artist-image-jukeboxCONTACT:
Andrew Seraphin
The Wilbur Theatre
[email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox Comes to The Wilbur

WHAT: On Monday, October 9th, 2015, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox is coming to The Wilbur in Boston’s historic Theatre District.

The work of Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox has been viewed on the ensemble’s YouTube channel well over a hundred million times. Most of those doing the viewing, however, are not fully aware of the method to Bradlee’s madness.

On the surface, the method is video – clips of full-band performances (that’s Bradlee on piano) shot in the bandleader’s living room with a single stationary camera. The madness: pop hits of the present performed à la pop hits of the past. Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” assayed as a doo-wop number; Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” tricked out in flapper jazz; Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” rendered a 1940s big-band standard.

In fact, Bradlee’s method runs deeper. He’s educating his audience about 20th-century song styles; he’s commenting on the elasticity of the pop form; he’s confounding cultural context; he’s uniting generations; he’s breaking the rules. He’s manifesting postmodernist ideas in his approach to production and business as well as music. But as far as the fans are concerned, it’s just fun (and sometimes funny). Bradlee himself will tell you, simply, “I reimagine a song in another style because I want to hear it that way.”

Clearly, so does everyone else, as evidenced by PMJ’s presence on concert stages (stateside and abroad) and Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart, where its self-released 2014 opus “Historical Misappropriation” landed in the Top 10 alongside John Coltrane’s “Offering: Live at Temple University” and “All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller.”

This proximity of Bradlee’s outfit to Waller is particularly fitting; the former, a self-taught jazz pianist, considers the latter, an innovator of the Harlem stride style who helped lay the groundwork for modern jazz piano, a key influence, as is Jellyroll Morton, James P. Johnson and Art Tatum.

Bradlee began his career as a jazz pianist during high school with a standing gig at a local eatery; he began his career as a pop-cultural provocateur during high school with a “this might be cool” ragtime medley of classic rock songs. “Not much has changed,” he says of the lyrical content of pop music. “In the 1920s, in the ’60s and ’70s, today – it’s still about love and drinking and dancing.”

He pursued Jazz Studies at the University of Hartford, and then moved to New York to become a starving artist. He booked gigs, but as he puts it, “Jazz pianists are a dime a dozen in New York City.” So he moved to Astoria to save on rent and, in 2009, started making videos. “There was this niche on YouTube where people were doing experimental, interesting, funny things with music,” he notes. “It was another way to reach an audience.”

Discovering talent and knowing what to do with it is fundamental to the business of music. Bradlee is something of a postmodernist here, too, having achieved renown doing everything himself, mostly online, “with no budget” (i.e. using the recording equipment he’d had since college). His adherence to the DIY ethos also suggests the decidedly postmodern form of punk rock. “I was a struggling jazz pianist sitting in my basement apartment in Queens,” he attests, “but I just figured it out and made it happen.”

That said, punk rock is likely not top of mind for those attending a Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox show. The scene is more reminiscent of a speakeasy, with swells in vintage threads swilling Prohibition-era cocktails. “It’s a variety show, a musical revue featuring special guests,” Bradlee illuminates. “Coming to a PMJ show is like time-traveling back to Old Hollywood – it’s an experience.” Creating that for audiences appears to be PMJ’s ultimate mission.

For tickets and more information about The Wilbur and other great events visit https://wilburboston.wpengine.com.

WHEN: Monday, October 9th, 2015 – 8:00 PM

COST: $30.00 – $37.50

WHERE: The Wilbur | 246 Tremont Street | Boston, MA 02116 | 617.248.9700

TICKETS: Visit www.wilburboston.wpengine.com, or call the box office at 617.248.9700

About The Wilbur:

Celebrating 100 years, The Wilbur, nestled in Boston’s historic Theatre District, is the premiere destination for comedy and music in Boston, MA. Built in 1914 by The Shubert Brothers, The Wilbur opened in 1915 and was named for The Shubert Theatre’s manager A.L. Wilbur. Recently revitalized by former Comedy Connection owner Bill Blumenreich in July of 2008, The Wilbur has become a first-class venue showcasing A-list comedians and musicians. A Comedy Central verified venue, the theater has attracted the best of the best in comedy including Aziz Ansari, Louis CK, Kevin Hart, Katt Williams and Jim Gaffigan. They also boast award-winning musicians from all genres such as Boyz II Men, Lauryn Hill, Lyle Lovitt and Smoky Robinson. Offering an intimate show setting, The Wilbur provides the perfect environment for enjoying comedy sensations and chart topping artists in the heart of Boston’s historic Theater District.
The Wilbur is located at 246 Tremont Street in Boston, MA. For more information, please visit www.wilburboston.wpengine.com, or call 617.248.9700.
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