It’s with great sadness that I must report on the passing of Renaissance’s own Michael Dunford who died Tuesday after suffering a massive Instantaneous Cerebral Hemorrage at his home. According to reports, the legendary guitarist/composer had just returned home from touring with Renaissance when this happened. He was rushed to the hospital but never regained consciousness and the doctors said there was nothing that could be done. He passed on surrounded by his loved ones.
Dunford joined Renaissance in the early 70’s and was a part of the group’s second, but most influential lineup. He joined as guitarist and composer and thanks to his creativity the band climbed to Progressive Rock heights. Together with Annie Haslam (the bands siren of a singer), the world enjoyed classics such as “Prologue”, “Turn Of The Cards”, “Scheherazade and Other Stories” and many more. I don’t have to tell lifelong fans of this kind of music about how amazing it was but for you younger generation of Progressive Rock followers these are must haves for the collection.
While I realize that it broadcasts my vintage, I first heard Renaissance as some of the music that my parents listened to and I loved it. It was very different to my musical ear and while I would eventually start to follow the Metal path with bands like Sabbath, Priest and KISS; the Progressive meets Classical style that Renaissance delivered was forever imprinted within my musical psyche. I never saw the classic lineup when it was touring but I would be fortunate enough to catch them on the 2009 40th Anniversary Tour. It blew me away and it was at that show that I decided that whenever possible to do so, I would be sure to attend a regional performance. This past October, my friend and I caught the band doing “Novella” and other songs at the Ethical Culture center and excitement was high about recordings that were in progress. At this point I do not know what will happen, but I only hope that they do choose to continue in his memory after some healing has happened.
On behalf of the PiercingMetal site and blog, I send the deepest condolences and sincerest of sympathies to Michael’s family, friends, band mates and worldwide collection of fans. Thank you for the music and the performances that you gave us good sir. Your memory will live on forever in your melodies. May you Rest in Peace.
Learn more about Michael’s work with Renaissance HERE
If you have never read one of my concert reports about the great Renaissance, then you don’t yet know how this music holds a very special place in my heart based on having grown up with it and it being stuff that my parents listened to again and again. That being said, I was very excited to get to see the band performing in concert once again and after a nice dinner my friend and I headed over to the Concert Hall at the NY Society for Ethical Culture where we had seen them twice before. To enjoy the full on concert report, please click the bands logo below to be taken to the article on the main PiercingMetal site and then come back here to enjoy some of the side images that were captured during the night.
Continue reading Renaissance in Concert (10/20/2012)
Venue: The Concert Hall at NYSEC (New York, NY)
Label: Friday Music
It’s always a wonderful musical experience when one is able to catch the legendary Renaissance in concert and while I had grown up with many of their classic tunes it was not until a couple of years ago that I was finally able to enjoy them in the live sense. To catch people up on things, Renaissance is a band that was founded way back in 1969 but they would come to larger public popularity with a complete lineup change that took place in 1971. This became the quintessential Renaissance lineup and for years they impressed the senses with adventurous musical creativity that tastefully and successfully blended Progressive Rock with Classical Music like no other had ever heard. In today’s music realm the group has singer Annie Haslam and guitarist Michael Dunford from the classic lineup along with several other incredible musicians. Together they have become the newest incarnation of Renaissance and bring their material to new generations of fans. Tonight’s show was one of two select regional appearances and would find the group performing two of the most celebrated works in the Renaissance discography – the 1974 “Turn Of The Cards” and 1975’s “Scheherazade and Other Stories”. Needless to say my friend and I were very excited about this performance.
Continue reading Renaissance @ The Concert Hall at NYSEC (9/17/2011)
Renaissance had returned to NYC once again and was performing in Rockefeller Park as part of the River To River Festival. This free outdoor concert was going to pair them up with the legendary Steve Hackett (formerly of Genesis) and I could think of no two acts that would fit together so well. Click the bands logo below to read the full article on the main PiercingMetal.com site. We have tons of photos of both performers that we think you will enjoy very much.
Venue: Rockefeller Park (New York, NY)
Opener: Steve Hackett
Label: Independent Artist
Tonight promised to be a very cool evening even though the summer heat was blazing down upon us and holding firm at just over 90 degrees. The show that was happening would be one that would close out my almost daily attendance of killer shows that had been happening around the city over the last several days. This evening was more of a Progressive meets Classical Art Rock night but I had started out my adventures with the likes of Pestilence, a legendary Technical Death Metal band from the Netherlands and followed their show with a little big of Gregg Rolie Band, Winger, Three Friends and Uriah Heep………whew. It makes me tired just mentally revisiting it. The event on the musical menu tonight would be held down in beautiful Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City and this outdoor event was a part of the River To River Festival that was sponsored by American Express. It’s nice to find such a major company doing its best to deliver free music to the fans during these trying economic times and this pairing was certainly something very interesting to be a part of because the show found the legendary Classical Art Rock band Renaissance performing with the equally legendary Steve Hackett from Genesis. The idea that these two great talents were going to present music to their fans in this wonderful setting was very simply awesome. Here is how the night went for those who did not make it down to the show.
Continue reading Renaissance @ Rockefeller Park (6/23/2010)
Venue: Concert Hall for the New York Society of Ethical Culture (New York, NY)
Opener: Jann Klose
Label: Independent Artist
Celebrating the bands 40th anniversary, Annie Haslam, & Michael Dunford from the classic lineup of Renaissance would embark on a tour to bring their much loved Progressive Art Rock music to the masses. They would be joined by four other talented musicians and hit nine different venues along the East Coast to the delight of many. The show in New York City would be held at The Concert Hall, and feature singer/songwriter Jann Klose as their sole opening act. I’ve long appreciated the music of Renaissance and sadly was never able to catch them when they were at their zenith, so the chance to enjoy them in an intimate venue setting that was also new to me was one of those no-brainer decisions to make. I arrived early enough to see Jann whom I had heard about a number of times as well but never saw and doing so allowed me to better scope out this venue and mentally compare it to some of the others that I have seen concerts in. It was sure to be an evening of wonderful memories based on the sold out crowd and anticipation of hearing the music of Renaissance live after so many years.
Continue reading Renaissance @ Concert Hall for the NY Society of Ethical Culture (10/9/2009)