Prodigious Musical Innovators “Punch Brothers” make Vancouver debut on the Chan Centre Stage
Five-member string band combines elements of bluegrass, jazz, classical, and rock
to create sophisticated, original sounds
Vancouver, BC – The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia (UBC) present the Vancouver debut of Punch Brothers on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 at 8pm in the Chan Shun Concert Hall. Described as an ”alchemy of old-time music and contemporary sensibilities” by The New Yorker, the freewheeling five-member string band’s compositions apply a bold, progressive spin to bluegrass music.
“I first heard Punch Brothers in a crowded, underground music club in New York City and instantly knew I was witnessing something very special,” recalls Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director of the Chan Centre. “These young artists were achieving a level of sophistication and complexity I had never experienced with this type of music. What’s more, they were doing it with such charm and charisma that the massed crush of New Yorkers were stamping and cheering along with abandon.”
The group traces its origins to 2006, when singer and mandolin player Chris Thile gathered Gabe Witcher (violin), Chris Eldridge (guitar), and Noam Pikelny (banjo) in an East Village apartment to provide backing on a solo project. The session led to the group’s formation and the release of their first album, Punch (2008), after which they were joined by bassist Paul Kowert. The full, five-member roster have since released a further two albums: Antifogmatic (2010) and Who’s Feeling Young Now (2012).
The band’s coming together and their process of collaboration is the subject of Mark Meatto’s recent documentary, How to Grow a Band, which screened in Vancouver as a part of the 2012 Vancouver International Film Festival. The group reached a different cinematic audience this summer, when their song Dark Days was used in the soundtrack for blockbuster film, The Hunger Games.
On October 1 of this year, the group earned an endorsement of the highest order when Chris Thile received the prestigious MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius Grant.’ The $500,000 prize is annually awarded to 23 individuals, deemed to be geniuses within their respective fields, so that they may freely pursue their creative vision. Thile was one of two musicians to receive it (the other a classical flutist) and the youngest of all recipients at just 31 years old.
Describing their reason for selecting Thile, the MacArthur Foundation website states:
With a broad outlook that encompasses progressive bluegrass, classical, rock, and jazz, Thile is transcending the borders of conventionally circumscribed genres in compositions… [He] is creating a distinctly American canon for the mandolin and a new musical aesthetic for performers and audiences alike.
About The Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC
Since opening in the spring of 1997, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia (UBC) has earned an international reputation for its striking design and stellar acoustics. Artists, critics, and patrons alike are unanimous in their praise of the multi-faceted facility, winning it a place among North America’s premier performing arts venues.
Inside, the Chan Centre boasts three unique venues: the superb Chan Shun Concert Hall, the dramatic Telus Studio Theatre, and the intimate Royal Bank Cinema. All share a spectacular glass lobby that faces a mature evergreen forest and small outdoor patio.
From classical, jazz, and new music to opera, folk, and world music, the Chan Centre is a vital part of UBC campus life – a place where the artistic and academic disciplines integrate with one another to inspire new perspectives on life and culture. As such, the programming at the Chan Centre strives to enhance the values of the UBC community through its annual roster of dynamic artists and musical traditions. Past performers and guest speakers have included Yo-Yo Ma, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Renée Fleming, Zakir Hussain, Al Gore, Kronos Quartet, Meredith Monk, Muhammad Yunus, Mavis Staples, Ornette Coleman, Mariza, and Shirin Ebadi.
LISTING INFORMATION Punch Brothers
Dates: Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 at 8pm
Ticket prices: $36-$72 (Student and senior discounts available)
Address: Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
University of British Columbia
6265 Crescent Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Box Office: Ticketmaster – by phone 1.855.985.(ARTS) 2787 or
In person at the Chan Centre ticket office, 6265 Crescent Road, UBC info: 604-822-2697 or www.chancentre.com.
The Chan Centre Ticket Office is open Tue-Sat, 12-5pm; Performance days, 12pm-intermission; Sun-Mon performance days the ticket office will open 2.5 hours before event start until intermission. Closed on statutory holidays.