Explore the toggles below to learn more about the Prague Music and Art Immersion.
Prague Immersion Overview
IGE Prague Immersion 2021 will reveal the hidden heart of Prague’s thriving cultural scene!
We’ve scoured Prague to secure an enchanting diversity of venues across the dreamlike city and identify the finest of local musical talent. As with Venice, Barcelona and Lisbon, we curate musical and artistic experiences with a mind to overarching synergistic impact.
Freshly remodeled in 2020, The Mosaic House hotel, our exceptional hotel headquarters, is ideally situated by Charles square and the iconic Charles bridge. In Prague, participants will witness once in a lifetime musical collaborations of IGE Musical Ambassadors with a broad range of multi-genre European All-Stars. Conceived as a cohesive multi-dimensional installation and crafted with our local friends and nonprofit partners, we’ll move from jazz hall to synagogue, rock theater to cathedral, chateau to vaudeville boat, disco to ancient pub.
Expect to engage with local friends through philanthropic programming as we together benefit partner charities. Immersion participants give, of course while having the times of their lives and earning a substantial tax deduction.
In Prague expect a highly limited participant capacity to retain the intimacy of the Immersive environment.
Prague Immersion Packages Include:
10 days and 9 nights single or double accommodations and daily buffet breakfast at the Mosaic House hotel, IGE Prague headquarters. IGE occupies the entire property for the duration of the Immersion with few limitations on hours of operations or musical stylings. At the Mosaic, we will host scheduled and impromptu performances. From the catered first night concert, to afternoon and after hours sets, to our final evening catered musical extravaganza, the Mosaic is the epicenter for the musical collaborations unique to IGE Immersions
DINNERS, COCKTAILS, MUSIC AND ART
- Daily breakfast
- Arrival drinks and catered dinner at hotel Mosaic with local and Musical Ambassador performances
- Gala evening concert at the 16th – Century Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle and private visit to the renowned Lobkowicz Museum Collections
- Post Gala catered dinner at Neoclassical Villa Richter in St Wenceslas Vineyard complex at Prague Castle
- Concert at Palac Akropolis
- Concert at Prague Crossroads – 14th-Century Gothic St. Anne’s Church
- Concert at Jazz Dock
- Dinner and concert at Duplex discoteca
- Concert on Lod’ Tajemstvi theater barge
- Concert at Jerusalem Synagogue
- Concert at 15th -Century Malostranska Beseda
- Concert at National Art Museum
- Two additional catered group dinners TBA
- Concert at 13th -Century Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia
- Regular afternoon and after hours acoustic picking sessions at Mosaic Hotel
- Final Evening Party, catered dinner and concert extravaganza at the Mosaic.
– Airfare is not included in package price –
– Specific programming is subject to change –
— All included meals carefully cater to dietary preferences and restrictions—
2021 Prague Music and Art Immersion Packages
|Room Type||Cost Per Person|
|Standard Double with Queen Bed or Twin Beds||$3,950.00|
|Comfort Double with Queen Bed or Twin Beds||$4,350.00|
|SOLD OUT – Superior Double Terrace with Queen Bed||$5,250.00|
|Standard Single with Queen Bed||$5,750.00|
|SOLD OUT – Penthouse with King Bed and Outdoor Deck||$7,500.00|
Standard Double w/Twins or Queen $3,950.00/person:
Room size: 18 – 22 sqm, Double or twin bed, 180 cm, Flat-screen TV with Netflix, Free high-speed Wi-Fi, UE-Boom Bluetooth speakers, Rainfall shower, Air conditioning, Laptop-sized safe
Comfort Double w/Twins or Queen $4,350.00/person:
Room size : from 24 sqm,Double or twin bed, 180cm,Flat-screen TV with Netflix, Free high-speed Wi-Fi, UE Boom Bluetooth speakers, Rainfall shower, Air conditioning, Laptop-sized safe
Standard Single w/Queen $5,7500.00/person:
Room size: 18 – 22 sqm, Double or twin bed, 180 cm, Flat-screen TV with Netflix, Free high-speed Wi-Fi, UE-Boom Bluetooth speakers, Rainfall shower, Air conditioning, Laptop-sized safe
Superior Double Terrace w/Queen $5,250.00/person:
Room size : 18 – 26 sqm, Romantic green terrace, Double bed, 200 cm, Flat-screen TV with Netflix, Free high-speed Wi-Fi, UE Boom Bluetooth speakers, Rainfall shower, Air conditioning, Laptop – sized safe
Penthouse Suite w/Queen $7,500.00/person
Room size: 41 sqm, Panoramatic roof terrace (26 sqm) with royal view of Prague Castle, Private outdoor bathtub, Comfortable double bed, 200cm,
Free minibar, Flat-screen TV with Netflix, Free high-speed Wi-Fi, UE Boom Bluetooth speakers, Rainfall shower, Air conditioning, Selection of teas and coffee, Laptop-sized safe
Innovative Giving Enhancement (IGE) 509 (a)(2) Immersion Guests may claim a substantial charitable contribution deduction for the excess of the purchase price paid over its fair market value (FMV). IGE will provide documentation to Guests indicating your tax deductible donation to IGE
Our standard payment schedule:
- 50% of Trip Price at booking (including deposit if paid)
- 75% of Trip Price date to be determined
- 100% of Trip Price date to be determined
Cancellation Policies: Refund policies to be determined.
We strongly encourage all Immersion participants to take trip cancellation insurance including medical evacuation coverage immediately upon booking your trip and paying your first deposit to IGE. The policy should cover all air, current and future IGE payments. In addition to trip cancellation insurance, participants are strongly encouraged to add cancel for any reason to the policy. Although cancellations are infrequent, there have been past instances for which such insurance would have defrayed nonrefundable payments.
The Mosaic House
10 days and 9 nights single or double accommodations and daily buffet breakfast at the Mosaic House hotel, IGE Prague headquarters. IGE occupies the entire property for the duration of the Immersion. The Mosaic House, newly remodeled in 2020 from hotel/hostel to private room luxury hotel, is perfectly situated by Charles square and the iconic Charles bridge in the heart of medieval Prague. The Mosaic will be converted into an atmospheric event venue with a performance stage, cozy living room space and bar, ideal for the intercultural collaborations and philanthropic programming at the heart of the immersive experience.
– Complete list of venues will be announced in October, 2021 –
- Hotel Mosaic
- Gala evening concert at the 16th – Century Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle and private visit to the renowned Lobkowicz Museum Collections
- Palac Akropolis
- Prague Crossroads – 14th-Century Gothic St. Anne’s Church
- Jazz Dock
- Duplex discoteca
- Lod’ Tajemstvi theater barge
- Jerusalem Synagogue
- 15th -Century Malostranska Beseda
- 13th -Century Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia
IGE Musical Ambassadors
Musical Ambassadors are the essence of IGE Music and Art Immersions. IGE honors Ambassadors for unusual commitment over careers to musical, educational and broader communities. These eminent master musicians embrace cross-cultural, multi-genre collaboration as they contribute to the dynamic synergism at the core of the Immersion experience. It is around Musical Ambassadors, against backdrops of historic Venice, magical Barcelona, phantasmal Lisbon, and now dreamlike Prague that Immersions coalesce and unfold. Ambassadors orchestrate Immersions as they perform in rehearsed and spontaneous ensembles.
“An IGE immersion is like no musical excursion you will participate in. It’s incomparable to any vacation – becoming a community in a foreign land to appreciate culture, art and music is the way to get to know a city like you never can sightseeing alone. On Immersions you are simultaneously a traveller and at home with a group of common minded people.” – Paul Hoffman, Greensky Bluegrass
“For me, the IGE immersion is truly unique. It’s not a gig, it’s not a vacation, it’s an opportunity to be who we are, among friends. Lovers of culture, of language, of food, of lifestyle. Its about special musical collaborations in sublime settings. It’s about sharing laughter and wonder and song in enchanting European locations. It’s about tuning in to the local vibe and rhythms and soaking them up. It’s less about performing music, and more about playing it out of joy, inspiration and gratitude fueled by the immersive experience.” – Keith Moseley, String Cheese Incident
“The opportunity to see disparate artists join together in multiple formats, to watch their musical language at work, creating new harmonious wholes, was awe-inspiring.” – Zak Gordon
“I had a fantastic time. I wasn’t sure what to expect but felt truly immersed–no other word truly applies–with my favorite music. I loved the venues you found and how the music was seamlessly integrated with the art and architecture around us. Some of the experiences (the Holly Bowling concert at MEAM comes to mind) were truly stunning. I also liked the ratio of group activities to free time for exploring.” – Wendy Gordon
“Just as there was “Nothing like a Grateful Dead show”, there is nothing like the IGE experience. I’m still high from it and there will be lifelong memories and, I expect, ongoing relationships. Extremely well organized, seamlessly designed, thoughtful artists. A very classy operation. Folks were smiling even when it was rainy. Help was always nearby. AND THE MUSIC WAS TOPS!. – Barry Elkin
“At first I was hesitant to attend this event as a solo. I’m forever grateful I made the leap and signed up. Less than 24 hours in – the experience had more than paid for itself. The warmth of the group, talent and graciousness of the musicians, and attentiveness of the staff combined to make for one of the best vacations I have ever taken.” – Reed Lewis
“Thank you so much for the memories! May the Universe return to you the blessings you shared with us tenfold!” – Brenda Hann
“I have been on more than my share of wonderful travels and adventures in my lifetime, but the trip to Barcelona was super duper extra Special! What a special experience to be a part of a living breathing music troupe coming together! The music and the people helped me reset myself vibrationally, and emotionally! – Alessandra Schwartz
“Music, travel, friends. No other festival captures the intimacy and creativity of an Immersion. There’s just nothing else like it. This year’s immersion was equally mind-blowing as last year’s.” -Susi Bouse
“Mind-blowing is an understatement for what we experienced in Barcelona, on many levels. From the music, the architecture, the food, the people, the IGE staff & production crew who worked so hard to make it all happen & run smoothly….Barcelona was an exhilarating adventure that we’ll be talking about for a long time to come.” – Joel Tarantal
“An absolutely fabulous experience… We have been around the block a few times and I can say that in almost 50 years of listening to this music and being a part of this community, this was our finest experience ever.” – Ron and Lili Zweibaum
“Unforgettable. The City of Venice – its people, history and culture – was beyond my wildest imagination. Our IGE hosts and fellow travelers were kind and wondrous. The musicians were bellissimo – in performance and in spirit. Living in the villa along the canal, I felt like a Venetian.” – Michael Jon Samuels, Qello Concerts
“Hands down the best musical experience I’ve ever had. If there’s a heaven, it’s pretty close to being immersed for 10 days with great musicians in a beautiful setting, surrounded by friends old and new.” – Dave F.
“We had an amazing experience with IGE in Venice. The performances and friendliness of the unbelievably talented musicians and outstanding hospitality of the hosts exceeded our expectation. It was truly a memorable experience which we will always cherish.” – Jason Eig Partner at Blank Rome LLP & his AWESOME wife Heather Eig
“Nothing beats immersing yourself in a beautiful city like Venice, surrounded by live music and kind folks – truly a unique travel experience!” – Melissa Herman
“Our trip was an incredible experience that approached was almost surreal with the level of camaraderie that we enjoyed with the artists and our fellow travelers. Friendships that will last our lifetime!” – Peter H.
“I just want to tell you that our time together in Venice was one of the best times of my life. I feel that I understand the concepts around immersion and flow as I never have before. I loved everything you did to make our time here transformative and engaging and crazy fun. And full of heart.” – Vanessa
“Great Music, Great Venues, a well thought out program that blends music, local culture and a truly unique intimate experience with like minded music freaks- you won’t find this elsewhere.” – Todd Z.
“We had the time of our lives and became so fully immersed in music and art that our hearts were exuberant! This experience is like no other with musical talent and fellowship beyond compare.” – Emily S.
“After augmenting our Venetian Immersion with subsequent expeditions to Florence and Rome, we have finally safely, albeit somewhat sadly, arrived back home in Philadelphia. The abrupt difference in the view from our bedroom window this morning from weeks past was a rude awakening, to be sure, but we are indeed most grateful for the abundance of joyful memories from this excursion which replay so vividly in our nightly dreams, and which will no doubt continue to titillate our souls for time eternal.Our deepest and most humble thanks to everyone who participated in and made possible this most extraordinary and magical event.” – Tanto amore, Stu and Maria
“Venice washed over me like a wave, and touched all the senses. We saw amazing art & were treated to fantastic music everyday we got to be with friends old & new, and what more could you ask for? Yes, Yes, Yes!” – Joel
“What a special way to explore a new place! I really loved settling in and getting to know my surroundings as well as spending time with new and old friends. The music was icing on the cake and a pleasure to be a part of!” – Jilian
“One of the peak experiences of my life, and I’ve had (more than) a few!” – Greg
What Airport do I fly into in Prague?
Immersion participants fly into Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG), a twenty minute taxi ride from Mosaic House hotel, IGE Prague headquarters. Participants will take taxis or UBER from the airport to the Mosaic.
What dates should I arrive and depart?
The Immersion begins Friday afternoon, October 1, 2021 and ends Sunday morning, October 10th, 2021. Most flights from the United States, particularly from the west coast will depart on September 3o, 2021 for an arrival on October 1, 2021. Check in on October 1st is 3pm, Check out on October 10th is 11am.
Can I arrive early or stay after the end of the Immersion at the Hotel Mosaic House?
Many guests elect to arrive early or stay later. All such reservations should be made directly with Hotel Mosaic House.
What is the capacity of an IGE Immersion?
Maximum capacity is approximately 150 participants to maintain the intimacy of the experience.
What is the currency of the Czech Republic?
In Prague the currency is the Czech Koruna which is currently in the neighborhood of 26 czk to the US dollar.
Is the Immersion fully inclusive other than airfare and Prague ground transportation?
Immersions are largely, but not entirely inclusive. Guests enjoy a substantial daily breakfast at the hotel. In addition, a combination of four catered and restaurant meals are included. All concerts and musical performances are included as is participation in group adventures.
In addition to the Immersion participation fee, what other expenses can I expect?
During the Immersion, prepare to pay for nonincluded dinners, drinks and ground transportation, as well as your private activities and adventures. It would be reasonable to budget $500.00.
Do included meals cater to all dietary choices and restrictions?
All meals, including daily breakfasts are designed to meet all dietary choices and restrictions.
Are all IGE concerts and performances exclusive to Immersion participants? How many performances can I expect?
The majority of performances are exclusive to IGE participants. Several larger concerts are held as benefits for partner nonprofits and you can expect local friends and supporters to turn out for these performances. Over the course of the Immersion, expect a score of performances including afternoon sets, nightly concerts, and after hours shows.
Can I attend the Immersion for a shorter period?
Given the purposeful cap on participant numbers, IGE guests typically attend the Immersion for the entire period. Immersion guests stay in the IGE headquarters hotel. Certainly, participants are welcome to come for as long as they wish, though no discounts are offered for shorter stays.
How does IGE select venues and what types of venues can I expect?
Immersion venues span the city and lie at the heart of the immersive experience. Venues are selected in partnership with local artist and nonprofit communities with intimate knowledge of the city. Over the two to three years of Immersion development, location teams explore scores of potential venues, many of which are available only to IGE as a nonprofit partner of local charities.
How much of the Immersion city will I visit through IGE concerts, events and outings?
IGE participants experience Immersion cities in profound insider fashion rather than superficially as do most tourists. Venue selection, performance arrangement and group adventures are structured as an arc and crafted to reveal the Immersion city in manners no other visitor can experience.
Ross James Continued...
Born in New York, Ross James is a multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been living and breathing music since he picked up his first guitar as a 9 year old living in the frozen tundra of Fargo, North Dakota. Ross was a founding member of the band American Jubilee, and has shared the stage with many greats including Phil Lesh, John Scofield, Chris Robinson, Warren Haynes, Stanley Jordan, John Mayer, and more.
He currently plays regularly with Scott Law & Ross James’ Cosmic Twang & Communion ft. Phil Lesh. He can usually be found a few nights a week performing at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA. Aside from being a regular on stage at Terrapin, Ross is also the musical director for the venue.
emotionally rich style.
Holly Bowling continued
Holly Bowling is a classically trained pianist who began playing piano at the age of five. There’s one major distinction, however, that separates her from other similarly studied musicians. That is Holly’s devotion to the legendary rock band Phish. Having attended over 300 shows by the Burlington-based quartet, she became obsessed by their famous rendition of “Tweezer” from Lake Tahoe on July 31, 2013. It led Holly to transcribe this 37-minute improvisational masterpiece note-for-note and arrange it for solo piano. The process, both painstaking and fulfilling, inspired her to transform other Phish songs and well-known live jams into solo piano interpretations. Holly expanded her repertoire into the realm of the Grateful Dead, including an “Eyes of the World” based on the band’s spectacular exploratory June 18, 1974 performance at Freedom Hall. Using classical piano technique to reinterpret these jamband luminaries, Holly’s live performances infuse new with old, tradition with surreal, and creates a concert experience like nothing else in the music world.
In addition to her solo performances Holly has become an a list ensemble player and has been invited to perform with the likes of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes, and other luminaries. 22018 also marks the beginning of her new band, Ghost Light, who she formed with Tom Hamilton from Joe Russo’s Almost Dead.
Nicki Bluhm Continued...
California native Nicki Bluhm is a singer, songwriter and performer. In 2008 Bluhm released her first album, Toby’s Song and with its release put together her band The Gramblers. Nicki went on to release her second effort Driftwood (2012) establishing her and the band as a nationally touring act. While playing shows around the country she and the band decided to pass the time and long drives filming what became their viral “Van Sessions” covering nostalgic songs of their past. In the aftermath, Bluhm and The Gramblers became headliners, touring constantly throughout North America, including festivals like Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Newport Folk and Telluride Bluegrass.
The band continued to record and put out two albums including their self titled Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers (2013) and their most recent effort Loved Wild Lost (2015), launching them on an extended US tour and their debut European tour. The Chicago Tribune wrote “Nicki has filled a void in music with her brand of vintage-tinged rocking country soul – music that’s like an enchanting friend you’ve known for a short while, but feels like you’ve known forever.”
At the completion of their 2016 Loved Wild Lost tour, Nicki was asked to join the The Infamous Stringdusters in support of their album Ladies and Gentlemen. That project led to a collaboration with Ryan Adams at Telluride Bluegrass, Newport Folk and on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show. Nicki has also had the honor of singing with musicians including Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule, Karl Denson, Boz Scaggs, Anders Osborne, Bonnie Raitt, Phil Lesh, Jackie Green, and many others.
In early 2017, inspired by the current US political climate, Nicki wrote a song called “Remember Love Wins”. She recorded and released it, with an accompanying video, in a seven-day burst of creative energy. It received a nod from Rolling Stone saying: “‘Remember Love Wins’, like Pete Seeger singing ‘We Shall Overcome,’ hits not just on the struggle ahead, but our ability to eventually come out on the right side of history.” Most recently, Nicki was the voice of Sarah on the tender duet “No Wrong Way Home” in the short animated film Pearl, which was nominated for an Oscar.
Nicki’s future holds new songs, recordings and many more performances as a solo performer, as a guest vocalist and with The Gramblers. Both on record and in her live performances, she will continue to explore new directions, touching her listeners with her smoky vocals and dynamic stage presence.
Stay tuned for the next chapter…
Paul Hoffman Continued...
Greensky Bluegrass first got together and started playing music in 2000, and the band has spent the better part of the years since on the stage playing dive bars, living rooms, festivals, or, more recently, sold-out crowds at well-loved venues like Red Rocks and Ryman Auditorium. The Kalamazoo, Michigan, band — which is made up of members Anders Beck on dobro, Michael Arlen Bont on banjo, Dave Bruzza on guitar, Mike Devol on upright bass, and Paul Hoffman on mandolin — has done its part to welcome new fans into the bluegrass fold, too, thanks to funky covers, relentless touring, and an approachable jam band vibe in and out of the studio.
Anders Beck continued...
Grahame Lesh Continued...
A mainstay in the scene centered around Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, Grahame has joined such luminaries as Chris Robinson, Twiddle, Amy Helm, Jackie Greene, Eric Krasno, ALO, The Mother Hips, and many more in singing, playing, and interpreting the American songbook.
As a founder and co-front person (with Elliott Peck) for Midnight North, Grahame has played hundreds of concerts around the country and released 3 studio albums, a live album, and a digital EP of original music since the band’s inception in 2012. In 2017 the band released “Under The Lights”, their most successful studio album to date, and toured throughout the country in support. As a member of Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Family Band, he has traveled the world, performing the TFB’s updated version of the Grateful Dead’s sound everywhere from the famed Fuji Rock Festival in Japan to London to New York city. Always focused on the song and the groove, whether it be his or another’s, Grahame’s music stays rooted in the present while touching on all aspects of rock, folk, blues, soul, and more.
Scott Law Continued...
A not so secret weapon sought after for his distinctive ability to elevate the potency of any stage collaboration, Law is a fearless improviser circulating with legendary Bluegrass, American Roots, Rock and Jamband luminaries including Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead), The String Cheese Incident, Peter Rowan, Darol Anger, The Travelin’ McCoury’s and many others. Scott’s original music and guitar style comes straight from the heart of psychedelic Americana, granting him the creative latitude to constantly push the envelope and help create singular, unforgettable musical experiences for audiences worldwide.
Discover more at: http://www.scottlawmusic.com/
Elliott Peck Continued...
Elliott Peck is a singer, songwriter and musician originally from the Midwest, who currently resides in San Francisco, California. Growing up near Chicago, IL, the Chicago style blues have always had an influence on her writing, playing and singing. After moving to California, she fell in love with the California country sound which now is a presence in much of her songwriting. She plays keyboards, guitar, sings and writes for the band Midnight North, which include guitarist/songwriter Grahame Lesh. Elliott has been singing semi regularly with Phil Lesh & Friends since 2012. She has performed with many notable musicians in the Bay Area and recently completed a successful European tour. She has signed with Blue Rose Music and will go into the studio in January 2018 to record her first full length solo record to be released later this year.
Matt Butler Continued...
Natalie Cressman Continued...
Deeply versed in Latin jazz, post-bop, pop, and Brazilian music, she has released 3 albums under her own name as well 2016’s Etchings in Amber, a gorgeous duo album with guitarist Mike Bono that introduced Cressman as a formidable musical force without her horn. Her vocal work in increasingly intimate and rhythmically insinuating settings has revealed an artist who can thrive in any setting, from raucous, reverberant halls to packed and pulsing lofts and nightclubs.
When she’s not performing her own music, Cressman can be found collaborating with some of the most illustrious figures in rock, funk, jazz and beyond which have included Carlos Santana, Aaron Neville, Dave Matthews, Phish, Big Gigantic, Escort, The Motet, and Umphrey’s McGee. A prodigiously talented New York City-based trombonist, she’s spent the past eight years touring the jam band circuit as a horn player and vocalist with Phish’s Trey Anastasio, while also performing around NYC with jazz greats Wycliffe Gordon, Nicholas Payton, Anat Cohen, and Peter Apfelbaum. In an epoch marked by infinite musical possibilities, Natalie Cressman is a singular force who draws from an improbable breadth of sonic realms.
Natalie’s recent collaboration work with Ian Faquini has resulted in original material featuring songs in three different languages and encompassing a vast spectrum of musical ground. With the warm instrumentation of acoustic guitar and trombone and two-part vocal harmonies hugging the Brazilian accented Portuguese, Cressman & Faquini weave their musical voices together to create a fully orchestrated sound befitting a much larger ensemble.
Ian Faquini Continued...
Ian was a member of the renowned Berkeley High School Jazz program before going on to study at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley and, immediately after graduating, joined the faculty there. He is also on the faculty at California Brazil Camp, alongside musical legends including Ivan Lins, Guinga, Chico Pinheiro, and Spok.
He has performed throughout Europe, Japan, Brazil and the United States, including Montreux Jazz Festival, Enjoy Jazz Festival, Bimhuis (Amsterdam), Birdland (NYC), and The A Trane (Berlin) and has shared the stage and recording studio with such names as Guinga, Brad Mehldau, Chris Potter, Spok, Lee Konitz, Fleurine, among many others. In 2014, he released his debut album with flautist Rebecca Kleinmann, entitled Brasiliense, which features all original compositions by Faquini and draws from a wide range of musical sources from the 20th century, from impressionism and jazz to the great Brazilian songwriting tradition. Faquini released his second album, Metal na Madeira, in 2016, this time in collaboration with acclaimed vocalist Paula Santoro, who hails from Minas Gerais.
Recent collaboration work with Natalie Cressman has resulted in original material featuring songs in three different languages and encompassing a vast spectrum of musical ground. With the warm instrumentation of acoustic guitar and trombone and two-part vocal harmonies hugging the Brazilian accented Portuguese, Cressman & Faquini weave their musical voices together to create a fully orchestrated sound befitting a much larger ensemble.
On their fifth full-length, Watching It All Fall Apart, Fruition transform pain and heartache into something truly glorious. With their songwriting sharper and more nuanced than ever before and their sonic palette more daringly expansive—the Portland, Oregon-based band’s full-hearted intensity ultimately gives the album a transcendent power.
“The songs are mostly breakup songs,” says Asebroek. “There was love and now it’s gone we fucked it up, or some outside circumstance brought it to an end. It’s about dealing with all that but still having hope in your heart, even if you’re feeling a little lost and jaded.”
In a departure from their usual DIY approach, Fruition teamed up with producer/mixer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists, First Aid Kit, case/lang/veirs) to adorn their folk- rooted sound with delicately crafted elements of psychedelia and soul. Showcasing the sublime harmonies the band first discovered during an impromptu busking session in 2008, Watching It All Fall Apart also finds Fruition more fully embracing their rock-and-roll sensibilities and bringing a gritty vitality to each track. “We’ve been a band almost ten years now, and we’re at the point of being comfortable in our skin and unafraid to be whatever we want as time goes on,” Anderson notes.
Recorded in ten days at Flora Recording & Playback in Portland, Watching It All Fall Apart came to life with the same kinetic urgency found in Fruition’s live sound. “It’s kind of an impossible task, this idea of transmuting the live energy into something you can play on your stereo, but I feel like this record comes close to that,” says Asebroek. At the same time, the band pursued a purposeful inventiveness that resulted in their most intricately textured work to date. “Tucker helped us push ourselves to create something that glistens in subtle little ways that you might not even pick up on at first,” says Asebroek. “We got to play around with all this analog gear and these weird old keyboards we wouldn’t ordinarily use, like a bunch of kids in a toy store where everything is free.”
On lead single “I’ll Never Sing Your Name,” that unrestrained creativity manifests in a fuzzed-out, gracefully chaotic track complete with sing-along-ready chorus. Built on brilliantly piercing lyrics (“And all those kisses that you were blowing/Somehow they all got blown right out”), the song echoes the album’s emotional arc by painfully charting the journey from heartache to acceptance. “It’s about going through a breakup, moping around, and then finally getting to the point where it’s like, ‘Okay—I’m done with feeling this way now,’” says Anderson.
Throughout Watching It All Fall Apart, the band’s let-the-bad-times-roll mentality reveals itself in ever-shifting tones and moods. On the stark and sleepy “Northern Town,” Naja’s smoldering vocals channel the ache of longing, the track’s twangy guitar lines blending beautifully with its swirling string arrangement. One of the few album cuts to have already appeared in Fruition’s setlist, “There She Was” sheds the heavy funk influence of its live version and gets reimagined as a shimmering, soulful number documenting Asebroek’s real-life run-in with an ex at a local bar. Meanwhile, “Turn to Dust” emerges as a weary but giddy piece of psych-pop chronicling the end of a failed romance. The song’s opening lyric also lends the album its title, which partly serves as “a commentary on the general state of the world today,” according to Asebroek. “Even if you’re mostly an optimistic person, it’s hard not to feel down when you look at all the insanity happening right now,” he says.
While those unflinchingly intimate breakup songs form the core of Watching It All Fall Apart, Fruition infuse an element of social commentary into songs like “FOMO” as well. Written on the Fourth of July, with its references to wasted white girls and cocaine cowboys, the mournful yet strangely reassuring track unfolds as what Anderson calls “an anti-party party song.” “It’s about one of those situations where you said you’d go to party but you really don’t want to go, because you know it’s going to be the same old bullshit,” he says. “The song is a call to defuse that guilt in your brain.” And on the sweetly uplifting “Let’s Take It Too Far,” the band offers one of the album’s most purely romantic moments by paying loving tribute to music as solace and salvation (“But don’t you worry ’bout dyin’/’Cause there’s no better way to go/We’ll sing until we’re out of honey/Then pour the gravel down our throats”).
From song to song, Fruition display the dynamic musicality they’ve shown since making their debut with 2008’s Hawthorne Hoedown LP. Through the years, the band has evolved from a rootsy, string- centric outfit to a full-fledged rock act, eventually taking the stage at such major festivals as Bonnaroo and Telluride Bluegrass (a set that inspired Rolling Stone to praise their “raucous originals filled with heartfelt lyrics and stadium-worthy energy”). Following the release of 2016’s Labor of Love, Fruition again made the rounds at festivals across the U.S., prompting Rolling Stone to feature the band on its “8 Best Things We Saw” at DelFest 2016.
In choosing a closing track for Watching It All Fall Apart, Fruition landed on “Eraser”—a slow- building, gently determined epic delivering a quiet message of hope in its final line: “Let it help you heal.” “Because there’s so much heartbreak on this album, we wanted to end on Kellen singing that last line very sweetly,” explains Anderson. “The whole point of having all these sad songs is helping people to let those emotions out—and then hopefully when they get to the end, they feel a little better about everything they’ve gone through along the way.”
James Casey Continued...
A current member of Trey Anastasio Band, James has had the opportunity to perform, record, produce or write with many of the world’s leading and most influential artists. Credits include: The Roots, Phish, Meghan Trainor, DNCE, Maceo Parker, Carly Rae Jepsom, Snarky Puppy, Sabrina Claudio, Chaka Khan, Wu-Tang, John Legend, Roy Hargrove, Soulive, Lettuce, Shawn Mendes, 5th Harmony, and many, many more.
Chris Chew Continued...
Founded in 1996, the band has enjoyed entertaining rock, psychedelic, blues, and gospel audiences around the world for more than a decade. Chris has contributed to several successful projects with NMA and is an exultant member of the popular side group The Word. Formed in 2000 and widely received by many fans, The Word consists of NMA joined by Robert Randolph on pedal steel and John Martin (Mediski, Martin & Wood) on Keyboard. In 2005 NMA paired with John Hiatt and joined him for 2 triumphant summer tours as both his opening act and his band. Other noteworthy side work includes creating the music for the classic animation The Barnyard. Chris has enjoyed three Grammy nominations in his tenure with NMA to date. In 2007 his band formed an independent record label called Songs of the South.
Steve Adams Continued...
Steve has gigged with Jack Johnson, Brett Dennen, Sara Bareilles, G. Love, Matt Costa, Jackie Greene, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Steve Kimock, Kyle Hollingsworth, Jen Hartswick, Laurie Lewis, Forest Sun, John Craigie, Nathan Moore, Tom Freund, Chris Haugen, Mark Karan, Stu Allen, Scott Law, Vince Herman, Vinnie Farestta, Martin Fiero; ALO, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Incidental Animals, Big Light, Magic In The Other, Brokedown in Bakersfield, Tea Leaf Green, The Court & Spark, Crooked Jades, Everyone Orchestra, Terrapin All-Stars.
During a 2018 US tour, a sit-in by Atlanta-based vocalist Lamar Williams Jr turned heads, and the fit with NMS was so right that they pledged to make a record together. The resulting album was written and recorded in Denver, CO in December of that year and will be released in Fall 2019 on Eddie Roberts’ own Color Red label.
The New Mastersounds Continued...
The band’s recorded catalogue boasts 24 more 7” singles, 13 studio albums, 3 live albums, 1 remix album and 3 compilation albums, released variously in UK, Japan, and USA – where they continue to tour extensively. Joe Tatton, another veteran of the Leeds scene, joined back in 2007, replacing Bob Birch on organ and piano.
As a band, and as individuals, they have collaborated with an impressive array of musicians, DJs and producers, including: Lou Donaldson, Corinne Bailey Rae, Quantic, Carleen Anderson, Keb Darge, Kenny Dope, Mr Scruff, LSK, Lack of Afro, Page McConnell, Grace Potter, Karl Denson, Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad, Fred Wesley, Pee-Wee Ellis, Maceo Parker, Bernard Purdie, George Porter Jr, Zigaboo Modeliste, Art Neville, Ernest Ranglin.
Lindsay Lou Continued...
Touring nationally and internationally year round, Lindsay Lou and her band continue to collect a mass of friends and fans along the way. The Boot, who featured Lindsay Lou Band as a “Can’t Miss Act at AmericanaFest 2018, says “…Lou brings introspection and masterful vocal work to her live show.”
A prolific songwriter, Lindsay Lou is constantly releasing new material. Most recently, two new original double sided singles -“Ready” and “Keep On Going,” an OurVinyl Session Live EP, and her fourth full length album, Southland.