Artist in Residence: Mary Halvorson
Mary Halvorson, one of the most sought-after jazz musicians of our times, will enhance the 2018 Jazzfest Berlin with her four-day presence as artist in residence. Her prolific concert and recording activities, resulting in 27 albums in the past three years alone, speak volumes.
Her musical partners include Anthony Braxton, Bill Frisell, Craig Taborn, Tomeka Reid, Ron Miles, Marc Ribot, John Zorn, Sylvie Courvoisier, Kris Davis, Benoît Delbecq and Elliott Sharp. In many ways, Mary Halvorson does not conform to the still prevailing image of a guitarist. She eschews the usual magnifying effects or flashy maneuvers; a bold play on contrasts, a wild balancing act on the edge of the precipice is her thing. “She is a strong and inspiring bandleader, a brilliant soloist with a unique, often quirky approach and a beautiful guitar tone that reaches back to tradition”, says John Zorn about the guitarist. Her intense touch and her tone, combining the acoustic quality of her Vintage Guild Artist Award Archtop Hollow Body guitar with amplification and subtle manipulation, distinguish her playing. She is fueled by heterogeneity: This is where she develops her unusually clear-cut lines, her sophisticated vitality of rhythm and dynamics and her searing drive – all characteristics of the extraordinary expressive power and originality that made her into a preeminent figure of the international scene. She will launch her Berlin residency on the festival’s opening night with the premiere of her new Thumbscrew double album “Ours/Theirs” and enter into a musical dialogue with music students on the following morning. On Saturday, she will continue this line with a club concert featuring musicians from Berlin, and on Sunday, she will be featured alongside musicians from Kim Myhr’s “You | me” and her own octet in the casual atmosphere of the “Kiezkonzerte”. After a talk with Richard Williams, she will take to the stage to present the eagerly awaited European premiere of her largescale octet formation.