Burnt Sugar Will Bring the Noise

The musical ensemble is always full of surprises for the audience. And themselves.


Back in the late 1990s, Voice writer nonpareil Greg Tate (1957–2021) founded an improvisational ensemble, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, with the writ to do damn near anything musical—or, as the “Ironman” himself once put it as the project gained steam, “Burnt Sugar got the nerve to claim Sly Stone, Morton Feldman, Billie Holiday, Jimi Hendrix and Jean Luc Ponty as progenitors. Our player-ranks include known Irish fiddlers, AACM refugees, Afro-punk rejects, unrepentant beboppers, feminist rappers, jitterbugging doowoppers, frankly loud funk-a-teers and rodeo stars of the digital divide.”

In other words, something for everyone in the tradition of downtown, down-and-dirty New York improvisational jazz, eclectic funk, and generally thumping buoyancy that ranges from Ellington, Sun Ra, Parliament Funkadelic, Miles, and many other forebears to whatever is lighting up your aural streams tomorrow.

This Sunday’s concert features six rising musicians who took part in a Burnt Sugar workshop, part of Carnegie Hall’s Afrofuturism Festival, joined by a cast of ever-changing multigenerational, multigender, multiethnic top-flight musicians, all devoted to, as the collective has long put it, “never playing anything the same way once.”  ❖

Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber
“Cosmic Riddem, Esoteric Rambunction & Eclectic Blue Cheer–Conduction #5”
Sunday, April 3, 7:30 PM
Tickets $20 and $30
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, 57th Street and Seventh Avenue


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