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The programme starts with the documentary John Zorn: 1910-1917 by the French director Mathieu Amalric who takes the viewer on a journey to explore the New York composer's world. The JACK Quartet plays the opening concert of the series at the ‘s-Hertogenbosch synagogue with string quartets The Alchemist, Necronomicon, The Unseen (world premiere) as well as the quintet Obscure Objects of Desire, featuring pianist Steve Gosling. To watch the documentary and attend the JACK Quartet concert you will need a Zorn XL pass.
Drummer Kenny Grohowski, cellist Jay Campbell, pianist Steve Gosling, vibraphonist Al Lipowski, and bassist Shanir Blumenkranz perform compositions such as Naked Lunch, Exterminating Angel and Scaramouche in Music for Rhythm Section. John Zorn himself will subsequently sit at the large organ of the impressive St. John's Cathedral for an improvisational set.
The guitarists Julian Lage and Gyan Riley together with the cellists Erik Friedlander and Jay Campbell will play some of Zorn's 300 Bagatelles in the magnificent Statenzaal of Het Noordbrabants Museum. Next up is a concert of his 'historic' Madrigals performed by the singers Jane Sheldon, Elizabeth Bates, Sarah Brailey, Mellissa Hughes, Rachel Calloway, and Kirsten Sollek in the Grote Kerk.
Pianist Brian Marsella and the all-star group Nova Express (drummer Joey Baron, keyboardist John Medeski, bassist Trevor Dunn, and vibraphonist Kenny Wollesen) create pyrotechnics in Verkadefabriek where they perform part of the 300-piece book of Bagatelles.
Specifically for November Music, John Zorn enters into collaboration with the most important ensemble for contemporary music in The Netherlands, Asko|Schönberg. They will play compositions like Orphee, The Aristos, and Bateau Ivre under conductor David Fulmer. The ensemble is joined by soloists Jay Campbell, Steve Gosling, and Ikue Mori.
Afterwards Simulacrum with John Medeski (keyboards), Matt Hollenberg (guitar), and Kenny Grohowski (drums) presents a mixture of noise, metal, jazz, and minimalism in the renovated Willem II Fabriek. Most of the works are from Zorn's recent album The Garden of Earthly Delights, inspired by Hieronymus Bosch's world-famous painting.
John Zorn in ‘-Hertogenbosch closes with Essential Cinema. The American all-round phenomenon will take to the stage in person to combine his love for music with an intense fascination for the silver screen. Ikue Mori (electronics), Kenny Wollesen (drums), Trevor Dunn (bas), and John Zorn (saxophone, electronics) will create a live soundtrack for several short films including The Woodman’s Dream, OZ outtakes, and Aleph.