Wallace Norman, Producing Artistic Director

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For the third straight year, the Fringe dares to risk its credibility with private donors and funding agencies by sponsoring performance poet and stand-up plagiarist Mikhail Horowitz, in cahoots with the harmonically discombobulated Gilles Malkine, in another hodge-podge of fugitive parody, garbled monologues, obscure songs, unsustainable skits, and theatrical ineptitude.

Horowitz does with the English language what Jim Carrey does with his face. His stuff is not only funny, it’s bracingly pungent, surprising, ear-opening, and is guaranteed to cleanse your mind of cobwebs. Just when you’re thinking about how you can’t remember when you laughed so much at a poetry reading, he throws you a curve, and you find yourself moved. His rap versions of the classics, his language games, and the irresponsible relationship between him and his guitar-totin’ accomplice, Gilles Malkine, are a full-fledged delight to experience. - Peter Schickele (P.D.Q. Bach)

Stand-up poet Mikhail Horowitz and unapologetically French guitarist Gilles Malkine have been performing together in the Hudson Valley and beyond since 1989. They perpetrate increasingly unlawful acts of political satire and recycle literary classics, adapting them to rap, blues, bop, hip-hop, high-tech hillbilly, and other, even scruffier musical idioms. They also spoof or pay backhanded homage to various subgenres of American roots music.

In addition to having graced, if that’s the proper word, every club, café, community center, college and correctional facility in the mid-Hudson area, they’ve also performed at such venues as the People’s Voice Café, St. Peter’s (the “Jazz Church”), and the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City; the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle; Robert Bly’s Great Mother Conference in Maine; the Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival in Croton; and the annual convention of the United Auto Workers in Michigan. They have shared bills and/or collaborated with the likes of Peter Schickele (P.D.Q. Bach), Ed Sanders (The Fugs), Kate Pierson (The B-52s), Natalie Merchant, Jim Hightower, Artie and Happy Traum, David Amram, Bob Holman, and Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, among many others.

Mikhail Horowitz is the author of Big League Poets (City Lights, 1978) and two collections of poetry, The Opus of Everything in Nothing Flat and Rafting Into the Afterlife (Codhill Press, 2007). His CD of jazz fables, The Blues of the Birth, is available from Sundazed Records. He and Malkine have two CDs of material recorded live in the Hudson Valley, Live, Jive, and Over 45 and Poor, On Tour, and Over 54.

Gilles Malkine performed at the original Woodstock Festival in 1969 as a member of Tim Hardin’s band. He has recorded with Hardin, Billy Faier, John Sebastian, and his mother, Sonia Malkine, the world’s pre-eminent collector and interpreter of traditional Breton folksongs. He plays guitar, bass, and fiddle, and several of his compositions have been performed in recital by the classical pianist Justin Kolb.

 

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