Music Notes & News: Phantogram, Spyro Gyra, Jeremy Denk

It’s been a busy 24 hours for Phantogram, the Saratoga Springs-spawned electro-pop duo of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter. First they announced that they would be returning to perform on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on Thursday (October 3). Then they posted a new song, “Celebrating Nothing,” and announced that they would be releasing a self-titled, four-song EP on Monday (September 30). And they wrapped up the day by announcing that another of their new songs, “Lights,” has landed on the deluxe edition of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, alongside the Lumineers, Imagine Dragons, Patti Smith, Coldplay, the National, Antony & the Johnsons. The soundtrack is slated for release in November.

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Saxman Jay Beckenstein and his veteran jazz fusion band Spyro Gyra wrote and recorded their new album – the band’s 30th – in just three days at the Clubhouse Studio in Rhinebeck. Aptly titled The Rhinebeck Sessions, the album was released on Tuesday (September 24).

Pianist Jeremy Denk kicks off the fall Union College Concert Series in Memorial Chapel in Schenectady at 8pm on Friday, October 4, offering an innovative program connecting classical works with those influenced by jazz, including works by Bolcom, Hindemith, Stravinsky and a new work written for him by jazz pianist Brad Mehldau. Earlier this week, Dent was named a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. Selected for his extraordinary originality, dedication in his creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction, the pianist is one of 24 recipients of this year’s “genius grant,” which awards each fellow a stipend of $625,000.

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