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Edgefest 26: Thursday, October 20
October 20, 2022 @ 7:00 pm
7 PM | Kenji Lee’s Fortune Teller Trio
Saxophonist, clarinetist, composer, and bassist Kenji Lee was born in Tokyo and raised in California, where he studied for many years with bassist and educator Roger Shew and after high school attended the University of Michigan Jazz Studies department. Having graduated, at age 24 Lee has begun to carve a distinct lane for himself as a composer-improviser “beyond his years” (Orange County Register). Currently a resident of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Kenji performs frequently in different contexts, leading Sakura – a creative music ensemble featuring string quartet, with Juarez-Lee-Alvarez – a chordless trio, and with Pauljams – a hip/hop electronic duo. Kenji has also worked as a sideman in many groups including Davy Lazar’s Antigoat, with soul musicians, and has performed with Wayne Horvitz, Robert Hurst, Marion Hayden, Andrew Bishop, Jeff Pedraz, and Roger Shew, among others. Lee’s latest ensemble, The Fortune Teller Trio, described as a “power trio” (SEMJA), synthesizes material from varying idioms to provide the groundwork for creative expression. The group’s debut recording, Kyūdō, is available for pre-order on Bandcamp.
Andy Peck, double bass
Andy Peck studied bass at New England Conservatory with John Lockwood, Cecil McBee, and Donald Palma, moving on as a graduate student at University of Michigan under Robert Hurst.He also worked briefly with John Hébert while the latter was on faculty at Western Michigan University. He has played with Eddie Daniels, Donnie McCaslin, Brian Lynch, Andrew Bishop, Jean-Yves Jung, Brad Phillips, Jiggs Whigham, and others. He can be heard regularly as a leader and sideman with various groups in southeast Michigan.
Jonathan Barahal Taylor, drums
Jonathan Barahal Taylor is a composer and percussionist born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Trained in piano and classical percussion, he shifted focus to improvised music and composition shortly after enrolling at the University of Michigan where he studied with Geri Allen, Andrew Bishop, Ellen Rowe, Michael Gould, and Sean Dobbins, and performed with acclaimed artists such as Michael Formanek, Wadada Leo Smith, Vinnie Golia, Stephen Rush, and Andrew Bishop. As a performer, composer, and improviser, Taylor treasures the liminal feeling that intersects deafening silence and unrelenting noise. His drumming utilizes “carefully crafted chaos” (Midwest Action) and possesses “the rare ability to drive a band with constantly shifting rhythmic and melodic patterns … without ever overpowering the group” (SEMJA). This sensibility informs his original projects and collaborative pursuits, which include the art rock band Saajtak, Teiku, which reimagines his family’s unique ancestral Jewish melodies in a creative music context, Mover, a modular suite of graphic scores, and his solo drum and electronics project Your World is Fire.
8 PM | William Hooker Trio
Drummer, composer, and poet William Hooker has created works that range from jazz and “new” music to experimental genres. Originally from Connecticut, he moved to San Francisco, where he transitioned from playing standard jazz to free forms. He has released over 60 CDs as a leader. Hooker’s work is frequently grounded in a narrative context; whether set against a silent film or anchored by a poetic theme, Hooker brings dramatic tension and human warmth to avant-garde jazz. He has received commissions and support from the New York State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, as well as colleges and universities such as Oberlin, Fordham, Columbia, and many more. Among the myriad musicians he has played with, one could mention Billy Bang, David S. Ware, William Parker, Thurston Moore, and Jason Kao Hwang.
Theo Woodward, synthesizer/ woodwinds/ vocals
Theo Woodward was raised by his English father and Vietnamese mother in the Philadelphia suburbs. After high school he spent time in India learning signing and the flute, and then continued his studies in North Indian Classical singing in New York with Noe Dinnerstein, a student of Pandit Pran Nath. He has worked with indie rock bands and free improv artist in New
York, but also as a freelance sound engineer and video artist. Often overlaying Indian vocalizing with synthesizer materials, his music combines elements of western classical instrumentation, Latin percussion, gamelan, and jazz converge combining tradition with futuristic synth textures, and sound design.
Hans Tammen, synthesizer
Originally from Germany, guitarist Hans Tammen utilizes a wide collection of mechanical preparations on his guitars, in site-specific performances, and collaborative efforts with dance, light actions or other art forms. He works with various sized ensembles and as a solo performer. He began performing in rock bands, studied classical guitar, but developed an interest in modern jazz and was attracted to the expansive explorations of Sonny Sharrock. He explored the whole history of jazz guitar but also performed pieces by Cage and Logothetis with New Music ensembles, and used sequencers, analog synthesizers, and other electronic effects along with his guitar, describing it all as “endangered guitar.” Tammen had moved to New York in 2001 and began curating musical events around the city including a series at the Goethe-Institut and the laptop music marathon Hip Chips at Tonic. He currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and at NUY Steinhardt. His most recent recording is Eight Harts One Mind, a four-guitar recital led by Don Minasi, that also includes Harvey Valdes and Briggan Krauss.
9 PM | Double Duo: Ken Filiano, bass and Jay Clayton, singer
Double Duo’s performance is generously sponsored by Deep Friendship: The Connie Crothers Legacy Project.
Deep Friendship: The Connie Crothers Legacy Project was created to honor the life and legacy of the great improvising pianist Connie Crothers. A virtuosic improviser and composer with a truly original sound, powerfully committed to honest self-expression, her importance in the world of improvised music cannot be overstated. Connie forged her own path, living her life just as she played the piano: intensely, fearlessly, lovingly. A true artist, she was never l, ss than completely present, and those who were fortunate enough to perform with her, to study with her, to share music, food, and conversation with her were inspired to extend the limits of their own creativity. “Deep Friendship,” the title of one of her compositions and of a Connie Crothers Quartet recording, is an apt expression of her approach to life and music. “When we create music, it’s always from love” (Connie Crothers).
Ken Filiano is a bassist, composer, improviser, and teacher who performs around the world, fusing the rich traditions of the double bass with his own seemingly limitless imagination. A “creative virtuoso” (JazzValley), Ken has performed and recorded with a veritable Who’s Who in multiple genres, from Anthony Braxton to Pablo Ziegler. In addition to being an integral member of groups led by Taylor Ho Bynum, Jason Kao Hwang, Fay Victor, Vinny Golia, Diane Moser, Roswell Rudd, Connie Crothers, Karl Berger, and others, he leads two quartets: Quantum Entanglements and Baudolino’s Dilemma and is also co-leader of The Steve Adams/Ken Filiano Duo and numerous other ensembles. His extensive discography includes the solo CD, Subvenire and Quantum Entanglements’ Dreams from a Clown Car. Ken teaches master classes in bass and improvisation, has a private bass studio, and is a Guiding Artist and Advisor at Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY.
Jay Clayton, voice
Jay Clayton is an internationally acclaimed vocalist, composer, and educator, whose work boldly spans the terrain between jazz and new music. Clayton’s pioneering vocal explorations placed her at the forefront of the free jazz movement and loft scene in the 1970s, where she counted among the first singers to incorporate poetry and electronics into her improvisations. She formed a long-term association with renowned minimalist composer Steve Reich. With more than 40 recordings to her credit, Clayton has appeared alongside such artists as Muhal Richard Abrams, Kirk Nurock, Stanley Cowell, Lee Konitz, and Fred Hersch, as well as fellow vocalists Jeanne Lee, Norma Winstone, Urszula Dudziak, and Bobby McFerrin. Clayton currently records for Sunnyside and her most recent album, Brooklyn 2000, met with enthusiastic critical praise. Her many accomplishments include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and Chamber Music America. She has worked with thousands of students in the United States and across the globe.
10 PM | MATTHEW SHIPP TRIO
This performance is generously sponsored by Frank Rubolino.
Pianist Matthew Shipp has carved out a versatile career as one of the most innovative stylists on his instrument in contemporary music. He first came to prominence as a member of tenor saxophonist William S. Ware’s highly regarded quartet, beginning in 1989, with which he toured the world for seventeen years. Shipp has thrived in closely interactive contexts, most often in duos and trios, with many longstanding relationships, most significantly with tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman, with whom he has released almost forty duo recordings since 1996. While always forward-looking, he has a keen knowledge of jazz history and sometimes reimagines the past, most recently restructuring the classic piano trio (and their first recording 30 years ago) on the just released Village Mothership, a collaboration with William Parker and Whit Dickey, and on Music Frees Our Souls, Vol. 1, which came out last month, with Parker and Francisco Mela. At the same time, he has developed his own take on the solo piano recital, one that reveals a style that is both emotionally exuberant and cerebral at the same time, laced with intellectual rigor, high energy, romanticism, and sly humor. Unabashedly modern and open to all kinds of music, he has studied and absorbed much of the pianistic jazz tradition – what he refers to as vibration — while managing to sound like no one else.
Michael Bisio, bass
New York-born bassist and composer Michael Bisio spent thirty years on the West Coast, where he was deeply involved with a wide range of musical styles, learning from masters of modern music such as James Harnett, William O. Smith, and Stuart Dempster at the University of Washington. In the early eighties he gained invaluable experience as a member of trumpeter Barbara Donald’s band Unity that included and saxophonist Carter Jefferson, with whom he first appeared on a recording, and worked with many others, including Wayne Horwitz and Vinny Golia. Bisio began to work with others in the east, beginning with Charles Gayle, and he would make long-lasting associations with people such as Joe McPhee and Joe Giardullo. Seventeen years ago he moved to the East Coast. In 2009 he joined the faculty of Bennington College and a year later began his collaboration with the Matthew Shipp Trio, which continues to this day.
Newman Taylor Baker, drums
Percussionist and composer Newman Taylor Baker began his drumming explorations as a child in the context of Virginia State University, where both his parents were professors. He grew up to study formally with classical and jazz percussion teachers. This extensive education prepared him for a career that has encompassed many different artistic contexts, from Ahmad Jamal to Henry Threadgill, dance companies, symphony orchestras, educational projects, and Broadway shows. He is one of the few jazz drummers to focus on solo performances: since 1995 he has been presenting his Singin’ Drums work. In 2010 he discovered the washboard while working with the Ebony Hillbillies and this led to a new project, WashboardTX that explores various contemporary approaches to the instrument. In 2014 he joined the Shipp trio, and, as observed by reviewer Michael Nolte, they “could not have made a better choice than welcoming the experienced Newman Taylor Baker as partner in crime. When Bisio and Baker lay down the rhythm for Matt’s improvisations, they punctuate his tunes so adeptly that it becomes almost impossible to distinguish between the three artists.”