Greg Howard and the Chapman Stick

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Thursday / November 29, 2012 / 1:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street


Chapman stick virtuoso Greg Howard will present a lecture demonstration on the Stick as well as how to use technology tools to extend the performance capabilities of any instrument

The Chapman stick bridges the physical and electronic music worlds like no other instrument. With fingertips right on vibrating strings, the stick player has a direct expressive connection to the sound source like no mechanical keyboardist or electronic interface allows. Orchestral and counterpoint capabilities reach way beyond the obvious analogy of "bass plus guitar" into infinite permutations of interactive and independent hands covering a more than five-octave range, divided into two overlapping string groups.

As a soloist, Howard's hands tap an intricate dance on the fretboard, building compositions and improvisations from the pure amplified string tone, and then orchestrating them with a wide array of electronically processed tones.  In ensemble settings he plays the chameleon—as bassist, rhythm section, soloist, and through creative programming and use of effects. From his improbable live one-hour free improvisation Water on the Moon, to his progressive jazz and funk/fusion compositions for the Netherlands-based Greg Howard Band and the Virginia-based UpTet, no Stickist covers the sonic spectrum like Howard.

Howard has performed all over North America, Western Europe, and Japan, at festivals (including two appearances at the Montreal Jazz Festival and Lincoln Center's Summer Festival), progressive rock concert series, and opening tours for diverse artists such as guitarist Tim Reynolds, progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, and bassist Michael Manring, and as a guest onstage and in the studio with the Dave Matthews Band (Before These Crowded Streets).

In addition to his nine CDs, Howard has also released two method books and an instructional DVD, and is recognized as a leading authority on stick technique. He is the most active instructor on the instrument worldwide, having taught over 60 technique and performance workshops since 1996, including two summer workshops at the Interlochen College of Creative Arts, and he is also a member of the a peformance faculty at the University of Virginia.