Doug Balliett, double bass | Adam Cockerham, theorbo | Elliot Figg, harpsichord & organ | Coleman Itzkoff, cello | Paul Holmes Morton, baroque guitar | Clay Zeller-Townson, founder & baroque bassoon | Ruckus is a shapeshifting, collaborative baroque ensemble with a visceral and playful approach to early music. The ensemble debuted in Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo in a production directed by Christopher Alden featuring Anthony Roth Costanzo, Ambur Braid and Davóne Tines at National Sawdust. The band’s playing earned widespread critical acclaim: "achingly delicate one moment, incisive and punchy the next" (The New York Times); "superb" (Opera News). Ruckus’s core is a continuo group, the baroque equivalent of a jazz rhythm section: guitars, keyboards, cello, bassoon and bass. Other members include soloists of the violin, flute and oboe. The ensemble aims to fuse the early-music movement’s questing, creative spirit with the grit, groove and jangle of American roots music, creating a unique sound of "rough-edged intensity" (The New Yorker). Its members are assembled from among the most creative and virtuosic performers in North American early music, and is based in New York City. Ruckus' debut album, 'Fly the Coop', a collaboration with flutist Emi Ferguson, was Billboard’s #2 Classical album upon its release. Live performances of Fly the Coop in Cambridge, MA was described as "a fizzing, daring display of personality and imagination" (The New York Times). "Ruckus brought continuo playing to not simply a new level, but a revelatory new dimen-sion of dynamism altogether… an eruption of pure, pulsing hoedown joy … Wit, panache, and the jubilant, virtuosic verve of a bebop-Baroque jam session electrified and illuminated previously candle-lit edifices as Ruckus and friends raised the roof, and my mind’s eye will never see those structures in quite the same light again." (Boston Musical Intelligencer) With 'Holy Manna', a program including arrangements of early American hymns from the shape-note tradition, Ruckus has begun a multi-project exploration of histories of American music. Other upcoming projects include a co-commission of a large-scale work by pioneering artist and NEA Jazz Master Roscoe Mitchell as part of a Bach / Bird Festival (with The Metropolis Ensemble and the Immanuel Wilkins Quartet).

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