“Club d’Elf sounds like the lovechild of Pink Floyd and George Clinton, dropped in Marrakesh…some deeply psychedelic music.” – Marlon Bishop, WNYC
“Crushed between the borders of Morocco, jam band land and the kingdom of avant-garde jazz lies Club d’Elf…James Brown-meets-Sun-Ra.” – Jed Gottlieb, Boston Herald
Club d’Elf is an ever-shifting group of musicians fiercely dedicated to “the groove”, revolving around the foundation of bassist/leader Mike Rivard. Consisting of some of the most sought-after players from the jazz, DJ, rock & world music scenes of Boston & NYC and beyond, each show features a different line-up, informed as much by sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick’s ideas of shifting reality and parallel universes as by Miles Davis & Fela Kuti. The band draws inspiration from many sources, including neo-psychedelic avatar Terence McKenna and avant comedy show Mr Show.
The music draws from a startlingly wide spectrum of styles, including jazz, hip hop, electronica, avant garde, prog-rock and dub. Under the tutelage of member Brahim Fribgane, the band absorbed Moroccan trance influences such as gnawa and Berber music from the High Atlas mountains. Trance forms the core of the Club d’Elf aesthetic, unifying all genres the band has absorbed.
The band’s bi-weekly residency at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA has become the stuff of legend, and over the course of it’s 18 year history d’Elf has toured the US and internationally. Equally at home playing late-night festival sets for the rave/Burner crowd as it is for a predominately Arabic audience (as it did at the 2007 Festival Du Monde de Arabe in Montreal), boundaries melt away into the intoxicating power of the d’Elf groove.
The band’s CD, Electric Moroccoland/So Below drew glowing reviews from PRI’s The World, Voice Of America, and Afropop Worldwide, for its bold synthesis of traditional Moroccan music and electronic, dubbed-out funk, rising to #1 on the Relix chart. Club d’Elf made its South American debut, performing at Ecuador Jazz 2016.
John Medeski (Piano/Keyboards) John Medeski, of the genre-defying trio Medeski Martin & Wood, has garnered fans across the musical spectrum. Built upon jazz roots, electronics and rhythmic grooves, MMW have broken out of the traditional jazz sphere and have shared the bill with groups such as The Roots, Beck, A Tribe Called Quest, Ray Charles, Hermento Pascoal, and Phish, frequently appearing in venues unavailable to most jazz artists. Medeski’s recording credits include John Zorn, Iggy Pop, T Bone Burnett, Ray Lamontagne, Dan The Automator and k.d. Lang. Medeski has produced The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, pedal steel guitar group The Campbell Brothers, and two records from The Wood Brothers.
Ecuador Jazz 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzMdUSdPZOU
Voice of America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZHxzytvTxs
Instar (from LPR/NYC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RMmsYqMkQ0