ANNOUNCING TRACK ZERO
A new concert series from The Englert Theatre. For the curious, and those seeking burgeoning, boundary-pushing sounds. Let us be your mixtape to the new and exciting — off the tracklist. We’re introducing audiences to fresh artists who are defining the next wave of alternative music, starting this fall with Emily Wells, Kassa Overall, Kate Bollinger, Tennis, Madison McFerrin, Sen Morimoto, and Zora. Individual tickets on sale now!
Track Zero Upcoming Artists
Emily Wells @ The James Theater
with Lex Leto
September 20 @ 7:30 PM
“Quietly transfixing” composer / producer Emily Wells is known for her varied use of classical and modern instrumentation, “a master of blending the worlds of classical and electronics” (NPR) and “dramatic, meticulous and gothic songs” (New York Times). On stage Wells’ builds a “new instrument” out of acoustic and electronic drums, synth, violin, and her evocative performances leave audiences equal parts dancing and grieving. Wells’ latest work, This World is Too _____ For You released in March has been hailed by NPR as “breathtaking” “mind-blowing” and “visionary”.
Kassa Overall @ The James Theater
with Jack Lion & Tahjia Brantley
September 29 @ 7:30 PM
Kassa Overall is a Grammy-nominated musician, emcee, singer, producer and drummer who melds avant-garde experimentation with hip-hop production techniques to tilt the nexus of jazz and rap in unmapped directions. On ANIMALS, his Warp Records debut out May 26, Kassa pushes his kaleidoscopic, subversive vision further. He layers Roland 808s against avant-garde drumming in the vein of his mentors Elvin Jones and Billy Hart, the latter of whom he studied with at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Virtuoso musos appear alongside rap poets, including Danny Brown, Wiki, Lil B, and Shabazz Palaces. Top-flight jazz improvisation weaves in and out of orchestral string arrangements by Jherek Bischoff.
Kate Bollinger @ Gabe’s
with Sam Burton & 24thankyou
October 3 @ 7:30 PM
Kate Bollinger’s songs tend to linger well beyond their run times, filling the negative space of ordinary days with charming melodies and smart phrasings. She writes them at home in Richmond, Virginia, letting her subconscious lead, an open-ended process she likens to dreaming. From a chord progression appears a line, maybe a syllable will start to stick, enough to pursue, but she says sometimes the words don’t feel like her own, more like shapes that form in the mind’s sky. While many are personal and deal with the emotions that surface with finding her place in the world, she’d prefer they be whatever you’d like them to be, to connect with listeners in their own way. Bollinger’s musical universe is relaxed, tender, and unassuming; within lives a timeless sensibility, a songwriter’s knack for noticing the little things and their counterpoints. Darkness and light, pain and pleasure, reality and escape.
Tennis @ The Englert Theatre
with Sam Evian
October 19 @ 7:30 PM
Tennis is Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley. The two met in the philosophy department at the University of Colorado in 2008 after dropping out of their respective music programs. In the years after graduating, they got involved in Denver’s DIY music scene. Through house shows, they were connected with Underwater Peoples, and Firetalk. Tennis’ first singles “South Carolina,” “Baltimore,” and “Marathon” were released in 2010. The band went blog-viral nearly overnight, landing them a record deal with Fat Possum.
With shifting labels and new interests, Tennis chose an alternate path for their band and career. In 2016, Moore and Riley formed the label Mutually Detrimental and began self-releasing. Their newfound freedom allowed them to return to their sailboat to write their next full-length, this time in the Sea of Cortez. Yours Conditionally, released in 2017, became their most commercially successful album–charting at #4 on Billboard’s Independent list and in the top 100 highest selling vinyl releases that year. They played Coachella and opened for artists like The National, Father John Misty and The Shins–proving their DIY roots as a cornerstone to their sound and narrative.
Madison McFerrin @ Gabe’s
with Alyx Rush
October 25 @ 9:00 PM
Madison McFerrin is an independent singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. In December of 2016, she quietly introduced her soulful take on a cappella to the world when she self-released Finding Foundations: Vol. I . After one listen, tastemaking DJ, G illes Peterson , snatched up her standout track, “No Time to Lose,” for his Brownswood Bubblers compilation. Leading up to her sold out debut show at Joe’s Pub, the New York Times remarked how her sound “shows wonderful vocal dexterity, deftly swerving from sharp, clearly enunciated staccato bursts to fluttery, free-form melismata.” In February of 2018, she gave her listeners more of her distinctive sound that Questlove dubbed “soul-appella” when she self-released Finding Foundations: Vol. II . Her SXSW 2018 debut led legendary KCRW DJ Anne Litt to remark, “there’s some sort of joy and beauty in the way that she performs that really drew me in all that much more.” Pitchfork Magazine followed this up by declaring, “Madison McFerrin is making a cappella cool again” in a Rising Artist profile.
Sen Morimoto @ The James Theater
November 11 @ 7:30 PM
Sen Morimoto is a Japanese American singer / multi-instrumentalist and producer based in Chicago. His mix of jazz and hip-hop production, spoken-word rap and pop sensibilities form a super-genre of modern songwriting and experimental grooves. Sen has spent years collaborating with all scenes in Chicago from rap (Pivot Gang), Pop (KAINA), Jazz (Resavoir), Indie (Lala Lala), etc… He’s a conduit to all the different scenes and it goes beyond making music. He’s a label head (Sooper Records), an Activist (was on the front page of the Chicago Tribune for it in 2020) and is also a part of the poetry and writing scene.
ZORA @ The James Theater
with Sarahann Kolder & Yxng Raskal
November 17 @ 7:30 PM
Zora is a 24 year old artist, producer, singer, and rapper. She has been writing music since the age of 14, taking inspiration after Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Prince, Kendrick Lamar, SOPHIE, Stevie Wonder, and so many others. Zora’s sound can be described as Alternative Pop. She writes, produces, and records all of her own stuff, using instruments such as the piano, the ES2 synth, and electric guitar to bring her ideas to life.
At age 21, Zora moved on from Berklee and relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she began crafting her official debut album, “Z1”. It was during this time that she began to learn how to play the electric guitar, so she could be like Prince. She learned to play guitar as she crafted this album, working alongside her cousin to help her out with some of the songs. At age 22, “Z1” was officially released and received critical acclaim, being Zora’s biggest launch yet.
Zora’s main mission within music is to spread awareness, positivity, and freedom of expression. It is her main belief that people are only truly happy when they’re able to be exactly who they are, at all times. Zora implements these messages in her lyricism and hopes to be able to impact the lives of others in a positive way, no matter how widespread.