Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge
Saturday May 9, 2015 @ 8:00 PM
The Guitar duo of JULIAN LAGE and CHRIS ELDRIDGE is a collaborative effort founded in the roots of acoustic music, exploring the worlds of improvisation and composition.
With Lage’s background in modern jazz and new music, and Eldridge’s deep relationship with bluegrass as well as his being a member of the widely acclaimed band, Punch Brothers, this duo lives at the nexus of improvisation, spontaneous composition, and virtuosic refinement, all performed on their respective 1939 Martin guitars.
JULIAN LAGE Born on Christmas Day 1987, Lage was raised in the Bay Area, where he was recognized early on as child prodigy. He became interested in the guitar at the age of 4, which inspired his father to take up the instrument. The two began playing together, learning the ins and outs of improvisation and exploring various musical genres, beginning with the blues. Lage's chops evolved quickly, and he became the subject of the documentary Jules at Eight, which was nominated for an Academy Award. At 8, Lage was also asked to sit in with Carlos Santana. He made his debut on record at age 11, on David Grisman's album Dawg Duos.
Vibraphonist Gary Burton developed an interest in the young guitarist and asked Lage to sit in with his band. After that "audition," the two musicians set about playing short tours together on a regular basis. At 17, Lage made his first recording with Burton for the 2004 album Generations, which includes some of Lage's own compositions. The pair worked as well in the studio as they did on the stage, and he joined Burton again for Next Generation, released the following year.
In March 2009, Lage released his debut album as a leader, Sounding Point, which was nominated for the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Lage's latest record, Gladwell, has also received rave reviews. The album is a cycle of mostly original, Americana-inspired small-group melodies. Each tune revolves around the fictional town of the album's title, and the work has earned Lage favorable comparison to Bill Frisell, another thoughtful guitarist who carefully stirs the American music melting pot.
CHRIS ELDRIDGE As a member of Punch Brothers since the band's inception, guitarist Chris Eldridge has been at the vanguard of acoustic music for much of the past decade. Although initially drawn to the electric guitar, by his mid-teens Chris Eldridge had developed a deep love for acoustic music, thanks in part to his father, a banjo player and founding member of the seminal bluegrass group The Seldom Scene. Eldridge later gained in-depth exposure to a variety of different musical styles while studying at Oberlin Conservatory, where he earned a degree in music performance in 2004. During his time at Oberlin, Eldridge studied with legendary guitarist Tony Rice. After graduating he joined the Seldom Scene with whom he received a Grammy nomination in 2007. In 2005 he founded the critically acclaimed bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters. At the 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association awards Eldridge and his Stringdusters bandmates won Emerging artist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year for their debut album, Fork in the Road. Meanwhile, in 2005 he had caught the attention of mandolinist Chris Thile, who enlisted him, along with banjoist Noam Pikelny, violinist Gabe Witcher, and bassist Greg Garrison to start working on an ambitious side project. Soon after they decided to focus all of their collective energies into band and Punch Brothers was born. The band has since released 3 critically acclaimed albums, received 2 Grammy nominations and toured around the world.
Chris Eldridge has worked with a diverse cast of musical luminaries including Jon Brion, Fiona Apple, Paul Simon, John Paul Jones, Marcus Mumford, Justin Timberlake, T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Jerry Douglas, Sara Watkins, Del McCoury and others.