Music Feature

Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra

by Kim-Thao Nguyen
Grammy-nominated composer brings down the house for Jazz Appreciation Month. Photos by Kim-Thao Nguyen

Painted Bride Art Center tipped its cap toward the past to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month at their Friday night Black Cat Brew annual fundraiser. The evening of festivities, including an auction, culminated with a striking performance by the energetic Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra.

Led by the Grammy-nominated composer and Sex Mob trumpeter Steven Bernstein, the nine-piece orchestra treated the audience to a wide era of familiar yet original improvisations. Jumping from the funk influences of Sly & the Family Stone, to the jaunty serenades of the Harlem Renaissance, to even the styles of Prince and the Beatles, MTO's ambitious audio amalgamation still managed to achieve a celebratory and completely unique sound of its own.

Comprised of Bernstein's "favorite musicians on the planet," particularly highlighting the performance were Dean Bowman's soulful yet punchy vocals, Charlie Burnham's wowing and wah-ing violin draws, and of course Bernstein's own presence, as he delivered excitable audience interactions and an almost childlike and charming enthusiasm for jazz.

Check out more shots from MTO's Painted Bride performance below.

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