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FORMERS & PERFORMERS, a concert series featuring New York-based composers who also perform their own works, is presented at El Taller thanks to generous support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. 

The Kropotkins were founded by Jonathan Kane and Dave Soldier in 1994 after they heard Mississippi fife and drum music and flipped out on it. Othar Turner and Sid Hemphill showed you could mix the bass and snare drum with the banjo, fiddle, and guitar and vocals. Everything can be played without electronics at a barbeque. 

"It takes a lot of guts (and a lot of brains) to try to imbue northern Mississippi fife-and-drum music with an anarchic spirit. The composer Dave Soldier, a neuroscientist, and the drummer Jonathan Kane, a downtown no-wave legend, perform as the Kropotkins, with an assist from, among others, the fine Mepmphis-based singer Lorette Velvette." 
New Yorker, 2010

Back at El Taller for the first time since the 2007 "Famosos Desconocidos" concert series, The Kropotkins have also played at the Bottom Line, the Knitting Factory, Tonic, Joe's Pub, Le Poisson Rouge, Issue Project Room in New York and the Blues in Roots Festival in the mountains of British Columbia. The group will performing music from their latest relase "Paradise Square", available now from Mulatta Records. 

The Kropotkins consists of: 

  • Lorette Velvette - vocals and guitar (Hellcats, Tav Falco, recorded w. Sonic Youth, Jessie Mae Hemphill) 
  • Charlie Burnham - violin (Cassandra Wilson, James Blood Ulmer, Henry Threadgill)
  • Dave Soldier - banjo & violin (Thai Elephant Orchestra, Soldier String Quartet, John Cale, Bo Diddley)
  • Dog - guitar (Mark Deffenbaugh, John Cale, Souxie & the Banshees)
  • Alex Greene - keyboard (Iggy Pop, Jim Dickinson, Reigning Sound)
  • Jonathan Kane - percussion (February, Rhys Chatham, LaMonte Young, Swans)


Formers and Performers is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.