THE ENGLERT THEATRE DEBUTS NEW ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM WITH BASSIST/COMPOSER NAT BALDWIN
IOWA CITY, IA – The Englert Theatre extends its commitment to the creation of new art through the The Englert Artist-in-Residence Series with inaugural artist Nat Baldwin. During his residency, Baldwin – an accomplished singer and classically-trained jazz double-bassist, as well as a member of the rock band Dirty Projectors – will compose new work and engage in educational outreach activities during his February 2-9 stay. His time in Iowa City will culminate in a special, limited-attendance performance at the Prairie Lights Cafe on February 8 at 7 p.m. alongside Irish poet Martin Dyar. Baldwin will return in April to perform his new material at Mission Creek Festival.
In the past, the Englert has supported local artists through commission endeavors including the Iowa City Song Project (a CD/vinyl recording of Iowa City-inspired songs created by over 30 Iowan musicians), the Black Angel Gallery show (a visual art exhibit by local artists inspired by Iowa City’s notorious Black Angel statue), The Englert at 100 photography exhibit (showcasing Iowa City-based photographer Sandy Dyas’ work) and the Englert’s Illustrated Century book (a graphic novel by local artist Josh Carroll depicting the Englert’s historical legacy). Now, with The Artist-in-Residence Series, the Englert will bring nationally-renown artists to Iowa City to create new work and experience the Eastern Iowan Corridor.
“We are proud of the support we’ve provided to local artists over the past three years and are excited to extend our reach by bringing artists from other places to our wonderful town to work on their crafts,” said Englert Executive Director Andre Perry. “We feel it is extremely important to introduce working artists to Iowa and for them to have important experiences here that they will remember and recount when they return home.”
During his stay, Baldwin will engage with the Corridor community in several ways. First, his residency will grant him substantial time to begin composing material for new songs. Additionally, he will conduct a songwriting workshop with students from Tate High School, visit cultural institutions around the area and meet with local artists.
Baldwin’s residency is supported by Brown Street Inn, Preucil School of Music and Reck Violin, which is providing Baldwin with an upright bass during his stay.
“It’s a challenge for people who play large instruments to move them, especially traveling in the Midwest during winter,” said Reck Violin owner Jim Reck. “Loaning instruments is a great way to support the music community in Iowa City and Coralville. It’s really the least we can do.”
Patrons can also support Baldwin’s residency by donating $20 or more via the Englert website or Box Office, which will also serve as admission to the Feb. 8 Times Club performance. Patrons who donate $50 or more will be invited to an exclusive pre-performance reception with the artist.
The Englert Theatre is a community arts center and performance space that enhances the vitality of Iowa City’s historic downtown as its last historic theater. The Englert Theatre provides diverse programming, educational opportunities and exposure to the performing and visual arts. The organization strives to highlight the talents of local performers, artists and ensembles as well as hosting regional, national and international touring performances.
About Nat Baldwin:
After studying avant-garde jazz and improvisation with jazz legend Anthony Braxton, Nat Baldwin started writing songs featuring double bass and vocals. In 2005, he joined Dirty Projectors. In addition to his work with Dirty Projectors, he has performed on Grizzly Bear’s Shields, Vampire Weekend’s Contra and Department of Eagles’ In Ear Park. In between touring and recording with Dirty Projectors, Nat made time to record his 2011 album People Changes, an album that led Pitchfork to say “…whether Baldwin is singing with his throat or his bow, there’s a thrilling feeling of freedom to it all.” More recently, he’s been writing, recording, and arranging songs for a new album to be released in 2014. You can hear some of the new material live this September when Nat tours in the US and Canada. The Boston Phoenix says: “Nat Baldwin’s upright bass is Joanna Newsom’s harp, Andrew Bird’s violin – a partner so indispensable, it’s a personal trait. Over a gorgeous bull-fiddle hum, he belts out these melismatic flourishes…This delivery is terrifically earnest, terrifyingly intimate, and terribly special.”