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The Duende Project / Press

“I've been a fan of Duende [Project] for some time, having written about them before. Still, it was almost jarring hearing pieces with which I was extremely familiar — including Brown classics “D.I.Y.” and “Conspiracy” — be reshaped by percussion. The added musical element propelled Brown's performance and gave the audience something of a hook to latch onto...the change gave everything a fullness, lent a funk to pieces which had, in other incarnations, been airier. The overall effect of the change was an electric charge through the band's set, making each poem impossible to ignore...Music affects us. By adding percussion, The Duende Project took music which was, by and large, an emotional and intellectual experience, and added a visceral physical dimension … without sacrificing anything. That's absolutely remarkable.”

“The Duende Project – a collaboration between Worcester poet Tony Brown and Rhode Island bassist-guitarist Steven Lanning-Cafaro – was opening for renowned performance artist Laurie Anderson. Duende was out on the auditorium's second-floor lobby – conveniently near the bar – and had a healthy crowd gathered around to listen, while others tuned in and out, socialized and buzzed about the headliner. Tough gig, by any standard, but the duo barreled to a breathtaking rendition of Brown's poem "Where Do You Live," which centers on a woman who emigrated from Japan to the United States teaching origami to a room full of children. Brown called it a meditation on patriotism from the left, a response to political factions that claim ownership of the concept. It's a gorgeous poem, a rumbling acknowledgement of finding beauty in the face of cynicism and injustice, of finding connections amid the storm of history. It was a perfect ending to the set, and a great bridge for the evening.”

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