Chicago Scene: May 18-25, 2019

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

Saturday, May 18th 2019

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$12)
Tatsu Aoki’s The MIYUMI Project, with Mwata Bowden, Coco Elysses, Edward Wilkerson Jr, Avreeayl Ra, Jamie Kempkers, Kioto Aoki, special guests Tsukasa Taiko

Sunday, May 19th 2019

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15)
Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir — music by Hafliði Hallgrímsson, Halldór Smárason, Þuríður Jónsdóttir, Páll Ragnar Pálsson

9:00PM at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont ($10 suggested donation) (wheelchair-accessible)
Jason Roebke
Natural Language : Dustin Laurenzi, Jeff Swanson, Mike Harmon, Charles Rumback

Monday, May 20th 2019

7:30PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069 (wheelchair-accessible)
Swiss Saxophone with Jason Roebke, Jim Bake ($10-$8)r

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Ed Wilkerson Jr, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

Wednesday, May 22nd 2019

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$10)
Electronic Mutations
Fulcrum Point — music by Nicolas Collins, Ben Neill, Ted Hearne, Vijay Iyer

8:30PM at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western, 773.276.3600 ($10) (wheelchair-accessible)
Greg Ward’s Rogue Parade, with Dave Miller, Matt Gold, Matt Ulery, Quin Kirchner
Ben LaMar Gay’s Learn From Ghost, with Sam Pluta, Jason Stein

Thursday, May 23rd 2019

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
“Russ Greimluber”, Jim Baker
Gerrit Hatcher Quintet with Ben LaMar Gay, Keefe Jackson, Katie Ernst, Julian Kirshner

Friday, May 24th 2019

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10)
In Motion Duo : Ayako Kato, a musician TBA
Buzz Duo : Jorrit Dijkstra, Jessica Roseman
Damon D Green, Peter Maunu

Saturday, May 25th 2019

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($25, or $40 festival pass)
Transference Fest 2019
Ikue Mori and friends
King Vision Ultra (Geng)

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

Upcoming Events at the Vortex Jazz Club

Source: Vortex Jazz Club.

SAT 18 MAY 2019
George Crowley – tenor saxophone and bass clarinet Tori Freestone – tenor saxophone Rick Simpson – piano Dave Whitford – double bass Tim Giles – drums After the success of…
Time: 7.45 – 11.30PM

SUN 19 MAY 2019
Line up Caroline Kraabel (sax), Neil Metcalfe (flute) duo + Lullula – Armorel Weston (voice), Kay Grant (voice), Jim Dvorak (trumpet), Otto Willberg (bass/voice) quartet + John Russell (guitar) ,…
Time: 2 – 5.30PM
£8 / £6 Concession

THU 23 MAY 2019
For this performance Evan invites Robert Jarvis (trombone) and John Edwards (bass). Evan will play soprano saxophone. The spectrum of music played by Evan Parker ranges from “free jazz” to…
Time: 7.45 – 11PM

FRI 31 MAY 2019
Following on from their recording and gig at Cafe OTO for trestle records as part of their ‘One Day Band’ series, Chris Sharkey (TrioVD, Sharkey / Sanders, Roller Trio) Charles…
Time: 7.45 – 11.30PM

San Francisco Scene: May 17-24, 2019

Source: Bay Improviser.

Friday, May 17

Fri 5/17 7:00 PM The Chapel [777 Valencia St SF]
John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Terry Riley
Friday and Saturday nights, two shows each night. Get tickets from The Chapel web site:

Fri 5/17 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
A curated set of Icelandic contemporary music for solo cello, much of it written for Sæunn, Vernacular is the title of her first album on the Sono Luminus label. Pieces by Thuríður Jónsdóttir, Halldór Smárason, Páll Ragnar Pálsson, and Hafliði Hallgrímsson showcase a unique soundworld in intimate monologues.

Fri 5/17 8:00 PM Old First Concerts [1751 Sacramento St. SF]
Sarah Cahill & Regina Myers

Saturday, May 18

Sat 5/18 7:00 PM The Chapel [777 Valencia St SF]
John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Terry Riley
Friday and Saturday nights, two shows each night. Get tickets from The Chapel web site:

Sat 5/18 7:00 PM Bridge Storage and ArtSpace [23 Maine Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804]
This live music event features Euphotic (Cheryl E. Leonard + Bryan Day + Tom Djll) plus a solo performance from Peter Whitehead. Doors at 7pm, Music at 7:30pm. Refreshments will be available for purchase. TICKETS:

Sat 5/18 7:00 PM Musical Offering Cafe [2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, California 94704]
Bay Area chamber group, Sleight Ensemble (Erika Oba – flute, Mia Bella D’Augelli – violin, and Jacob Lane – piano) perform their new program Angles of Time featuring new works inspired by alternate notations of time in music. The program includes Steve Parris’s new piece, The Inner Planets and The Apple Tree–inspired by the orbit of the planets–and premiers of works by ensemble members. The program will also feature live visuals by composer and artist Jessie Austin.

Sat 5/18 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Beth Custer premieres Drawdown, an evening-length chamber work based on the compelling Paul Hawken book Drawdown: 100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming with Custer on voice/clarinets, cellist Freya Seeburger and her ensemble Juxtapositions with Mia Nardi-Huffman (violin), Naomi Stine (piano) and special guest Jim Kassis on drums/percussion.

Sat 5/18 8:00 PM Oaktown Jazz Workshops [55 Washington St. Oakland, CA 94607]
David Slusser’s little-big-band pays tribute to visionary SUN RA’s 105 birth anniversary.
Featuring: Aaron Bennet, David Boyce, Chris Clarke, Mara Fox, Greg German, Cecilia Long, Joe Mckinley, Terry Rodriguez

Sunday, May 19

Sun 5/19 7:30 PM SIMM Series @ The Musicians Union Hall [116 9th St @ Mission SF]
7:30 pm Kretzmer/Clifford/Jordan
Yoni Kretzmer – tenor saxophone, Mark Clifford – vibraphone, Jordan Glenn – drums
8:30 pm Stone Raft
Josh Allen – tenor saxophone, Tom Weeks – alto saxophone, Tim Duff – doublebass, Aaron Levin – drums

Sun 5/19 7:30 PM Temescal Arts Center [511 48th Street Oakland]
Doors That Only Open in Silence (open participation, non-hierarchical workshop in free improvisation)
The monthly series of improvisation research at Temescal Arts Center continues. Bring your instrument or come to listen. No advance notice needed — just show up. Small groups will be randomly assembled from submitted names immediately before each group plays. We try to keep transition time between groups at a minimum. Over by 10pm. It’s free. If you want to contribute, bring snacks and drinks.

Sun 5/19 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Voice and piano duo performing new works by Stanford Graduate Composers and existing works by European Composers.

Monday, May 20

Mon 5/20 2:00 PM KFJC [KFJC 89.7 FM /]
“Planet Bass” A large ensemble of contrabass players (a dozen or so) from around the Bay Area and elsewhere play live on KFJC. Improvisations, compositions, surprises. Nothing but basses. An extravaganza of low frequencies. Hosted by DJ Max Level with invaluable assistance by Musical Director Lisa Mezzacappa. Live broadcast on 89.7 FM along with live audio/video streaming on the web.

Mon 5/20 8:30 PM Sunnyvale [ Sunnyvale]
Mechanical Bull, Lydia Von C w/ Patrick Talesfore, Jr., and Slob in Sunnyvale

Mon 5/20 9:30 PM Pro Arts [150 Frank H Ogawa Plz Oakland]
OFJS: Jamieson/Bang & Wood/Metal/Plastic

Tuesday, May 21

Tue 5/21 7:30 PM California Jazz Conservatory [2040 Addison Street Berkeley]
Way Out West Concert Series – An Evening With or Without INVISIBLE GUY

Wednesday, May 22

Wed 5/22 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Raskin-Brown-Hoopes-Robinson Quartet

Thursday, May 23

Thu 5/23 7:30 PM CCRMA [660 Lomita Dr, Stanford, CA 94305]
Liveware is an audiovisual ensemble consisting of Shawn Lawson (graphics) and Michael Century (music), with Jeremy Stewart processing both graphics and sound using machine learning algorithms. Lawson is an expert practitioner of live-coding with graphics languages and environments he developed. Century performs on piano and accordion, and uses software he developed allowing live manipulations of performed material on both instruments.

Thu 5/23 8:00 PM Luggage Store Creative Music Series [1007 Market Street SF]
8:15 pm Infinexhuma – dark ambient/industrial
9:00 pm 99 HOOKER – Kaoss Enhancer
feat. Hitomi Honda – keyboard, Akio Mokuno – electro-acoustical live processing

Thu 5/23 8:00 PM Land and Sea [5428 San Pablo Ave, Oakland]
Anne Guthrie
Gretchen Jude & Kevin Corcoran – Hirakito CD release
Matt Davignon

Friday, May 24

Fri 5/24 7:00 PM Adobe Books [3130 24th St SF]
John Bischoff / OMMO / CORUSCANT

Upcoming DC Shows

On Saturday, June 8th, @8PM, in collaboration with the DC Jazz Festival, Transparent Production’s presents guitarist Joe Morris & drummer Tomas Fujiwara. @Rhizome, 6950 Maple Street in Takoma, DC.

And on Sunday, June 16th @ 5PM, Transparent Production’s presents saxophonist David Murray & drummer Kahil El’Zabar duet. ***Special Outdoor*** performance. @Rhizome, 6950 Maple Street in Takoma, DC.

On Saturday, May 18th@8PM, trombonist Craig Harris’ Sextet presents ‘Brown Butterfly’, a tribute to the music of James Brown. @An Die Musik, 409 North Charles Street, in Baltimore, Maryland.

On Friday, May 24th, @8PM, the Michael Formanek Elusion Quartet, w/Tony Malaby on tenor and soprano saxophones, Kris Davis on piano, Michael Formanek on double bass, and Ches Smith on percussion. @An Die Musik, 409 North Charles Street, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Also on Friday May 24@8PM@Rhizome, “The Reasoning”. Jamal Moore (Percussion, Reeds, Electronics) & Nik Francis (Drums) / Jamal Moore (Tenor Sax), Ras Moshe (Tenor Sax) & Eliel Sherman Story (Tenor Sax) / Cher Jey (Vocals, Dance and Poetry)
@Rhizome, 6950 Maple Street in Takoma, DC.

On Saturday May 25@ 7:30PM, The Milo Trio, w/Celaya Kirchner on violin, Emma Hays Johnson on cello, & Carl Banner on piano. Performing Mendelssohn Trio #1 in d, Op. 49, and Brahms Trio #1 in B, Op. 8. This takes place at the Church of the Ascension, located at 633 Sligo Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

And on Friday, May 31st, @ 8PM & 9:30PM, the pianist Matthew Shipp’s Trio.. @An Die Musik, 409 North Charles Street, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Areté Venue & Gallery in June

Source: New York’s Areté Venue & Gallery.

big dog little dog Album Release Show
with Special Guest Travis LaPlante
6/3/19, 7:00pm
Join big dog little dog (composer/violinist Jessie Montgomery and bassist/composer Eleonore Oppenheim) for the release of their debut album on New Amsterdam Records.
big dog little dog is the mild-melding duo project of violinist/composer Jessie Montgomery and bassist/composer Eleonore Oppenheim. Their music has been described many ways, but perhaps the most apt so far has been “post-minimalist groove americana.” The pair use an improvisational composition technique that draws on many genres and their experience as native New Yorkers to create lush, cinematic soundscapes that are by turns sweeping and achingly intimate. Saxophonist and composer Travis LaPlante (Battle Trance) will open with a special solo set.

Urs Leimgruber / Hans Tammen / Shoko Nagai / Satoshi Takeishi: Music From Silence
6/4/19, 8:00pm
Swiss saxophonist Urs Leimgruber, currently touring the US, has advanced into one of the most masterful representatives of a form of European music that is delicately sophisticated and often quite abstract. Together with Hans Tammen, Shoko Nagai and Satoshi Takeishi the quartet allows much space for the expression of the quiet – a sort of contemplative essence perfectly suited for Arete’s sonic habitat.
Urs Leimgruber – reeds
Hans Tammen – Buchla Shoko Nagai – piano
Satoshi Takeishi – percussion

Jay Vilnai – Thorns All Over Release Party
6/6/19, 7:00pm
Composer Jay Vilnai celebrates his new album “Thorns All Over”, contemporary murder ballads penned by poet Rachel Abramowitz, with acoustic performances and tracks from the album. Mezzo Augusta Caso will perform Vilnai’s “There’s a Bluebird in My Heart” for voice and tape, based on the poetry of Charles Bukowski, with new video art by artist Bill Mazza.

Sly Horizon – ‘The Anatomy of Light’ CD Release
6/6/19, 9:00pm
SLY HORIZON is a brand new group founded by a trio of well-seasoned New York based creative musicians: Rick Parker (trombone, electronics, synths), Álvaro Domene (7 string electric guitar and electronics), and Jeremy Carlstedt (drums/electronics).

6/7/19, 8:00pm
Desdemona is a New York City-based ensemble devoted to creating unique and inventive performances. Founded by Adrianne Munden-Dixon (violin), Carrie Frey (viola), Julia Henderson (cello), and Margarita Rovenskaya (piano), the group presents repertoire spanning from the Renaissance to world premieres in a variety of formations, from duos to piano and string quartets. Described by the New Yorker as an “excellent young quartet,” Desdemona has performed at Spectrum, 1 Rivington, Cornelia Street Café, the CUNY Graduate Center, Princeton’s Unruly Sounds Festival, as well as at numerous home gatherings through Groupmuse.

Piano+ #15
6/9/19, 8:30pm
piano+electronics -new works by Laura Cetilia, Eugene Kim, Young Eun Kim, Matt Lau and Cecilie Arditto
Piano+ is a concert series dedicated to new and recent music for piano with other instruments and media.An intimate listening experience, a space for sharing sounds, a place for open minds and ears. Curated by composer and pianist Teodora Stepančić

6/9/19, 6:00pm
Shepherdess is a duo based in New York City, featuring violinist, Hajnal Pivnick, and mezzo soprano, Kayleigh Butcher. Hajnal and Kayleigh are both contemporary classical performers dedicated to commissioning and disseminating new works by living American composers. For this concert, Shepherdess will be showcasing a few new works from NYC based composers Lester St. Louis and Mary Prescott as well as some pieces by Bethany Younge, Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh, Annika Sokolofsky, Luis Amaya, and more!

One-Eleven Heavy: Album Release Event
6/11/19, 7:00pm
Composer Matt Frey celebrates the release of his conceptual operatic EP album, One-Eleven Heavy, about the 1998 plane crash of Swissair Flight 111. Please join us at 7:00pm Tuesday, June 11th 2019 for a listen-through of the album accompanied by refreshments, conversation with the artists, and live music from soprano Jenny Ribeiro and Grammy Award-winning tenor Karim Sulayman.

GalloFlórez Duo: Algo Más Melódico CD Release Party
6/12/19, 7:00pm
Ricardo Gallo, piano
Alejandro Flórez, tiple and bandola
In this new release by GalloFlórez the clear allusions to Colombian Andean musical folklore from the previous album are artfully shrouded by layers of rhythmic and harmonic richness, rendering the music more expansive and visceral. Lyricism is present throughout, whether in the angular twists of Emisarios or Algo Más Melódico, the colorful and irregular phrases of Hermetismo (inspired by Hermeto Pascoal’s similarly virtuosic melodies and harmonies), the unlikely, dystopian soundscape of Acueducto or their heartfelt rendition of Andrew Hill’s Nefertiti, the only cover of the album, which ironically reminds the listener of the primary influences of the duo. This is a mature effort by a team of composers/improvisers who move effortlessly in the worlds of jazz, contemporary and South American music, creating an intriguing and enchanting aesthetic.

Sarah Bernstein VEER Quartet
6/12/19, 8:30pm
Sarah Bernstein – violin/compositions Sana Nagano – violin
Leonor Falcón – viola
Nick Jozwiak – cello
The VEER Quartet presents compositions by Sarah Bernstein for improvising string quartet. Four inventive and soloistic musicians create a sound that cuts across jazz and chamber music to avant-free expression. With Sarah Bernstein, violin, Sana Nagano, violin, Leonor Falcón, viola, Nick Jozwiak, cello.
SARAH BERNSTEIN is a New York-based composer and violinist whose work incorporates vocals, electronics, improvisation and original text. She is known for her fiery multidisciplinary performances, and has garnered international acclaim for her distinctive recordings. She leads bands, performs solo, and collaborates with numerous artists in avant-jazz, chamber music, experimental pop and noise. Nominated “Rising Star” in the DownBeat Critics Poll for the past four years, Bernstein is a recognized innovator in forward-thinking jazz. Her approach merges post-tonal and polyrhythmic melody with sonic exploration and raw emotion. In addition to live performance, Bernstein’s music is featured on radio programs, podcasts, and film scores. Her poetry has been published by Red Ceilings Press and Sensitive Skin Magazine. She is originally from San Francisco, CA.

Ken Thomson Sextet//Bearthoven
6/16/19, 5:00pm
“Few musicians travel as assuredly and meaningfully between jazz and new music as saxophonist Ken Thomson.” – Chicago Reader. Ken Thomson’s (Bang on a Can, Gutbucket, Asphalt Orchestra) Sextet performs a rare Brooklyn show featuring music written since the group’s debut CD, released Fall 2018, which was listed as Best of 2018 by Second Inversion and AnEarful, and of which WNYC writes, “they manage to create a sound much bigger and juicier than the sum of their parts” and the NYC Jazz Record calls “immensely enjoyable, thrilling.”

In Dreams
6/16/19, 8:00pm
This program dives into the hope and discomfort of dreams, the moments when we let go and imagine a thing wouldn’t name when we’re awake. When we started thinking about this program, we began with Houtaf Khoury’s “Apres un reve” (2008), a modern nightmare reacting to the terror of relentless war in the Middle East: a dream of hope amidst the fatigue of fear. Hasan Ucarsu’s “…the city of anachronistic nostalgia, Istanbul…” (2003) celebrates his and Derin’s hometown of Istanbul, a city rich in contradictions and layers. Our adaptation of Claude Debussy’s “Bilitis”, a collection of 12 sensual poems attributed to Sappho, dreams of desire. Finally, Michael Fiday’s “Nine Haiku” (2007) is one of our favorite pieces to perform and sets works by 8th century poet Basho with flashes of powerful images, dreams that come into focus for only a moment before they vanish.

Either/Or Ensemble
6/18/19, 8:00pm
Winner of the 2015 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, Either/Or is a flexible chamber ensemble based in New York City that presents a repertoire of new and recent chamber music informed equally by American Experimentalism and European avant-garde practice, with special emphasis on artists outside the institutional mainstream and on works exploring nontraditional ensemble formations. Directors Richard Carrick (conductor/piano) and David Shively (percussion/cimbalom) curate its programming, drawing on a broader collective of 17 regular soloists (and guests) to realize the unique requirements of each project. Since its founding in 2004, Either/Or has premiered more than 125 works (as well as dozens of student compositions), toured throughout the US and Sweden, and recorded for labels such as New Focus, New World Records, Starkland, and Sterling Classics.

Coming to the ISSUE Project Room

Source: ISSUE Project Room.

Sat 18 May, 2019, 8pm, 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn
Red Bull Arts NY and ISSUE co-present two live audio-visual performances organized in response to Gretchen Bender’s unfinished work of media theater, which was to be entitled So Much Deathless, by post-industrial band Black Rain (with Philip Vanderhyden) & Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith (with Sean Hellfritsch).

Sat 01 Jun, 2019, 8pm, 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn
Philosopher and musician Henry Flynt performs Everlovin’ Game On, an evocation of his best-known work: You Are My Everlovin’. Featuring solo electric violin & pre-recorded tambura, the piece brings together disparate vernaculars: Southern blues, modal jazz, Appalachian fiddle & North Indian raga.

Thu 06 Jun, 2019, 8pm, 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn
DeForrest Brown Jr. curates “Okonkwo Weeps In Exile,” a new rhythmic opera featuring producer Nicholas Dawson (Bookworms), drummer Donald Sturge Anthony Mckenzie II, poet and “enlightened educator” Rafael Sanchez, with text from Guerilla essayist His Triumphant Blackness: The Negro Subversive.

Sat 15 Jun, 2019, 8pm, 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn
ISSUE presents the debut NYC collaborative performance from Jennifer Walshe and San Francisco-based musician & composer Wobbly (Jon Leidecker). The artists perform solo a& collaborative works ranging across their shared interest in the idiosyncrasies of digital sound and the outer reaches of online culture.

Seattle Scene: May 16-31, 2019

From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:


Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center

4th Floor, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle 98103 (corner N 50th St. in Wallingford)

Every month, Nonsequitur and a community of like-minded presenters and artists offer ten concerts of adventurous music in an informal yet respectful all-ages setting: contemporary classical, free improvisation, the outer limits of jazz, electronic music, microtonal/new instruments, sound art, and other extraordinary sonic experiences.

Janna Webbon et al: Compassion
Thu. May 16, 8 PM; $5 – $15 donation at door

Women are central to mythic stories of death and rebirth, but they are often pushed to the side in patriarchal institutions. Our goal is to reclaim this space and fill it with dynamic expressions of femininity. Janna Webbon and Sarah Pyle perform free musical improvisations and performance art with costumes and make-up while Danielle Sampson and Beth Ann Bonnecroy sing chants by Hildegard von Bingen.

Beth Fleenor: Straight to the Heart
Sat. May 18, 8 PM; $5 – $15 donation at door

Tiny pies & delectable treats, meditation, and catharsis combine with live music, video, and light in a two-hour ritual experience. Created by Beth Fleenor (voice / amplified clarinet / sound & food) with Scott Keva James (video art), David Verkade (lighting), this will be an evening of taste, breath, listening, motion, and being. The Chapel will be divided into four connected spaces, filled with sound, light, video, and food.

Thu. 5/30 – electronic music by Karl Fousek + Norm Chambers + RM Francis

Fri. 5/31 – Inverted Space Ensemble performs music by Michael Finnesey, Ben Johnston, Dan Joseph, and James Tenney