Ars Nova Workshop

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  • 03/10/2020 8:00 PM - 03/10/2020 8:00 PM
    Ars Nova Workshop is thrilled to present the return of guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and composer Jeff Parker with his eclectic and autobiographical ensemble The New Breed.
    A longtime member of the influential indie band Tortoise and a pillar of the Chicago jazz and experimental music scene, Jeff Parker is recognized as one of contemporary music’s most versatile and innovative electric guitarists and composers. With a prolific output characterized by musical ideas of angularity and logic, he draws from a wide variety of genres—from pop, rock, and jazz to new music—using ideas informed by innovations and trends in both popular and experimental forms. He creates works that explore and exploit the contrary relationships between tradition and technology, improvisation and composition, and the familiar and the abstract.

    “Together they play grooves that ooze and wend, sounding like a broken trance, or like experimental hip-hop as science experiment.”
    The New York Times

    Parker’s acclaimed 2016 release The New Breed was a retrospective tapestry that explored the multi-instrumentalist’s path both musically—as a potent compositional tribute to influences from J Dilla to Thelonious Monk to Charles Stepney—and personally, held together by literal fragments of his life’s work and aural snapshots, giving the album the feel of a sonic family photo album. The music grew out of a trove of home recordings, samples, and beat projects that Parker had assembled over a number of years, repurposed and reinvented through collaboration with a host of stellar musicians. The much-anticipated follow-up, Suite For Max Brown (Nonesuch Records/International Anthem), takes the concept even further, crafting a dizzyingly intricate blend of experimental R&B, multi-hyphenate jazz, and psychedelic electronica.
  • 03/12/2020 8:00 PM - 03/12/2020 8:00 PM
    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.
    On Sun of Goldfinger, the trio spontaneously weaves three intense musical tapestries, each spanning more than 20 minutes and crafting vast soundworlds of monumental and vividly textured aural invention. The nearly 25-minute length of each track mirrors the exploratory intensity of the trio live, where the band conjures mind-bogglingly intricate and immersive atmospherics every night, blending delicate lyricism and full-throttle noise, bleeding-edge rock and untethered rock, and leading the way into realms beyond genre.

    “[Sun of Goldfinger] finds these world-class improvisers roaming freely among musical zones ranging from hard-hitting avant-rock to delicate ambient jazz.” -Hank Shteamer, Rolling Stone

    Across a career as a guitarist, composer, improviser, and producer, David Torn has worked with innovators in jazz (Jan Garbarek, The Bad Plus), film music (Ryuichi Sakamoto, Carter Burwell) and rock (David Bowie, Jeff Beck, David Sylvian). Guitar Player magazine has declared him “one of music’s Top 50 guitarists, ever.” Tim Berne has been declared “a saxophonist and composer of granite conviction” by The New York Times. Since learning at the elbow of St. Louis master Julius Hemphill in the ’70s, the Syracuse-born Berne has built an expansive discography as a leader, assembling pace-setting ensembles with a who’s who of improvisers including Joey Baron, Django Bates, Jim Black, Nels Cline, Mark Dresser, Marc Ducret, and Craig Taborn. Born in San Diego, CA and raised in Sacramento, Ches Smith came up in a scene of punks and metal musicians who were listening to and experimenting with jazz and free improvisation. He has performed and recorded with Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, Xiu Xiu, Secret Chiefs 3 and Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog, while leading his own projects, Congs for Brums and These Arches.
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