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Photo by Glen DiCrocco 

Photo by Glen DiCrocco 

Performance  |  Rhapsody by Bobby Previte

Saturday, October 13, 2018, 8 pm

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium  

Tickets: $15 Members $30 Not Yet Members

Members must call the Burchfield Penney to purchase tickets at the member price.

Call 716-878-6011 for tickets or visit the Burchfield Penney.


Commissioned by the 2015 Greenfield Prize in Music, RHAPSODY is an acoustic, evening-length song cycle on the subject of travel and migration. This star-studded band features John Medeski on piano, Nels Cline on acoustic guitars, Zeena Parkins on harp, Jen Shyu on vocals and erhu, Fabian Rucker -on saxophone, and Bobby Previte on trap drums, autoharp, and harmonica.

In 2015, Previte received the Greenfield Prize in music at the Hermitage Artist Retreat to create a new work. Terminals Part II: In Transit (or RHAPSODY) is the result. RHAPSODY is the second in a three-part series exploring the experience of travel. Terminals Part I: DEPARTURES, is a set of five concertos written for the visionary percussion group SO Percussion and five improvisers. This piece premiered at Merkin Hall in New York City in 2011 and the recording was released on Cantaloupe Music in 2014. In RHAPSODY, the improvisers from DEPARTURES, each of whom had been selected based on their ability to separately carry fifteen-minute concertos, were thrown together into one ensemble.

Beginning from the point of view of a passenger sitting comfortably in an airplane, RHAPSODY twists and turns, until the traveler finally arrives on an unfamiliar shore.What is the experience of being in transit? Separated from your home but not yet at your destination, you are neither here nor there, confined with strangers in an intimate environment for a predetermined amount of time. Uncomfortable, yet somehow free. To travel is to be bound with these strangers by faith—faith in the vessel which carries you, faith in the people who operate it, and ultimately, faith in the strangers waiting at your destination.


The work, which bears the subtitle “Terminals Part II: In Transit,” unfolds with dizzying intensity and convulsing complexity, often employing abstraction to evoke the dislocation of travel."
- The New York Times

Boasting a stupendous sound and concept, as well as an unconventional repertoire of converging influences and metaphors, this is a masterwork by a fearless musician who never ceases to innovate.
- Jazz Trail

In a word, Rhapsody is great, but that's too easy to say outright. Rhapsody is just a tremendous, open-ended listen in the greatest sense of the phrase.
- Pop Matters

That state of liminality—of hanging suspended between locations with only a thin layer of metal and composite between you and certain death—is beautifully rendered in Previte’s downright cinematic movements, each of which variously highlights the strengths of one or more of his bandmates. He treats himself no differently than his other musicians, letting his singular compositional voice ring over all, handing us a light to navigate the darkness in which he leaves us.
- ECM Reviews

This is a truly distinctive album that blends very effectively the writing with the individual voices of a very powerful ensemble.
-London Jazz News

Fresh sounding, diverse and modern. 
- Jazz Music Archives

May prove to be a landmark event.
- Sarasota Herald Tribune