Absolute Ensemble Offers Up Musical Fusion

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(Sacramento, CA)
Sunday, December 11, 2005

Conductor Kristjan Jarvi leads an interesting life. He was born in the 70s, in the Soviet Union, and yes, his father is noted conductor Neemi Jarvi. But Kristjan came of age in New York, and he’s long been fascinated classical music, popular and world music. Jarvi leads the Absolute Ensemble, a group of 20 musicians he describes this way. 

“It’s like a big band, rock band, and chamber orchestra, all in one. And so it’s like the ultimate fusion band, in my opinion.”

Wednesday at the Mondavi Center, they’ll play a piece called “Arabian Nights,” parts of which sound like Duke Ellington in Cairo.


Other sections reflect European jazz.


And still other parts highlight Middle Eastern soloists.


Ask Jarvi what makes “Arabian Nights” come alive, he’ll tell you it’s the groove.

“Well, I’m very fanatical about rhythms, actually….

Conductor Kristjan Jarvi leads the Absolute Ensemble at the Mondavi Center on Wednesday night.