I had a great time subbing with the Steve Lehman Octet on a concert at Brown University in October. I’ve admired Steve’s music for years so it was great to experience it as a player, and a real pleasure to perform with this outstanding group of musicians that included Jonathan Finlayson, Mark Shim, Chris Dingman, Dan Peck, Drew Gress, and Tyshawn Sorey.
I enjoyed starting fall 2015 performing with many outstanding and diverse musicians on a string of concerts in California. They included a double bill at REDCAT as part of the Angel City Jazz Festival, the first set with bassist Lisa Mezzacappa’s Glorious Ravage (pictured above), a wonderfully innovative, multimedia work about Victorian-era “lady explorers” featuring a 15-piece ensemble and several video artists, and the second set with the always-inspiring Mark Dresser Quintet. The contrast made for a unique evening that Greg Burke captured creatively here. The next night, Mark premiered a new septet (and a lot of new music) at San Diego’s Athenaeum Music and Arts Library Jazz Series, which Robert Bush reviewed here, and shortly after that I enjoyed a couple days in San Francisco where we performed Lisa’s work twice at the Brava! Theatre for Women and the Arts in the Mission district.
In September, I was thrilled to do a one-week residency in Korea at the Seoul Institute of the Arts, where I was invited to share some of my work in telematics with with faculty and students and to meet the artists and technologists who will be collaborating on a California-Seoul telematic concert in 2016 that I’m co-directing. I’m so grateful to my hosts in Korea – Jun Oh, Tay Yoo, Woody Pak, Kang Ho-Jung, Kim Young-Dong, Bae Il Dong and many others – for facilitating this trip and for all the dialogues that it sparked. I was incredibly impressed by the wide-ranging and innovative international collaborations that SIA has cultivated through telepresence, and the trip left me even more excited about this upcoming concert, which features incredible musicians at both sites. More info on that soon…
We had another great telematic concert between UCSD and Zurich last week, working once again with musicians Matthias Ziegler and Gerry Hemingway as well as their excellent team of artist-technicians, including VJ Benjamin Burger, all based in Zurich. At UCSD, I was part of a quartet of Mark Dresser, Joshua White, and Stephanie Richards, along with filmaker Brian Cross, and we also had an amazing support team (with special thanks to Trevor Henthorn). This was part of the Filmatic Festival at UCSD, and we’re looking forward to pushing the visual dimension even further in more collaborations with many of these same people next year. Pictured above is Mark on stage next to a video projection mixing Gerry and Matthias, and on the screen above, filmic content from Brian Cross.
I had a fantastic experience in Manizales, Colombia in late April 2015, participating in the Festival Internacional de la Imagen, sponsored by the Department of Visual Design at the University of Caldas. I really enjoyed the people there, including so many curious and diverse students, and I’m so grateful to Mario Valencia, Juan Reyes, Juan Pablo Cáceres, Hector Fabio Torres, and Elizabeth Granados, among many others. I gave a talk and solo performance and also participated in a telematic concert, performing with Juan Rubio and Kyle Motl in San Diego. This image is from the telematic space that Mario and Elizabeth designed in Manizales, with three panels, the outer two used for projection, and the middle one between the live performers and the audience (photo by María Arango). Looking forward to working more there!
It was a pleasure and privilege to join Nicole Mitchell, Joelle Leandre, and Derf Recklaw for a set of improvised music at the Blue Whale in February. Joelle was passing through SoCal and gave a fantastic talk at our university that morning. She and Nicole have a unique duo together and played an incredible first set that night to celebrate a new duo CD release.
It’s always a joy to play with bassist-composer Mark Dresser’s quintet, on either coast. Last week, we performed some of Mark’s new compositions in San Diego with a west coast lineup, including flutist Nicole Mitchell joining the band for the first time, and pianist Joshua White and drummer Kjell Nordeson. Once again, the dedicated listener-scribe Robert Bush wrote a beautiful review of the concert.
In November 2014, I enjoyed performing two concerts in CA with my trio, featuring Chris Tordini and Dan Weiss, in which we premiered a new scorestream composition that was commissioned by the Fromm Foundation. Titled Somewhere In The Upstream, this piece is dedicated to my former teacher Yusef Lateef, who passed about a year ago. If you missed the concerts, you can at least enjoy the vivid imagery of Robert Bush in the great concert review he wrote for NBC San Diego.
I was lucky to start fall 2014 performing 4 gigs with some fantastic bands. The first was to premiere some new compositions by Mark Dresser with his quintet at Cornelia St. Cafe in NYC, along with Rudresh Mahanthappa, Denman Maroney and Michael Sarin. Then back on the west coast I had another chance to play on LA’s excellent Angel City Jazz Festival, this time with an all-star band led by Taylor Ho Bynum, featuring Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Gauthier, Jeff Parker, Mark Dresser, and Alex Cline. And in early October, I played in both LA and San Diego with a quintet (pictured) led by Joshua White along with Gavin Templeton, Mark Dresser and Kjell Nordeson, doing 2 nights of very rewarding open improvisation. I’m also looking forward to 2 concerts with my own trio in SoCal in November – more on that soon…
I’m grateful to be featured in a “players profile” by Joe Tangari in the current issue of Downbeat magazine. It’s subtitled “Interactive Systems” and he discusses my trio and my work with live electronics, as well as composing for telematic concerts. And my latest trio CD, Resonating Abstractions, was also reviewed this month in All About Jazz magazine by Robert Bush, who not only shares a glowing take on our music but also manages use great words like turgid, manic, fusillade, stuttering, guttural and indigo. Jazz journalism is a true labor of love in most cases, so thanks Joe and Robert for the creative listening and writing!
My new trio CD, titled Resonating Abstractions, is now out on Clean Feed Records. It’s a multi-part composition that was inspired by seven contemporary abstract painters and commissioned through Chamber Music America’s “New Jazz Works” award, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. It also features the phenomenal artistry of my collaborators, Christopher Tordini on bass and Dan Weiss on drums. We premiered this music on a bi-coastal tour in late 2012 that gave us time to internalize all the compositions and explore different approaches each night, and we recorded it shortly after with that same live spirit. It’s on iTunes and other digital distributors or you can order the CD directly from Clean Feed. I’ve also posted the liner notes and listening samples on this site. Enjoy listening!
With the extreme cold weather in the northeast US this year, few things would make me excited about leaving southern California in February for a tour that goes as far north as Montreal… but this is one of them: 5 concerts with a fantastic band led by my longtime friend and collaborator Jason Robinson and featuring Bill Lowe, Marty Ehrlich, Oscar Noriega, Liberty Ellman, Drew Gress, George Schuller, and Ches Smith. We’re playing in NYC, Amherst, Portland, Montreal, and Vermont, so I look forward to seeing some of my northeast friends at these gigs. More info here.