“Ebullient” – New York Times
“Composer of eminent individuality” – Yusef Lateef
“A concert of weightlessness, class, spark, inspiration and sharing… for such is the music of Etkin: sensitive to the exchange with the audience.” -Libération
OPEN ARMS (New album January 2024)
With Open Arms, Etkin flipped the traditional tape-then-tour model, using his tours to create new music with mbira masters in Zimbabwe, Roma musicians in Czech Republic, innovative composers in Brazil and France and traditional musicians in Turkey. His upcoming album features these on-location recordings alongside reimagined versions with his band. The live band is enhanced with electronics as the musicians improvisationally trigger layers of samples from the original recordings creating ever-changing textures and grooves. This fresh combination of deeply traditional sounds with innovative improvisations tells a spellbinding story of an opening and connected world, rooted in its cultures yet intent on forging a bold path forward.
TIMBALOOLOO (for children)
Transcending language and cultural barriers, Timbalooloo is one of the few young-audience productions to be embraced by major theaters and festivals all around the world — from Kennedy Center to Istanbul Jazz Fest, North Sea Jazz to Shanghai Theater. The concert is fully interactive, with the audience drumming, dancing, singing along on every song. Etkin can be accompanied by local musicians or with his touring band.
The concerts start with a problem… Etkin’s friend Clara (who we later discover is Clara Net – his clarinet) fell asleep and came to the concert in her bed! The children help wake her up, and she calls for her mother, Big Mama Tuba, who answers from the back of the audience with a rumble! Together with the full band, Etkin takes the children on a journey around the world. The concert can incorporate projections for an audio-visual experience.
Timbalooloo endeavors to empower a generation of children to speak the international language of music, and to see the beauty and creativity in other cultures!