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John Medeski's Mad Skillet set for Ignition Music Garage / The Goshen News

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The 53-year-old pianist-organist-keyboardist's list of collaborators runs deep among improvisation-centric heavy hitters: Medeski Martin & Wood bandmates Billy Martin and Chris Wood since 1991, composer-arranger-multi-instrumentalist John Zorn, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph, The Meters' George Porter Jr. and Zigaboo Modeliste, virtuoso guitarists John Scofield and Warren Haynes.

"It's kind of like whoever you collaborate with it's gonna make for a different experience depending on what their musical language is, … what they're into," Medeski said by phone. "Whether they're more of a funk player, jazz player, ya know, an improviser or more songs. There's so many factors in terms of what the musician is saying. For me, that's what it's kinda about - whatever's happening, I just try to react to what's happening and feel what's gonna work and what's gonna add to the music that's happening. And who you're playing with affects that 100 percent."

Medeski's newest group, Mad Skillet, is steeped in the rubbery, cycling jazz-funk grooves of New Orleans, with Brooklyn-based jazz-fusion guitarist Will Bernard and NOLA musicians Kirk Joseph, sousaphone player of Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and drummer Terence Higgins (John Scofield's Piety Street Band, Swampgrease) adding authentic tonal touches to the group's eponymous debut album.

Mad Skillet's musical gumbo will be served at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Ignition Music Garage in Goshen, part of the band's inaugural U.S. tour after performing scattered gigs over the past few years.

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