Ozu by de Grassi

Mark Nornes amnornes at umich.edu
Fri Jan 20 18:53:51 EST 2006

For Immediate Release

Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts announces

The New York Guitar Festival

Comes to Flushing Town Hall

Location: Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing, NY 11354

(one block east of Main Street in Downtown Flushing, at the corner of  
Linden Pl.)

Time: 8 PM

Box Office: (718) 463-7700 x222 ▪ www.flushingtownhall.org

Subway: 7-train to Main Street/Flushing

Free parking available

Tickets: $20/$16 members

Press inquiries: Michelle Becker, (718) 463-7700 x224,  
mbecker at flushingtownhall.org

On Saturday January 28th, guitarist and composer Alex de Grassi will  
perform an original score he composed for A Story of Floating Weeds  
(Ukigusa Monogatari, 1934) by the world-renowned Japanese director  
Yasujiro Ozu. The film was one of Ozu’s most successful, both  
critically and financially, and shows him in the midst of developing  
his distinct style. The film tells the story of the leader of a small  
traveling theater group who returns to a small town, reunites with a  
former lover, and meets his now-grown son, an event that enrages his  
current mistress.

De Grassi is regarded as one of the world’s top fingerstyle, steel- 
string acoustic guitarists. He was born in Yokosuka, Japan and grew  
up in the San Francisco Bay area. Essentially self-taught on guitar,  
de Grassi comes from a family of musicians. His grandfather was first  
violinist in the San Francisco Symphony and his father trained in  
classical piano. De Grassi has the ability to weave together melody,  
counter-melody, bass, harmony, rhythm, and cross-rhythms, ultimately  
creating a highly orchestrated sound from a solo guitar. In addition  
to his custom six-string, de Grassi will play a few one-of-a-kind  
guitars from the Doctorow collection, including a 39-string "Flying  
Dream" made by Fred Carlson of Santa Cruz, California; the instrument  
incorporates sympathetic strings (strings that resonate not by being  
plucked or bowed, but by their proximity to other strings) as well as  
extended bass and treble harp strings.

A short will precede the feature—excerpts from Teinosuke  
Kinugasa’s A Page of Madness (Kurutta Ippeiji, 1926) will be  
screened accompanied by an improvisation by the guitarist Henry  
Kaiser. The film offers a fragmented portrait of an insane asylum. It  
is regarded as one of the finest examples of international  
experimental cinema.

Kaiser is widely recognized as one of the most creative guitarists,  
improvisers, and producers in the fields of rock, jazz, and  
experimental music. He has worked with Cecil Taylor, John Zorn, Jim  
O’Rourke, and many other musicians. His inimitable style draws from  
an uncommonly varied range of influences, including traditional  
blues, East Asian, Classical North Indian, and Hawaiian music, as  
well as free jazz, free improvisation, American steel-string concert  
guitar, and 20th-century classical music.
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