Orchestra Morphine: Mark Sandman Memorial Concert Late Show

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Mark Sandman Memorial Concerts: Gone 25 Years But Not Forgotten

July 3, 2024 marks the 25th anniversary of Morphine front man Mark Sandman’s death, felled by a heart attack in the middle of Morphine’s set at the Nel Nome Del Rock festival in Palestrina, Italy on July 3, 1999. To honor the anniversary, a special night of Sandman’s music will be presented at The Lizard Lounge on July 12th by Orchestra Morphine. Entitled “Mark Sandman Memorial Concerts: Gone 25 Years But Not Forgotten”, two separate shows – early and late – will feature Sandman’s music performed by friends and bandmates, including original Morphine members Dana Colley and Jerome Deupree. Formed in 1999 in the wake of Sandman’s passing, Orchestra Morphine also includes members of Hypnosonics: Russ Gershon and Tom Halter (Either/Orchestra) and Mike Rivard (Club d’Elf). Special guests including Laurie Sargent, Jimmy Ryan and Christian McNeill will interpet songs from the Morphine and Hypnosonics songbooks.

Sandman was an inspired songwriter, conceptualist and multi-instrumentalist, a fearless, distinctive creative presence on the Cambridge, Boston, national and international music scenes. He rose to national fame in the late 80’s as a member of BMG recording artists Treat Her Right. In the early 90’s he formed Morphine with saxophonist Colley and drummers Deupree and the late Billy Conway, which became an internationally touring cult band, earning the praise of club kids, critics and rock stars.

Never constrained by one band format, Sandman created numerous project bands and collaborations. He formed his “secret band”, Hypnosonics, in 1984 and the group remained active until his untimely death. A free-wheeling, minimalist funk band, the band never released any recordings while Sandman was alive. Finally in 2021, the label Modern Harmonic released two LP’s of previously unreleased Hypnosonics sessions : Someone Stole My Shoesand Drums Were Beating. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Sandman’s passing, the label is releasing a two-disc (and single vinyl) set of more unissued Hypnosonics material: Middle East Rent Control Benefit 1994 / Knitting Factory NYC 1997. This very special event will also serve as the Release Party for the new Hypnosonics releases.

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