Sean Noonan

RRhythmic storyteller Sean Noonan creates and leads original multi-stylistic American music with a pair drum sticks. Noonan’s treasures are transformed through his unique vision into the unpredictability and wide-ranging sounds of his wide-spectrum music. This blends the poetics of Samuel Beckett with the rhythmic narratives of Samuel Beckett and the physicality of street-smart boxer to create Noonan’s eclectic and diverse music. Noonan is an Irish-American drummer who has a theatrical bent and a passion to African rhythms. His excursions are both geographical and take him to far-flung places to study cultural and conceptual traditions. He also explores the outer limits music to absorb harmolodic jazz and bleeding-edge rock influences. Noonan’s “wandering folk theory” captures the mystery of evolving world music traditions and reorients them using his unique lens. Noonan’s nomadic muse led him in many unexpected directions. This resulted in a flurry of dynamic releases and projects that span more than 19 albums, hundreds of performances in over a dozen countries, as well as more than 20 albums, and more than 100 performances at more than a dozen festivals, such as Jazz Liege, EFG London Jazz Festival, Bergen Natt Jazz and Incubate. His collaborations with artists include Abdoulaye Diabate and Marc Ribot, Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Mat Maneri. Noonan’s Rock Opera Zappanation is a 13-piece ensemble featuring Choir. It was inspired by Edgard Varese and Frank Zappa’s music. The premiere was held in September 2016 at the International Festival “Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz” (Sardinia). It all started in Brockton, Massachusetts. This is where the legendary boxers Rocky Marciano (and Marvelous Marvin Hagler) grew up. Perhaps this explains the drummer’s fighting spirit. Noonan moved to Brockton to pursue Music Education at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He also earned his Masters of Music Composition at the Aaron Copland Music School, Queens, NY. He spent part those years in Florida backing Marni Nixon, a legendary Hollywood singer. This was a rare opportunity to learn the theatre he would bring to his own performances. Noonan recorded his debut album with the acoustic trio Trio Jazz featuring John Lockwood, an educator and bassist from The Fringe. In 1999, he settled in New York City and quickly integrated himself into the vibrant underground scene that emerged from Knitting Factory. With bassist Tim Dahl, saxophonist Paul Alexander Meurens and guitarist Aram Bajakian he formed the jazz-punk group THE HUB. He also had an eclectic duo with guitarist Aram Basikan. However, his path was rerouted four years later after a near fatal car accident in Italy. This led to a lengthy period of recuperation and a commitment to combining his two musical passions: jazz and African rhythms. A sonic wanderlust resulted in a 2008 trip to Bamako (Mali) to experience West African griot traditions with Abdoulaye Diabate, a Malian singer/guitarist. The multi-cultural album Boxing Dreams was the result of Noonan’s Afro-Celtic rock-jazz band Brewed By Noon. It released five different albums between 2006-2011 and was the subject Tom Asma’s documentary, Being Brewed By Noon. Noonan’s approach is best exemplified on 2014’s Bruised By Noon. This album features solo drumming and spoken word. It relates to Finny Finnegan’s 12 round battle against a stubborn wall. This was only one of three interconnected, head-spinningly varied, but interconnected albums that Noonan released in 2014. The other two were In the Ring, which was a song cycle inspired by American experimentalists Henry Cowell, and Conlon Nancarrow’s New York Momenta String Quartet; and Pavees dance: there’s always the night, which features Pavees and legendary bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma. They perform songs written by Noonan and lyrics by Malcolm Mooney. Noonan uses a magic scepter to explore the Wieliczka salt mine in Poland. “Hidden Treasures” is Noonan’s 2016 album. It features funk-punk new music that Noonan has adapted from Noonan’s “wandering music theory”. This makes it feel like Henry Cowell, Cecil Taylor and Frank Zappa were on a night out in search of good street fights. from

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