A Few Minutes With… Ben Perowsky

October 2nd, 2014, 11:00 am by Greg
Ben Perowsky

Ben Perowsky, drummer of RedCred and Woodstock Jazz Festival curator

Interview and story by J Hunter

“Woodstock Jazz Festival.” I look at those words and I think, “That seems right.” But they do bring one question to mind: Why have we not seen those words together before? I mean, think about it: We’re talking about an area where musicians off all stripes and genres have used as a haven for almost five decades. All the musicians that will be appearing at the festival’s maiden date – Saturday (October 4) at the Bearsville Theater – have been involved with that scene in one way or another, and Bearsville is just one of multiple possibilities for venues where next-level music can happen. So with all these resources to hand, the question beckons again: Why hasn’t this happened until now?

In cases like this, it usually takes one person to have an idea, decide it wasn’t crazy, and follow it to its logical conclusion. In this case, that one person was drummer Ben Perowsky, who’s been part of the Woodstock scene for more than 30 years. Perowsky’s got a résumé plenty of musicians would kill for: His past employers include James Moody, John Zorn, Lou Reed, Walter Becker and one member of the headliners at Saturday night’s show – the inimitable guitarist John Scofield, who’ll be teaming up with current and future legends Jack DeJohnette, John Medeski and Larry Grenadier to put a capper on what might be the first of many nights in the history of the newest jazz festival on the market. Perowsky and Medeski will also team up with reedman Chris Speed to show off the “new” jazz trio RedCred; and genre-busting pianist Uri Caine will open the show with a solo-piano set where anything just might happen… and probably will.

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Trip-Hop Arrives with Ben Perowsky’s Moodswing Orchestra at Mass MoCA Nov. 3rd [Berkshire on Stage]

October 31st, 2012, 1:00 pm by Sara

North Adams, MA. With an incredibly diverse career both as a drummer and a music producer, Ben Perowsky has been called a “thrilling bandleader with a flair for transforming rock repertory” by Jazztimes. This first-call drummer for jazz artists from John Zorn to John Scofield to John Medeski brings his Moodswing Orchestra featuring an all-star lineup to MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 on Saturday, November 3, at 8 PM. Much of the music performed up in the club at MASS MoCA is sponsored by the Hans & Kate Morris Fund for New Music.

The Village Voice cites Perowsky’s “angular trip-hop improvisations” saying they “lay the framework for hesitating and haunted female vocals.” In this North Adams debut, those vocals are provided by not just emcee TK Wonder, but also by singer Jennifer Charles. Rounding out the combo onstage will be David Baron on keyboards and Michael Blake on saxophone.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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