Kronos Quartet still pushing musical boundaries

  • Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 10:57am
  • Life

By Jackson Holtz Herald Writer

The Kronos Quartet, a pioneer in exploring music’s boundaries, returns today to the city where the avant-garde string quartet first started.

Founded in Seattle in 1973, the group began after David Harrington heard George Crumb’s “Black Angels,” a Vietnam War-inspired piece that features music made by water glasses, spoken word and electronic effects.

Harrington wanted to create a quartet that would challenge traditions and push the realm of what was possible in music making.

Nearly four decades later, Kronos has a worldwide reputation for innovation and recording.

Their vast repertoire includes music from the classical and contemporary canons, jazz and rock.

They’ve collaborated with orchestras and rock bands, and performed live with the poet Allen Ginsburg and rock stars including Dave Matthews.

Kronos is playing at 8 tonight, Neptune Theatre, 1303 NE 45th St., Seattle. Tickets are $50 at or 877-784-4849.

Many a jazz giant has stood under the lights at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley.

It’s the premier jazz club in the Pacific Northwest, and on Monday, students from the Jackson High School Jazz band’s ensembles will own the stage.

“It’s awesome,” said Lesley Moffat, the band director.

The young musicians plan to play a full set including, “Midnight Voyage,” the theme from “New York, New York,” and Chick Corea’s jazz standard, “Spain.”

Joining the band on stage will be professional tenor sax player, Anton Schwartz. He recently collaborated with the band on this year’s KPLU “School of Jazz” recording.

The gig is a warm up for the band before they fly to New York City in late May to play Carnegie Hall.

The concert begins at 6:30pm with Jazz Ensemble 2, led by Kevin Hall. Jazz Ensemble 1, led by Lesley Moffat, follows at 7:30. Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley is at 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle. Tickets are $20 at or 206-441-9729

Girlyman is an Atlanta-based band that’s catching a lot of attention right now, for good reason.

The quartet packs gorgeous harmonies into spirited, quirky and fresh lyrics.

The music is folky, punky and extraordinarily listenable.

They’ve just produced their fifth album and are touring the country.

Catch this great band at 8 p.m. Saturday, The Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 day of and $28 for VIP at or 206-838-4333.

The Icelandic group Of Monsters and Men is another folk-rock group, six musicians strong.

Their sound is enhanced by lots of guitars and an accordion.

“Little Talks,” the single from their debut album, topped the charts in their native country and is getting lots of play on alt-radios like Seattle’s KEXP.

KEXP (90.3 FM) even jumped the gun on the 2012 American album release and named the band a top 10 in 2011.

The band has “catchy melodies, sing-along choruses, rich orchestration and heartfelt lyrics,” KEXP DJs said.

Hot off their American premier at South By Southwest earlier this month, they’re now touring the U.S.

Catch the all-ages show at 8 p.m. Monday, Showbox Sodo, 1700 First Ave. S., Seattle. Tickets are $15 at or 877-784-4849.

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3447;