From Ecstatic Music Festival: 2019 at Kaufman

Ecstatic Music Festival

Ecstatic Music Festival

The 2019 edition of Ecstatic Music Festival runs from January 7 to March 21 at NYC’s The Kaufman Center, which annually brings together a diverse array of artists and composers from various genres for unique collaborative performances. This year’s fest includes a performance by Zola Jesus in collaboration with composer William Brittelle and chamber orchestral group Wild Up on January 7; politically-charged free jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements teaming up with pianist/vocalist Amina Claudine Myers and composer/flutist Nicole Mitchell on February 28; the annual Bang on a Can People’s Commissioning Fund Concert on March 6; string quartet ETHEL collaborating with youth ensemble Face the Music, topped with an appearance by Todd Rundgren on March 17; a special performance from Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Wye Oak (who have collaborated in the past) who will premiere a new work by Owen Pallett on March 21; with further artists TBA.

Tickets for all these shows are on sale now. Passes for the whole festival are also on sale, along with two-show bundles. Many of these shows will be livestreamed from You can view the fest’s full schedule and more details about individual performances below.

Monday, January 07, 2019
A New Sounds Live co-presentation hosted by John Schaefer & streamed live on
Zola Jesus brings her unmistakably powerful, Gothic-electronic songwriting into dialogue with William Brittelle’s “silo-bombing music that is at once free-ranging, formally adventurous, unconventionally beautiful, and a joyful thrill to experience (The Nation), in a special collaboration with the “raucous, grungy, irresistibly exuberant” (New York Times) chamber orchestra, wild Up.

Saturday, February 16, 2019
Stay tuned for the artist lineup announcement on Sep 4!

Thursday, February 28, 2019
From Copenhagen to Brooklyn, the “revolutionary” ( free jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements has shared its message of liberation, starting with its first appearance at a Musicians March Against Police Brutality in New York City in early 2015. Comprised of mesmerizing vocalist Camae Ayewa (a.k.a. Moor Mother) – whose searing poetic narrations of Black trauma, survival and power drive each work, alto saxophonist Keir Neuringer, trumpeter Aquiles Navarro, double bassist Luke Stewart and Tcheser Holmes on drums, this quintet will join forces for a unique evening of music-making with two equally powerful artists: Legendary pianist/vocalist/improviser Amina Claudine Myers, a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1966; and the “furiously inventive” (Los Angeles Times) composer/flutist Nicole Mitchell. A member of the AACM since 1965, her influences are multi-dimensional, across generations and genres. She received a 2011 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, and has been named “the most important jazz flutist of her generation” (

Wednesday, March 06, 2019
A New Sounds Live co-presentation hosted by John Schaefer & streamed live on
Bang on a Can’s People’s Commissioning Fund (PCF) is a radical partnership between artists and audiences to commission works from adventurous composers. Founded in 1997, long before crowd-funding became the norm through Kickstarter and the like, Bang on a Can’s PCF has pooled contributions of all sizes from hundreds of friends and fans and since its inception has commissioned over 50 works of music for New York’s electric Bang on a Can All-Stars.

Sunday, March 17, 2019
Special guest appearance by Todd Rundgren
NYC’s “infectiously visceral” (Pitchfork), “vital and brilliant” (New Yorker) string quartet ETHEL teams up with the dynamic youth ensemble Face the Music for an afternoon of invigorating new music. The performance showcases repertoire commissioned for ETHEL and developed during the quartet’s 2018-19 residency with Face the Music at Kaufman Music Center.

Thursday, March 21, 2019
A New Sounds co-presentation hosted by John Schaefer
The Brooklyn Youth Chorus presents a live collaboration with the beloved rock duo Wye Oak, plus the premiere of a new work by Owen Pallett plus other collaborators TBA. Acclaimed for their “enormous versatility and polish” (New York Times), the Brooklyn Youth Chorus has been praised for their “perfect intonation” (Classical Voices) and “astonishingly secure performances” (New Yorker).

View the full article for links to the individual listings.

See the full article here .


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Kaufman Music Center

Kaufman Music Center is a notable performing arts complex in New York City that houses Lucy Moses School, the Special Music School, and Merkin Concert Hall. Originally known as the Hebrew Arts School, it was founded in 1952 and is currently located on West 67th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. More than 75,000 people use the Center annually.[1]

Kaufman Music Center was founded by Dr. Tzipora H. Jochsberger in 1952 as a community school for pre-conservatory music training. Located at 129 W. 67th St. on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, today’s Kaufman Music Center is home to Merkin Concert Hall; Lucy Moses School, New York’s largest community arts school; and Special Music School (PS 859), a K-8 public school for musically gifted children.

First known as the Hebrew Arts School for Music and Dance, the school moved to its permanent home, the Goodman House, on W. 67th St. in 1978. Named after Abraham Goodman, the building was designed by Ashok Bhavnani in the Brutalist style and received the Albert S. Bard Trust Award for excellence in architecture. Merkin Concert Hall opened its doors in 1978, and in 1991 the organization was renamed the Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center in recognition of a major gift by Elaine and Henry Kaufman. At that time the Hebrew Arts School was renamed Lucy Moses School. In 1996, Kaufman Music Center partnered with the New York City Department of Education to open Special Music School/PS 859, a K-8 public school for musically gifted children. Major renovations by architect Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) in 2007 significantly improved Merkin Concert Hall and the exterior of the building.

During the early 1980s, the HAS benefited from a large influx of Jewish émigrés leaving the Soviet Union and arriving in New York City. Many music instructors were not allowed to take their credentials with them when they left, and having a difficult time finding equivalent positions in the United States, found a home at the Hebrew Arts School. Their former students came to the HAS to study, and the school made scholarships available for these students.

John Schaefer

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