The Heineken Jazz Festival in 2013 will have a Masada Marathon, with twelve groups around John Zorn
July 12 2012
Zorn is one of the fundamental contemporary jazz musicians and has impulsed the most innovative music through Tzadik his record company
John Zorn, a fundamental contemporary jazz musician, will turn 60 next year, on September 2. On that occasion he has prepared several Masada Marathons over the year. Three will take place in Europe during the month of July. One in San Sebastian, in the 48th Heineken Jazz Festival.
A Masada Marathon is the successive performance of 12 groups, all belonging to the Tzadik “team”, which is the record and editorial company Zorn founded many years ago to encourage and help avant garde musicians, groups and creative music projects. Tzadik was born and bred in New York and is inextricably linked to this city, and to the Central European Jewish tradition, but now Tzadik welcomes recordings of musicians from all nations and all continents. The careful editing, the talent of its musicians and the advanced concepts makes Tzadik a record label of reference in contemporary jazz.
The fact is that John Zorn has become the standard paradigm of creative jazz and for this festival he has always been unreachable. But at last it will be able to happen with a project as ambitious as the music of Zorn.
Zorn has submitted a complete project, with the list of twelve groups of his surroundings and that of Tzadik. Since there is still a year for this event and changes are inevitable, it is premature to announce and the details of the project.
John Zorn is a prolific and versatile artist: composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. His name appears as a performer, composer or producer on hundreds of albums. He has cultivated numerous genres: jazz, rock, hardcore punk, classical, klezmer, improvised music and soundtracks.
He is an essential figure in the culture of New York, his hometown, and was one of the main leaders of the movement emerged in the 90′s around the Knitting Factory. He is also the man behind the revival of klezmer, the music that blends jazz with the Jewish music of Central Europe.
Although he is best known for his klezmer band Masada and his punk jazz band Naked City jazz he has led dozens of projects and has participated in many others.
Zorn began to attract attention when in 1985 he published The Big Gundown, a particular vision of the music of Ennio Morricone. His interest in films was clear when he participated in an album tribute to Jean-Luc Godard that appeared in France in 1986 and entitled The Godard Fans.
Since the beginning of his career, Zorn has been close to some of the most restless musicians in the jazz scene, as Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell, Ray Drummond, Kenny Dorham and Sonny Clark.
Zorn is a composer of extraordinary ability demonstrated in three of his extensive works: Filmworks a series of film music, which has already reached 22 albums, Masada Book, a monumental effort of 200 songs that appeared in 1995, and The Book of Angels, 300 songs made between 2004 and 2005. The last two works are part of efforts to recover Zorn’s musical heritage through klezmer. Since 1994, the Japanese company DIW began publishing ten albums of Masada, a quartet inspired by Ornette Coleman and formed by John Zorn (alto sax), Joey Baron (drums), Dave Douglas (trumpet) and Greg Cohen (bass).
This quartet has gone down in history as “Acoustic Masada,” in contrast to the “electric” Zorn created later. In 2009, the acoustic Masada reformed with Uri Caine and Cyro Baptista.
The Electric Masada has Zorn, Baptista, Baron and Trevor Dunn with Ribot (bass), Ikue Mori (electronics), Jamie Saft (keyboards) and Kenny Wollesen (drums).
In 1995, Zorn founded Tzadik together with the Japanese jazz producer Kazunori Sugiyama, a record label, in order to promote experimental music and distribute the extensive work of Zorn.
With the Masada Marathon, John Zorn established a new brand of musical creativity and makes him in his own right, one of the most important musicians of the XXI century.