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Amos Lee

Sunday, August 25, 2019, 7:00 PM

with Madison Cunningham
Over the course of more than a dozen years and six studio albums, Amos Lee has continued to evolve,develop, and challenge himself as a musician. With SPIRIT, he makes his biggest creative leap yet.Most notably, for the first time, Lee acted as his own producer. While his last two albums bore the stamp ofstrong producersJoey Burns of Calexico on 2011s Mission Bell (which debuted at Number One on theBillboard 200, Amazon, iTunes charts, and spun off a hit single with "Windows are Rolled Down") and JayJoyce (Little Big Town, Eric Church, Cage the Elephant) on 2013s Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of SongLeefinally felt ready to take over the helm.Ive been wanting to produce my own record for a long time, he says, explaining that he met with numerouscandidates before concluding that he should make the move. "What I wanted to provide was a placefor musicians to come and feel they were able to express themselves, and contribute in their own voice theway I was able to contribute in mine.Lees sense of ambition for SPIRIT largely derived from his own live performing experiences in recentyears. "Working with folks like the LA Philharmonic and the Mobile, Alabama Community Gospel Choir openedmy mind to the possibility of pushing the edges of arrangement away from solitary moments into morecollaborative, community experiences," he says. "These were transformative creative opportunities that I neverdreamed I would have. To stand on stage and be equal parts participant and observer during these careerdefiningmoments was such a thrill, and I credit the singers, arrangers, and conductors for being so open andgenerous to the songs."Along with such monumental events as working with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (a performance whichyielded Lee's most recent release, Live from Red Rocks), being a band leader over the last decade has alsohelped Lee hone his craft as an arranger. "I have a great, great bandthe most gentle, genuine, musicallyopen-minded people," he says. "I push them some, but they always respond with creativity, and they inspireme to open things up musically. The versatility of my live band has been a gradual concept I've been workingon since I started playing at the club The Tin Angel in Philly in 2002. Back then, we would play three- or fourhourshows. We had horn sections, violins, extended jams, improvisational songs, and whatever else wouldcome from the ether. This current group of players I have on the road with me has re-inspired me to be moreopen, and less protective. I think SPIRIT reflects this attitude, and the vibrations are very much reflections ofthe connections."I've always loved such a wide range of music." Lee adds, discussing some new influences, which were pullinghim toward a new sonic direction. Ive been listening to a lot of Schoolboy Q, Drake, the earlier stuff byThe Weeknd, and I was wanting to open up that box a little more, he says. "I've always loved '90s R&B, andnow with streaming services, it's so easy to sample so much new music."To begin the new project, he began assembling musicians who he felt could blend a dynamic yet organicmarriage of modern rhythm with classic instrumentation. I chose the players because I had this instinct andhunger to challenge myself and expand,"says Lee, "and the foundation of this record was built when Ichose the rhythm section.A performance by the Robert Glasper Trio in Philadelphia led Lee to the realizationthat Mark Colenburg was the drummer he was looking for. "I remember watching Mark play with suchincredible facility and musicality," he says. "He's such a diverse and soulful listener. It was one of those eurekamoments, and he elevated everything so much."Lee had known bassist Adam Blackstone (whos played alongside artists from Jay-Z to Al Green to JustinTimberlake) for years, but had never worked with him. "Adam is a genius," he says. "He's playing and hearingeverything four bars ahead of everyone else. As a first-time producer, he was such a

Cost: $42.50 GA, $72.50 Reserved, $102.50 Terrace
Tickets: http://www.ticketnetwork.com/tix/tickets-3944990.aspx

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4001 Southwest Canyon Road
Portland, OR 97221

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