Three Must-See Jazz Shows Tonight in San Diego

From NBC 7 San Diego:

On March 7, the internationally renowned flute virtuoso Nicole Mitchell brings her Sun Dial Ensemble to a Fresh Sound production, held at the School of the Arts at 4441 Park Boulevard. The two other “can’t miss” experiences both occur on the same night when the Loft at UC San Diego hosts a double-bill performance of the Daniel Rosenboom Quintet and the Joshua White / Peter Sprague Group.


Crash course in music history this weekend in Philly


Cecil Taylor
Cover of Cecil Taylor

Saturday night at the Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia saxophonist and bandleader Bobby Zankel kicks off his three-night “Still the New Thing” festival with a concert celebrating his mentor, Cecil Taylor. The avant-garde pianist turns 85 this month; the festival continues March 21 with a tribute to fellow birthday boy Ornette Coleman, a year younger, concluding on April 9 with a centennial concert in honor of pianist Sun Ra.

Robert Ashley, Opera Composer Who Painted Outside the Lines profiles Robert Ashley, who passed away this week.

A prolific composer who first came to prominence in the 1960s, Mr. Ashley decided early to concentrate on opera. To him, though, the definition of opera was far different from what it had been for centuries, or even from what it was for many modern composers. In Mr. Ashley’s hands, “opera” could take in spoken dialogue, chanting and even mumbling. His librettos, most of which he wrote, had little conventional plot. Unlike the gods, ghosts and noblemen that have long peopled grand opera, his characters were ordinary, even marginal. The result — performed over the years at La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, the Kitchen and Merkin Concert Hall in Manhattan; the Brooklyn Academy of Music; Florida Grand Opera in Miami; and throughout Europe — was a series of operas “so unconventional that they tend to be received as either profoundly revolutionary or incomprehensibly peculiar,” as The Los Angeles Times wrote in 1992.


Mossenek Releases and Tour

Mossenek is a duo consisting of guitarist Mick Barr and vocalist / electronic manipulator Chuck Bettis. The 2 have been making music of some sort together off and on since the late 90’s when they first met in Washington DC. The name Mossenek is a recent augmentation, only coming into the equation in 2012. To date they have released one full length recording “Sublingual Glossectum”, available as a cassette through the Austrian label Rock is Hell, and digitally through Mick’s page. They have also recorded and released most of their live shows from the past few years for free through Free Music Archive under Chuck’s series, Living Myth.

Upcoming show dates:

March 10th at Death By Audio Brooklyn, NY
w/ Vampillia, Geryon, Colin Marston

May 23rd at St. Vitus Brooklyn, NY
w/ Prizehog

June 20th at Nest Tokyo, Japan
w/ Vampillia, Nadja, and more tba

June 21st at venue tba Nagoya, Japan
w/ Vampillia, Nadja, and more tba

June 22nd at Conpass Osaka, Japan
w/ Vampillia, Nadja, and more tba

June 25th at Tadoshi Kindergarten Fukagawa City, Japan

June 29th at Nest Tokyo, Japan
w/ Vampillia, Nadja, Group A, and more tba

The Complete Xenakis String Quartets in Philly on Sunday

From Bowerbird:

Iannis Xenakis
Cover of Iannis Xenakis

The powerhouse JACK Quartet return to Philadelphia for a concert featuring the hypercomplex string quartets by Iannis Xenakis. A leading figure in twentieth century music, Xenakis (1922 – 2001) was trained as a civil engineer, then became an architect and developed revolutionary designs while working with Le Corbusier. Utilizing his technical background, Xenakis approached composition with a curious mix of analysis and intuition, creating works of massed orchestral textures, dense electronics, polyrhythmic percussion music. Taken as a whole, the four string quartets – Tetora, Ergma, ST-4/1,080262, and Tetras – represent a remarkable overview of this composer’s development and changing approaches to sound, complexity, density, and form.