Center For Arts & Equity

Club d'Elf

Club d’Elf is an ever-shifting group of musicians fiercely dedicated to “the groove” consisting of some of the most sought-after players from the jazz, DJ, rock & world music scenes of Boston & NYC. Over the course of it's twenty-four year existence it has been featured on PRI's The World, Voice Of America, Afropop Worldwide, and Time Out New York. The band's music draws from a startlingly wide spectrum of styles including jazz, hip hop, electronica, avant garde, prog-rock, and dub. Under the tutelage of member Brahim Fribgane the band has absorbed Moroccan trance influences and frequently add this element to the mix. Audiences of all persuasions are drawn to Fribgane’s mesmerizing oud stylings and leader/bassist Mike Rivard’s commanding playing of the Moroccan sintir, a 3 string bass lute used by the Gnawa people of Morocco. Derived from such ancient sources as these, trance forms the central core of the Club d’Elf aesthetic, unifying all of the various genres the band has absorbed.

The band's new album, "You Never Know", drops in April 2022 and is a trance-heavy meditation on finding light amidst the shadows. The band pay tribute to the music and musicians who have been heavy influences, with half the album consisting of covers of Gnawa (trance music from North Africa), Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul, the Moroccan band Nass el-Ghiwane, and Frank Zappa. The other half consists of original music inspired by leader Mike Rivard's personal journey into darkness following a near death experience in the remote jungle of the Peruvian Amazon.

Sessions were recorded live to analog tape in the studio with minimal overdubbing, the result being the closest feeling to the band's legendary live performances than any of it's preceding fifteen releases. Joining Rivard (on basses and Moroccan sintir) and D'Elf regulars Dean Johnston (drums) and DJ Mister Rourke (turntables) is John Medeski (on an array of vintage analog keyboards), who will join the band on a run of shows in April/May 2022.

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