This Week at Bowerbird

Philadelphia’s Bowerbird is presenting the following acts tonight.

kevin davis – cello
woody sullender – banjo
chicago / nyc
“On The Tempest is Over (Dead CEO), his new improvised duo record with cellist Kevin Davis, former Chicagoan Woody Sullender continues to find unexplored terrain for the banjo, weeding out any reference to bluegrass or old-timey music. In his hands the instrument sometimes evokes those of other cultures – the oud on “Strata Collide,” the pipa on “Knocking Dust” – but his MO is singular: wonderfully strangulated tangles of notes arrive in brief bursts, then recede into gentle arpeggios or ominous single-note runs. Davis is a wonderful accompanist cushioning Sullender’s brittle sound in mahogany chords and spectral harmonics.” -Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

stuart brent, laptop, pedals, doepfer pocket control
matthew sanchez, laptop, CD players, pedals

Mother is a joint venture between two artists who have created works individually under the monikers of cyg (Brent) and MANEATER (Sanchez). Formed after an impromptu combined performance at a Hajota noise show, Mother produces complicated (but sometimes minimal), rhythmic, effected noise with glitched-out, chopped-up portions. Tracks by Mother, cyg, and MANEATER can all be found at [hajota records]

guitar, accordion

Alban Bailly, a native of France, began his music path by playing rock his youth. He moved onto studying Jazz, which opened him to free improvisation in the late nineties. In 2001 he studied Arabic music and oud in Marrakesh, Morocco. Back to Nancy, France, Alban became an active performer, playing solo and together with performers in Europe. It is at this period the gypsy and Balkan music intrigued him and took him to Serbia to meet traditional Eastern European music in 2004. Since making Philadelphia his home in 2005, Alban has experienced abundance of opportunity as a composer and a performer, collaborating with musicians from East coast and beyond. Using his guitar and accordion, he plays various genres of music and often collaborates with dancers.

daniel fishkin – daxophone
katt hernandez – violin

Daniel Fishkin has built and played daxophones of all shapes and sizes since 2004. Daxophone: a flat piece of wood, anchored at one end, and played with a bow. This German idiophone, invented in 1987 by Hans Reichel, sounds anywhere between a violin or a woodland mammal. Daniel has studied daxophone with Mark Stewart of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and played in many free-improv groups and ska bands.

Katt Hernandez has been living in the Boston area, playing the violin, for the last six years. She has collaberated with a magnificently variated sea of musicians, dancers, and others including- but certainly not limited to- Joe Maneri, Zack Fuller, David Maxwell, Marc Bisson, Matt Somalis, John Voigt, Allisa Cardone, Gordon Beeferman, Jonathan Vincent, Walter Wright, Joe Burgio, Eric Rosenthal, Jeff Arnal, Jaimie McGlaughlin, Andrew Neumann, Dave Gross, and Hans Rickheit. She has twice been invited to perfrom on the Autumn Uprising , High Zero , Mobius ArtRages , and Improvised and Otherwise festivals, and has also appeared at the Montreaux-Detroit , Brandeis New Music , Boston CyberArts , Michiania , IAJE , IASJ , and Ear Whacks festivals. She has been a guest artist at MIT, Harvard, and the New England Conservatory, performed in a vast slew of local venues and- to date- any number of subway passages, urban grottos, and troglyditical performace slaces, as well as other experimental and life-making places throughout the Bos-Wash metropolii.


Billy Bang and Kahil El'Zabar in Erie

Bang and El’Zabar team up at the Erie Art Museum:

Erie, PA, May 31, 2007 –(– The Erie Art Museum’s Contemporary Music Series will present jazz duo Billy Bang & Kahil El’ Zabar at the Erie Art Museum Annex, 423 State Street on Monday, June 11 at 8 p.m.

El’Zabar, a versatile percussionist and Bang, a violinist, make a go at the uncommon violin/percussion combination and, by way of El’Zabar’s customary arsenal of percussive instruments, pull a myriad of voices from the seemingly limiting instrumentation.

Bang is one of the more prolific and original members of the progressive jazz scene. Over the past 26 years, Bang’s hard-edged tone, soulful sense of traditional swing and evocatively expressive style has enhanced over two dozen albums by top names in a variety of genres, from the blistering fund of Bootsy Collins and the harmolodic groove of Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society to the intergalactic uproar of Sun Ra. Bang also appears on more than 15 albums under his own leadership, nearly two dozen more in co-led endeavors, and five with the String Trio of New York, a band which he co-founded with guitarist James Emery and bassist John Lindberg.

El’Zabar is a leading figure in the Chicago avant-garde, and master of the African sounds of the conga drums and the kalimba (thumb piano). He fronts the Ritual Trio – named after the behavior of African folk musicians – the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and Afrocentrix, which he describes as a “21st century dance band.”

Jazz in New York

Listing from the New York Times:

TRIO BEYOND Almost 40 years ago the Tony Williams Lifetime pioneered a brand of superheated fusion that brooked no qualms or disclaimers. There were just three musicians in the original incarnation of the band — John McLaughlin on guitar, Larry Young on Hammond B-3 organ and Tony Williams on drums — but its sound could be crushingly massive. This had a lot to do with the intensity of its namesake leader, who had been pushing toward jazz-rock even during his celebrated tenure with the Miles Davis Quintet. Mr. Williams, who died in 1997, played the drums with a forward-tilt aggression that was matched by his intuitive sophistication. In Lifetime the balance often tilted to favor power over finesse. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) That isn’t the case with Trio Beyond, above, a tribute band consisting of the drummer Jack DeJohnette, the guitarist John Scofield and the keyboardist Larry Goldings. Formed by Mr. DeJohnette, Mr. Williams’s loose-limbed successor with Miles Davis, the group recently released a live double album — “Saudades” (ECM), recorded in 2004 — that features not only Lifetime staples but also milestones of Mr. Williams’s sideman career, songs associated with Mr. Young and even a bit of original material. The point seems to be a particular species of interaction, more than a repertory or even a style. So Mr. Scofield, another Davis alumnus, has no imperative to imitate Mr. McLaughlin; he sounds like a pumped-up version of himself. The same is true of his bandmates, who allude to their predecessors without overdoing the emulation. Appropriately, the musicians sound best when they’re blazing together through an anthem like “Emergency,” seemingly without much concern for how the music might be classified. It’s in their fierce commitment that they honor Mr. Williams best. (Tuesday through June 10 at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Blue Note, 131 West Third Street, West Village, 212-475-8592,; cover, $35 at tables, $20 at the bar, with a $5 minimum.) NATE CHINEN

JEFF DAVIS BAND (Wednesday) The drummer Jeff Davis has a steady profile in left-of-center New York jazz circles, but he doesn’t often lead his own groups. This one consists of Kirk Knuffke on trumpet, Tony Barba on reeds, Jon Goldberger on guitar, Eivind Opsvik on bass and Kris Davis, Mr. Davis’s wife, on Fender Rhodes piano. At 10 p.m., Tea Lounge, 837 Union Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, Park Slope, Brooklyn, (718) 789-2762,; $5 donation. (Chinen)

KNEEBODY FEATURING THEO BLECKMANN (Tuesday) Blending rock, jazz and funk in a convincing amalgam, Kneebody draws on the skills of improvisers like the trumpeter Shane Endsley and the keyboardist Adam Benjamin. Here they have a special guest in Theo Bleckmann, a texture-oriented vocalist. At 8:30 p.m., Center for Improvisational Music, 295 Douglass Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues, Park Slope, Brooklyn, (212) 631-5882,; cover, $12; $8 for students. (Chinen)

★ NEW LANGUAGES FESTIVAL (Tonight and tomorrow night) This adventurous festival in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is organized in part by the alto saxophonist Aaron Ali Shaikh, who leads a trio tomorrow night at 10. The lineup also includes a duo of the violist Mat Maneri and the drummer Randy Peterson (tonight at 10); Dub Trio, a group devoted to hypnotic groove (tonight at 11:30); and Harriet Tubman, a group led by the guitarist Brandon Ross (tomorrow at 11:30). At 8:30, 10 and 11:30, Rose Live Music, 345 Grand Street, near Marcy Avenue, (718) 599-0069,; $10. (Chinen)

★ JENNY SCHEINMAN TRIO (Tuesday) Jenny Scheinman is a violinist attracted to rusticity but committed to a modern language. The same could be said, more or less, of the pianist Jason Moran and the drummer Nasheet Waits, innovators (and two-thirds of Mr. Moran’s working trio) who join her here. At 7 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth Street, at Sixth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, (718) 965-9177,; cover, $10.