Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares Presents: Thumbscrew - 3/22, 7:30pm

Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares Presents: Thumbscrew: Mary Halvorson (guitar), Michael Formanek (bass) & Tomas Fujiwara (drums)


Thumbscrew, a collective trio featuring guitarist Mary Halvorson, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, began to work together following a 2011 encounter in the rhythm section of one of Taylor Ho Bynum’s bands. “It was one of those situations where we instantly clicked,” Ms. Halvorson recalls, “and the three of us started talking about doing a project together right away.”

Guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. Howard Mandel called Ms. Halvorson “NYC’s least-predictable improviser”. NPR called her “the most forward-thinking guitarist working right now”, and Francis Davis called her “one of today’s most formidable bandleaders” In addition to her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith, and her quintet, which adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, Ms. Halvorson also co-leads a chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, and the avant-rock band People. She is also an active member of bands led by Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, Curtis Hasselbring, Ingrid Laubrock, Myra Melford, Marc Ribot, and Tom Rainey, among others.

Michael Formanek's singular approach to the acoustic bass has led to an impressive range of musical associations. During his 30- year career, he has played and/or recorded with Elvis Costello, Tim Berne, Uri Caine, Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz, Marty Ehrlich, Chet Baker, Tony Williams, Gerry Mulligan, Fred Hersch, Dave Liebman, Joe Henderson, Terumasa Hino, Cedar Walton, Attila Zoller, George Coleman, Jane Ira Bloom, Bob Moses, Gunther Schuller, Joe and Mat Maneri, Gary Thomas, Dave Burrell, Joe Lovano and many others. Albums under his own name include: Wide Open SpacesExtended AnimationLow ProfileNature Of The Beast  (Enja), The Rub and Spare Change (ECM) and Am I Bothering You (Screwgun), a recording of solo bass performances.

Tomas Fujiwara was born and raised in Boston, where he studied with Alan Dawson. Current projects include his quintet, The Hook Up, a working duo with Taylor Ho Bynum, and The Thirteenth Assembly, with Halvorson, Ho Bynum and Jessica Pavone. His credits as a sideman include work with Matana Roberts, Ideal Bread, Amir El Saffar, Red Barat, Matt Bauder, and Positive Catstrophe. With "a quiet energy that propels" (All About Jazz) and a style that is "both volatile and watchful", Tomas Fujiwara's "alert drumming has propelled some excellent ensembles on the new-music landscape" (New York Times).

Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares concerts are produced by a group of music lovers who have purchased jazz shares. Like farm shares, where stakeholders ensure the success of the farm by pre-paying for food, Pioneer Valley Jazz Share members purchase jazz shares to provide the capital needed to produce concerts with minimal institutional support. Operating under the fiscal sponsorship of The Northampton Center for the Arts, we are a grassroots, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the continued vitality of the music.

Shares and single tickets ($15) are available at and at the door.

Thanks to our business sponsors: Davis Financial Group, Florence Savings Bank, UMass Fine Arts Center, Downtown Sounds, NAI Plotkin, Carol Abbe Smith Delap Real Estate, River Valley Market, Simmer Music, Northampton Co-operative Bank, Bueno y Sano, Tony Margherita Management and Dean’s Beans



Date: 3/22, 7:30pm
Location The Arts Block
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