Philadelphia Improvisation and Experimental Music Calendar

00.  00.  20

All Days            00:00PM

All Venues


Philadelphia, PA
*Please notice! Most shows and events in the Philadelphia area have been postponed and moved to new dates or they have been canceled due to Covid-19. Hopefully this will end soon and we can all get back to attending and enjoying the shows we all love.
Everyone is being affected in different ways including artists who are losing work and creative outlets. Please think of supporting your favorite artists by purchasing digital and physical merchandise through or any private website where they sell their work. Lets all chip in and help sustain local artists by supporting the!
We will be posting shows  and rescheduled dates once things have been set back into balance and it is healthy to do so. In the meantime, take care of yourself and be well.

- Avant Philly -

03.  12.  20

Thursday             8:00PM

Johnny Brenda's

-CANCELLED- Sun of Goldfinger

1201 N. Frankford Avenue Philadelphia, PA
Please join us for a performance by Sun of Goldfinger, an exploratory trio featuring three Ars Nova Workshop favorites: guitarist David Torn, saxophonist Tim Berne, and percussionist Ches Smith.
The self-titled debut by Sun of Goldfinger builds upon an enticing web of relationships: of the three musicians, who have worked together in various capacities in guitarist David Torn’s brain-warping projects as well as saxophonist Tim Berne’s boundary-stretching bands; and of all three artists and the groundbreaking label ECM, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018 with no signs of slowing its forward march into uncharted sonic territory.

03.  13.  20

Friday             8:00PM

Vox Populi


319 North 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Horse Lords:
West African rhythms collide with just intonation guitars, art-fire saxophone, minimalist grooves, and collaged zapdowns from Baltimore’s Horse Lords: Andrew Bernstein (saxophone/percussion), Max Eilbacher (bass/electronics), Owen Gardner (guitar), and Sam Haberman (drums) fuse together to carve out deep, hypnotic grooves of bold new American rock and roll. Playing custom electric guitars and basses refretted by Gardner, the band constructs layers of punching, syncopated phrases that call upon elements of krautrock, African poly-rhythms, and classical minimalism.
Ooloi are an improvisational unit of Philadelphia punk, hip hop, noise and free jazz musicians. Everything about this music seemed impossible; the circumstances of its making are wreathed in nebulae; it is relevant to say that we all came to this from different places; it is relevant that in it is the energy of love and rage – the gamma-ray bursts of genders and histories undergoing gravitational collapse – the billion-year echoes of people who have been lost. The members of Ooloi are:
Ave – Bass
Lev – Drums
Joe – Feedback Mixer
Christo – Guitar
Ada – Alto Clarinet, Sampler

03.  14.  20

Saturday             8:00PM


-POSTPONED- Vaster Than Empires / Tanngrisnir

607 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
Vaster Than Empires
Erica Dicker, violin; Allen Otte, percussion; Paul Schuette, electronics
A violin subjected to toys, hardware implements and effects pedals; radios, bicycle wheels, and an amplified found-object sound-board; a modular synthesizer stirring electronic effects into a soup of sonic feedback: Vaster Than Empires. Since joining forces in Cincinnati in 2013, VTE comfortably/uncomfortably explores far-ranging textures and sound-scapes from all points along the space-time continuum. With our ears as guides, we sustain a musical relationship by way of an instinctual system in interstellar performance practice.
Tanngrisnir, performing Archipelago
Christopher Burns, electric guitar; Trevor Saint, glockenspiel 
Tanngrisnir, the improvising duo of Christopher Burns and Trevor Saint, is dedicated to the fusion of composition and improvisation. They develop bespoke software and technology and invent rules, games, and koans, all designed to integrate preconceived intention and spur-of-the-moment decision-making in new and innovative ways. Their approach emphasizes clear musical trajectories, wide-ranging sonic exploration, and furious rhythmic energy.

03.  17.  20

Tuesday             8:00PM

The Rotunda

- CANCELLED- FENNESZ, Britton Powell

4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
Austrian laptop music pioneer Fennesz recently released his first album in nearly five years, Agora, and it reinforces the inscrutable beauty of his aesthetic. His work is steeped in romanticism, with each piece patiently wending its way through meticulously plotted narratives of remarkable concision, marked by orchestral swells and shimmering ambience. Using a blend of synthesizers and ingeniously processed electric guitar, he sculpts richly textured movements that seamlessly layer post-industrial noises—whirrs, clicks, feedback, and machine-like throbs—soaring washes of symphonic color, and hydroplaning drones, all of which coalesce into glorious transmissions of interiority. While the title of the opening piece, “In My Room,” references his longstanding ardor for the Beach Boys, in the hands of Fennesz it conveys a profound expression of communication, opening doors to the world.
New York electronic music composer and performer Britton Powell is deeply invested the psycho-acoustic possibilities of minimalism. Perhaps known best for his collaborations with artists like Jon Gibson, Matmos, Leila Bodreuil, and Sensations Fix, his own pieces and DJ mixes combine hypnotic sonic patterns, subtly knotted textural contrasts, and colliding polyrhythms. As much an advocate as an artist, he’s run various underground music space and operates the experimental label Catch Wave Ltd.

03.  18.  20

Wednesday             8:00PM

Vox Populi

-CANCELLED- Dora Bleu / Liz Hysen, Engle / Bailey Duo

- Dora Bleu (w/ Liz Hysen) (Quebec)
- Engle:Bailey Duo (PHL)
- Dora Bleu -
Through the echoes of an acoustic guitar and vocal expressions, Dora Bleu explores intimacy as the place where the imperializing war state replenishes itself. With vocals that erupt traumas composed by narrative time, uneven compositions filled with stark silences and bent notes, her songs ignore genres to exhume vulnerable and dreamlike states. Dora's most recent release, a full lengthLP infused by the guitar work of Marc Ribot, titled Fascism's Intimacy was released on Drawing Room Records inMay 2019 following her release of Fall2018 in collaboration with Istanbul/Crete resident electric oud player Periklis Tsoukalas (currently a member of BaBaZuLa) on Vienna's Feathered Coyote.Dora and Periklis will tour and record a second work in Northern Sweden in April of 2020.
- Engle:Bailey Duo -
This newly formed improvisational duo features Matt Engle on the Upright Bass & Michael Bailey, who uses electronics. The duo are currently exploring electro-acoustic space in a 4-Speaker listening format.

03.  19.  20

Thursday             8:30PM

Suzuki Academy

-LIVESTREAM- -CHECK LINK- Warp Factor 9: Paul Giess/Ilan Isakov

47th Street & Cedar Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Paul Giess is a versatile trumpet player, composer, and educator based in Philadelphia, PA. This will be his solo project debut! He is currently active in multiple ensembles in the Philadelphia area including Outside Sound, Bitters and Rye Jazz Band, The Abstract Truth, Erik Kramer and Friends, Dr. B's Groove, The Boheme Big Band and The Philadelphia Jazz Project. He also leads his own ensemble, The Paul Giess Group.
crowdfunding campaign:
Ilan Isakov is a songwriter, composer, and piano teacher living in South Philly. His songwriting is influenced by Leonard Cohen, Elliot Smith, and Will Oldham. He occasionally likes writing by mistranslating foreign poetry and cutting up old science fiction novels. In addition to his songwriting, He’s written music for numerous films including Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Netflix’s Take Your Pills, and The Brink. He’s currently recording his first album of original songs, to be released in May, but he doesn’t know what to call it.
There will be tea and chocolate! Your perception of time and space will be bent by music and pianos!

03.  20.  20

Friday             7:00PM

The Pharmacy

GRID (NYC), Queen Elephantine, Suuduer, Rainbow Crimes

1300 S. 18TH ST PHILADELPHIA, PA 19146
Brain-melting, soul-cleansing, ego-destroying, border-defying free/jazz/doom/psych/drone/noise
A new heavy experimental trio, bringing doom, noise and free jazz together, comprising Tim Dahl (Child Abuse, Lydia Lunch), Matt Nelson (Amirtha Kidambi, Battle Trance), and Nick Podgurski.
Queen Elephantine (Philadelphia)
Formed in Hong Kong by Indian musician Indrayudh Shome, nomadic avant garde ritualists who drawing from doom and psych as much as jazz, noise, and sacred music from around the world.
Droooone healing featuring Jordan Stiff, Kyle Press, Agnes Kline and more — members of God Root, Wormtooth, among others.
Rainbow Crimes
New experimental trio featuring Katy Otto (Callowhill), Alex Smith (Solarized), and Leah Basarab.

03.  20.  20

Friday             8:00PM


Ecstatic Music Band, Keith Fullerton Whitman

607 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
- Ecstatic Music Band (SF)
- Keith Fullerton Whitman (NYC)
- Ecstatic Music Band -
Ecstatic Music Band is a rotating collective of 10+ members. The group performs on both amplified-acoustic and electric stringed instruments using tuning systems derived directly from the overtone series, producing dense and dynamic fields of harmonic interference and reinforcement, while searching for a deep consonance amid the flux of microtonal variations, beating tones, difference tones, and psychoacoustic phenomena.
- Keith Fullerton Whitman -
Keith Fullerton Whitman is a Composer & Performer based in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. He is currently in the process of realizing geographically & thematically relevant Live Electronic Music under the "Redactions" banner, as well as performing contemporary revisions of his classic "Generators" and "Playthroughs" frameworks. Recently he has performed at Silent Night in Prague, NEXT in Bratislava, Luc Ferrari: Stereo Spasms in Brooklyn, the GRM's Immersion festival in Paris, Documenta 14 in Athens, The Labyrinth in Niigata, MaerzMusik's The Long Now in Berlin, Semibreve in Braga, Send + Receive in Winnipeg, The Geometry of Now in Moscow, and at the Don Buchla Memorial Concerts in San Francisco.

03.  21.  20

Saturday             8:00PM

Vox Populi

RM Francis, Jason E. Anderson, Shani Aviram, Taji Nahl

319 North 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
- RM Francis (SEA)
- Jason E. Anderson (SEA)
- Shani Aviram (PHL)
- Taji Nahl (USA)

- RM Francis -
RM Francis is an artist working with computer-generated sound via recording, installation, and performance. His practice exploits liminal aspects of the perceptual, social, and material networks involved in the presentation and reception of musical works in order to highlight the provisional and unstable nature of these systems.

- Jason E Anderson -
Jason E Anderson is an artist that whose work includes performance, recorded works, video, installation, music for dance, producing and publishing. Anderson employs systems that generate sound and patterns in performance, using computers, synthesizers, and field recordings. His frequent use of voice/text pairs these sounds with extra-musical information to engage with concepts/context within the auditory field.
- Shani Aviram -
- Taji Ra'oof Nahl -
AKA TR7 is an American interdisciplinary artist whose vocabulary delves into social commentary via historical & futurist aesthetic. Installation, video, performance, soundscapes, sculpture, painting, are utilities that embodies poetic & abstract narrative for his oeuvre.   Lxv + live visuals

03.  27.  20

Friday             8:00PM

Vox Populi

Daniel Wyche, Ulla Straus, Lxv, Opheliaxz, Maybe Tominsky

319 North 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
- Daniel Wyche
- Ulla Straus
- Lxv
- Opheliaxz
- Maybe TominskyDaniel Wyche
Ulla Straus
Maybe Tominsky
Opheliaxz (DJ between sets)

03.  28.  20

Saturday             8:00PM

House Gallery 1816


1816 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Jaap Blonk:
Jaap Blonk (born 1953 in Woerden, Holland) is a self-taught composer, performer and poet. He went to university for mathematics and musicology but did not finish those studies. In the late 1970s he took up saxophone and started to compose music. A few years later he discovered his potential as a vocal performer, at first in reciting poetry and later on in improvisations and his own compositions. For almost two decades the voice was his main means for the discovery and development of new sounds.From around the year 2000 on Blonk started work with electronics, at first using samples of his own voice, then extending the field to include pure sound synthesis as well. He took a year off of performing in 2006. As a result, his renewed interest in mathematics made him start a research of the possibilities of algorithmic composition for the creation of music, visual animation and poetry.
Bonnie Lander:
Bonnie Lander is an avant-garde soprano, violinist, free improviser, and composer based in Baltimore. As a performer and composer Bonnie specializes in works that combine free improvisation with structured composition. In the past few years she has developed a series of theatrical works called “Inside Voices.” These works intend for the audience to experience the voices, noises, and emotional narratives in the performer’s mind through the operatic use of timbre, resonance, articulation as well as extended vocal techniques relating to everyday use of the voice. This combination provides a musical exploration of personal experience mixed with confrontational, visceral human expression.

03.  31.  20

Tuesday             8:00PM



Jaimie Branch‘s FLY or DIE:
Jaimie Branch – trumpet, Lester St. Louis – cello, Jason Ajemian – bass & Chad Taylor – drums.
Jaimie Branch, of New York, is an avant-garde trumpeter and composer 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. Presenting music from FLY or DIE II: bird dogs of paradise, the follow-up to 2017’s critically acclaimed Fly or Die, Branch continues to push her distinctive style of composition to new heights while also stepping forward as vocalist for the first time to an increasingly evocative effect.
Victor Vieira-Branco’s Split Cities:
Currently based in Philadelphia, vibraphonist Victor Vieira-Branco played in groups such as Trio Repelente, Baobá Stereo Club and actively performed as an improviser in the expansive São Paulo, Brazil creative music scene. A performer with a unique background and style, his playing incorporates beautiful atmospheric work, ruminating assertive playing, and idiosyncratic interaction with unusual technique. Split Cities is a new Philadelphia band playing Vieira-Branco’s compositions.
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