AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 36 YEARS
Pain Relief Beyond Belief
Wed June 25 8 pm all ages FREE SHOW!
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, University of Pittsburgh (the building with the fountain, between Carnegie Library and Posvar)
with opener Scientific Soul (Nathan Frink + Univ of Pgh friends playing chamberjazz)
The Flat Earth Society is a Belgian big band ensemble led by Peter Vermeersch. They mix the rich Belgian brass band tradition with topsy-turvy creativity. FES was founded in 1998, when no-nonsense artist, former architect, clarinettist, saxophonist, keyboard player, composer and producer Peter Vermeersch, wanted to explore new horizons after having convinced music lovers all over the word with Maximalist! and the cult legend band X-legged Sally (who had a release on the Knitting Factory label). Vermeersch, who worked with international artists like Fred Frith and wrote music for the Arditti Quartet and Prima La Musica, assembled a pack of inspired and inimitable muscians, forming a big band which has nowadays become much more than just a big band. Peter Vermeersch included, the band now consists of a permanent group of 15 musicians: Stefaan Blancke (trombone), Benjamin Boutreur (alto sax), Berlinde Deman (tuba), Luc Van Lieshout (the trumpeter from postpunk legends Tuxedomoon!), Bart Maris (trumpet), Michel Mast (tenor sax), Marc Meeuwissen (trombone), Kristof Roseeuw (double bass), Bruno Vansina (alt & baritone sax), Peter Vandenberghe (piano & keyboards), Teun Verbruggen (drums & dustbingrooves), Pierre Vervloesem (guitar), Wim Willaert (accordeon & keyboards), Tom Wouters (clarinet, vibraphone & vocals). Occasionally this group is completed by guest singer Esther Lybeert. In the past they worked with various guest musicians: Uri Caine, Toots Thielemans, Mike Patton (Fantômas), Jimi Tenor, John Watts and more recently Ernst Reijseger (of ICP Orchestra). The music of FES, varying from strictly written sheet music to liberating improvisation, is 95% homemade. Streaks of music of other composers are used as inspiration, frequently arranged, adapted and integrated into FES compositions, adding a wide range of atmospheres and styles to the eclectic FES universe. FES, who dares to flirt with other disciplines as theatre and film and owns the ability to seduce a number of different audiences, from more select jazz listeners to a wild young rock public, is at its best live on stage. FES was able to sign distribution deals with Mike Patton's label Ipecac, who released the compilation FESisms, and later with Crammed Discs who released Psychoscout in 2006 and Cheer Me, Perverts! in 2009. In May 2011 they toured the USA for the first time in their career. Starting in Tampa, they went from Washington and Philadelphia to New York, where they performed at the Lincoln Center and the Museum of the Moving Image. Says Vermeersch, "We have an American label, Ipecac Records, from Mike Patton (Faith No More, Fantômas, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle)." Mike Patton contacted FES in 2004, to report how much he was impressed by the band’s music. Patton invited FES as support act for his European tour with Fantômas. Patton, impressed by the enthusiasm, decided on a selection of FES material and released, FES-ISMS, a compilation of 19 songs from the six first FES cd’s, an introduction to the FES repertoire for the overseas audience, as it were. Mike Patton said about the album: “It’s really unique and engaging stuff. It’s going to blow people’s minds.