John Zorn's Stone Commissioning Series presents: Patricia Brennan’s MOCH
Raíces Jarochas (Roots from Veracruz)
6pm doors • 7pm show
The John Zorn Commissioning Series celebrates The Stone, Zorn’s revolutionary venue “dedicated to the experimental and avant-garde,” which served as a vital spot for new music in the East Village for over a decade. Held on the last Wednesday of every month, National Sawdust honors the spirit of The Stone, hosting artists selected by John Zorn presenting world premieres of new works.
Percussionist and composer Patricia Brennan’s 8-part audiovisual suite Raíces Jarochas (tr. Roots from Veracruz) is inspired by sounds and memories from Brennan’s native Veracruz, a hidden gem of Mexico. From Afro-Latino influences to mestizo traditions, this project explores the people and history that have shaped this multifaceted city since the early 16th century. Brennan performs with her group MOCH — Nahuatl for “all, everything” — comprising Michael Formanek (bass), Mauricio Herrera (percussion), and Noel Brennan (turntables, electronics, interactive video).
To mark the occasion of the premiere of Raíces Jarochas, Cosmico will be adding post-performance comidas jarochas to their regular menu. Thank you, Tamy & Felipe!
MOCH, a project of leader Patricia Brennan with Michael Formanek, Mauricio Herrera, and Noel Brennan, brings together New York creative multi-instrumental artists whose prodigious talents were recognized and cultivated early. Together and individually, they grow creatively by composing, collaborating, improvising, and performing internationally. Their diverse individual perspectives inform Patricia Brennan’s effort to increase awareness of her hometown of Veracruz Puerto, founded in 1519, which is an artistic and cultural lodestar of Mexico. MOCH is a Nahuatl word that means “all, everything.”
Patricia Brennan is a vibraphonist, marimbist, and composer. She thanks The Stone Commissions for making it possible to create Raices Jarochas (tr. Roots from Veracruz), which MOCH is premiering on December 26 at National Sawdust. At the age of four, Patricia was selected to study music and play piano at the local conservatory, Escuela Municipal de Bellas Artes. There and for two years at the conservatory of Universidad Veracruzana, she focused on concert percussion, performed with symphony orchestras, and won competitions. At the age of 17, she was selected from students in the Americas to perform in the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, and was then admitted to and graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music. Now, building on the mentorship of generous leaders, her career is at its next inflection point as a leader and soloist, with MOCH and her recently recorded solo project Kaleidoscope.
Michael Formanek is a bassist who leads and composes for several ensembles. His own quartet and the Ensemble Kolossus (of which Patricia Brennan is a member) have released albums on ECM. His most recent projects include Very Practical Trio with Mary Halvorson and Tim Berne, and touring as a duo with his son Peter Formanek. Since his adolescence — when he toured with Tony Williams and with Joe Henderson — Michael has sustained a prolific collaborative and solo career above a certain level.
Percussionist Mauricio Herrera has been an active collaborator in the professional New York music community since 2005 by performing, touring, and recording with creative leaders. In his words, he is known for “respecting my culture’s traditions and fusing it with today’s music.” Herrera grew up in the province of Holguin in Cuba, where he started playing violin at age 7, graduated from the Jose Maria Ochoa Conservatory, and was on the faculty of the Escuela Vocacional de Arte for percussion. In 1994, he moved to La Habana, and in 2001 to Mexico, consistently exhibiting musical excellence through performing, touring and recording.
Noel Brennan is a turntablist and percussionist practicing Hindustani classical percussion. With MOCH, he will be laying rhythmic foundations and controlling visuals via turntable. Growing up in the northeastern-most point of rural Maine enabled Brennan to develop originality and focus on his own craft. With degrees in jazz performance from New York University and University of Southern Maine, and mentored by Anindo Chatterjee, a luminary in tabla, he has been teaching since 2005 and is on the faculty at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, in their Jazz department. Brennan has served alongside turntablists who have worked with EPMD, Notorious BIG, and Jay-Z. He is program director of Spin DJ and Electronic Music Academy, as well as maintaining a private studio and performance career.