Philadelphia Improvisation and Experimental Music Calendar

07.  18.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

The Trestle Inn

Feel The Love Happy Hour

339 N. 11th St, Philadelphia PA 19107
Come on feel the love! Feel The Love Happy Hour is bringing Ars Nova Workshop to The Trestle Inn to fundraise and friend-raise. 20% of all Happy Hour sales will be donated to Ars Nova Workshop.

07.  19.  19

Friday             8:00PM

Ruba Club

John Zorn’s Simulacrum

416 Green Street Philadelphia, PA
Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present Simulacrum, the prog-metal organ trio of Downtown alchemist composer, John Zorn.
The most extreme organ trio ever, Simulacrum is yet another wild direction from maverick composer John Zorn, who continues to explore new worlds and new ensembles into his sixth decade. Passionately performed by the unusual all-star trio of John Medeski (Medeski, Martin & Wood), Matt Hollenberg (Cleric), and Kenny Grohowski (Abraxas), this is powerful and fascinating music. Described as Tony Williams’ Lifetime on steroids, the group performs dramatic through-composed pieces that unfold with a cinematic logic. This genre bending music defies classification, touching upon metal, jazz, minimalism, atonality, noise and more. White hot burning intensity from the mind of downtown NY’s eternally youthful hell-raiser performed by a virtuoso trio forged from the worlds of jazz and metal.

07.  20.  19

Saturday             7:00PM

Random Tea Room

Crompton/Sloan duo w/ Blacksberg/Rosen/Suarez & Robin Meeker-Cummings

713 North 4th St. Philadelphia, PA 19123
Crompton/Sloan – A fantastic duo comprised of Peter Sloan (trombone) coming from San Diego, and Jeff Crompton (alto sax) from Atlanta!
Blacksberg/Rosen/Suarez – a Philadelphia-based trio of Dan Blacksberg (trombone), Ben Rosen (keys), and Leo Suarez (drums)
Robin Meeker-Cummings – Solo electronics! Robin is a composer from Philadelphia, now based in Boston.

07.  21.  19

Sunday             3:00PM

Institute of Contemporary Art

Michael Morley’s Music for The Never Quartet

118 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Dreamweapons: A Musical Afterlife of Tony Conrad
Please join Ars Nova Workshop and the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania for Dreamweapons, a series of performances celebrating the multivalent influences of Tony Conrad. Conrad was a central figure in numerous experimental film, music, and performance communities from the early 1960s until his death in 2016. These events are presented in conjunction with ICA’s presentation of Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective, the first large-scale museum survey devoted entirely to the artist.
New Zealand-based artist and musician Michael Morley is best known as 1/3 of the Dead C, an enduring free rock unit that has pushed the proto- and post-punk templates to exhilarating points of disintegration for the past three decades. Morley has also recorded music as Gate, the Righteous Yeah, the F—k Chairs, Thin Wrist, and Sun Valley, as well as under his own name.

07.  21.  19

Sunday             7:00PM

Random Tea Room

Rosie Langabeer and Experiments in Clay

713 North 4th St. Philadelphia, PA 19123

An evening of solos, duos, trios and a quartet!

Rosie Langabeer:

Hailed in the New York Times for her ability to time-bend Rosie Langabeer is an award-winning composer, improviser and band leader who specializes in evolutionary arts processes.

Influenced by Sun Ra, Harry Partch and all those who embody an alternative to the oppressive confines of our post-colonial society, Langabeer’s inclination is to challenge preconceived rules about what music can do. She experiments with musical idioms, social conventions and music teaching practices in order to find new music, new methods, new ideas and new contexts for participation in music.

Dan Blacksberg:

Trombonist and composer Dan Blacksberg is one of the premiere practitioners of traditional klezmer on the trombone, and a rapidly rising voice in experimental music. With work spanning avant-garde jazz, modern classical music, improvised music, and klezmer, Blacksberg has developed a complex style to carve out new spaces for the trombone in modern experimental and Jewish music.

Neil Feather:

Sound Mechanic Neil Feather has been creating radical and unusual musical instruments since 1970 and is increasingly known as one of the most original musical thinkers of his day. His instruments each embody uniquely clever acoustic and engineering principles, and are visually arresting. The music he plays on the instruments is equally original, embodying new principles and resulting in a nearly alien idiom of music.

Vlandria Westermygr:

Vlandria Westermygr is an internationally renowned bassoonist currently based in the Faroe Islands. She arrives in Philadelphia after a 6 week tour of the DEW line on which she has been informally researching radar technology, polar bears and the effects of global warming on the cold war. Just as much a sonic adventurer in the realm of improvised music, she has played with the London Improvisers Orchestra, the Dutch Impro Academy in Amsterdam and Vitamin-S in Auckland. Just when she thought she was out, classical music pulls her back in.

07.  25.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

Jerry's On Front

Sauter Millions Duo + Heavenly Bodies

2341 N Front St Philadelphia, PA
Jim Sauter (Borbetomagus) and Kid Millinos (Oneida)
Instagram: @heavenlybodiesphl

07.  28.  19

Sunday             8:00PM

Double Decker Music Series

Jaimie Branch and Sebastian Petsu

5th and Market Street Philadelphia PA 19106
A mainstay of the Chicago jazz scene and an active recent addition to the New York scene, Jaimie Branch is an avant-garde trumpeter known for her “ghostly sounds,” says The New York Times, and for “sucker punching” crowds straight from the jump off, says Time Out. Her classical training and “unique voice capable of transforming every ensemble of which she is a part” (Jazz Right Now) has contributed to a wide range of projects not only in jazz but also punk, noise, indie rock, electronic and hip-hop. Branch’s work as a composer and a producer, as well as a sideman for the likes of William Parker, Matana Roberts, TV on the Radio and Spoon, is all on display in her debut record Fly or Die – a dynamic 35-minute ride that dares listeners to open their minds to music that knows no genre, no gender, no limits.
Sebastian (Darkly) Petsu makes sound art centered on live manipulation of cassettes, the components used to play them, and controlled microphone feedback. In his sonic work. he aims to create a combined sense of pulsing, swirling, and growling. For this event, Sebastian will be combining soundscaping with the dry-witted narration that has become his trademark as host of the Double Decker Music Series.

08.  06.  19

Tuesday             7:00PM

Random Tea Room

Damon Smith/Bhob Rainey/Ben Bennett & June Bender/Erica Corbo

713 North 4th St. Philadelphia, PA 19123
Damon Smith:
Damon Smith studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and has had lessons with Bertram Turezky, Joëlle Leandré, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser and others. Damon’s explorations into the sonic palette of the double bass have resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. Visual art, film and dance heavily influence his music, as evidenced by his CAMH performance of Ben Patterson’s Variations for Double Bass, collaborations with director Werner Herzog on soundtracks for Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World, and an early performance with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Bhob Rainey:
Bhob Rainey is an award-winning composer / performer, saxophonist, and sound designer. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he was instrumental in defining the “lowercase” or “EAI” movement in non-idiomatic improvisation, exemplified by his work with trumpeter Greg Kelley in Nmperign. In 2000 he founded The BSC, an improvising large ensemble, in which he developed techniques for an improvisational discipline that were eventually outlined in his 2011 publication, Manual. He has performed globally and collaborated with numerous improvisers of both the (then) current and previous generations, including Axel Dörner, Andrea Neumann, Günter Müller, Michel Doneda, Lê Quan Ninh, and many others.
Ben Bennett:
Ben Bennett is an improvising percussionist who plays drums, membranes, and self-made instruments, which are combined with each other in various mutable arrangements, and played by striking, friction, breath, and other techniques. Although his instrument and music could both be described as unorthodox, they retain the essence of the modern drumset, and are a distillation of diverse musical traditions. He has toured North America and Europe, playing with different groups, ad-hoc collaborations, and solo.
June Bender:
June Bender is a violinist from Philadelphia. June performs many styles of music including Irish fiddle, tango, swing jazz, and freely improvised music. She founded the group Unseen Rain, for which she writes original music. June performs regularly in Philadelphia with Arcana New Music Ensemble, Prometheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Belleville Quartet.
Erica Corbo:
Erica Corbo is a professional musician and performance artist native to the Philadelphia area.  Implementing her talents mainly on the piano, she also performs as a flutist, vocalist, and dancer.  Her work spans the disciplines of jazz, free improv, and original music. Believing in music as a universal language, Erica approaches her playing from a strong melodic standpoint, while leaving room for experimentation with dissonance and atonality.  Extensive knowledge of the Alexander Technique empowers her playing with a physical balance and grace.

08.  13.  19

Tuesday             7:00PM

Random Tea Room

Evan Miller, Veronica MJ & Matt Engle, Leo Suarez & Madam Data

713 North 4th St. Philadelphia, PA 19123
Evan Miller will be on tour from Dayton, Ohio! Solo percussion/electronics.
Evan Miller is a percussionist based in Dayton, Ohio. Using cassette tape loops and electronics, he manipulates percussion into slow-moving drones and texture-filled environmental soundscapes, augmented by field recordings. Evan is also a member of Dayton-based percussion duo Neutrals.
Veronica MJ and Matt Engle
An amazing duo of viola and bass from Philadelphia.
Leo Suarez and Madam Data
Snare drum/electronics improvising duo from Philadelphia.

08.  25.  19

Sunday             8:00PM

Double Decker Music Series

Rosali and Seraiah Nicole

5th and Market Street Philadelphia PA 19106
Rosali is the solo incarnation of Philadelphia-based musician, Rosali Middleman. Through songwriting and performances, Rosali shares resonant emotions and the authenticity of being, unveiling herself to connect with broad audiences. Rosali’s songwriting realizes life as rich and alluring melodies within the framework of traditional popular songwriting.
Seraiah Nicole is a national performer & activist. This Philadelphia native expresses herself by singing, songwriting, spoken word poetry, acting, rapping & curating events. She has been featured on PBS Articulate, The Philadelphia Inquirer to name a few and even has her music play on FM & AM radio stations like WURD. Ms. Nicole has shared a bill with world renowned artists like Sheila E, Quest Love, PNB Rock! She’s even opened up for Keke Wyatt, Free Way, Monica, Angela Yee and more.
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