6th Annual Something Else! Festival

Source: ZULA Presents.

2019’s festival features a rare appearance from Czech virtuoso violinist/vocalist Iva Bittová. In addition to a dynamic solo performance, she’ll also join revered drummer Hamid Drake to reinvigorate their storied duet synergy. Drake’s trio Indigenous Mind with Joshua Abrams (Town and Country, Natural Information Society) and Jason Adasiewicz filters the legacies of Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders through three of Chicago’s most vibrant musical imaginations. Genre-busting clarinet giant Don Byron will be featured alone and in ensemble contexts this year, promising fresh, divergent perspectives on jazz you will not want to miss.

William Hooker shares Hamid Drake’s legendary status behind the kit and offers both solo and festival – exclusive ensemble engagements. Harris Eisenstadt visits from NYC to lead a quartet and big band (assembled expressly for Something Else!) through some of his Poschiavo 50 compositions. Polish Pianist Joanna Duda brings her signature mixture of angularity and improvisatory perspicacity with an electronics-augmented solo show, while eclectic American soprano sax specialist Sam Newsome showcases his enviable vocabulary in solo and curated group-improv settings.

Something Else’s exciting Canadian offerings illustrate the same deep commitment to exploratory
sonics. Combining leading Québecois artists Jason Sharp (bass saxophone), Susanna Hood (voice/
movement), with French guests Fredéric B Briet (double bass) and Christophe Rocher (clarinets), No Silenz posits a polymorphous aural universe spanning low-end instrumental heft to abstract theatrics.

The enigmatic songcraft of Picastro sits adjacent to Brodie West’s buoyant, polyrhythmic octet Eucalyptus. Glen Hall leads the cheekily named EAR-CAM on winds and electronics alongside an all-star cast of Christine Duncan (voice), Tomasz Krakowiak (percussion) and John Oswald (saxophone). Prodigious Québec saxophonist Yves Charuest appears in solo and ensemble configurations, while the multi-dimensional Géraldine Eguiluz brings her eponymous trio and breaks new collaborative ground in encounters employing her voice, and numerous instruments. The subtly explosive Toronto trio of pianist Bill Gilliam, drummer Ambrose Pottie, and saxophonist Kayla Milmine is also slated to perform, reprising appearances at last year’s Toronto Jazz Festival and Zula’s own concert season.

Hamilton’s own Sourpussy folds perverse humour and poignancy into immersive, volatile performances. Connor Bennett (of Eschaton and Haolin Munk infamy) offers solo sax project Tidal Pool alongside wayward local choristers Earth, Wind and Choir.