New Haven Improvisers Collective Harks Back to ’70s Avant-Garde


The workshop focused on melodic fragments, metric patterns and the like as the basis for group improvisations that, to the casual listener, might have seemed subversive. But the collective, which welcomed 14 comers on this late-September night, was operating well within a tradition of free improvisation and open access that has a storied history in New Haven, and may have a future as well.

“It’s a very local expression of a certain type of jazz that I have a fondness for, and is in some ways underrepresented in the jazz mainstream,” said Nick Lloyd, a leading impresario in New Haven and the owner of Firehouse 12, a multiuse space where the collective will be appearing on Nov. 7.

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David Darling and CT Improvising Composers Project

David Darling focuses on promoting local artists in Connecticut.

As artists, we often have difficulty finding professional work where we live. CICP members work and perform internationally. We have made a conscious decision to make our home here in Connecticut, thereby enriching the cultural lives of our communities and positively impacting the revenues of our state. One might think of CICP as a cultural parallel to the local food movement: cultural localvorism. Presenters and audiences often evidence a bias towards importing their cultural diet: ‘it has to be better if it is from far away.’ CICP aims to change that pattern, working with presenters, funding partners and audiences to develop productive linked pathways to local and regional production and consumption of the arts.

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