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The Lizard Lounge
Cambridge, MA
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Friday 5/20 -
featuring Paul Schultheis (Rhodes, Moog & melodica), Steve Fell (guitar), Jerry Leake (tablas & percussion), Mike Rivard (basses, sintir & bass kalimba) & Dean Johnston (drums), w/ Yaure Muniz (trumpet) and special surprise guests!
$10 advance / $12 at the door
9:00 doors / 9:30 show

What is this thing called "Club d'Elf"? No, it's not a club, as in venue, but it is sort of a "club", as in a group of like-minded individuals who gather together to amuse themselves (and hopefully the audience who comes to see it) with the musical equivalent of secret handshakes. In this case the "secret handshake" is an unspoken adhesion and fierce devotion to grooves that induce trance, and the club is a collective of musicians from all manner of varied backgrounds.
Club d'Elf

Club d'Elf convened for the first time in 1998, spearheaded and fronted by bassist/composer Mike Rivard, a busy session player who has recorded & performed with Morphine, Jon Brion, Aimee Mann, G Love & Jonatha Brooke, amongst others. Rivard drew from the players in the myriad of bands he worked with to fill out the ranks of D'Elf, creating an incredibly diverse rotating cast. Originally formed around a core rhythm section with the addition of different special guests for each show, the idea was to remix Rivard's groove-based compositions differently for each performance. Guests over the years have included John Medeski & Billy Martin (MMW), DJ Logic, Marc Ribot, Skerik, and Marco Benevento (Benevento / Russo Duo), with describing the situation thusly: "Club d'Elf consists of Mike Rivard and any cohorts who decide to embark with him into perilous sonic chimeras."

The music draws from a startlingly wide spectrum of styles, including jazz, hip hop, electronica, prog-rock and dub, with the band exploring mash-ups of these diverse musical universes before the term was even in use. A Squarepusher-styled drum'n'bass groove may give way to a traditional North Indian tabla interlude, in turn dissolving into some Miles "Live Evil" type electric mayhem. Over the past few years (under the tutelage of member Brahim Fribgane, who hails from Casablanca) the band has been absorbing Moroccan trance influences and frequently adding this element to the live mix, showcasing Fribgane's mesmerizing oud stylings and Rivard's commanding playing of the Moroccan sintir, a 3 string bass lute used by the Gnawa people of Morocco, a mystical Sufi brotherhood descended from sub-Saharan slaves brought to Morocco over 500 years ago.

Over the course of it's 11 year history the band has has held a residency at Cambridge's Lizard Lounge, toured Japan four times and played countless gigs and festivals, including the prestigious Festival Du Monde de Arabe in Montreal. Finding it's true element to be live performance, where the band revels in musical tight-rope walking and improvisational daring-do, D'Elf has released 8 live double-CDs, mostly on the Kufala label. In 2006 d'Elf released it's first studio disc, Now I Understand, which climbed to #7 on the CMJ Jazz chart and garnered rave reviews. Slated for early 2010 is Dos, a double-CD comprising TWO new studio releases, representing very different sides of the band's sound: one being post-Radiohead electronica (and featuring some of the late Mark Sandman of Morphine's last recorded performances); the other, acoustic Moroccan folk music (and featuring Hassan Hakmoun singing a Gnawa-ified version of Cream's "Sunshine Of Your Love").



The Lizard Lounge
1667 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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Music > Experimental
Music > Global

Minimum Age: 21
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!


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