Hazmat Modine, Balla Kouyate & Guests Celebrate the American release of Box of Breath Hazmat Modine, Balla Kouyate & Guests Celebrate the American release of Box of Breath

Sat February 1st, 2020


Main Space

Minimum Age: 18+

Doors Open: 6:00PM

Show Time: 7:00PM

Event Ticket: $20 / $15

Day of Show: $25 / $20

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$20 Advanced Seating / $15 Advanced GA

$25 Day of Show Seating / $20 Day of Show GA

This new collection of original material finds Hazmat deep in command of their self-created idiom — swimming in international waters but never far from the American coast. Malian riffs infuse with Mississippi mud and Tin Pan Alley, stretching the band’s roots aesthetic to include notes of hibiscus and the buzz of mosquitos. There are songs about death, striving, hoarding, time and the march of dementia. Soaring horns and wailing harmonica are joined by the clang of modern India and the murmur of China, a distillation of Hazmat Modine’s travels through time, place and sound.

The Album is layered with the syncopated Balafon as played be the Malian Griot Balla Kouyate, there is a portrait of a recalcitrant badger that uses the astonishing Daxaphone, (one of the most expressive instruments that no one has ever heard of, played by Mark Stewart of Paul Simon fame,) There is the cry and laugh of Charlie Burnham’s wa-wa fiddle and the rich tapestry of the darting and flirting Hazmat Horns: Songs that are gentle and melancholic, and songs of pure exuberance, joy and defiance.

Throughout, the CD weaves lyrics that reflect on the times and troubles of the world we currently live in. This is the bands most mature and original album yet, something so Hazmatian that it needs its own genre to define it… Familiar yet un-trodden, Box of Breath celebrates humanity and mortality. We invite you to attend the CD release with glorious cacophony of wood and metal at Le Poisson Rouge on February 1.

“… The songs are sublime again, the arrangements phenomenal, the vocals of Schuman and the band fantastic, and the passion with which they play unsurpassed…Sorry, but this is an album that I can only talk about in superlatives – for me this is already the topper of 2019…” Moors magazine -Holland.

“…There is, in all likelihood, no other American band that so definitively captures the true meaning of roots music then Wade Schuman’s 9-piece New York collective.
Whilst touchstones abound, and lashings of blues, New Orleans flavored jazz and funk, Calypso, Balkanova, Klezmer, Gypsy Jazz, and African grooves are all thrown in the crucible, what comes out is entirely original and intoxicating…Comes the time to pass judgement on the years best, Box of Breath has “contender” written all over it.” Rhythms magazine -Australia.
“with this haunting humdinger of a fifth album, the band has hit an apotheosis that consolidates claims to it being one of the most dynamic and distinctive US roots collectives…Befitting a band that has toured are then 40 countries, Hazmat Modine takes delight in bending musical boundaries. Global hues add considerable clout and intrigue to the bands brand off Bohemian blues.” 
Tony Hillier – The Australian.
“This is a New York band that has achieved the tour de force, by itself, of representing the entire history of American music. A vast musical melting pot in which all genres merge to form one! There are Blues, Swing, sounds of music from Eastern Europe, Folk, Jamaican and Hawaiian consonances, and so on…In all, 54 minutes for a fascinating overview of some great and magnificent American musical territories. Very nice album!” Dominique Boulay Paris – Move & Blues Magazine France

Ticketing Policy


Table seating for all seated shows is reserved exclusively for ticket holders who purchase “Table Seating” tickets. By purchasing a “Table Seating” ticket you agree to also purchase a minimum of two food and/or beverage items per person. Table seating is first come, first seated. Please arrive early for the best choice of available seats. Seating begins when doors open. Tables are communal so you may be seated with other patrons. We do not take table reservations.

A standing room area is available by the bar for all guests who purchase “Standing Room” tickets. Food and beverage can be purchased at the bar but there is no minimum purchase required in this area.

All ticket sales are final. No refunds or credits.

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Hazmat Modine

Hazmat Modine Official Website | Hazmat Modine on Facebook | Hazmat Modine on Instagram

For over twenty years and through 40 countries Hazmat Modine has been providing the world with the sounds of an America that never existed. Recklessly distilled, they pour it directly into your coffee mug from the spout of New York City. Tuba powered, harmonica infected, Saxophone charged, trumpet riddled, trombone slathered, drum beat ravaged, fiddle broiled, guitar chiseled, and vocal sanctified, Hazmat Modine has rattled across the globe, from Siberia to Turkey, Borneo to Brazil, Mexico to New Zealand, China, India, to the far reaches of Europe.

 The band draws from the rich soil of the various roots that make up American music, fusing blues, Caribbean, Country, Jazz, Rock, African and Eastern European sounds, in fact most of the cultures that make up the tapestry of the NYC diaspora, to come up with a sound that is both familiar and unique, a kind alternate outcome of the musical melting pot of American music.

Balla Kouyate

Born in Mali, Balla Kouyaté was raised in the Djeli tradition. His knowledge of his traditional repertoire is unparalleled. Today, the first balafon, over 1000 years old, remains in his family, guarded by his father, El Hadji Sekou Kouyaté. It is considered a UNESCO Artifact of Oral and Intangible History. In 1994, he joined the renowned Ensemble Nationale du Mali. By 1997 he was playing with singer Ami Koïta for 27 African presidents. Balla has toured extensively with artists, like Sekouba Bambino and Kassé Madi Diabaté, in Europe and Africa. Since coming to the US in 2000, his collaborations with Western artists in a variety of musical styles brought the need for innovation. He thus created a chromatic instrument, using two balafons. Balla’s superior musicianship has been featured on over 45 albums, including Silkroad’s Sing Me Home, Yo-Yo Ma’s, Songs of Joy and PeaceAngelique Kidjo’s Oyo, and Vusi Mahlasela’s Say Africa. Balla is currently working on a second album of his original music featuring members of his family. His music has been recorded for the Library of Congress and heard in venues such as Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Carnegie Hall, and The Kennedy Center as well as numerous festivals around the US and Europe. As an educator he has given lectures/demonstrations and master classes in universities and schools across the country, including Harvard University, MIT, Berklee School of Music and CalArts.

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