“The disc by the ZigZag Quartet is a composed jazz - jazz chamber music that shows a high degree of musical cohesion among the players.” - Al Kunze, Soundboard Review
"I enjoyed very much the performance of the ZigZag Quartet, their originality and their musicianship"
Mark Peskanov, Bargemusic Artistic Director
"I admire their musicianship..." Michael Lawrence, Director of Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center
About ZigZag Quartet
In December 2009, the ZigZag Quartet made its Lincoln Center debut in the new David Rubenstein Atrium. The quartet received accolades for its attractive acoustic blend, versatility and visually entertaining performance. The New York Times wrote, “On a recent frigid Thursday night, about 300 people sipped wine and tapped their feet as they listened to the music of the ZigZag Quartet. The evening was notable for the group’s range — from classical to jazz to Brazilian samba…”
This unique ensemble, formed in 2006, with members Francisco Roldán (guitar), Alexander A. Wu (piano), Hilliard Greene (double bass) and Danny Mallon (percussion) zigzags through countries, time periods and dance styles: from flamenco, early bossa novas, modern Argentine tangos and Caribbean dances to the jazz classics, world traditions and commissioned works written for the quartet. In addition, a mix of solos, duos and trios showcase the artistry of each instrumentalist.
ZigZag Quartet has performed extensively, including concerts at Walter Reade Theater, Stanley Kaplan Penthouse and the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Mannes College Guitar Festival, New Jersey City University, Bargemusic, Bryant Park, Trinity Church in Wall Street, Saint Peter's Church in the Citigroup Center, Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Square for their CD signing and dozens of performances at community libraries, museums, churches and educational institutions.
ZigZag Quartet's immediate appeal and success has caught the attention of Lincoln Center and consequently the group performed a series of six concerts with dancers as part of the, 'Meet the Artists' 2010-2011 at Lincoln Center's public school educational outreach program. ZigZag Quartet’s self-titled CD was launched in summer 2010 at the Mannes College of Music Auditorium and at Bargemusic's Jazz and more' series. Some concert engagements for 2012 include performances at Winterfest Jazz on the Vine and Hofstra University in Long Island, NY and the Puffin Gallery Foundation in Teaneck, New Jersey. The quartet is constantly expanding its repertoire, with more original music by contemporary composers, and in March ZigZag will premiere five new works written and commissioned for the group by composers in residence 'Music under Construction' at the Mannes College of Music-The New School. In parallel, the group is working on new recordings.
About the Artists
Colombian-born guitarist Francisco Roldán has performed in Russia, Argentina, Spain, Colombia, Paraguay and throughout the United States. He has four recordings, all of which are available and can be heard at cdbaby.com. His last release, Interweaving, with soprano Gretchen Farrar, was this fall. Francisco is currently on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music Extension and Preparatory Divisions and at Lehman College, City University of New York.
Pianist and Yamaha Performing Artist, Alexander Wu performs in Asia, Europe, South America and the U.S. as both a soloist and chamber player. Recently he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Alexander released his debut solo CD, Rhythm Road across the Americas at Barnes & Noble and launched his CD at Lincoln Center. He will perform music from it in select cities in the U.S. Alexander has served on the faculty at the City College at C.U.N.Y.
Bassist Hilliard Greene has been performing music for more than 30 years and has been playing professionally over twenty. He studied at the University of Northern Iowa and Berklee College of Music. Hill performed and recorded with Jimmy Scott, serving as his Musical Director and with Cecil Taylor, where he was Concert Master for his group “Phtongos”. He is currently a full-time faculty member at the Bass Collective in New York City.
Rex Benincasa: Freelancing drummer/world music percussionist in New York since 1978. Hundreds of television/radio commercial recordings. Performed with: New Music Consort, Apollo's Fire, Ensemble Caprice, Alba Consort, Zig Zag Quartet, Flamenco Latino, Carlota Santana Spanish Dance, Zorongo Flamenco Dance, Pilar Rioja, Grammy Orchestra, Amanecer Flamenco Progressivo, The Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Recordings: Karen Mason, Andrea Marcovicci, Craig Rubano, Foday Musa Suso, Philip Glass, Sesame Street, NFL Films. Lots of Broadway. Rex likes all kinds of music.
Percussionist Danny Mallon holds both a Bachelor and Master of Music degree in classical orchestral percussion from the Mannes College of Music in NYC, where he has been a faculty member since 1991. He has been recently chosen by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. State Department to be a musical ambassador, bringing American music abroad on the Rhythm Road tour. Danny plays many styles of music with people from around the world on instruments from many cultures.
Alex Wu, Piano & Keyboards
Francisco Roldan, Guitar
Hilliard Greene, Double Bass
Danny Mallon, Percussion
1. ZigZag Quartet CD is available at:
2. ZigZag Quartet II (TBA in 2012)
As good as having an uncle in the business
Article available on line www.nytimes.com
ZigZag Quartet is often a delight that shows a high degree of musical cohesion among the players
[+ Show ]
The disc by the ZigZag Quartet (Francisco Roldan, guitar; Alexander Wu, piano; Hilliard Greene, doub...The disc by the ZigZag Quartet (Francisco Roldan, guitar; Alexander Wu, piano; Hilliard Greene, double bass; and Danny Mallon, percussion) is often a delight. It is sort of a composed jazz - jazz chamber music if you will - that shows a high degree of musical cohesion among the plavers.The program features an eclectic mix (hence the "zig zag'' moniker) of latin, American, and European styles. In the best
cuts such as Gnattali's - Baiao and BenYarmolinsky's - New York Minutes there are beautifully dovetailed solos by guitar and piano, very solid work on the bass and excellent percussion.
CD review and article in the November 2010 issue
Interview and CD Review
At the Bruno Walter Auditorium in Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts
[+ Show ]
I was fortunate to be introduced to this Quartet of virtuosic musicians, each with a unique style an...I was fortunate to be introduced to this Quartet of virtuosic musicians, each with a unique style and professional background, and all of whom come together to blend their instrumental melodies and rhythms for music that spans three centuries, from Baroque to Latin, to Jazz, to World Music, to Premieres. The two Gnattali Brazilian works were sultry and scintillating, including, in the first, sophisticated guitar enhancements. The second, a true Samba, was taken over with a tight piano-guitar conversation. The Quartet showed mastery of this South of the Border genre. The Boccherini was transcribed by Julian Bream, a renowned classical guitarist, and included Danny Mallon on castanets. The bass sat out this piece, and Alexander Wu’s piano arrangements were a cross of Bach and Flamenco. Francisco Roldán took the melodic lead, with castanets and piano as engaging accompaniment.
It should be mentioned that Danny Mallon, percussionist, wore instruments tied to his feet (and used pedals for extra percussive options, as his hands were occupied with the larger percussive instruments). Danny wrote to me that “I was playing Joropo maracas, Castanets, Arabic tambourine, North African Tar, Bodhran, jazz brushes, shakers and wood block, cowbell and shaker with my feet”. The first Venezuelan Lauro piece had Mallon hopping in dance rhythm with his castanets in full force. Roldán added a contagious rhythm, as the three Lauro works were solely for guitar and percussion. Again, the second Lauro piece required all that Mallon had strapped to his feet, cowbell as well. The third Lauro piece began with the castanets, while one foot worked the wood block and shaker. Roldán’s guitar kept the music driven.
Piazzolla’s works have been often reviewed in this magazine, as his Nuevo Tangos are searing and magnetic. Hilliard Greene and Alexander Wu took “Kicho” to a furious edge. Greene used his bow with melancholy restraint. Wu and Greene brought out the stark soulfulness of Piazzolla’s genre. Two Piazzolla works were combined, as they often are in Tango concerts, but the remaining g two works introduced Mallon’s frame drum. The music was introspective and full of surprises, not a danceable arrangement. An elongated Tango ensued, with Wu’s lengthy piano solo in the mood and moment. After intermission, a recent work by Yarmolinsky (who was in the audience) had just been re-arranged for the full Quartet. Mallon used his feet for steady rhythms, while Greene took created a slow background effect. However, this work was originally a guitar-piano duo, and those two instruments carried the theme.
Danny Mallon’s own composition, “Samarkand” was a solo for his frame drum. Mallon wrote to me, “My solo “Samarkand” was on Tar, a north African drum that comes from a family of frame drums that developed around 3500 BC. The overtone singing was a style of throat singing that developed in central Asia. I sing a drone and the notes of the overtone series simultaneously”. Mallon’s throaty drone was ethereal and unique. He told the audience that the red circle on his drum was the “circle of life”, and his chants were accompanied by his Tar frame drum. It should also be mentioned that the musicians generously spoke to their audience throughout the program.
Claude Bolling’s four movement Concerto included the full Quartet. Each movement showcased a separate instrument. The first movement seemed to showcase the percussion, with a buoyant beat, while the second showcased the piano, in strikingly dramatic and rapid refrains, allowing for deliberate pauses. The Quartet joined in seamlessly here, with Mallon using brushes on his frame drum. The third movement, infused with an Afro-Caribbean dance rhythm, showcased Roldán’s dynamic guitar. The Finale featured Greene’s echoing bass solos that synthesized the melody’s message. Kudos to ZigZag Quartet. You can check out their upcoming events on their website. You can also check out upcoming Donnell Library free events on the Donnell Library Website.
R. Gnattali (1906-1988) Brazil
B. Yarmolinsky (b.1955) U.S.A.
New York Minutes 5:29
A. Piazzolla (1921-1992) Argentina
Milonga del Ángel 5:08
R. Landestoy (b.1925) The Dominican Republic
Criolla en La 2:20
Preludio No. 2 1:10
L. Boccherini (1743-1805) Italy
(arr.by Julian Bream) 6:23
Introduction and Fandango
C. Bolling (b. 1930) France
Hispanic Dance 5:51
Total Time 49:24
There are no upcoming dates at this time.