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10/22/2019 8:00 PM - 10/22/2019 8:00 PM
Drummer Gerald Cleaver, born and raised in Detroit, is a product of the city’s rich music tradition. He has performed or recorded with a wide variety of artists: Roscoe Mitchell, Tommy Flanagan, Matt Shipp, William Parker, Eddie Harris, Kevin Mahogany, Charles Gayle, Ralph Alessi, Jacky Terrasson, Muhal Richard Abrams, Joe Morris, Dave Douglas, Tim Berne, Jeremy Pelt, David Torn and Miroslav Vitous, among others. Cleaver currently leads the bands Violet Hour, Black Host, Uncle June and Farmers By Nature with Craig Taborn & William Parker.
Frode Gjerstad (saxophones & clarinet) has for many years declared his enthusiasm towards small line-ups, and especially trio. With over 120 recordings as a leader he has established himself as a major saxophonist on the international scene. His trios have included strong drummers and bass players such as John Stevens, Hamid Drake, Rashied Bakr, Johnny Dyani, Kent Carter, William Parker and Paal Nilssen-Love.
Bassist Brandon Lopez is a musician who deals with improvised and composed music (if one likes to make a distinction). His work as been praised as “brutal” and “relentless”. He’s worked beside many of experimental music’s luminaries; Jooklo Trio, Nate Wooley, Sun Ra Arkestra, Ashley Fure, Okkyung Lee, Gerald Cleaver, Ingrid Laubrock, Tony Malaby, Tyshawn Sorey, Bill Nace, Steve Baczkwoski, Chris Corsano, and many others. He was the 2018 Artist in Residence at Issue Project Room and a Van Lier Fellow at Roulette Intermedium. In September 2018 he was featured soloist with the New York Philharmonic.
10/22/2019 8:00 PM - 10/22/2019 8:00 PM
Co-sponsored by South Asia Center University of Pennsylvania
Harsh Narayan is a leading sarangi player of the younger generation and performer of Hindustani Classical Music living in Mumbai, India. He has performed and recorded with many Indian Classical Musicians worldwide. To say that Harsh Narayan’s life has been steeped in the classical music of India since he was born is an understatement. His father is the sarod maestro Brij Narayan and his aunt is the sarangi virtuoso Aruna Narayan Kalle. And as if that is not enough of a rarified birth, his grandfather is none other than the legendary sarangi maestro Pandit Ram Narayan, credited by experts worldwide for bringing the sarangi to the forefront of Indian Classical Music as a solo instrument of the highest order. Of the Pandit, the great Yehudi Menuhin has said, “The sarangi … in the hands of Ram Narayan most revealingly expresses the very soul of Indian feelings and thought.”
Born in Mumbai in 1985, Harsh Narayan has had the great fortune of studying with his grandfather since the age of six. While under the caring guidance of his illustrious teacher, Harsh’s musicianship was developed and his natural talent was exposed. Right from the start, Harsh embraced this training with a passion for the sarangi, a highly technical and very challenging instrument to play. This passion has only been surpassed by his devotion to his grandfather and to the musical legacy that he wholeheartedly embraced.
This musical foundation, a well-rounded and rigorous training by a family of maestros, lead to a virtuosity that can be witnessed in his concert presentations, where the depth of his musical perception has earned him an “A” graded artist rating from All India Radio. His total command of sarangi playing technique allows him an enviable degree of creative freedom, coaxing the inherent musicality out of the instrument, with the flair of a seasoned performer.
Armed with a unique musical background and an invaluable classical training, Harsh Narayan is eminently qualified to expand upon the enormous body of work of his grandfather while establishing himself among the new generation of Indian Classical Musicians and sarangi torch bearers.
Harsh Narayan will be accompanied by Tejas Tope on tabla for this performance.
Tejas Tope has been studying with his Guru, Pandit Samir Chatterjee, since the age of 5. He has performed on many occasions across the country, and recently completed a tour in India. He has also trained with Ustad Zakir Hussain, and studied Pakhawaj with Pandit Mohan Shyam Sharma.
In addition to playing tabla solo in various venues in USA and abroad, Tejas has accompanied his Guru Pt. Samir Chatterjee (tabla solo), Pt. Ramesh Mishra (sarangi), Samarth Nagarkar (vocal), Kunal Gunjal (santoor), Qais Essar (rabab), Padmashree Pt. Satish Vyas (santoor), Padmashree Pta. Rita Ganuli (vocal), Shakir Khan (sitar), Kedar Naphade (harmonium solo), Pta. Lalita Dantale-Kurulkar (vocal), Chaitanya Kunte (harmonium), Manoj Govindraj (vocal), Rucha Muley-Jambhekar (vocal), Paromita Das (vocal) and several other musicians over the past several years.
10/24/2019 8:00 PM - 10/24/2019 8:00 PM
Co-presented with Clavius Productions.
Trumpeter-composer ARTHUR BROOKS is one of the unsung heroes of the new music. In his 40+ year career he has collaborated with such legendary figures as Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor, Sonny Sharrock, Alan Silva, and Frank Wright among others. For over 20 years he taught alongside Dixon in the Black Music Division at Bennington College. Brooks founded Ensemble V at Bennington College in 1973 and the music has continued to evolve. Though Brooks is technically the leader and creator — or perhaps curator — of Ensemble V, he emphasizes that the band is a democracy. “Everybody’s a leader. And everybody has big ears. We find ourselves in areas that I would like to take home and develop and write, but I wouldn’t want to limit what we’re going to do.” For this performance, he’ll be joined by Jeremy Harlos – bass; Bill Heminway – trumpet & flugelhorn; Anthony Santor – bass and Matt Weston – percussion.
10/26/2019 7:30 PM - 10/26/2019 7:30 PM
Presented in collaboration with Mascher Space Cooperative.
Hyunjin Cha & Ensemble:
Hyunjin Cha leads a traditional Korean percussion ensemble based in Philadelphia.Beginning with a samulnori group, she continues to explore and create new music for traditional percussion instruments.
Hyunjin Cha (artistic director) has been a performer and director of programming operations for Dulsori, a world-renowned Korean world music ensemble that has appeared in over 54 countries and prestigious festivals such as WOMAD, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Roskilde Rock Festival. The music is based on the traditional Korean performance of ‘Pungmul’, ‘Minyo’, and “Chukjae’.
Dancer, choreographer, video & improvisation artist, Merián Soto, is the creator of somatic aesthetic movement practices and creative methodologies— Branch Dancing and Modal Practice. She is Professor in the Esther Boyer College of Music & Dance at Temple University, and is Curator of the Reflection/Response Choreographic Commission. Soto is a 2019 United States Artist Doris Duke Fellow in Dance.
Soto will present a solo that collects movement and vocal practices developed in the past two years.
“Hermit High Priestess are two wandering spirits informed by an idealistic re-imagining of punk rock, where magic and incantation are as much a part of the punk rock process as are cryptically scrawled black t-shirts. Dani and Anna play music that is heavy, yet still somehow heavenly, forgoing the three-chord stomp and bash of yet another Ramones or Discharge reincarnation. Instead their music, like on “The Rake’s Wave”, a standout track on their forthcoming EP, infuses warm strings, mischievous bass and xylophone lines, along with Anna’s determined, heartfelt vocals ruminating on the necromantic nature of systems that corrupt our dreams.”-Alex Smith/WXPN The Key
Sasha V is the musical alias of Alex Vallejo. For nearly twenty years, they’ve played guitar in punk, goth, and folk bands in and around Philadelphia, DC, and Baltimore. Now primarily a pit orchestra musician, Alex co-founded the hardcore band Inspector Moon and often collaborates with George Korein and the Spleen.
Julia who performs under the stage alias Major Curl, is a Philadelphia-based performing artist that challenges the gender binary and what we define as art. Earning “Crowd Favorite” in Mr. Philly Drag King, Major creates work that blurs the lines between burlesque, drag, performance art, and dance. Most recently they performed gender bending art at The Amazing Brettzo’s “Misc Masc,” “Paula Deen’s Drag Kitchen,” Urban Movement Arts’ “Workinonit Deluxe Edition,” and “Not of this World | Not of This Binary” at the Front Street Dive. Major Curl is also the host of their own podcast “Curltalk” that features queer artists in the Philadelphia area. Major is committed to their beloved community of genderqueer performers and dancers, and looks forward to knocking your socks into the next dimension.
In addition, artwork by Sophie C. White will be on display. Born 1984 in New York, NY, Sophie White has lived and worked in Philadelphia, PA since 2009. She earned her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2017 and her BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art in 2006. Working primarily as a painter, Sophie makes sculptures and plays drums as well. She has exhibited and performed at numerous arts spaces in Philadelphia, New York City and elsewhere.
About Project Safe:
We are a grassroots direct-service and peer-based advocacy organization of: women, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and trans people in Philadelphia’s sex trade, providing women and femme-centered services with a focus on women working and living in the street economies in Kensington.
Why We Exist:
We exist because sex workers in our city (and around the world) are not having their basic human rights respected. Sex workers are stigmatized, criminalized, and killed for their profession. Our community deserves more, and we work to ensure people have access to basic needs and harm reduction supplies alongside our community building and advocacy efforts.
Established in Philadelphia in 2004, Project SAFE’s mission is to promote human rights-based public health and harm reduction among women, GNC, and trans people working in the sex and drug trades on the street in Philadelphia*. SAFE is an organization dedicated to ensuring the health, safety and survival of women & LGBT people on the street by providing advocacy, education and support using a harm reduction model. SAFE seeks to reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among our community, and promote health and safety by empowering the community with relevant information and resources.
11/06/2019 8:00 PM - 11/06/2019 8:00 PM
Amrita “Ami” Kaur Dang is a South Asian-American vocalist, sitarist, composer and producer from Baltimore. Her sound ranges from North Indian classical fused with noise/ambient electronics to beat-driven psych and experimental dancepop. The work references her musical education and hybrid identity as well as the chaos and spirituality of the landscapes of both Baltimore and urban India.
Picking up her first sitar when she was twelve years old, Dang has studied North Indian classical music (voice and sitar) in both New Delhi and Maryland, and she also holds a degree in music technology & composition from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.
Her debut album Hukam came out in 2011 on Ehse Records to critical acclaim. She delved further into the sounds of experimental-indiepop on Uni Sun, her sophomore album that was released on Friends Records in 2016. Along with cellist Alexa Richardson, Ami is ½ of Raw Silk, who released their self-titled debut album in June 2018.
Her next album Parted Plains, featuring strictly sitar and electronics, will be released in 2019 on Leaving Records.
Magnetic Bells is the collaborative project of multi-instrumentalist Jordan Burgis (leader of spontaneous/minimalist folk-rock ensemble Magnetic Dog) and acclaimed analog synthesist duo Alison Stout and Darian Scatton (Hallowed Bells, Bell Tone Synth Works).
11/15/2019 8:00 PM - 11/15/2019 8:00 PM
Tatsuya Nakatani is an avant-garde sound artist, composer, and master percussionist. Active internationally since the 1990’s; Nakatani has released over 80 recordings and tours extensively, performing over 150 concerts a year. His primary focus is his solo work and his large ensemble project, the Nakatani Gong Orchestra. With his activity in the new music, improvisation and experimental music scenes, Nakatani has a long history of collaboration. He teaches master classes and lectures at universities and music conservatories around the world. Originally from Japan, he makes his home in the small desert town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.Nakatani creates his distinctive music centered around his adapted bowed gong, supported by an array of drums, cymbals, and singing bowls. In consort with his hand carved Kobo Bows, it is an instrument he has spent decades developing. A master of extended percussion techniques, it can be difficult to understand the genesis of his sounds. Nakatani approaches his orchestral project (NGO) as an arrangement of formations of vibrations, incorporated in shimmering layers of silence and texture. Within this contemporary work, one can still recognize the dramatic pacing, formal elegance and space (ma) felt in traditional Japanese music.
11/23/2019 8:00 PM - 11/23/2019 8:00 PM
William Hooker (drummer,composer and poet) has created works that range from jazz and “new” music to experimental genres. He has released over 70 CDs as a leader. Mr. Hooker has performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Edgefest Jazz Festival, The Vision Festival, The David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, The Wadsworth Atheneum, Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Walker Art Center,the first on MTV, The Kitchen, Roulette, Real Art Ways. He has also presented his work at the JVC Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, CMJ Music Festival,Vilnius Jazz Festival, Experimenta Argentina,The Knitting Factory and the Victoriaville Music Festival.
William Hooker has received commissions and support from the New York State Council on the Arts,Meet the Composer,Tokio Marine Insurance Company, Colleges and Universities such as Oberlin, Fordham, Columbia,New York University, Boston University, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale and many more. Accompanying musicians have included Billy Bang, David Ware, William Parker, Thurston Moore, David Soldier, Roy Campbell, Zeena Parkins, Lee Ranaldo, Jason Hwang, Sabir Mateen, Elliot Sharpe ,David Murray, Ted Daniel, JD Parren and many more.
“William knows no genre bounds and ceaselessly searches for new forms of music, always with the intent to inspire.” New York City Jazz Record.
“…No description of the Philly jazz scene exists that does not include something along the lines of “And Elliott Levin has been known to sit in, buggin’ out with his sax and flute…” A Philadelphia drummer described Levin as “the guy that calls you at two in the morning, wanting you to haul your drums over to some jam session.”
Levin grew up in Philly, but studied music and creative writing on the west coast at the University of Oregon. He took private lessons with a former Philadelphia Orchestra saxophonist, Michael Guera, and embarked on further research with the great jazz pianist, Cecil Taylor, in whose groups Levin has also performed. The weekend grocery list of Levin credits includes playing with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes for a decade as the saxophonist in the Sound of Philadelphia band, as well as with Odean Popes’ Saxophone Choir, Tyrone Hill, Don Preston, Scram!, New Ghost, Atzilut (Fourth World), Talking Free Bebop, and various collaborations with bassist Jamaladeen Tacuma. Levin‘s gigs with Taylor included the groups Phthongas and Unit Core Ensemble, and he can be heard on the Taylor FMP album Live in Berlin.”- bio by Eugene Chadbourne
Luke Stewart has pursued a vast number of creative projects over the years. On the jazz side, Luke has performed at many of DC’s historic venues including Bohemian Caverns, Twins Jazz, and HR-57. He had the honor of studying and performing with saxophonist Hamiett Bluiett.
“By now if you don’t know bassist Luke Stewart you’re behind. Stewart is a force on the Washington DC scene not only as a performer (in Irreversible Entanglements, James Brandon Lewis Trio, Trio OOO, Ancestral Duo and more) but also as a booker, promoter, radio DJ and more.”-Astral Spirits
“This outfit seemed to have taken some cues from the far-East trance of John Coltrane with shades of Eric Dolphy. Instead of hitting a down beat to start, they gradually drifted from random soundchecking to subtly teasing out a motif with horns and kamancheh. They feel no pressure to jump straight in when a light drone can set the mood most effectively.
Patient focus was the central theme for a continuous hour to follow. Steady rhythm patterns would ebb until they created a mantric trance before gradually shifting again. Two electric basses (a new format for this show) took turns holding root lines or adding lighter shadings around the edges. The whole thing would have seemed like an attentive free improvisation if it weren’t for the trumpet and saxophone circling each other in well-coordinated lockstep. However loosely sketched it was, it made an hour where time stretched almost until it couldn’t be sensed at all. ” – Geno Thackara/All About Jazz