Mary Halvorson: Amaryllis
“An unflinching original who has revealed new possibilities within the music.” – New York Times
Mary Halvorson is a guitarist, ensemble leader, and composer who continually pushes against established musical categories with a signature instrumental sound and an aesthetic that evolves with each album and musical configuration. She melds deep jazz roots with experimental rock, folk, and other musical traditions, reflecting a wide range of stylistic influences. An in-demand guitarist, over the past decade Halvorson has worked with such diverse musicians as Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, John Dieterich, Trevor Dunn, Bill Frisell, Ingrid Laubrock, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey, Jessica Pavone, Tomeka Reid, Marc Ribot, and John Zorn. She is also part of several collaborative projects, most notably the longstanding trio Thumbscrew with Michael Formanek on bass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums. Halvorson released her debut album, Dragon’s Head, in 2008. A decade of album releases later, she received a MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 2019. Halvorson returns to Big Ears Festival for a performance focused on her most recent release, Amaryllis. The six-song suite is performed by a newly formed sextet of master improvisers, including Halvorson, Patricia Brennan (vibraphone), Nick Dunston (bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums), Jacob Garchik (trombone), and Adam O’Farrill (trumpet).