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Bop Shop Records presents: Arco Belo
Monday, March 16, 8pm
Bop Shop Records
1460 Monroe Ave. Rochester, NY
$15 at the door / $10 for students

Bold, innovative, and gloriously off-kilter, Arco Belo is a hybrid chamber ensemble consisting of accordion/piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, and percussion.

Arco Belo draws its name from the words bow and bellow, reimagining a sound within the melding of reeds, strings and percussive timbres at the junction of the familiar and the avant-garde. The genrefluid ensemble brazenly employs language amongst the ruins of jazz, western-classical chamber music, and folk tunes from around the globe. Led by pianist, accordionist and composer Simone Baron, the project features world-renowned bassist Michael Pope (Chick Corea, Michael and Randy Brecker, David Sanborn), and Brazilian-American drummer, percussionist & composer Lucas Ashby (Big Mean Sound Machine, Kenia, Osei Korakye). With a string quartet of heavy-hitters from the US & Canada, the group skips effortlessly from long-form neo-baroque string counterpoint to sludgy hip-hop pads; post-romantic cadenzas collide in moments of spontaneous noise with reedy prepared piano; guttural bow noises and cascading plectrum bring color to plush hypnotic grooves and sharply-angled linear phrases. The ensemble has performed at the historic Strathmore, the Kennedy Center and Georgetown University. Their long-awaited debut album, entitled the Space Between Disguises, will be released in the autumn of 2019. 

“When I read in the liner notes for Simone Baron & Arco Belo’s forthcoming album — out November 8 — that Baron’s ensemble was “genre-queer,” I thought this was a bold appropriation of a gender term. But after listening, I realized that “The Space Between Disguises” is a musical statement emblematic of an increasingly non-binary musical world. A superb pianist and accordionist, Baron leads an ensemble that might be conveniently placed in the category of chamber jazz.

But that label doesn’t begin to describe the wonderful banjo solo by Mark Schatz on “Who Cares,” or the popping bass of Michael Pope on “Passive Puppeteer.” There are too many fine string musicians to mention, whose playing moves seamlessly from pizzicato to furious bowing. All of this is in the service of Baron’s genre-bending arrangements, which are as intriguing as her compositions.” Ron Netsky – City Newspaper

Bold, innovative, and gloriously off-kilter, Arco Belo is a hybrid chamber ensemble consisting of accordion/piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, and percussion.

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