The four bags is a New York City-based ensemble comprised of trombone, accordion, guitar and clarinet/saxophone. Their music combines the vibrancy of modern jazz and popular music with the rigor and sophistication of a classical chamber music group. Besides their unusual instrumentation, much of the group¹s individuality results from its adventurous repertoire, which includes arrangements of music as diverse as Frederic Chopin, Alec Wilder, and Brian Wilson. Each member of the four bags also brings a distinct compositional voice to the ensemble, creating a marvelously varied body of original work that transverses jazz, classical and pop with an astonishing array of tonal colors. These elements result in richly layered performances which are not only striking and sophisticated, but also highly entertaining.
Their third release, Live at Barbes, is a captivating blend of Schoenberg, 30’s Brazil, The Beastie Boys, and truly unique originals. This recording captures them on their home turf (Brooklyn) making genuinely live music sound easy.
The four bags performed during 2003 at Symphony Space's Wall-to-Wall Joni Mitchell marathon concert, the annual concert of the Friends of Alec Wilder at St. Peter's Church, the "Celebrate Brooklyn!" festival in Prospect Park, and the "Next Next" festival at BAMCafe. In December of 2003, they will present a concert of their own music and Alec Wilder's music at the Symphony Space Thalia theater. During 2002, the four bags made a tour of Japan,making numerous appearances in new music venues, schools and festival stages, as well as appearing on a NHK national television. The group has also done regular live radio performances in the U.S. on National Public Radio member station WNYC, appearing on "Spinning on Air" hosted by David Garland, and on John Schaeffer's "Soundcheck".
"Trombone, accordion, guitar, and saxophone might not seem like your idea of a good time, but if that's the case, you haven't caught a set by The Four Bags." - Time Out, NY