Jazz trio to play free concert at City of Asylum Sunday


By Erika Fleegle

Thumbscrew: a screwed device formerly used in torture

                         a type of screw intended to be tightened or loosened by hand

                        City of Asylum’s first-ever BNY Jazz Residents*

While past definitions of “thumbscrew” may inspire fear, a new cultural event from City of Asylum hopes to take attendees in a different direction. On Sunday, July 5, Sampsonia Way’s Alphabet City Tent will play host to Thumbscrew, a collaborative jazz trio selected for the first-ever BNY Mellon Jazz Residency.

Thumbscrew, the pet project of three new-generation jazz masters –bassist Michael Formanek, guitarist Mary Halvorson, and drummer Tomas Fujiwarahas- been hailed for its sharp focus and approachable sound. The group came about entirely by accident, however, when Formanek subbed in a band that included Halvorson and Fujiwara. Something clicked for the trio, so they formed their own co-operative and haven’t looked back.

Their musical repertoire includes original tunes with varying rhythms and a tight balance of sound between strings and metal. Sunday’s concert will feature new pieces developed during their two-week residency.

Event organizers noted that, while in New York for the group’s first album launch, “You could feel the vibe in the room, like new stars were being born.”

The free concert will take place at 318 Sampsonia Way in Central Northside from 6-8 p.m.

*Not actually in the dictionary.

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