As acoustic sextet Night Tree reaches their one year anniversary, Brian O’Donovan, Senior DJ at Boston’s own radio station, WGBH, calls them “One of the most exciting roots-based music groups to emerge from the New England Conservatory in many years. Their individual chops and adventurous approach make Night Tree a band to watch for.”
In September of 2016, six wildly diverse musicians came together unexpectedly within the walls of Boston’s New England Conservatory to form New Acoustic band, Night Tree. The group, all students at NEC, were named the Conservatory’s WildCard Honors Ensemble for 2016-2017. Awards for this title included a sponsorship from NEC, a headlining performance at the historic Jordan Hall, and a year of working with Winifred Horan, fiddler and co-founder of Irish super-band, SOLAS. Night Tree released their debut album on September 1st of this year, produced by Séamus Egan, another founding member of SOLAS.
These six conservatory-trained musicians have absorbed genres from across the globe. Night Tree is unique, not only for its abnormal instrumentation of two fiddles, cello, accordion, saxophone, percussion, and the occasional viola and mandolin, but for their collective representation and incorporation of traditions from Irish, Classical, Swedish, Jazz, Klezmer, and Afro-Cuban music. Each artist’s personality is given a spot to emerge with fiery improvisation, individual compositions, and a pristine ear. The band thrives on playing in darkness as to allow themselves the opportunity to solely listen with the absence of any possible visual distractions. They react to each other at any given time, in a matter of seconds. They have learned to get inside each other’s musical minds, creating one blossoming and unpredictable wave of sound that is Night Tree.
“I’m thrilled to have been part of this brilliant young band’s debut album. They play with such spark and musicality. Thoughtful compositions, precise, inventive arrangements. An absolute joy. Go hear them!” -Séamus Egan, founding member of SOLAS and Night Tree producer
The six members of Night Tree:
Lily Honigberg – violin
Chris Overholser – violin, viola, and mandolin
Zach Mayer – bari and soprano sax, voice
Sunniva Brynnel – accordion & voice
McKinley James – cello
Julian Loida – percussion
Though each member of Night Tree originates from a different musical world, the six members have come together to a create a new sound that is unique to their instrumentation and musical voice, both attracting and bewildering enthusiastic crowds while connecting folk music lovers, café radio junkies, jazz enthusiasts, free-improvisers, and beyond.