Jazz and prog rock fusion trio House of Waters to perform at Next Stage Arts

PUTNEY — Genre-bending jazz and prog rock fusion trio House of Waters performs at Next Stage Arts on Friday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m.

“Our goal is to widen the palette of what makes its way to southern Vermont, and House of Waters is something truly unique. Max's virtuosity on the hammered dulcimer is like nothing we've ever seen before,” Keith Marks, executive director of Next Stage, said in a news release.

“This is an opportunity for the community to experience an uncommon instrument played by a master of his craft,” Marks added. “It doesn't hurt that the drummer and bassist are also world-class musicians. House of Waters has been carving out a name on the international scene for years, and we're fortunate to be able to bring them here.”

Their most recent album, Rising, was released in partnership with GroundUP Music in February 2019. Produced by Guy Eckstine, the album features Max ZT (hammered dulcimer), Moto Fukushima (electric bass), and Ignacio Rivas-Bixio, (drums/percussion).

Their eponymous 2016 album, House of Waters, was also released on Snarky Puppy's GroundUP Music label, and debuted at No. 2 on the iTunes World Music Charts. All About Jazz called it “a rare and beautiful gem,” while TimeOutNY calls their performances “a sight to behold.”

Lauded as “The Jimi Hendrix of Hammered Dulcimer” by NPR, Max ZT is an innovator of the instrument. Taking his roots from Irish folk music, Max has transplanted his compositional techniques both to Senegal, where he studied the Mandinko technique with the Cissoko griot family, and to India, where he received a grant to study under the santoor master Pandit Shivkumar Sharma.

“His fresh perspective and bold experimentalism have been the backbone to beautiful, complex, and genuine compositions, while his unorthodox playing style has been a pioneering force in revolutionizing dulcimer techniques,” states the news release.

Moto Fukushima has been playing music for as long as he can remember. According to the news release, Fukishima has accompanied such greats as Joe Lovano, Mike Stern, and Dave Weckl, and “has redefined the role of the bass. With a strong background in jazz improvisation, Western classical music and the African-inspired music of South America, Moto's playing is an amazing combination of finesse, subtlety, and power.”

Special guest drummer joining House of Waters for this show is jazz, Afro-Latin, and klezmer percussionist Richie Barshay. Based in New York City, Barshay is known to perform with The Klezmatics, Herbie Hancock, Lee Konitz, Esperanza Spalding, Chick Corea, and many others.

House of Waters has scored an Emmy-winning documentary for ESPN and has shared the stage with some of the most influential musical leaders of the century, including Pandit Ravi Shankar, Victor Wooten, Tinariwen, Jimmy Cliff, Snarky Puppy, Karsh Kale, and more.

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