Baruch Performing Arts Center welcomes Indie/Jazz vocalist Pyeng Threadgill and her band for her debut concert at Baruch College, accompanied by Tyler Wood (keys), Derek Nievergelt (bass), John Shannon (guitar), and Evan Pazner (drums). Pyeng will sing selections from her three highly acclaimed albums "Sweet Home: Pyeng Threadgill Sings Robert Johnson", "Of the Air", and "Portholes to a Love & Other Short Stories."
On her third album "Portholes...", Pyeng Threadgill's lyrics explores concepts of reality, magic, humanity and nature through the use of metaphor. The press has noted her talents as a jazz and blues singer, but also as a folksinger and storyteller, most notably on her album which explores the music of the Blues pioneer Robert Johnson. All Music Guide reflected, "She paints her blues shiny black and pushes them headlong into a future where tradition and history are processes of evolution..." However, her original compositions have also caught the attention of the national media. The St. Louis Post commented, "As a vocalist, she's charmingly eclectic. As a songwriter, she's simply one of the most imaginative to emerge in the past decade..."
Judging from her childhood, her musical destinations seem a natural outcome. She is the daughter of composer, bandleader, and multi-instrumentalist Henry Threadgill and choreographer/dancer Christina Jones, a founding member of the celebrated dance company the Urban Bush Women. These experiences proved just as influential as the early Soul/Jazz stylings of singers like Sam Cooke and King Pleasure. Yet Pyeng kept her headphones loaded with a good dose of Depeche Mode, Tribe Called Quest, Al Green, and local alternative rock bands. She went on to Oberlin Conservatory to study classical music.
Upon her return to familiar concrete, Pyeng began searching for her own unique sound and arrived at a new musical plateau which balanced improvisation and an eclectic repertoire with a healthy instrument. Nowadays Pyeng attributes her vocal/musical aesthetic to her love for all styles of music from around the world. Her training as a teacher in the Alexander Technique has greatly affected her journey as a singer. Pyeng Threadgill's music has been heard regularly on radio, in front of audiences as varied as New York City venues Nublu and Joe's Pub, as well as The Montreal Jazz Festival, Detroit Institute of The Arts, The Sun Side Jazz Club in Paris, and even on the big screen. In 2006 Threadgill was asked to be a featured player in the documentary film starring Youssou N'Dour entitled "Retour A Goree" by director Pierre Yves-Borgeaud. "Portholes..." has already earned her a fellowship from The New York Foundation for The Arts in Music Composition. Using impressionistic guitars, hard set grooves, keyboards, and swaggering horns, it is clear Pyeng Threadgill is a compelling storyteller and bandleader.
"Her lyrics are direct, yet radiate mystery, bringing Abbey Lincoln to mind..."
-The San Francisco Guardian