John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain, Jimmy Herring, Lenny White on New Universe Music Festival compilation


On November 20 and 21, 2010, maverick record label Abstract Logix hosted a series of spectacular performances, featuring an array of artists who handily defy genre categorization in favor of unbridled expression. The first New Universe Music Festival, primarily sponsored by Godin Guitars and DIY Music was a die-hard music lover’s dream, defined by artists who seamlessly mingle compositional ingenuity and improvisational grace and fervor.

A double-CD compilation will be released on July 19, 2011, featuring pioneering guitarist John McLaughlin and his current band the 4th Dimension with special guest, world music legend tabla maestro Zakir Hussain; Widespread Panic guitar hero Jimmy Herring with his electric band; Return to Forever Drummer Lenny White; the all-star quartet Human Element (keyboardist Scott Kinsey, bassist Matt Garrison, percussionist Arto Tunçboyaciyan; fearless guitarist and improviser Wayne Krantz appearing with the amazing Anthony Jackson on bass; visionary Indian composer and drummer Ranjit Barot; and emerging guitar visionary Alex Machacek.

“I feel honored to participate,” says festival headliner John McLaughlin, while on tour promoting his Grammy-nominated album To the One.  “My life has been dedicated to my instrument and music, and I continue to devote myself to music in order to be worthy of such a privilege. You will hear the kind of complicity that exists between us all – this is a very special element, and frankly essential for making good music.”

Jimmy Herring very succinctly put it, “This is real music played by real people, happening in real time. We’re up there listening and reacting to one another, and people genuinely respond to the risks we take. This is human music in a mechanized age.”

A 2 DVD Set of the festival, with additional performances including an All Star Tribute to John McLaughlin, interviews, and other bonus features will be released on September 20,  2011.

Watch out for the next incarnation of the New Universe Music Festival in 2012.

“The New Universe Music Festival brought together an astonishing roster of legendary and upcoming jazz-fusion musicians-especially guitarists-in an intimate setting charged with excitement. As might be expected, the music was superb, culminating in a heartfelt tribute to fusion and world music pioneer John McLaughlin. I look forward to attending the next NUMF, though the first one will be very tough to top.” -Barry Cleveland, Guitar Player

JazzTimes editor Lee Mergner attended the festival, observing, “It was a veritable smorgasbord of fusion, with many of the top-notch artists in the genre coming together for a series of performances.  Jazz-rock fans attending the inaugural event heard legends like John McLaughlin and Lenny White, established names such as Wayne Krantz, Human Element and Jimmy Herring, as well as up-and-comers like Alex Machacek and Ranjit Barot.  From start to finish, the music was electric, even when it was being played acoustically.  There was also a palpable sense of community as artists generously participated in listening sessions and sat in with each other throughout the event.  I highly recommend this festival and look forward to seeing and hearing its second incarnation in 2012.”

Abstract Logix Live 2010 Sampler by abstractlogix.

About DIY Media:

DIY Media is the leading platform in social commerce.  The company provides the simplest and shortest means to sell digital content to online customers.  From complete portable storefronts for single tracks, albums, and entire music catalog shareable widgets to brilliantly designed and built white label storefronts for entire music catalogs, DIY Media empowers social commerce in the music industry.  The company’s innovative, all-in-one, direct to consumer digital e-commerce distribution and marketing platform provides record labels, artists, and digital distributors, with unparalleled reach and revenue opportunities within the exploding viral marketplaces of Facebook, Twitter, email, and mobile phones.

About Godin Guitars:

With its early beginnings in 1972, the Godin Guitar family now includes 6 lines of guitars. These include the renowned Godin electric line, as well as the finely crafted acoustic lines such as Seagull, Simon & Patrick, Norman, Art & Lutherie and LaPatrie nylon stringed classical guitars. Godin Guitars is also the manufacturer of the revolutionary TRIC acoustic guitar case. Based in Montreal Quebec, this Canadian company has 6 factories, 5 of which are located in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and 1 located in Berlin New Hampshire.