Guitar duo set for ArtPlay Parlor Series on Oct. 23

With backgrounds in modern jazz, new music and bluegrass, Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge explore the worlds of improvisation and composition.

chris eldridge wChris Eldridge, Julian LageJulian Lage and Chris Eldridge will perform together Thursday, Oct. 23, as part of the ArtPlay Parlor Music Series, presented by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.

The Lage/Eldridge duo is a collaborative effort founded in acoustic music’s roots. Together they explore the worlds of improvisation and composition. Lage’s background is in modern jazz and new music. Eldridge’s relationship is with bluegrass, and he is a member of the widely acclaimed band Punch Brothers. Their talents combined mean this duo lives at the nexus of improvisation, spontaneous composition and virtuosic refinement, all performed on their respective 1939 Martin guitars.

The performance is part of the Patty McDonald ArtPlay Parlor Music Series, set for 7 p.m. at the ASC’s home for arts education, ArtPlay, 601 19th St. South. Tickets are $37.50; wine and hors d’oeuvres are included. An ArtPlay Meet the Artist school show is planned for 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 24. Call 205-975-2787 or visit

Lage began playing guitar at an early age, and by the time he was 8 was playing with Carlos Santana. At 11, he began performing and collaborating with Gary Burton. In 2009, Lage released his debut album, “Sounding Point,” with the help of musicians such as Bela Fleck and Nickel Creek’s Chris Thile. “Sounding Point” was nominated for the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Eldridge has been at the vanguard of acoustic music for much of the past decade. In 2005 he caught the attention of Thile, who enlisted him, along with banjoist Noam Pikelny, violinist Gabe Witcher and bassist Greg Garrison, to start working on an ambitious side project. Soon after they decided to focus all of their collective energies into one band, and Punch Brothers was born. That band has since released three critically acclaimed albums, received two Grammy nominations and toured the world.