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Joe Daley Tuba Trio | EDGEFEST 2020: Partial to the Edge

March 26, 2021 @ 7:30 pm



This performance is made possible with generous support from Nimish Ganatra, Niraj Ganatra, and Bonnie Patterson

The Edgefest 24 series concludes with a two-part musical celebration starting off with a local and innovative collaboration featuring Abby Alwin (cello), Baptiste Joalland (trombone), Piotr Michalowski (woodwinds) and Kenn Thomas (piano). Capping off the concert is a stellar national trio – The Joseph Daley Tuba Trio – led by the great tuba master Joe Daley with Scott Robinson (reeds, multi-instrumentals) and Warren Smith (percussion).

The Edgefest 24 series concludes with a two-part musical celebration starting off with a local and innovative collaboration featuring Abby Alwin (cello), Baptiste Joalland (trombone), Piotr Michalowski (woodwinds) and Kenn Thomas (piano). Capping off the concert is a stellar national trio – The Joseph Daley Tuba Trio – led by the great tuba master Joe Daley with Scott Robinson (reeds, multi-instrumentals) and Warren Smith (percussion).



Abby Alwin, cellist and improviser, weaves sound inspired from the moment, and generated from the heart. With a 15-year tenure as an orchestra director with the Ann Arbor Public Schools, she co-directs the AAPS Comprehensive Outreach Music Program, which connects music tutors with disadvantaged students who could otherwise not afford private instruction. Alwin is recipient of the 2013 Yale University Distinguished Music Educator Award, recognizing innovative and exemplary pedagogy amongst the best in the United States. Most
recent performance projects have included performing solo and in collaboration with Detroit composers, improvisors, and choreographers, focusing on improvisatory and contemporary idioms as well as the folk traditions of Bulgaria and Greece.


Physicist and trombonist Baptiste Joalland grew up in the French countryside, near Nantes. As a teenager he learned to play brass on the fly at the very cultural center of his small town, i.e., the music school where he spent most of his free time. As a young adult, branching out with, among many others, bassist Ronan Courty and trumpeter Alan Regardin, he became interested in developing a more personal musical language inspired by voices, percussion, and bass. He toured a bit in Europe, with quartet Ligerian Market Place and rock band Dïoz, while studying Physics in Paris. He then defended a doctorate in Astrochemistry at the University of Toulouse before moving to Detroit in 2011 to perform experimental and theoretical research on molecular collisions at Wayne State University. He quickly fell in love with the African-American culture of the city, and, ten years later, is currently teaching Integrated Science at the Detroit Public Schools and recording the debut album of Lacan, an electroacoustic band he co-founded with writer/poet Vincent J. Perrone. He also enjoys meeting regularly with local improvisers such as David Hurley and Will McEvoy for spontaneous composing.


Piotr Michalowski plays multiple woodwinds, focusing on bass clarinet and other low clarinets, as well as soprano and sopranino saxophones. In addition to performances with many players on the southeast Michigan improvising scene, in recent years he has played duets with Lonberg-Holm at Elastic in Chicago, concerts in Poland with members of the Warsaw Improvisers Orchestra, and made several recordings, most recently one of contra clarinet duets with Jason Alder (Contradictions), the other a set with Joe McPhee and Andrew Drury (Live at Edgefest). A performance in Brooklyn with Steve Swell, Ken Filiano, and Michael T. A. Thompson can be accessed on YouTube.


Pianist and keyboardist Kenn Thomas is a versatile artist who plays in various contexts, from gospel to free improvisation. In better times he could often be heard in groups at Trinosophes in Detroit or at Trixie’s Bar in Hamtramck in collaborative groups that feature the area’s leading improvisers, but also playing solo sets or duets, most memorably with bassist William Parker at Edgefest. He has been featured on recordings with his brother, the reed man Oluyemi Thomas, most recently on Positive Knowledge – Edgefest Edition, from the 2009 festival, and on several cd’s released on the Porous Collective label with guitarist Jaime Rodriquez, saxophonist Joshua Shapiro, and others.


After nearly 50 years of recognition as one of the consummate sidemen on the adventurous music scene – with remarkable artists like Sam Rivers, Carla Bley, Gil Evans, Charlie Haden, Muhal Richard Abrams, Taj Mahal and so many more – Joseph Daley has emerged as one of Jazz’ and contemporary music’s most extraordinary composers and leaders. Stunning musicians and fans alike with his brilliant 2011 CD, The Seven Deadly Sins, featuring his Earth Tones Ensemble (a full Jazz orchestra augmented by six additional low-tone horns, and including a seven-member rhythm section and four special guests), this powerfully innovative music mines the same rich vein of musical expression as that of immortals like Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington and George Russell, receiving rave reviews and making several Best of Year lists. In 2013 he followed up with The Seven Heavenly Virtues, then in 2014 Portraits: Wind, Thunder and Love which includes the five movement suite Wispercussion: Five Portraits of Warren Smith – both featuring string orchestras.

Born in New York City’s Harlem, Joseph began his musical studies in elementary school and received high honors and recognition throughout his school years (including the renowned High School of Music and Art), and was a member of the most prestigious ensembles in the New York City school system. During his high school years, he began performing on the Latin music scene – well-known as one of the most powerful foundations of higher musical learning – performing alongside such fine musicians as Rene McLean, Monquito Santamaria, Andy Gonzalez, Jerry Gonzalez, Alex Blake and many others.

A scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music resulted in his Bachelor’s degree in Performance and a Master’s degree in Music Education and led to a career as an educator in the New York and New Jersey school systems from 1976 until his retirement in 2005. Heavily dedicated to the education of young people to the highest values in musical understanding and expression, Joseph balanced his extensive educational commitments with recording and performing in the ensembles of some of the most provocative musicians on the contemporary jazz scene. In addition to those mentioned above, Joseph contributed heavily to groups led by other major artists including Muhal Richard Abrams, Makanda Ken McIntyre, Jason Hwang and Dave Douglas, and is an original member of Howard Johnson’s groundbreaking tuba ensemble, Gravity. He also produced the latest Gravity CD: Testimony. Joseph has also been a longtime collaborator with the highly respected composer/ethnomusicologist and master of non-Western instruments, Bill Cole – a relationship that is still in bloom.


One of today’s most wide-ranging instrumentalists, Scott Robinson has been heard on tenor sax with Buck Clayton’s band, on trumpet with Lionel Hampton’s quintet, on alto clarinet with Paquito D’Rivera’s clarinet quartet, and on bass sax with the New York City Opera. On these and other instruments including theremin and ophicleide, he has been heard with a cross-section of jazz’s greats representing nearly every imaginable style of the music, from Braff to Braxton. Scott has been heard numerous times on film, radio and television, and his discography now includes over 165 recordings. His four releases as a leader have garnered five-star reviews from Leonard Feather, Down Beat Magazine and other sources worldwide. The newest, Melody From the Sky (featuring the seldom-heard C-Melody saxophone), was recently the subject of a Wall Street Journal article by Nat Hentoff.A busy traveller, Scott has performed in some thirty nations, recently completing tours on five continents in a three-month period. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, at the Village Vanguard, at the Smithsonian Institution, and for the President of the United States. Scott’s group was selected to be the closing act at the Knitting Factory’s Sun Ra Festival in New York City. Scott has also written magazine articles and liner notes, and was an invited speaker at the Congressional Black Caucus Jazz Forum in Washington, D.C.

Scott was selected by the US State Department to be a Jazz Ambassador for 2001, completing an eight-week, eleven-country tour of West Africa performing his arrangements of the compositions of Louis Armstrong (later featured on his CD Jazz Ambassador).The son of a piano teacher and a National Geographic writer/editor, Scott Robinson was born on April 27, 1959 in New Jersey, and grew up in an eighteenth century Virginia farmhouse. While in high school, he received the “Louis Armstrong Award”, and the “Best Soloist Award” from the National Association of Jazz Educators. In 1981, he graduated from Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and a year later became, at 22, Berklee’s youngest faculty member.

Since moving to New York in 1984, Scott has been awarded four fellowships by the National Endowment for the Arts, and participated in a number of Grammy-nominated recordings. He has been profiled in upcoming editions of the Encyclopedia of Jazz and Grove’s Dictionary of Jazz. A recent 4 minute CNN program featured Scott and the giant contrabass saxophone which he used on his CD, Thinking Big. Scott was also the winner of a recent Downbeat Critics Poll under miscellaneous instruments (talent deserving wider recognition).

A respected performer in all areas of jazz, from traditional to avant-garde, Scott Robinson has arrived at his own unique musical voice which, as once described in a Northsea Jazz Festival program, “combines solid foundations with great daring”.


Warren Smith was born in Chicago to a musical family. His father played saxophone and clarinet with Noble Sissle and Jimmie Noone, and his mother was a harpist and pianist. At the age of four Smith studied clarinet with his father. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1957, then received a master’s degree in percussion from the Manhattan School of Music in 1958.

One of his earliest major recording dates was with Miles Davis as a vibraphonist in 1957. He found work in Broadway pit bands in 1958, and also played with Gil Evans that year. In 1961, he co-founded the Composers Workshop Ensemble. In the 1960s, Smith accompanied Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Lloyd Price, and Nat King Cole; he worked with Sam Rivers from 1964–76, and with Gil Evans again from 1968 to 1976. In 1969, he played with Janis Joplin and in 1971, with King Curtis and Tony Williams. He was also a founding member of Max Roach’s percussion ensemble, M’Boom, in 1970.

In the 1970s and 1980s Smith had a loft called Studio Wis that acted as a performing and recording space for many young New York jazz musicians, such as Wadada Leo Smith and Oliver Lake. Through the 1970s Smith played with Andrew White, Julius Hemphill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, Count Basie, and Carmen McRae. Other credits include extensive work with rock and pop musicians and time spent with Anthony Braxton, Charles Mingus, Henry Threadgill, Van Morrison, and Joe Zawinul. He continued to work on Broadway into the 1990s, and has performed with a number of classical ensembles.


March 26, 2021
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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Kerrytown Concert House
415 N. 4th Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104 United States
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