Upcoming Philadelphia Shows

A shot from a 2006 performance by Peter Brötzm...

Source: Ars Nova Workshop.

Friday, May 13 – 8pm
with Myra Melford, piano; Jenny Scheinman, violin; Kirk Knuffke, trumpet; Ben Goldberg, clarinet; Todd Sickafoose, bass; and Allison Miller, drums
Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th Street
$20 General Admission

Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present the return of drummer/composer Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom, an inventive sextet bringing together some of the most versatile and idiosyncratic artists in modern jazz.

If the title of Miller’s latest CD, Otis Was a Polar Bear (Royal Potato Family), brings to mind the title of a children’s book, that’s no accident; the music was inspired by the birth of the drummer’s first child. That life-altering experience resulted in Miller’s most compelling set of music to date, alternately playful and profound, raucous and grooving, urgent and soothing. Inspiration ranged from lullabies and silly songs that Miller sang to her young daughter to the tragic killing of Eric Garner by the Staten Island police.


Tuesday, May 24 – 8pm
with Rhys Chatham, trumpet; Tim Dahl, bass; and Kevin Shea, drums
FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.)
$15 General Admission

Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present the Philadelphia debut of the Rhys Chatham-Tim Dahl-Kevin Shea Trio, performing an expansive new post-punk composition.

Born in Manhattan but based in Paris for nearly 30 years, Rhys Chatham is a ground-breaking and influential composer and multi-instrumentalist who fused the architecture of minimalist composition with the aggression and power of punk rock beginning in the 1970s. Having studied with legendary composers Morton Subotnick and La Monte Young and played with Young and Tony Conrad, Chatham was inspired by a Ramones concert to composer works for anywhere from three to 200 electric guitars.


Wednesday, May 25 – 8pm
with Peter Brotzmann, reeds; and Heather Leigh, pedal steel guitar
FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.)
$15 General Admission

Ars Nova Workshop is honored to present a rare meeting between saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and pedal steel guitarist Heather Leigh, whose partnership began at last year’s Tectonics Festival in Glasgow.

Peter Brötzmann (b. 1941) has been a polarizing figure in global free jazz since the late 1960s. A painter by trade, Brötzmann applied lessons learned from Sidney Bechet, the proverbial American holy trinity — Coltrane, Sanders, Ayler — and Fluxus (he was a card-carrying member) to a primordial tenor sax caterwaul that even Bill Clinton couldn’t deny. Nate Chinen writes, “Mr. Brötzmann is famous for a hardheaded, fulminating style devoid of any trace of bathos. Trying to describe it sends you grasping for overheated metaphors: blowtorches, hellfires, certain Congressional libidos.”

Heather Leigh is a Houston-bred coal miner’s daughter who lives and works in Glasgow. Equally informed by her Appalachian roots, Albert Ayler, and Harry Pussy, Leigh’s approach to the pedal steel guitar could be interpreted as a fractured survey of American culture’s deeply troubled heritage. Dusted Magazine writes, “All notions of the pedal steel’s laid-back, country harmony are shattered as Leigh extols jagged notes and blocks of electric noise that seem to rail against rock, jazz and other notions of freedom music.” Leigh’s collaborations with Charalambides, Chris Corsano, Jandek, Thurston Moore, and Smegma illuminate connections and eliminate distinctions between noise rock, free jazz, and what Arthur Magazine dubbed “New Weird America” in the mid-oughts.


ANW Recommends:

Friday, April 22 – 8:00pm
with Vijay Iyer, piano + keyboard; Mike Ladd, vocals; Liberty Ellman, guitar; Maurice Decaul, vocals; Lynn Hill, vocals; Okkyung Lee, cello; Kassa Overall, drums; Guillermo E. Brown, vocals; and Pamela Z, vocals
Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater, 300 S. Broad Street
$29-39 Admission

Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to recommend the Kimmel Center’s presentation of Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project, the third installment in an ongoing collaboration between MacArthur Award-winning pianist Vijay Iyer and poet/emcee Mike Ladd about American life over a decade of war.

The duo’s working method engages the formal languages of modern jazz and avant-garde rap to frame narratives that detail the domestic psychological fallout of U.S. foreign policy, particularly among people of color.