Exploring Chamber Jazz from 1937-1942

5th September 2011

Since last December I've been developing some new arrangements based on the work of three bands active in the late 1930s and early 1940s: the Alec Wilder Octet, the John Kirby Sextet, and the Raymond Scott Quintette. We'll be playing some of these arrangements with the core orchestra plus bassist Todd Sickafoose and guitarist Avi Bortnick on Friday September 9 at Jalopy in Brooklyn and Friday October 28 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I'm very excited about this band. The music we're exploring from these three bandleaders is adventurous, ambitious, strange, and beautiful. There is a lot of commonality between these three bands but they each created their own unique worlds. These bandleaders were unafraid to bridge jazz and classical domains into seamless works of art. We hope you'll be able to see this band live as we fine tune it.

Here's an Alec Wilder Octet original from 1941 for harpsichord, flute, clarinet, oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon, bass, and drums. (The painting is David Hockney's "Interior with Lamp".)

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Fall Tour Dates

12th August 2011

For the first time since our Boston debut in 2006, we'll be heading outside of NYC to play a few selected cities along the east coast this fall. The talented folks at Lure Design created beautiful silkscreen posters for these shows influenced by posters from the Savoy Ballroom, Cotton Club and the Federal Theatre Project/WPA Vaudeville posters of the 1920s. A limited number of these are now on sale at our STORE page.

Friday 8/26 Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia PA
Friday 9/9 Jalopy, Brooklyn NY
Tuesday 10/18 Regattabar, Cambridge MA
Wednesday 11/16 Kennedy Center, Washington DC

You can find more information and ticket links are on the EVENTS page.

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Ghost Train Orchestra returns to Barbes

16th July 2011

Last night we returned to our old favorite Barbes in Brooklyn for a live performance with (finally!) our new album Hothouse Stomp in tow with Marty Ehrlich sitting in on clarinet. In the second set we played all new arrangements of the late 1930's adventures of Raymond Scott, John Kirby, and Alec Wilder with Michael Bates sitting in on upright bass. Above you can see how we manage to squeeze in there. Mazz and I were laughing that one of the advantages of being on the far side at Barbes is we get our own personal drink table...it's the little things in life. Great blog post and pictures from Rob Hill here.

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GTO featured on NPR's All Things Considered

10th July 2011

Today the Ghost Train Orchestra was featured on NPR's All Things Considered. Patrick Jarenwattanan spoke to host Guy Raz about jazz tribute albums. You can hear the segment on NPR's jazz blog and hear a preview of our album Hothouse Stomp.

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