Friday, September 9, 2011

DAVID WAX MUSEUM: Band with Columbia roots poised for national stardom

The jawbone of an ass gives this rising band folksy class 
COLUMBIA, 9/9/11  (Beat Byte) --  "Virtuosic musical skill and virtuous harmonies" -- Time Magazine.   "Pure, irresistible joy" -- National Public Radio.  "A big hit with abundant energy, perfectly suited for folk-fest crowds" -- The Philadelphia Inquirer.   The 2010 Boston Music Awards Americana Artist of the Year.   
Not a bad year for musician David Wax, who with partner Suz Slezak returns to hometown Columbia bordering on super-stardom with his unique brand of border-crossing folk music -- he calls it Mexo-Americana -- this Saturday at Columbia's Roots and Blues and BBQ fest (R3BQ).
From Columbia it was off to Harvard University and the back roads of Mexico, where Wax worked during the summers and honed his appreciation for Mexican folk music.  In Boston, he met Slezak -- a Wellesley College grad homeschooled on a small farm in rural Virginia -- and convinced her to take up the quijada -- a traditional Mexican percussion instrument made from a donkey's jawbone.

The rest became beautiful music history when the pair did a much-praised star turn at last year's Newport Folk Festival, after winning a contest for a spot on the stage.  Ever since, the praise has been non-stop. 
"Bring your dancing shoes because when David Wax and Suz Slezak start churning out their irrepressible hybrid of folk, pop, country, and Mexican son jarocho -- complete with rattling donkey jawbone -- standing still is not an option," wrote Sarah Rodman in the Boston Globe
"This is why you go to music festivals," the Ottawa Citizen cheered.  
Music promoters, too, can't get enough of this Museum.
"When Gene Shay, one of the founders of Philadelphia Folk Festival and its master of ceremonies for its 50-year life, was asked who he looked forward to seeing this year, he replied David Wax Museum'The songs they write and sing are very clever,' Shay said. 'They're terrific.'"
Last month, Wax and Slezak pulled a stellar feature write-up in the Los Angeles Times.  
"In a way, their lush, instrumental mix all comes down to the ass' jawbone," wrote Times culture critic Reed Johnson.  "The quijada, or donkey jawbone...emits an uncanny, vaguely spooky sound when grazed with a wooden stick.  It's an essential element of son jarocho, a musical form that combines classical Spanish lyrical structures, hothouse Afro-Caribbean beats, tricky 6/8 and 3/4 time signatures and insinuating, improvisational wordplay."
David Wax Museum will be live and on stage at R3BQ, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2011, MPIX STAGE AT 7TH & LOCUST from 1:40 to 3 PM.

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