Two of the most exciting innovators of the trumpet Nate Wooley and Mazen Kerbaj will present an evening of solos and duos. This will be Mazen Kerbaj’s first performance at ISSUE.
Nate Wooley was born in 1974 in Clatskanie, Oregon, a town of 2,000 people in the timber country of the Pacific Northwestern corner of the U.S. He began playing trumpet professionally with his father, a big band saxophonist, at the age of 13. His time in Oregon, a place of relative quiet and slow time reference, instilled in Nate a musical aesthetic that has informed all of his music making for the past 20 years, but in no situation more than his solo trumpet performances.
Mazen Kerbaj is many things: a musician, a producer of comic books, a visual artist, a voice for Lebanese music, and a proponent of the fleeting nature of live and improvised music. He came to international attention in the last ten years through his founding of the Irtijal Festival in Beirut, which was followed by the record label, Al Maslakh and now Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu, which features music by Lebanese musicians almost exclusively.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Mazen led the charge of a small group of phenomenally gifted and individual musical voices which have played a major part in the re-shaping of the world improvisational language, among them guitarist Sharif Sehnaoui, saxophonist Christine Abdelnour, and bassist/electronicist Raed Yassin.
Kerbaj’s own trumpet playing holds its own special place within the current improvisational practices on the instrument. He sidesteps the two predominant branches of practice of the new generation, those of virtuosity and anti-virtuosity, and finds a third path in which the horn truly becomes alien, speaking a language of its own.