Chicago Scene: February 13-20, 2016

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Kent Kessler

This is a weekly overview live avant performances in the Chicago area.  Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Sunday, February 14th 2016

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10)
Wet Ink : Josh Modney, Eric Wubbels, Sam Pluta

9:30PM at The Owl, 2521 N Milwaukee, 773.235.5300 (Donation)
Michael Zerang, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Kent Kessler, Jim Baker

Monday, February 15th 2016

7:30PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069 ($10)
Weston Olencki, Katherine Young — improvisations, and compositions by Evan Johnson, Peter Ablinger, Katherine Young

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

Tuesday, February 16th 2016

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($5)
Peep Show
Urban Bush Women, David Boykin

Wednesday, February 17th 2016

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western (Free)
Volcano Radar : Elbio Barilari, Julia Miller, Rollo Radford, Tim Davis
Sound Of The City Workshop

10:30PM at Honky Tonk BBQ, 1213 W 18th, 312.907.7895
Keefe Jackson Trio with Jason Roebke, Mikel Avery

Thursday, February 18th 2016

9:00AM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Ben Schmidt-Swartz, Albert Wildeman, Matt Carroll
Keefe Jackson, Anton Hatwich, Phile Sudderberg

Saturday, February 20th 2016

7:00PM at The Annex, 4660 N Rockwell ($10 donation)
Experimental Artist Series #19
Keefe Jackson, Julian Kirshner
Tim Daisy, Jason Stein
Ben Baker Billington, Carlos Chavarria, Adam Tramposh

8:00PM at Graham Foundation (Madlener House), 4 W Burton Pl (Free, RSVP {})
Lampo Presents
EVOL : Roc Jiménez de Cisneros, Hanne Darboven

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western
Ambrose Akinmusire

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Ascension : 50th Anniversary Celebration
Galaxxu : Alexander Adams, Corey Lyons, Zachary Mark, Marc Williams
Set Self on Fire : Ben LaMar Gay, Daniel Van Duerm, Reid Karris, Brendan McAlinden, special guests Aaron Zarzutzki, Andrea Malek

For more information, such as directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:,,,,,,,,,,,,

February Jazz Reviews

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Mats Gustafsson at Moers Festival, June 2006, ...

Source: The Quietus, a set of reviews of free and creative jazz.

The first Complete Communion of 2016 finds swarthy Swedish sax warrior Mats Gustafsson as busy as ever. October saw him wail on Pole Axe (Rare Noise), the second album from Slobber Pup, a group also featuring guitarist Joe Morris, Jamie Saft on organ and Zu and Venetian Snares collaborator Balazs Pandi on drums.

Daniel Levin Interview

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Source: LondonJazz.

The first time I really improvised was when I was 19, at a summer chamber music and dance festival. The organizers brought the two divisions together in a room, and asked if any musicians would be willing to try improvising with a dancer. When I got on stage, I had no idea what to do. I just watched the dancer and allowed myself to respond to her gestures – it was physical and visual information that informed what to play. What I remember best about that experience was the last 10 or 15 seconds: she was spinning, very fast. I matched this movement by going way up the fingerboard and trilling. As I was doing this, at a certain point, I had the uncanny feeling that she was about to crash to the ground. I just went with it, and slid all the way down to the low end of the cello, the bottom of the C string. She and I hit the bottom at exactly the same time. I was astounded, and excited. The music no longer had to come from the page. It could come from other places – a dancer, my own ideas. This was the first big step in finding my voice as an improviser and composer.

Creative Music in DC

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Events at Union Arts DC
Every Wednesday @ 7:30pm
Creative Music Workshop
The Creative Music Workshop brings together some of DC’s most dedicated Creative Musicians together. Each session features an opportunity to explore various aspects of improvised music and experimentalism.
Artists of any discipline welcome!
Union Arts DC
411 New York Ave NE
Enter through the loading dock off the corner of 4th and Penn Street NE

Friday, February 19 @ 8pm
A Benefit Show for Union Arts DC
Janel and Anthony :: DAIS :: Escape-ism
Janel and Anthony (Creative Music, DC)
DAIS (Experimental Pop, DC)
Escapism (Solo Ian Svenonious, DC)
Union Arts DC (3rd Floor)
411 New York Ave NE
Enter through the loading dock off the corner of 4th and Penn Street NE

Saturday, February 20 @ 8pm
Marie Davidson (Electro-synth vocalizations, Montreal)
Ginger Breaker (Neuromodulation, Montreal)
Violence de Masse (Neuromodulation/ex Vox Nihili, Montreal)
Claire (Ascetic House, RVA)
Rosemary Arp (Broken Call, DC)
Union Arts DC (3rd Floor)
411 New York Ave NE
Enter through the loading dock off the corner of 4th and Penn Street NE

Friday, March 4 @ 8pm
Kohoutek :: Bonnie Kane :: Jeff Lederer’s DC Blowhards :: Boat Burning
Kohoutek (Improvised Psych Rock, Philly/DC)
Bonnie Kane (Solo Saxophone and Flute, NYC)
Jeff Lederer’s DC Blowhards (Creative Music, NYC/DC)
Boat Burning (Chamber Guitar, DMV)
Union Arts DC (3rd Floor)
411 New York Ave NE
Enter through the loading dock off the corner of 4th and Penn Street NE

Every 2nd Sunday of the Month
CapitalBop’s DC Jazz Loft
The DC Jazz Loft showcases and stimulates the talent and forward-focused creative thought that is occurring in the DC Jazz community. On the second Sunday of every month, at Union Arts DC, a variety of idioms and approaches to Jazz are presented by members of the diverse local scene.
Union Arts DC
411 New York Ave NE
Enter through the loading dock off the corner of 4th and Penn Street NE

Steve Reich 80th Birthday Events in Toronto

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American composer Steve Reich performing clapp...

Source: Soundstreams.

Steve Reich at 80 is a celebration of the “father of minimalism’s” 80th-birthday, where he will be joined by artists from Canada and the US to undertake three signature compositions representing significant signposts in his prolific career.

This concert brings together the three original members of the Steve Reich Ensemble: Steve Reich, Russell Hartenberger, and Bob Becker. Formed in 1966 to perform Reich’s compositions, the ensemble quickly grew to 18 members or more and has toured nationally and internationally. Steve Reich at 80 will kick off with a rare onstage appearance by Reich, performing his playful Clapping Music (1972) with Toronto-based percussionist Hartenberger.

April 14, 2016 at 8:00 pm
Massey Hall, 178 Victoria Street
Presented by Soundstreams and The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall


Ear Candy: Electric Counterpoint (*note: Steve Reich will not be present at this event)
March 19, at 8:00 pm, The Theatre Centre

Salon 21: Clapping Music (*note: Steve Reich will not be present at this event)
April 8, at 7:00 pm, The Gardiner Museum

Soundstreams’ 2016 Gala (featuring Steve Reich)
April 11, at 6:30 pm, Integral House

Steve Reich and Michael Snow in conversation with Sook Yin Lee
April 12, at 7:00 pm, Toronto Reference Library, Bram & Bluma Appel Salon

We Need No Swords Reviews

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Source: We Need No Swords.

Ayn Sof
Kokum: Impressions of Environment
Mike Adcock: Accord
Ashtray Navigations: Ashtray Navigations presents The Mechanical Abrasions Of (volume 1)
The Blunder of a Horse: Zoantrophi
Ute Kanngiesser: Geäder

San Francisco Scene: February 12-19, 2016

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English: Fred Frith performing at Mills Colleg...

From the Bay Improviser Calendar:

Friday, February 12

Fri 2/12 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Switchboard Presents: Amaranth Quartet and Ogni Suono
Saturday, February 13

Sat 2/13 7:30 PM Piedmont Center for the Arts [801 Magnolia Ave, Piedmont, CA 94611]
In this concert, clarinetist Mara Plotkin teams up with the Circadian String Quartet, composers Noam Lemish and Sahba Aminikia, along with guest performers Anne Rainwater (piano) and Christa Durand (soprano), to explore the musical soul of two cultures: Iran and Israel.

Sat 2/13 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Fred Frith / Shelley Hirsch Duo
Fred Frith guitar and more – Shelley Hirsch Voice/text Our improvisations are never the same way twice and get better and better all the time.

Sat 2/13 8:00 PM The Lab [2948 16th St SF]
Phill Niblock in San Francisco

Sat 2/13 8:00 PM Mills College Littlefield Concert Hall [5000 MacArthur Blvd Oakland]
A tribute to composer and sound artist Mark Trayle, featuring his solo compositions and works for network bands performed by his musical friends, colleagues, and students associated with Mills and Cal Arts: Casey Anderson, John Bischoff, Chris Brown, Scott Cazan, Clay Chaplin, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Matt Ingalls, David Paha, Tim Perkis, Sara Roberts, Zachary Mariano, and Phil Stone. Pieces include Unstable Trombone, Paper, In My Room, Pins & Splits, and Simple Degradation.

Sunday, February 14

Sun 2/14 8:00 PM Berkeley Arts [2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford, walking distance from downtown Berkeley BART]
Ches Smith Trio – US tour celebrating the release of THE BELL, on ECM records – Ches Smith: drums, vibraphone; Craig Taborn: piano; Mat Maneri: viola

Tuesday, February 16

Tue 2/16 7:30 PM CCRMA [The Knoll 660 Lomita Dr. Stanford, CA 94305]
line upon line percussion seeks new ways for percussion instruments to advance contemporary art music by performing newly commissioned works alongside existent masterpieces, for adventurous and curious listeners.

Tue 2/16 7:30 PM Canessa Gallery [708 Montgomery St SF]
Bad Jazz (Bryan Day, Tania Chen and Ben Salomon) will be releasing their second cassette, ‘Tincture’ later this month on Friends and Relatives Records. Invented instruments, toys, electronics. Opening the event will be Oakland’s Homoglochini (Raub Roy, James Roemer, Julia Mazawa, Dianne Lynn).

Tue 2/16 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Bad Jazz ‘Tincture’ Release Show
Bad Jazz celebrates the release of their second album ‘Tincture’ on Oakland’s Friends and Relatives Records.

Tue 2/16 8:00 PM Berkeley Arts [2133 University Avenue Berkeley]
Ben Goldberg Group plus Ryan Keberle and Catharsis
Ryan Keberle and Catharsis
Ryan Keberle – Trombone, Melodica
Camila Meza – Voice
Mike Rodriguez – Trumpet
Jorge Roeder – Bass
Eric Doob – Drums

Wednesday, February 17

Wed 2/17 7:45 PM Second Act [1727 Haight St. SF]
Barbara Golden
Splendor Generator
Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase

Magnetic Stripper

Thursday, February 18

Thu 2/18 7:30 PM Berkeley Arts [2133 University Avenue Berkeley]
Free World ~ 3rd Thursdays
con·jure: make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic
India Cooke, violin
Lewis Jordan, saxophone, word
Joe McKinley, contrabass
Kele Nitoto, percussion
Donald Robinson, set drum

Thu 2/18 7:30 PM Mills College Littlefield Concert Hall [5000 MacArthur Blvd Oakland]
Composer Hilda Paredes Lecture. Paredes will talk about how she structures her music and about the various influences on her music from European contemporary music to North Indian Music as well as the multi-faceted cultural influences from Mexico and Latin America.

Thu 2/18 8:00 PM Luggage Store Creative Music Series [1007 Market Street SF]
8:10 Christine Richers – cello/electronics
8:30 Leland Vandermeulen – guitar/electronics
9:20 Tristan Norton – guitar

Friday, February 19

Fri 2/19 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
line upon line percussion
Austin-based percussion trio performs work by Matthew Shlomowitz, Thomas Meadowcroft, Andrew Greenwald, David Coll and Steve Snowden.