Nik Bärtsch's Ronin brings zen-funk to The Palms on Oct. 21

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Pianist Nik Bärtsch (second from right) and his quartet Ronin (Sha on bass clarinet and alto saxophone, Kaspar Rast on drums and Thomy Jordi on bass) will perform at The Palms Playhouse (13 Main St., Winters) on Sunday, Oct. 21 starting at 3 p.m. Tickets are $22. (Courtesy photo by Jonas Holthaus)

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Lead by Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch, zen-funk quartet Ronin follows a consistent aesthetic vision under various instrumental guises: creating the maximum effect by minimal means. Ronin will appear at The Palms Playhouse on Sunday, Oct. 21 starting at 3 p.m. as part of the venue’s occasional Sunday Afternoon Jazz series. Tickets are $22 ($18 with student ID). Since founding Ronin in 2001, Bärtsch has continued his ritual groove exploration with Kaspar Rast (drums), Thomy Jordi (bass) and Sha (bass/contrabass clarinet, alto saxophone). Fans of Esbjörn Svensson Trio (EST), The Bad Plus, Brad Mehldau and Brian Blade will enjoy Ronin’s sparse, piano-centered, mesmerizing sound. Despite the multiplicity of the band’s influences, Ronin’s music always possesses a strong individuality. The musicians incorporate elements of disparate musical worlds, including funk, new classical music or sounds from Japanese ritual music. However, these forms are never merely juxtaposed in a post-modernist fashion but instead are amalgamated into a coherent new style. Ultimately, these sounds and rhythms are highly idiosyncratic. The music consists of very few phrases and motifs, continually combined and layered in new ways, creating a consistent aesthetic across all levels of musical expression. Composition, phrasing, sound structure, performance, and musical form all combine to form a system of interrelated elements. ECM Records released the quartet’s latest album, “Awase,” earlier this year. Tickets are available at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland, online via The Palms’ website and Eventbrite and at the door if not sold out. For more information, visit palmsplayhouse.com and nikbaertsch.com/ronin. ]]>

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