Hickox, lead singer and guitarist of local band The Franklin Kite. This comes from a man who himself is a cross of Carl Sagan and Gustavo S. Turner, as Hickox’s day job includes pursuing a PhD in Astronomy and acting as a resident physics tutor in Dunster House.

An intelligent rock-pop blend with an electronic twist, the Franklin Kite will appeal to listeners drawn to the sensible, melodious alternative rock movement of the ’90s who are now looking for something fresh.

The band, which also features Daniel M. Curtis on bass and John W. Mileham on drum machine and computer sampling, has completed its first album, and is scheduling a release party for early December. Free mp3s are available on their website.

As for live gigs, the band has a few this fall, all of which are listed on the band’s website (franklinkite.com). The most convenient to transportation-disabled Harvard students may be their show at O’Brien’s Pub, a few blocks from the Harvard Ave. Green Line T stop. Though doors open at 8:30 p.m., the band performs later in the evening and doesn’t expect to go on before 11:00 p.m.

—Henry M. Cowles

John Scofield Plays the Music of Ray Charles

Thursday-Friday, Oct. 6-7. 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. both nights. Regattabar, Charles Hotel. Oct. 6 tickets $25, Oct. 7 tickets $28.

Guitarist John Scofield is no stranger to the Cambridge jazz haven Regattabar, but when he returns to the Charles Hotel’s fabled lounge for a two-night stand, he will abandon his usual frantic and funky post-bop for the deep soul of Ray Charles’ songbook.

Scofield, whose seamless improvisational fluidity and cerebral guitar playing have made him one of the most respected jazz guitarists of this era, has recently recorded a tribute album to the late Charles entitled “That’s What I Say,” and is now touring in support of the record.

Having interacted with some of the most creative minds in modern jazz, from Mingus to Miles to Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Scofield has the experience and chops to make a reworking of Charles’ canon exciting.

On his website, though Scofield acknowledges his aversion to most theme projects, he enthusiastically cites his natural affinity for Charles’ work as the motivation behind this venture.

Primarily a solo artist, Scofield often puts together new all-star casts for each of his projects, most recently enlisting bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bill Stewart for the John Scofield Trio.

For “That’s What I Say,” Scofield brought keyboardist Larry Goldings, legendary bassman Willie Weeks, and co-conspirator/producer/drummer Steve Jordan together to support a legion of remarkable guest vocalists, including Mac Rebbenack (Dr. John), Mavis Staples, John Mayer, and David “Fathead” Newman.

Scofield’s tour band, however, comprises a completely different set of musicians: Meyer Statham on vocals and trombone, John Benitez on bass, Gary Versace on Hammond B-3 and Wurlitzer and Steve Hass on drums.

And, of course, Scofield himself is such a captivating presence that this promises to be a great night for jazz. Get those tickets quick, though; with the success of Jamie Foxx’s biopic role, Ray Charles’ music seems to be quite in demand these days.

—Nathaniel Naddaff-Hafrey

Liz Carlisle

Saturday, Oct. 8. 8 p.m. Steeple Coffeehouse, 15 Common St., Southborough.

For fans of the mainstream yet faithfully traditional country sounds of Sara Evans or Gillian Welch, Harvard’s own Elizabeth W. Carlisle ’06 (she goes by Liz, thank you) will come as a breath of fresh air rooted in the sounds of her many influences. “I’m a country songwriter, but also very much a part of the acoustic scene,” says Carlisle, a Folklore and Mythology Concentrator whose focus is in ethno-musicology and an inhabitant of one of the few singles in Old Quincy.

Liz will be playing a number of shows this fall, in support of her recent album, “Five Star Day,” which is available on iTunes and through links on her website, lizcarlisle.com (which also contains mp3 samples, an extended biography, a tour schedule, and a number of photo galleries).

On October 8th, Liz will play at the Steeple Coffeehouse in Southborough, Mass. (accessible via Commuter Rail, she assures us), while her next Cambridge performance falls on December 5th at the Cantab Lounge. Be sure to check Liz’s website for updates and samples of her music, and head out sometime this fall to support Harvard’s hottest undergraduate acousticountry crooner.

—Henry M. Cowles

Music Listings

Friday, Oct. 7. The Whirling Dervishes of Istanbul. A spiritual ceremony-cum-rhythmic dance put on by one of Turkey’s premier ensembles, accompanied by live music and chanted poetry. 8:00 p.m. Sanders Theatre. $20-37. Tickets available at the Harvard Box Office.

Saturday, Oct. 8. The Harvard Piano Society presents the 2005 Fall Concert. Eine kleine Nachtmusik from some of Harvard’s most accomplished Klaviermeisters. 7:00 p.m. Lowell Lecture Fall. Free. Tickets are available at the Harvard Box Office.

Sunday, Oct. 9. The Open Mic Coffee House. Performances from Dunsterites and others in the Harvard community. 8:30-11 p.m. Dunster Junior Common Room. Free and open to the public.

Friday, Oct. 14. The Continuation of Ottoman Music. Mehmet Ali Sanlzkol brings new techniques and media to traditional Ottoman music. 7:30 p.m. Paine Hall. $15; students and seniors $10. Tickets available at the Harvard Box Office or online.

Sunday, Oct. 16. E. Power Biggs Celebrity Organ Recital. Herman Jordaan, a star South African organist, will play a solo recital on Harvard’s 1958 D.A. Flentrop Organ. 7:30 p.m. Adolphus Busch Hall. Tickets $15; students and seniors $10. Tickets available at the Harvard Box Office or online.

Tuesday, Oct. 18. Freefall New York Concert. Harvard student band Freefall takes their act on the road with a free show in the Big Apple. 10 p.m. Alphabet Lounge, NYC. Free and open to the public.

Saturday, Oct. 29. Copland, Stravinsky, Concerto Competition. The Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, the oldest orchestra in the country, kicks off its 2005-2006 season with several blockbuster pieces, including Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. Sanders Theatre. Tickets $12-16; students $8-12. Tickets available online, at the Harvard Box Office, or by subscription.

Sunday, Oct. 30. Wynton Marsalis. One of the great jazz trumpeters of our day, Marsalis brings a small ensemble to the Sanders stage. 5:00 p.m. Sanders Theatre. $38-58. Tickets available online or at the Harvard Box Office.

Friday, Nov. 4. Blodgett Chamber Music Series. The Ying Quartet, featuing Bob Levin on piano, perform chamber works by Beethoven and others. 8:00 p.m. Paine Hall. Free. Tickets available at the Harvard Box Office.

Friday, Nov. 18. Wu Man and Ensemble. Organized around Chen Yi’s mesmerizing “Ancient Dances,” Wu Man brings her prodigal skill on the pipa, an ancient instrument similar to the lute, in a gripping multimedia performance. 8:00 p.m. Sanders Theatre. $23-38. Tickets available at the Harvard Box Office.

Friday, Dec. 2—Saturday Dec. 3. Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Haydn. The Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra takes on such classics as Haydn’s “Te Deum” and Beethoven’s “Fidelio Overture,” accompanied by the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus. Sanders Theatre. Tickets $12-16; students $8-12. Tickets available at the Harvard Box Office, online, or by subscription.

—Will B. Payne