The Benefit for the Frantz Casséus Young Guitarists Program is Hosted by Marc Ribot & Howard Wolfson June 16th at New York’s Issue Project Room
Before Marc Ribot made a name for himself as a pioneering force in NYC’s downtown music scene and as guitarist for luminaries like Tom Waits, Wilson Pickett and The Lounge Lizards, he began his guitar studies as a teenager with close family friend, the father Haitian classical guitar, Frantz Casséus.
After Haiti was devastated by earthquake in 2010, Ribot founded the Frantz Casséus Young Guitarists Program in Port-Au-Prince, using funds from his former mentor’s publishing, which he’d inherited after Casséus’ death in 1993. The program, run jointly by the Haitian Music Company, Caracol and the Holy Trinity Music School, offers a haven for creativity and stability to low-income students.
This special evening at Issue Project Room benefits the Frantz Casséus Young Guitarists Program with a program of works by and in tribute to the great composer and teacher. Marc Ribot, along with two other disciples of Casseus, Italian classical guitarist Alberto Mesirca and Marc Mathelier pay tribute in separate sets, as well as Trio Blastphemy (Curtis Hasselbring – trombone, Ben Holmes – trumpet, flugelhorn, Marcus Rojas – tuba), vocalists Melanie Charles and Barbara (Perlow) Simon (who sung on Casseus’ 1969Haitiana recording reissued on Smithsonian Folkways) and Frantz’s great nephew DJ Greg Caz.
The evening also celebrates the publication of a new book of with newly found compositions, Frantz Casséus Guitar Works,compiled by Marc Ribot and Alberto Mesirca and published by Zimmerman.