36th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 12-16 October, 2022
Vilnius Jazz'2006
The Jamie Saft Blues Explosion (USA):

Jamie Saft - guitar, organs
Jonathan Maron - electric bass
Bobby Previte - drums

Jamie Saft is an exceptional figure on Downtown New York music scene, a resourceful musician, composer, producer and studio engineer. He is a versatile and constantly renewing artist, brilliant multi-instrumentalist excelling on various keyboard instruments including Hammond organ – the instrument that is heard more often in Lithuania today, also bass, guitar and even accordion. Saft belongs to Prohibited Beatz, an organisation promoting live performance and real time recordings, and advocating a new trend in urban subculture – a combination of traditional music making and electronics, club culture and visual art medias.

Jamie Saft was born in Queens, NY, studied at New England Conservatory in Boston and Tufts University with such musicians as Paul Bley, Geri Allen, Cecil McBee, Joe Maneri and Burton Hatheway. While still a student he started playing in jazz clubs and working with rock and funk groups.

Since return to his native city in 1993, Jamie Saft has appeared in various projects spanning from opera to jazz. He played in New York and Paris premieres of John Adams’ opera I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky; with his trio covered Bob Dylan’s songs; collaborated with John Zorn’s Electric Masada and Dave Douglas’ Keystone. Jamie Saft earned recognition playing and recording with Jane Ira Bloom, Laurie Anderson, Jerry Granelli, Holly Palmer, Chris Speed, JoJo Mayer and his group Nerve, Marc Ribot and his Los Cubanos Postisos, Groove Collective, Boomish, Merzbow and many others. In 2000, he made his leader debut with album Sovlanut. Aside from contributions to other musicians’ albums, his copious discography includes 6 personal albums, 4 of them on renowned Tzadik Records, and album Ragged Jack were he appears as a co-leader with trumpeter Cuong Vu who is already familiar to Vilnius Jazz audience.

Jamie Saft is also a recognised and highly prized producer and studio engineer. He has recorded John Zorn, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Bobby Previte and Dave Douglas to name but a few.

Jamie Saft’s artistic horizon embraces the most diverse music – from experimental to pop. His new project The Jamie Saft Blues Explosion featuring drummer Bobby Previte and young bassist Jonathan Maron displays stylistic versatility. Previously having tried his hand in avant-garde and alternative music, in The Jamie Saft Blues Explosion he delves into blues.

The members of The Jamie Saft Blues Explosion are advocates of jam band. This movement of improvised music, manoeuvring between organ soul of the 60s and funky of the 80s, as well as rock, jazz, club and avant-garde music, emerged in the 90s and putting emphasis on live performance and real time recordings gave new meaning to improvisation.

Young bassist Jonathan Maron has collaborated with Jamie Saft since the keyboardist’s debut album – Sovlanut. Best known as a member of Groove Collective, which has harvested 5 albums, the bassist is a respectable and suggestive companion of the ‘monsters’ of avant-garde jazz.

He has collaborated with Dave Fiuczynski and Screaming Headless Torsos; played and recorded with Josh Roseman Unit, Naked Music, artist Aya, singers Vivian Green, MeShell NdegéOcello and Thalia.


This project’s blues’ heat is being fanned by incredible energy of a real drum ‘monster’ – Bobby Previte. For some years he and Jamie Saft have nurtured artistic cooperation – they have collaborated in a number of CD’s; Saft is a keyboardist in Previte’s Latin For Travellers, The Coalition of the Willing and The Constellations Ensemble.

Previte is one of the leading figures on New York music scene, widely known for his electronic percussion and compositions that don’t conform to any classifications.

Similarly to majority of exponents of New York improvised music scene, the drummer, composer and group leader does not confine himself to one particular style. He is prized for his suggestive compositions; plays total free with Elliot Sharp and John Zorn; leads stylistically different groups including free bop group Bump, a soul-jazz fusion group Latin For Travellers, The Voodoo Orchestra covering Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, electronic Empty Suits, acoustic Weather Clear, Track Fast and many others; works with DJ’s and New Orleans musicians. Really, Bobby Previte brims over with creative ideas. Be it performance or composition, Bobby Previte always finds his individual approach. Sometimes he supplements his electronic percussion set with keyboard instruments and even vocal.

Bobby Previte has set on a musician’s path at the age thirteen playing soul and rock music in various clubs, later he studied at Buffalo University with such masters as John Cage, Morton Feldman and Jan Williams. In 1979, he settled in New York and before long became one of the brightest stars on jazz and experimental music scene. It was at that time that he started artistic cooperation with John Zorn, Elliot Sharp and other leading figures of New York music scene. In the same year he received his first commission.

Since 1986, when he released his first personal album Bump the Renaissance, which instantly earned enthusiastic recognition, Bobby Previte recorded about 20 personal albums, contributed to lots of other recordings. He appeared in festivals around the world – from Russia and Japan to Latin America, performed in the most unexpected contexts – from Carnegie Hall to Coral Stage, collaborated with film director Robert Altman, puppet theatre, was writing music for Moscow Circus during the period of coup d'état in Russia.

The list of Bobby Previte’s artistic partners resembles “Who is Who” in today’s improvised music. Here is its tiny part: Steve Swallow, Marty Ehrlich, Ray Anderson, Joseph Bowie, Marc Ducret, Bill Frisell, Charlie Hunter, Lew Soloff, Anthony Coleman, Wayne Horvitz, Steve Bernstein, Dave Palmer, Jim Staley, David Weinstein, Melvin Gibbs, Guy Klucevsek, Mark Dresser, Tim Berne, Lindsey Horner, Terry Adams, Jane Ira Bloom, Christy Doran, Paul Haynes, The President, Tom Waits... In addition, Bobby Previte gives master classes and lectures around the world.

© Jûratë Kuèinskaitë



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The Jamie Saft Blues Explosion