As Julian Lage rattled off his current projects to a small crowd gathered in the President’s Room in Huffman this afternoon, one woman shared this observation with her friend: “I think he’s addicted to bands.”
It sure sounded that way. Lage has teamed up with Nels Cline of Wilco, Chris Eldridge, Fred Hersch, Gary Burton’s New Quartet, and Eric Harland’s Voyager. He’s played with David Grisman, Béla Fleck, Jim Hall, and Mark O’Connor. And he’s served as one half of plenty of duos, including one with Margaret Glaspy called Rude Ruth.
We should point out that Lage is only 27.
When he was 8 years old, he was the subject of a film, Jules at Eight, which documented the talents of this child prodigy. By the time he was 13, he was sitting on a stage with other musical prodigies playing the 2000 Grammy Awards show. And he’s been teaching at the Stanford Jazz Workshop for 14 years. (If you’re doing the arithmetic, you’ll know he started his teaching career at age 13.)
Tomorrow night at 8 p.m., Lage will bring the Julian Lage Trio, which also includes percussionist/drummer Tupac Mantilla and bassist Jorge Roeder, to Swasey’s stage as part of the Vail Series.
Mantilla and Roeder joined Lage on his album, Sounding Point, which was released in 2009 to top reviews. That album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album that year.
In the President’s Room, the trio took the time to play an informal concert and answer questions from faculty, staff, and students as a bit of a teaser for tomorrow’s performance. As the Vail Series Director Mike Morris said, it was a little hot jazz on a cold day.
And there’s more to come.