Adventurous String Band Music: The Expedition Quintet with Jake Schepps has a new album of music by the great Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. While the group is rooted in the stringband tradition, the result is music—and music-making—that is as fresh and exciting to our 21st-century ears as it must have been to Bartók’s first listeners so many decades ago. The premise for this juxtaposition stems from the band’s whole-hearted belief in the traditional bluegrass instruments (banjo, mandolin, guitar, violin, and bass) as a highly versatile and unique ensemble. This instrumentation is as sonorous as a string quartet or jazz piano trio. The EQ have all deeply studied folk music, spending years jamming in festival campgrounds and old-time fiddle gatherings, and they bring that element of musicianship and prowess to all genres. And that in turn gives their show a distinctive edge, one that stems from these many years learning folk music, and then playing music in the classical tradition. While this curious dichotomy may seem trite, it casts new light on Bartók’s brilliance, evoking the best of his Eastern European folk music transcriptions, his modernist harmony, and makes for compelling listening.
The Expedition Quintet has performed at venues across the country ranging from bluegrass festivals to jazz clubs to concert halls. Notably, in 2010, EQ performed with the Ars Nova Singers “The Bluegrass Mass,” a 30-minute scored piece for bluegrass band and choir and performed in St. Petersburg, Russia at the 1st Annual Terem Quartet Crossover Competition .
Jake Schepps is a banjo renaissance man and the creative force behind the Quartet. Renowned for his intelligent touch on the banjo and imaginative variation on stringband music, Jake was featured on the cover of Banjo Newsletter in July 2008. In addition to music, Jake teaches emergency wilderness medicine around the world.
Fiddler Enion Pelta-Tiller has been playing music for over 30 years, and studied at the San Francisco Conservatory and the prestigious Peabody Institute in Baltimore, MD. Her explorations into fiddle music were mentored by Darol Anger, David Balakrishnan, and reknown Romanian Gypsy Violinist Lache Cercel. She teaches classical violin, and bluegrass, celtic, gypsy, jazz, old-time, and other fiddle styles to students ranging from children of 4 to adult professional musicians, and has been an instructor at Mark O'Connor's celebrated fiddle camps. A fouding member of the band Taarka, she also performs with ThaMuseMeant, The Japsers and Bonnie and The Clydes. Enion has performed and recorded with notable artists and conductors: Michael Tilson Thomas, Linda Ronstadt, Darrell Scott, John Cowan, members of the Grateful Dead, Elephant Revival, members of Phish, Yonder Mountain String Band, and many others.
Guitarist Grant Gordy is quickly becoming recognized for pushing and blurring the boundaries of acoustic music in his compositions, his assimilation of jazz influences, and his exceptional facility with his instrument. Grant regularly performs with the David Grisman Quintet and the Canadian Juno Award-winning artist Jayme Stone. Gordy’s eponymous recording Grant Gordy was released in early 2010.
For booking inquiries, please contact Jake here.