Sunday, June 7, 2009

Billy X Curmano

Billy X and his group gave a rollicking, rowdy, rambunctious, brash, loud, moving, evocative, memorable performance on Saturday night (6/6/09).

The thought-provoking evening began with a selection of music - a free jazz mixup from long time collaborators the New X Art Ensemble featuring the Amazing Tess Toster Tones. This tasty introduction was followed by a screening of “live art” videos reviewing Billy's art practice. The classic videos were selected from Billy's archives and included "Performance for the Dead", "Tiger Cage on Wheels", "Swimmin' the River" and short clips of "Greetings from the Mississippi to the Arctic Sea" and "The Greyhound Tour" as well as other enticing glimpses of Billy's early art.

D.L. Hunt, Steve Smith and Billy X. formed New X as a link between performance art, classical music and free jazz. It is arguably the longest running free jazz collective in the region. The unit expanded as other musicians were drawn to the artistic freedom New X offers. They don’t embalm jazz or play hug-your-bunny cute insipid pop. New X is an eclectic blend of music, sound and improvisation rapped around words and odd tones. Reviewers have compared them to Lionel Hampton, Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman and the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

For more on Billy X and his art visit his website -