Oran Etkin Trio featuring Yacouba Sissoko
High-spirited Israeli jazz/world clarinetist Oran Etkin and his Trio, featuring master kora player Yacouba Sissiko, will heat up Frenchtown June 11
ArtYard and the Frenchtown Bookshop are excited to announce that internationally acclaimed jazz/world artist Oran Etkin returns to Frenchtown with his Trio, featuring master kora player Yacouba Sissiko, as part of the Concerts at ArtYard series.
The Oran Etkin Trio featuring Yacouba Sissoko will play the 162-seat McDonnell Theater at 8 PM on Saturday, June 11. The following day, Etkin will return with Timbalooloo, a music education program, for an outdoor children’s performance.
Oran Etkin’s intense musical passions on the clarinet, bass-clarinet, and saxophone cross cultural and generational boundaries. As an example, his album “Gathering Light” includes Louis Armstrong’s “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South,” a Japanese lullaby, an Israeli ballad Etkin learned from his father, West African grooves, and a funky original. It’s no wonder the New York Times (Nate Chinen) said that he “makes mobility seem as natural as breathing.”
Etkin has been described as “ebullient” by the New York Times and “composer of eminent individuality” by jazz saxophone great Yusef Lateef. Etkin’s duo concert with Sullivan Fortner in Paris was chosen as one of the top six musical highlights of the year by Libération, which described it as “a concert of weightlessness, class, spark, inspiration and sharing. Magic uninterrupted for two hours. The crowd… went wild. For such is the music of Etkin: sensitive to the exchange with the audience.”
Etkin performed last fall in Frenchtown at ArtYard’s inaugural Aqualumina Festival alongside Brian Sanders’ JUNK in a site-specific outdoor dance performance illuminating refugee narratives and kindling light in a time of darkness and displacement. Etkin’s expressive clarinet led festival-goers on a journey along the Frenchtown Rail Trail as he played in the woods and banks of a creek.
The concert will feature Malian kora player Yacouba Sissoko. The kora is a harp-like 21-stringed instrument often featured in West African music. Sissoko has performed with Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, and Leni Stern, as well as a host of well-known African musicians. With his own band, He has performed in venues from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center to the Monterey Jazz Festival.
The concerts are part of the opening season of programming at the McDonnell Theater, the heart of ArtYard’s new building at 13 Front St., a welcoming communal resource and vessel channeling the power of art to unsettle, engage, bridge divides, and spark unexpected moments of arresting beauty. The 162-seat theater has state-of-the-art projection, lighting, and surround sound and will be the site of music, film screenings, dance, theatre, artist talks, and more.
Music at ArtYard is curated by Scott Sheldon, co-owner of the Frenchtown Bookshop and the former presenter of The Sanctuary Concerts in Chatham. Over 15 years, Scott presented more than 300 concerts, including Judy Collins, Suzanne Vega, Marc Cohn, Rosanne Cash, Jimmy Webb, the Roches, Janis Ian, Josh Ritter, and Nick Lowe.
Proof of vaccination, valid identification and masks are required for this performance. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before the performance start time to park, check-in, and find your seat.