Comrades — can it be true? Could ten years have passed since my co-conspirators and I first unveiled ourselves to the world? Was it a full decade heretofore that we assembled, deep in the bowels of the CBGB Lounge, to present our inaugural evening of Musical Intrigue and Euphonious Spectacle?Many things have come to pass since then, things far beyond my wildest imaginings. On that first night at CB’s, had you offered to wager me that the Society would still be performing ten years hence, I would have laughed in your face. In truth, I did not expect the ensemble to last a single year. The notion that a new jazz bigband performing entirely original compositions could be even remotely sustainable in a postmillennial musical economy struck me as utterly ludicrous. And yet… here we are.I looked back to what I wrote when I announced that first performance — not quite Ninety-Five Theses nailed to the church door, but still, a statement of purpose for our fledgling Society:
A lot of people think that bigbands are dinosaurs. But who doesn’t love dinosaurs? Sure, they can be big and loud and fierce — your canonical giant lizard — and that’s great. But there are small, swift dinosaurs, too, and birdlike flying dinosaurs. And contrary to what everyone says, I don’t believe that bigbands are doomed to extinction, either — not when they have so much untapped evolutionary potential. I want Secret Society to defy everyone’s expectations of what a bigband can do.
Ten years later, our mission remains the same.Join us as we celebrate on Sunday, May 10th at The Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn. There will be Secret Society music old and new, including a sneak preview of music from our upcoming multimedia project, Real Enemies (of which more later). The opening set comes courtesy of longtime co-conspirator Nadje Nordhuis and her sublime quintet. Advance tickets may be had here.