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David Fiuczynski Biography
David “Fuze” Fiuczynski is an iconoclastic innovator and a rebel with a guitar. Fluent in funk, rock, fusion, wicked fretless blues slides, Eastern melodicism, Western microtonalism and everything in-between, his remarkably open-minded and versatile approach to his instrument and music in general has made him a “first call” player, and lead to tours and recording projects with a remarkably diverse cast of characters, including Stewart Copeland (The Police), Jack DeJohnette (Miles Davis, John Coltrane), John Zorn, Hiromi, JoJo Mayer, Marc Guiliana (David Bowie), Bernie Worrell (P-Funk), Dennis Chambers, Me’shell NdegeOcello, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Marcus Miller, Billy Hart, John Medeski, Cuong Vu, Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society and countless others. He has played on nearly 100 recordings as a session musician, band leader or band member, won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011 and is a professor at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. Best known as the leader of the Screaming Headless Torsos, KiF and as a member of Hasidic New Wave, Fuze launched Planet MicroJam, an institute that explores the use of microtones in groove, jazz, ethnic, folk and other contexts, in 2012. With this impressive resume under his belt, the mad-scientist guitar hero is now seeking to bring his music to new audiences.
Screaming Headless Torsos
This punk-funk-rock-reggae band with an opera singer, inspired by Bad Brains and singer Nina Hagen, erupted on the fertile NYC music-scape in 1991. The Torsos exceptionally high energy and virtuosic musicianship amazed music fans and musicians, and— with the release of their first CD “1995” (Warner-Discovery Records)— achieved virtual cult status, inspiring cover bands and imitators across the globe. Their 1996 release, “Live!!”, has repeatedly landed on “Best of All Time” lists in prominent publications worldwide. The Torsos’ “2005” CD, a ten year celebration of their unique chemistry and irreverent (and sometimes wacky) artistry, added vocalist Freedom Bremner to the band, who are all incredible players in their own right and have collectively played with many of the biggest names in the pop and jazz worlds. Following the subsequent release of a double live DVD featuring 2 concerts, recorded in 1996 at NYC’s legendary Knitting Factory and in 2004 at New Morning in Paris, the Torsos released “Code Red” in 2014. Produced by Gregg Fine and fourteen-time Grammy winning producer Ron Saint Germain (Muse, Living Colour, Michael Jackson, 311, Diana Ross), the album continued the Torsos’ tradition of mashing up styles, and features performances from Bernie Worrell (P-Funk, Talking Heads), James Valentine (Maroon 5), Casey Benjamin (Robert Glasper Experiment) and Chris Fisher (Funk Nuveau).
David “Fuze” Fiuczynski’s KiF injects Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern-inflected melodies into the high energy funk rock that lies at the roots of most of Fuze’s musical endeavors. On top of this, layers of hip hop and electronica lend an other-worldly quality to the music of KiF, as it moves from swinging, danceable grooves to plaintive meditations over lush, brooding and at times microtonal harmonies. KiF was conceived, quite appropriately, with a gig Fuze performed in Marrakech, in which the Moroccan players mentioned to the American guitar slinger that Jimi Hendrix had visited the country. Fuze imagined Jimi playing hard grooves with Eastern inflected melodies, Dervishes and minarets and spires, desert sands and an audience entranced by the colorful, multi-cultural musical palette… could this be the music that Jimi would play today?
FLAM! BLAM! MicroJam!
David Fiuczynski is on a mission to investigate and develop the integration of microtonal canons and techniques with Western grooves. He experimented early on with projects such as Hasidic New Wave, the Jack DeJohnette Group and Rudresh Mahanthappa’s “Gamak”— and after winning a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship— Professor Fuze established the Planet MicroJam Institute at Berklee, and released a recording of the same name. His latest microtonal project, Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian MicroJam!, an ambitious venture jointly dedicated to 20th century classical composer Olivier Messiaen and innovative hip-hop record producer J Dilla, pushes the micro-tonal envelope even further in its pursuit of the notes that fall between the cracks of the Western 12 tone scale. The seven movements that comprise Flam! are all based on microtonal bird song transcriptions and show the connections between exotic bird calls and J Dilla’s famous ‘flam beats’ while also referencing the colors of Messiaen’s music, Gagaku, the ancient court music of Japan and other Pan-Asian ingredients.