FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2013
THE BEAST RETURNS FROM THREE-YEAR RECORDING HIATUS TO RELEASE NEW EP, “GARDENS,” FEATURING THIRTEEN-MEMBER BIG BAND
“Cost of Living,” third track on EP, now streaming on Soundcloud.
Durham, NC On October 22, 2013, The Beast will release its self-produced EP, “Gardens,” with four tracks focused around a special ensemble called The Beast + Big Band. This project surrounds the core quartet with nine Triangle all-star musicians – four brass players, three string players, guitar, and percussion. The EP consists of recent songs written by the band, reinterpreted for large ensemble, and orchestrated by the group’s pianist, Eric Hirsh. To celebrate the release of this EP, The Beast + Big Band will headline a show on October 24th at Motorco Music Hall, with an opening set by another local genre-bending large ensemble, Hindugrass.
The title of the album is a reference to how The Beast + Big Band got its start. In 2012, Duke Performances invited The Beast to open its summer Music In The Gardens series. The band, wanting to do something special for this show, decided to take advantage of the rich community of artists in the Triangle area and assembled a large ensemble to interpret its songs. What was originally planned to be a one-time-only concert received such overwhelmingly positive feedback that the band has chosen to curate more arrangements and shows for the Big Band in parallel with its original quartet configuration. To date, The Beast + Big Band has played three shows since that first one at Duke: Shakori Hills Grassroots Music Festival, downtown Durham Independence Day, and an opening set for Nnenna Freelon at the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center.
“Gardens” was recorded live at Durham’s Sound Pure Studios in early January 2013. All thirteen musicians played at the same time, eschewing the conveniences of modern overdubbing technology to capture the energy of timeless, collaborative performance. Beyond this initial tracking session, “Gardens” features one guest appearance, a verse from original Justus League member, Median, on the big band’s version of “My People,” a song originally recorded for WKNC’s 2009 Hear Here compilation.
Immediately after the CD release party at Motorco, The Beast will return to the studio to finish a second four-track EP, with songs produced in a much more electronic style. This EP, yet to be titled, is due to be released towards the end of 2013.
About The Beast
The Beast is a Durham-based quartet that fearlessly navigates worlds of hip hop and jazz with compelling lyrics, progressive compositions, and a gripping live show. Hailed as a “natural, engaging blend of jazz and hip hop” by Jazz Times magazine, The Beast has been voted “Best of the Triangle: Best Hip Hop Act” by the Independent Weekly for three consecutive years. The quartet developed its sound at UNC-Chapel Hill, where pianist Eric Hirsh, drummer Stephen Coffman, and bassist Peter Kimosh studied jazz in the music department, while emcee Pierce Freelon (now a professor in UNC’s departments of music and African and Afro-American Studies) developed his intelligent lyricism in classrooms and music venues across campus.
The Beast BIG BAND is
Al Strong, trumpet; Aaron Hill, alto sax/tenor sax/clarinet; Tim Smith, tenor sax/flute; Andy Kleindienst, trombone; Karen Galvin, violin; Jenavieve Varga, violin; Leah Gibson, cello; Keith Ganz, guitar; Brevan Hampden, percussion
For more information, review copies, or interviews, please contact
Pierce Freelon, (919) 697-7728
Check us out this 4th of July at American Tobacco – 5PM-8PM with DJ Apple Juice Kid. At this show only, you will be able to get an exclusive advance of The Beast + BIG BAND’s new EP entitled Gardens. Click here to download our mashup of the National Anthem and the Black National Anthem.
The Beast proudly supports Beat Making Lab through Reverbnation’s Music For Good program. Download some of our music on Reverbnation and help make the world a better place!
Check us out at Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh March 2nd for Band Together’s 3rd annual Last Band Standing – an incredible concert for a good cause. Get your tickets here and VOTE FOR US ON FACEBOOK here.
We will be performing and collaborating at Carnival in Panama next week with performances in Portobelo on Wednesday Feb 13th and Saturday Feb 16th; a performance in Panama City Thursday Feb 14th; and a workshop at the Danilo Perez Foundation Friday Feb 15th. See you in Panama!
This Saturday’s open rehearsal at Kenan Rehearsal Hall was awesome. Check out these stills from Frank Myers and Sweet Life Studios.
This Saturday, The Beast will host an open rehearsal/community workshop with their 12-piece ensemble; The Beast + BIG BAND. Jan 19 | Kenan Rehearsal Hall | UNC Chapel Hill | 1PM-4PM (join the facebook event).
The Beast is a Durham-based jazz and hip hop quartet with roots in the UNC community. Hailed as a, “natural, engaging blend of jazz and hip hop” by Jazz Times Magazine, The Beast has been voted “Best of the Triangle: best hip hop act” by the Independent Weekly for three consecutive years (2010, 2011 and 2012).