Great artists give free concerts at New England Conservatory—simply because they teach here.

“I’ll admit that at first it sounds a bit like an instrument joke: ‘What could be better than one jazz violist? Two violists!’”
—Tanya Kalmanovitch

Following performances in New York, Tanya Kalmanovitch brings her new two-viola quartet to Boston. The viola is a rare bird in jazz and improvised music. But Kalmanovitch and fellow violist Mat Maneri often collaborate in performances in their home base of New York. They now join forces with Welsh pianist Huw Warren and Austrian bassist Peter Herbert, who enjoy frequent collaborations at European festivals.

2014 marks the first time the four have performed as a quartet. In this project, the quartet will play sets of fully improvised music.

Tanya Kalmanovitch writes about the birth of this quartet.

Says Warren, “Working with such intuitive improvisers is a natural and authentic way to explore the possibilities of this new sound-world.” The project was born from Warren and Kalmanovitch’s frequent collaborations over the past decade at the Guildhall School’s summer jazz workshops in London, UK. Pleased with the results, the two decided to extend their collaboration to a quartet.

All four musicians share deep roots in classical music and jazz. Added to the mix are the diverse influences that have marked these musicians’ careers: Arabic music, North and South Indian classical music, the works of maverick Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal, and the hymns and folksongs of Warren’s native Wales.

Warren’s 2013 ECM release Quercus (with June Tabor and Iain Ballamy) continues the pianist’s career-long bent for bringing old songs—hymns, folksongs, jazz standards—into a delicate new light. The Observer’s Dave Gelly described the record as “one of the most surprising and beautiful pieces of work I have heard in a long time.”

Since these are the first performances by this quartet, we're offering a teaser of previous work by the two violists, Kalmanovitch and Maneri.

Welsh arts councilsThis project received support from Wales Arts International and the Arts Council of Wales.

Date: February 2, 2014 - 8:00:PM
Price: Free
Location: NEC’s Jordan Hall

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