Ken Vandermark is a composer, improviser, and tenor saxophone and clarinet player whose compositions and performances incorporate a breadth of stylistic influences. His music draws on a range of traditions, including jazz, European classical and folk music, reggae, rock, and African forms. A number of his pieces bear a striking resemblance to baroque chamber music, while others are more akin to heavy-metal anthems. After attending McGill University in Montreal and residing in Boston, in 1989 he moved to Chicago and has remained a leader on the musical scene there to this day. He leads and performs with more than a dozen ensembles and has recorded over forty compact disks. Vandermark first rose to attention in Hal Russell’s NRG Ensemble (1989-96) and subsequently developed his own ensembles, including the DKV Trio, Witches and Devils, the Vandermark 5, the Joe Harriot Project, Steam, Make to Break, and Marker. constantly shifting and moving on to new ventures, seeking out new collaborators, often exploring together with new generations of musicians on the Chicago scene. His latest such group is Edition 55, which includes Lily Finnegan on drums, tubist Beth McDonald, cellist Katinka Kleijn and bassist Nick Macri. He spends up to half of the year touring, mostly in Europe, where he has developed close ties with local improvisers that have been nurtured over the years, constantly creating new compositions for collaborations old and new. For fourteen years he was an integral member of Peter Brötzmann’s Chicago Tentet that united musicians from the Windy City with European masters.