Program features an intimate evening of music featuring the Mark Guiliana Quartet
Tickets on sale now at dso.org/cube
Detroit, (March 9, 2023) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) welcomes internationally renowned drummer Mark Guiliana and his quartet to the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube (The Cube) for an intimate evening of live music. Guiliana has become recognized as one of the world’s leading drummers, admired and in demand across the spectrum from jazz to rock to electronic music for his rhythmic sophistication, creative impulse, and individual sound. You can hear his work on David Bowie’s final multi-Grammy Award-winning album, Blackstar, and he has performed with Brad Mehldau, Donny McCaslin, John Scofield, Lionel Loueke, and Gretchen Parlato. Cube fan favorite DJ Stacye J will begin the evening with a DJ set.
Mark Guiliana will take place Thursday, March 30 at 8 p.m. in the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube (The Cube), located within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center at 3711 Woodward Avenue.
Please note: the DSO does not appear on this performance.
2022-2023 SEASON DSO SAFETY POLICIES: The DSO no longer requires audiences to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances. Masks are optional although strongly recommended at DSO performances, particularly when Wayne County and surrounding communities are in the high or "red" category as defined by the CDC. The DSO asks audience members to do their part to create a safe environment for everyone and encourages those who are not feeling well to stay home.
Tickets for this performance start at $30 for general admission, with cabaret seating option available for $60. Tickets can be purchased at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Programming in the Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings Cube is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Peter and Julie Cummings. The Cube is the DSO’s black box performance space located within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. The CUBE is defined for the curated, urban, boundless experiences it delivers to audiences. The venue is designed to not only be accessible, but also relevant to communities the DSO serves through consciously curated arts programming that spans across musical and artistic genres.
Thursday, March 30 at 8 p.m.
The Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube
Mark Guiliana Quartet, ensemble
Join us in the Cube for an intimate evening of live music featuring the Mark Guiliana Quartet. Mark Guiliana has become recognized as one of the world’s leading drummers, admired and in demand across the spectrum from jazz to rock to electronic music for his rhythmic sophistication, creative impulse, and individual sound. You can hear his work on David Bowie’s final multi-Grammy Award-winning album, Blackstar, and he has performed with Brad Mehldau, Donny McCaslin, John Scofield, Lionel Loueke, and Gretchen Parlato.
$30 – General Admission
$60 – Cabaret Seating
About Mark Guiliana
Hailed by The New York Times as “a drummer around whom a cult of admiration has formed,” Mark Guiliana brings the same adventurous spirit, eclectic palette and gift for spontaneous invention to a staggering range of styles. Equally virtuosic playing acoustic jazz, boundary-stretching electronic music, or next-level rock, he’s become a key collaborator with such original sonic thinkers as Brad Mehldau, Meshell Ndegeocello, Donny McCaslin, Matisyahu, and the late, great David Bowie.
Guiliana’s forward-leaping BEAT MUSIC is more than a band–it’s a community. Over the last decade the drummer has gathered around him a family of like-minded artists who share a passion for the limitless possibilities of electronic music combined with an in-the-moment creativity rooted in jazz improvisation. On April 12, Motéma Music will release Guiliana’s third plunge into that vast musical ocean, the emphatically titled BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! The in-your-face exclamation of that title is no accident; Guiliana’s third recording with his BEAT MUSIC cohort is a bold and vigorous exploration of window-rattling grooves, cinematic imagery, ecstatic atmospheres, and a captivating tapestry of textures and voices.
To realize his ambitious vision for the project, Guiliana has enlisted a host of collaborators who’ve become part of the BEAT MUSIC community over the years, including such genre-defying artists as bassists Chris Morrissey, Stu Brooks, Jonathan Maron, and Tim Lefebvre; keyboardists Jason Lindner, BIGYUKI, and Jeff Babko; electronicists Troy Zeigler and Steve Wall; and spoken word samples from longtime collaborators Cole Whittle and Jeff Taylor, as well as Guiliana’s wife, singer Gretchen Parlato (along with his son, Marley).
“I feel very lucky to have people that I genuinely consider to be my favorite musicians as part of the BEAT MUSIC family,” Guiliana says. “It was important for me to have all of those collaborators represented on this record, to reap the rewards of the hundreds of hours of gigs we’ve spent improvising and discovering together.”
BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! doesn’t feature improvisation in the traditional sense that Guiliana’s previous release, the acoustic quartet album Jersey, did. The music was composed entirely by Guiliana, albeit drawn from his extensive interactions with each of these musicians. But each of his collaborators brings a distinctive voice and attitude to the mix, so that even when playing a thoroughly written line they imbue each note with an individual essence.
“Even when I’m asking the musicians in BEAT MUSIC to play a part, I’m still very much asking them to play it the way they play,” Guiliana explains. “This music is mostly through-composed, but there’s microscopic improvising in every moment. In each note there are sonic choices to be made about articulation, duration of notes, where to leave space, and myriad aspects like that. Those things might not be considered ‘improvising’ in a jazz sense, but in this genre those decisions make a world of difference. No decision I could make would be better than what these guys choose to do; they really bring the music to life.”
Guiliana took a circuitous route to electronic music. He initially came to the drums via the grunge-dominated music of his teenage years: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden (whose drummer, Matt Cameron, would later enlist Guiliana for his own solo project). As he began to study the instrument, he was introduced to jazz in high school and was captivated by the music’s complexity, nuances and diversity. Leaving the relative isolation of his suburban New Jersey home to find a wealth of like-minded acquaintances at William Paterson University, he heard Feed Me Weird Things, the debut album by UK electronica pioneer Squarepusher, for the first time. That opened up a whole new world of sonic possibilities for Guiliana, who began to pursue electronic music in parallel with jazz.
No matter the focus of a particular album or project, Guiliana’s music blends those three major influences in varying balances: the raw power and intensity of hard rock; the spiritual questing of John Coltrane and the aggressive musical curiosity of Miles Davis; the brain-twisting manipulations and cut-up hybridizations of Squarepusher and Aphex Twin.
Those diverse influences have converged in different ways throughout Guiliana’s career. On one end of the spectrum is his Jazz Quartet and on the opposite is BEAT MUSIC, with which he’s recorded twice before–on a self-titled 2012 EP as well as the 2014 album The Los Angeles Improvisations–and the similarly-inclined outings A Form of Truth (2013) and My Life Starts Now (2014).
In between are a multitude of combinations, from the electro-acoustic duo Mehliana with Brad Mehldau to the increasingly electronic-influenced work of the Donny McCaslin Quartet, which also features Lindner and Lefebvre. Those four players, three of whom are featured on this album, also became the core band for David Bowie’s acclaimed final release, Blackstar. The chameleonic rock icon specifically cited BEAT MUSIC’s Los Angeles Improvisations as a guidepost for that album’s enrapturing sound.
“Being in the same room as David and watching him realize his vision was huge for me,” Guiliana says. “He balanced knowing from the outset what he truly wanted to do with being extremely open and creating a very democratic environment. Those are seemingly contradictory qualities, but he so beautifully danced between the two, attacking every moment in the music with great spirit and love, making the art that he believed in. I really try to carry that with me.”
BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! does that vividly, from the implacable, steamrolling pulse of opener “GIRL” through the retro sheen of “HOME” straight to the glistening reggae grooves of finale “STREAM.” The dub mesmerism of “BUD” deepens its already mysterious layers with a half-heard, one-sided phone message, while the insistent “BULLET” features a Japanese voice seeming to echo through a PA system. The dance-y “ROAST” undergirds a forceful diatribe, followed by the bouncy zigs and zags of “HUMAN.”
While most of the spoken word elements of the album are used as almost instrumental elements, introducing unpredictable textures and intriguing ambiguities into the songs, many of the pieces are also profoundly personal. “BLOOM” offers an intimate glimpse into Guiliana’s family life, with a tender moment between his wife and son. “BONES,” meanwhile, features the bandleader himself reciting a poem inspired by the recent death of his mother.
That meld of the communal and the personal is just one of many distinctive fusions that make BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! the striking and singular album that it is – including blends of the electronic and acoustic, the composed and spontaneous, and deeply-rooted inspirations channeled into perceptive, forward-looking modern invention.
About the DSO
The acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while Oscar-nominated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair.
Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings.
A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a live radio broadcast of a concert and continues today with the groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series of free webcasts, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.