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Skidmore College

Fellowship Band at Zankel March 22

March 18, 2013

Considered one of the world's best drummers, composer Brian Blade brings his Fellowship Band to Skidmore's Zankel Music Center this week. Mark your calendars!

Drummer and composer Brian Blade’s Fellowship Band will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, March 22, at Skidmore’s Zankel Music Center.

Blade has played alongside musical luminaries from Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris to Chick Corea and Daniel Lanois. Considered by many critics to be the most important contemporary jazz band in the modern world, his group, the Fellowship Band, consists of Jon Cowherd (piano), Christopher Thomas (bass), Melvin Butler (tenor sax), Myron Walden (alto sax), and Blade (drums).

Blade formed Brian Blade Fellowship in 1998 with pianist Jon Cowherd. Also joining the group were saxophonists Myron Walden and Melvin Butler, guitarist Jeff Parker, pedal steel guitarist Dave Easley, and bassist Chris Thomas. This group released a self-titled debut album before replacing Parker with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel for 1999’s Perceptual. Easley departed before 2008’s Season of Changes, which was released under the name Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band.

While continuing to work with the Fellowship Band, Blade has been a member of Wayne Shorter’s most recent quartet. He has continued working as a studio musician, recording with Bill Frisell, Ellis Marsalis, Norah Jones, Bob Dylan, Dorothy Scott, Billy Childs, Chris Potter and David Binney. He has also played with Herbie Hancock and has been involved with guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel in the duo Friendly Travelers, who released a self-titled debut album in 2007.

The Fellowship revolves around the writing of Blade and Cowherd, whose concepts tend toward the pastoral, elegant, and cathartic. Colors float in and out of focus; Blade and Cowherd score sounds like pedal steel guitar, harmonium and bass clarinet. The Fellowship Band will be playing tracks from their newest album, Landmarks, during the current March tour, which is taking the band from New Orleans to Chicago to Saratoga Springs.

Admission to the March 22 Fellowship Band performance is free for students and children, $8 adults, and $5 seniors and Skidmore community. For advance reservations click here or call the Zankel box office (518) 580-5321 for more information. The Zankel Music Center is wheelchair accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired. Click here for more information.

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