Saturday, February 21, 2009

Digging a Bit Deeper

Guitarist Eric Hofbauer, who appears Sunday February 22 at The Russell House as a member of saxophonist Charlie Kohlhase's Quartet, has built quite a resume since setting up shop in Boston a dozen years ago. He's co-founder of the creative music ensemble The Blueprint Project and has recorded with vocalist Rebecca Shrimpton and guitarist Garrison Fewell. Their 2007 duo CD, "The Lady of Khartoum" (Creative Nation Music) is notable for a number of reasons, e.g. the blend of disparate styles such as Persian music, blues, West African music, straight-ahead jazz and the sounds of Sun Ra (truly a musical world of its own.)

Another notable aspect of the recording is that the artists (and label) are donating 10% of the profit from the sales of the CD to Mercy Corps, an Oregon-based relief fund that works throughout the world (in their words) "to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities." Fewell ( a distinguished musician and educator also based in Boston) and Hofbauer have designated their money to go to the Darfur region of Sudan.

As I wrote above, Hofbauer appears with Charlie Kohlhase - the concert takes place at 3 p.m. in The Russell House, 350 High Street. The concert is free and open to the public.

Hofbauer will be back in Connecticut on Saturday March 21 performing not only in a duo setting with Fewell but also with his new group The Infrared Band. They'll be hitting the stage at 8 p.m. in Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor Street in Hartford. The Infrared band is a quartet whose debut CD, "Myth Understanding" (Creative Nations Music) is a band with a good sense of humor as well as great musical intelligence. The CD arrived in my mailbox today and it's low-key yet probing (and challenging) music is quite delightful. Click on the label name above to find out more about the recordings. For information about Real Art Ways, go to or call 860-232-1006.

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