Check out “the Backstage Productions” (BSP) concert series in Upstate, NY.

Text by Damon Banks

THE WOODSTOCK QUANTUM ENSEMBLE and HOLLAND HOPSON/JAMES KEEPNEWS to perform at BSP in Kingston NY on Friday, June 3rd at 7:30 PM.

An exciting night of creative electro-acoustic improvised music will be unleashed in Kingston, NY when The Woodstock Quantum Ensemble and the duo Holland Hopson/James Keepnews take the stage at Backstage Productions (BSP) on Friday, June 3rd at 7:30 PM. Admission will be $15 at the door and $10 for students and seniors with valid ID.

The Woodstock Quantum Ensemble is the brainchild of guitarist Johnny Asia. This freewheeling, improvisation based ensemble utilizes electric and acoustic instruments to channel “sounds of the universe” through thematic composition, sonic landscapes and global rhythms. This incarnation features Gus Mancini (reeds), Damon Banks (electric bass) and Joakim Lartey (percussion) This group will be making its debut recording in the fall of 2011.

Holland Hopson/James Keepnews is a duo that has been involved in electro-acoustic improvisation for the past 15 years, beginning when they met in the electronics arts graduate program (iEAR) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While at iEAR, Hopson and Keepnews collaborated with noted trombonist/computer-interactive pioneer/MacArthur “genius grant” fellow George Lewis, developing an early computer-based video sampler for use in performance. HH/JK’s CD Hunting and Gathering, “improvised-to-ADAT”, was celebrated for its cutting edge explorations of instrumental and electronic improvised music. Their BSP performance in June will be their first appearance as a duo in over five years.
Praise for Johnny Asia:
“Johnny Asia hails from Woodstock, N.Y., so the cosmic energy may just be in the water. Whatever the source, Asia’s transcendent, genre-spanning guitar journeys chart new musical cartographies, juxtaposing Django Reinhardt-like hard swing with dangling fusion harmonics and the space-age chord structures of John McLaughlin.”
— Editors’ Picks at Music
“Johnny’s music is universal in the truest sense of the term. It embraces the musics of this world and anticipates those yet to be discovered in the future. In a concert at Pauline Oliveros Foundation’s Gallery at Deep Listening Space, Johnny’s riveting performance transported the audience across time to places MTV can only dream about.”
— multi-instrumentalist/composer/Hudson Valley legend Joe McPhee
Praise for HH/JK:
“…(one) of the more successful marriages of jazz and electronics in recent times.. an undeniable abundance of tracks here that feature truly stellar interplay, as well as inspired improvisation..full of distant, creepy sounds and scattered moments of close, guitar-sax discourse, (HH/JK) is an enjoyable mash of breath and circuitry”
— Peter Aaron, Your Flesh
“The music is intricate and continually engaging. The electronic extension of instrumental performance is expressive and enjoyable.”
“(F)ine improvised duet … an out duo which sound as if they have been at it for a while, since although it is improvised they play many intricate patterns/structures as one… Neither of these two sound much like anyone else, which means they have strived to get their own sound… Overall, this is a mostly fascinating excursion”
— Bruce Galanter, Downtown Music Gallery
“(HH/JK) prove their mettle as consummate musical high-wire artists…This is how it’s done, children. Take heed and explore.”
— J. Eric Smith, Metroland Magazine
Backstage Productions (BSP) is an arts and entertainment complex located in the center of uptown Kingston, New York, at 323 Wall Street. Built as a Vaudeville Theater in the late 1800s, it spans the entire block from Wall Street to Crown Street, and has a rich and colorful history of its own. BSP has quickly become a venue for top quality, ever-evolving activities.

Backstage Productions

323 Wall St.
Kingston, NY 12401