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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of events to watch out for the week, including our editor's pick, the Matt Haimovitz, who will be playing a solo acoustic gig at Nietzsche's on Friday, March 13th. As always, check our on-line events calendar for a constantly updated and comprehensive listing of what's going on!

Editor's Pick: Matt Haimovitz

Friday, March 13

This Friday (March 13), cellist extraordinaire Matt Haimovitz returns to Nietzsche’s for a solo acoustic gig. Haimovitz has personally done more than any other big-name classical music performer working today to bridge the gap between the traditional classical music audience and the vastly more numerous audiences for popular music. From his debut in 1984 at the age of 13—with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic—Haimovitz has performed as a soloist with many of the greatest conductors and orchestras in the world. He has appeared with the English Chamber Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim, the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin, the Cleveland Orchestra with Charles Dutoit, the Berlin Philharmonic with James Levine, and the New York Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta. Haimovitz has also enjoyed a successful career as a solo recitalist in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, and performed as a chamber music player with distinguished musicians like Leon Fleisher, Rudolf Serkin, Leonard Rose, Isaac Stern, Shlomo Mintz, Pinchas Zukerman, and Mstislav Rostropovich. While still a teenager, Haimovitz was signed to a 10-year contract with Deutsche Grammophon, recording both classics of the standard cello repertoire as well as cutting-edge contemporary compositions. In 2000, Haimovitz co-founded Oxingale Records with his wife, the composer Luna Pearl Woolf.

Haimovitz started taking his solo act on the road a decade ago, from his base in Montreal where he is professor of cello at McGill University, driving around North America by car. Wanting to return a sense of spontaneity and intimacy to the classical musical experience, Haimovitz started playing gigs in the kinds of venues—such as bars, restaurants, rock, and jazz clubs—that have not been the home to classical music since Johann Sebastian Bach played in Zimmermann’s Coffee House in Leipzig back in 1729. Haimovitz began his “Anthem” tour on September 11, 2003, eventually bringing the works of contemporary American composers—including his own arrangement of Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner”—to all 50 states, including a packed house at Nietzsche’s on a very warm June night back in 2004.

Five years after his very successful “Anthem” tour, Matt Haimovitz has just launched “Anthem II,” celebrating the recent electoral results in the US with a signature solo tour reconciling the musical communities of his two home countries—the US and Canada—exploring the cultural diversity of North America by featuring recent works by both American and Canadian composers. By phone from the Festival of the Arts in Boca Raton, Haimovitz spoke about some of the works he will perform on Friday. “A pair of works by Elliott Carter, who just celebrated his 100th birthday, were the musical inspiration for the entire tour,” he says. “Figment I and Figment II ‘Remembering Mr. Ives’ create a world in themselves with Carter’s imaginative use of harmonies. It took me a while to fully appreciate the music of Carter, but having studied and then recorded his Cello Sonata a few months ago, I’ve discovered the lyrical side of Carter’s music and think of him as a sustaining bridge to the music of Bach and Brahms.” Haimovitz will also play the 1995 piece Ricordanza, by the American Christopher Rouse, who is best known for his large-scale orchestral works. “Ricordanza is based on the XXV of the Goldberg Variations by Bach, and is sparse and slow, a real elegy, and a very un-Rouse-like sounding piece.”

Haimovitz might be considered an authority on the Goldberg Variations, having been the cellist for a string trio arrangement of the work, recently released on CD that is garnering favorable reviews. The music of Bach himself will not be neglected. “Saraband, a new work by my wife Luna Pearl Woolf will have its US premiere at Nietzsche’s,” said Haimovitz. “It’s a haunting and beautiful work, about the idea of an unfinished life, and I might follow it with some Bach.”

—jan jezioro

7-9:30pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / www.nietzsches.com). $12

Friday, March 13

Sixpin

This Friday (March 13) the Niagara Falls-based rockers Sixpin will take the stage at the Tralf. Coincidentally, this is the second Friday the 13th in a row; befitting for a band that produces such a gritty and ominous sound. Behind the large and powerful sounds of their music, Sixpin shows real emotion in their lyrics with words that often deal in heartbreak and compromised relationships. The band’s bio reads, “Throughout life, the connection between people can become broken by circumstance. Love and relationships can be destroyed by the distance between souls, and when the ability to re-connect is lost we drift apart. In order to fight through, a common ground must be established. The music of Sixpin is dedicated to creating that common ground; that place where everyone can feel that they are a part of something great.” These guys put on a great show and are playing at a great venue, so if you like fast-paced hard-rocking music, the Tralf should be your destination this Friday.

—justin sondel

8pm. Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / www.tralfmusichall.com). Ages 21+

Saturday, March 14

The Felice Brothers

Bob Dylan, the Band, Van Morrison, and Mercury Rev all found musical solace in the Catskill region of New York. The Felice Brothers—Ian, Simone, and James Felice—are the newest group to fall in with that tradition. Blending Americana imagery with folk, country, gospel, and blues, the Felice Brothers invoke a timelessness unseen in many of their contemporaries. After self-releasing two records, the band signed to Conor Oberst’s label, Team Love, and released their self titled third record which has received international acclaim and has led them into touring with various indie rock titans. Still, the Felice Brothers remain a different breed than most, and not since Mercury Rev’s Deserters Songs has a band channeled “that old weird America” better. The Felice Brothers perform at Mohawk Place on Saturday (March 14). Taylor Hollingsworth will open the show.

—eric boucher

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. $14

Sunday, March 15

Poet in Process

It’s a long journey from the Canadian Music Fest in Toronto to the vaunted SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Longer still if you’re 4,000 miles away from home to begin with. So Poet in Process, a quartet from Barcelona, Spain, makes what seems an unlikely stop this Sunday (MArch 15) at the Mohawk Place on their way to their SXSW debut. (Truth is, they’ve got a friend in town who arranged the gig.) The band—singer Lynne Marti, bassist Naxto Arola, guitarist Francisco Guisado, and drummer Dani K-t-na—has gained a significant profile on the Continent since forming in 2002 with supporting gigs for Muse and Sterophonics, a track featured on the film Hellboy II, and some high-profile fans in the likes of fashion designer Caroline Herrara. The band’s music is moody, with powerful melodies and affecting lyrics delivered engagingly by Marti. See them now—they may not pass this way again. Local support comes from DJ Mark Wisz.

—geoff kelly

7pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. $5

Tuesday, March 17

Concert From the Heart

This Tuesday (St. Patrick’s Day, March 17) a benefit concert will be held at Kleinhan’s Music Hall featuring some of Buffalo’s most recognizable acts. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Lance Diamond (pictured), Van Taylor and his international touring band Taylor Made Jazz, the Historic Colored Musicians Club—represented by the George Scott Big Band— and musical arranger Phil Sims with special guests the Old School B Boys with Mark Mazur and his Little Big Band, are all coming together to raise money for the City Mission and the Food Bank of WNY. Part of the proceeds will go into a scholarship fund for a lucky local high school musician looking to study music at the collegiate level. There will be a pre-concert mingle with music by the Bar Room Buzzards and ballroom-style dancing afterward with the Jim Tudini Big Band.Come out in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day and show your generosity to a very worthy cause while being entertained by some great performers.

—justin sondel

7pm. Kleinhans Music Hall, 71 Symphony Circle. $25 at box office, contact 885-5000 or www.bpo.org.

Tuesday, March 17

Bitter Tears

Some may remember being blown away when the Bitter Tears opened for Califone at Mohawk Place two years back. A band like none other, the Bitter Tears are theatrical and totally over the top—and consider that a good thing. Hailing from Chicago, the band is a twisted backwoods freak show whose music ranges from country to big band to the avant garde. Lyrical themes touch on revenge, guilt, sinful living, and just plain bizarre stuff. Live they are unpredicatable but never boring. Utilizing woodwinds, brass, and strings along with the standard guitar, bass, and drums lineup, the Bitter Tears are a band that’s difficult to describe and equally difficult to forget. They’ll perform at Mohawk Place on St. Patty’s Day, (Tuesday, March 17). Also playing are the Dense and Tracy Morrow & the Magi Chippie.

—eric boucher

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. $5

Tuesday, March 10

Morrissey

Anyone who came of age in the angst-ridden new wave of the 1980’s surely counts Morrissey as one of the icons of that era. As lead singer of the Smiths, Morrissey commiserated with fans over broken relationships, heartache, and pain. His influence has inspired many performers who followed in the path of the Smiths and he has been referred to as “one of the most influential artists ever” by NME. On Thursday (March 19), Morrissey will take the stage at UB’s Center for the Arts in support of his latest solo release Years of Refusal. This is the artist’s tenth solo release since the breakup of the Smiths in 1987. The tour got off to a rocky start when the first three shows were cancelled due to illness, and then there was an interrogation by US immigration, but in a statement on his website Morrissey proclaimed: “I have survived the interrogation of Atlanta’s Immigration officials and Myrtle Beach shall have me tonight, and the world from then onwards ... if the world can take it!.....Be ready for anything!”

—rose mattrey

8pm. UB Center for the Arts, North Campus, Amherst. $35-$40 at 645-ARTS, www.ubcfa.com or Ticketmaster locations