For the first time since 2010, John Medeski joins Auktyon on stage in a rare pairing for only one
concert in the US. The versatile keyboard virtuoso Medeski contributed to couple of studio
recordings featuring Auktyon musicians in the past, but the live show is what truly allows this
collaboration to stun the audience with the raw energy of improvisation and unique sound. Don’t
miss this rare opportunity to catch the unique and diverse, always recognizable and constantly
changing heroes of Russian art-jazz-rock, variously influenced by folk, avant garde and Russian
high poetry, as they reunite with their long-time friend and musical soul-mate John Medeski.
Auktyon (St. Petersburg, Russia)
The sound of Auktyon’s contagious chord defies easy comparison to Western acts and stereotypes of Russian music. You may hear musical hints of performers and genres as diverse as the Talking Heads, Leonard Cohen and Plastic People of the Universe, and punk and klezmer. What you won’t hear are balalaikas or Volga boatmen lurking in Auktyon’s songs, though there is something more elusive that could only come from cosmopolitan St. Petersburg, home of the darkness of Dostoyevsky: the graceful nonsense of early 20th-century Russian poetry and the playful earthiness of jam sessions in Soviet-era kitchens. Auktyon has kept the best of Russia’s bohemian past alive, reassembling it with rock sensibility. The result is utterly worldly, unabashedly eclectic and instantly accessible to international listeners.
Auktyon (pron ounced auction, as in eBay) has emerged as a distinctly original band in the early 80’s in St.Petersburg, Russia, when rock bands started to emerge slowly from the underground and into the popular culture. The band has always remained uncompromisingly alternative, never tempted to resort to the popular trend at that time of politicizing their songs. Early on in their career, a typical Auktyon concert would resemble a theatrical show, with elaborate costumes and make-up, eccentric behavior, and grotesque mannerism of the frontman. In the mid 90’s and for the next decade, Auktyon actively explores European and American audiences, having great success and gaining a cult following in many countries. A favorite at hundreds of international music festivals, the band has always been able to establish an understanding, a connection with the audience, regardless of the languages spoken on and off stage.
Inexplicable fusion of different style of music and performing technique, odd rhythms, melodic vocals, unbelievable energy and drive. Just about the only Russian rock band to nurse out a sound that resists an easy matchup with a Western source, known for their Dadaist lyrics and riotous stage show, Auktyon fuses traditional folk with frenetic punk and jazz.
Famed keyboardist John Medeski is not easily contained to a single project or genre; he is credited on over 300 works to date, most notably as one third of the groundbreaking trio, Medeski Martin & Wood.
Equally comfortable behind a Steinway grand piano, Hammond organ or any number of vintage keyboards, Medeski is a highly sought after improviser and band leader whose projects range from work with John Zorn, The Word (Robert Randolph, North Mississippi Allstars), Phil Lesh, Don Was, John Scofield, Coheed & Cambria, Susana Baca, Sean Lennon, Marc Ribot, Irma Thomas, Blind Boys of Alabama, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and many more. Classically trained, Medeski grew up in Ft.Lauderdale, FL where as a teenager he played with Jaco Pastorius before heading north to attend the New England Conservatory. He released his first solo piano record, A Different Time, on Sony’s Okeh Records in 2013, and current projects include a new album in the works with his band MadSkillet (Terrence Higgins, Kirk Joseph, Will Bernard), and HUDSON (a collaboration with Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield & Larry Grenadier), plus a documentary on Medeski Martin & Wood.