San Fermin (New York)
San Fermin (pronounced Fair-MEEN) is the brainchild of classically trained Brooklyn composer and multi-instrumentalist Ellis Ludwig-Leone. The music he creates has been described as "chamber pop storytelling" and "baroque pop" as well as simply "indescribable". However named, this is compelling, potent listening.
San Fermin started taking shape after Ludwig-Leone's graduation from Yale, where he studied composition. He retreated to the Banff Centre to write San Fermin. the self-titled debut album. In 2012, the initially makeshift project performed a single concert - from sheet music - and promptly signed a record deal, with a recording released worldwide in 2013 via Downtown Records. NPR called the 17-song epic that featured multiple players and instruments "one of the year's most surprising, ambitious, evocative and moving records." The album reached #18 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers album chart - and sold out concerts, tours, and festival gigs followed.
Since then, Ludwig-Leone has settled on the tighter, permanent eight-piece lineup to help realize his vision, featuring trumpet, baritone sax, violin and male and female lead vocals - and released a second recording, Jackrabbit, in 2015. In San Fermin's music, you'll hear flashes of sound and influences from across time and cultures: rock, ska, sometimes edgy, sometimes soaring, challenging, complex. Their music's been described as having moments beautiful, brutal and a bit of both...songs that don't know how to let you out of their clutches or console you with easy answers.