Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain

Marc Ribot / Matana Roberts / Cian Nugent

Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain continues this evening featuring the acclaimed guitarist Marc Ribot. Ribot, who helped organize and performed in the first ever ISSUE Project Room concert, has been called "a master of introverted ironies" by The Village Voice. Over three decades and 19 solo albums, his music has explored diverse genres including Haitian classical music, free jazz, American roots music, and composition for symphony orchestra. He returns tonight for an evening featuring the dynamic saxophonist, composer and improviser Matana Roberts, and the Irish guitarist Cian Nugent, whose striking instrumental folk draws on acoustic Americana traditions.

Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain– a two-month festival celebrating ISSUE Project Room's 10th anniversary– revisits seminal past projects and initiates new relationships with over 60 artists working across disciplines of sound, dance, performance, and literature. Presented as a series of 24 evenings of provocative double billings, Ten Years Alive blurs the boundaries between divergent disciplines and practices and celebrating the vibrancy of the Brooklyn experimental arts community.

New Jersey-born guitarist Marc Ribot grew up playing in garage bands while studying with his mentor, Haitian classical guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus. After moving to New York City in 1978, Ribot was a member of the soul/punk Realtones, and of John Lurie's Lounge Lizards (1984-89). Between 1979 and 1985, Ribot also worked as a side musician with Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Chuck Berry, and many others. Rolling Stone points out that Ribot “helped Tom Waits refine a new, weird Americana on 1985's “Rain Dogs”, and since then he's become the go-to guitar guy for roots-music adventurers including Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp.” Additional recording credits include Soloman Burke, Marianne Faithful, Arto Lindsay, Caetano Veloso, Laurie Anderson, Susana Baca, McCoy Tyner, The Jazz Passengers, John Lurie’s The Lounge Lizards, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Cibo Matto, and more recently Joe Henry, Allen Toussaint, Norah Jones, Akiko Yano, The Black Keys, Jeff Bridges, Jolie Holland, Elton John/Leon Russell and many others. Ribot performed the first ever concert at ISSUE Project Room, a special concert curated by Ribot and Fiol honoring the work of Franz Casseus, the father of Haitian Classical music.

Matana Roberts is a dynamic saxophonist, composer and improviser, who tries to expose in her music the mystical roots and spiritual traditions of American creative expression. She has appeared on recordings and in performances in the U.S., Europe, and Canada with her own ensembles as well as with the jazz trio Sticks And Stones, of which she was a founding and core member. Roberts has also played in and with: Black Rock Coalition founder Greg Tate's Burnt Sugar; Reg E. Gaines and Savion Glover's homage project to John Coltrane; The Oliver Lake Big Band; and The Julius Hemphill Sextet and Merce Cunningham dance. She has recorded as a side person with groups as diverse as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, TV On The Radio, Savath & Savalas, Thee Silver Mt Zion, and sound artist Daniel Given's Day Clear/Day Dark. Matana feels strongly that her music must not only reflect the many colors and moods of universal human emotions, but also document, critique, testify and respond to socio-economic, historical, and cultural inequalities in her own country and around the world. Roberts was and ISSUE Project Room Artist-In-Residence in 2009.

Cian Nugent is a guitar player and composer from Dublin, Ireland who combines personal passions, pre-war blues, traditional musics, late 1960s & ’70s singer-songwriters, jazz ambitions, modern composition and the Takoma school into a deeply personal style. His music boasts an orchestrated and fully instrumental sound both playful and eerie. Nugent has toured with Jack Rose, Glenn Jones, Micah Blue Smaldone, Ben Reynolds, Nalle, The Family Elan, George Stavis, Jozef van Wissem, C Joynes, Peter Delaney, Thinguma*jigSaw and James Blackshaw throughout Europe and the United States.

Photo: Marc Ribot at ISSUE's inaugural performance, April 2003

Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain is made possible, in part, by “Lead Presenter” support from Robert Bielecki and HBO; “Festival Sponsor” support from Robert Longo, Margo Somma & John Hamilton, and Sixpoint Brewery; with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and with the support of ISSUE Project Room’s Members.

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