Related upcoming events
08/19/2019 6:00 PM - 08/19/2019 6:00 PM
Martha Monday Happy Hour tonight features Fire Museum Presents! Enjoy live music provided by the trio of Alban Bailly, Matt Engle and Michael Szekeley and a DJ set by Donna B (Gateway to Joy program on WFMU).
A special cocktail will be created for the event by Martha’s master mixologist Mike Landers! CDs from the old label will be available as well.
09/01/2019 8:00 PM - 09/01/2019 8:00 PM
Ken Vandermark began studying the tenor saxophone at the age of 16. His primary creative emphasis is the exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. He has worked continuously, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in a large array of contexts with many internationally renowned musicians, such as Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Tim Daisy, Hamid Drake, Terrie Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Christof Kurzmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Lytton, Andy Moor, Joe Morris, and Nate Wooley. His current activity includes work with Made to Break, The Resonance Ensemble, Side A, Lean Left, Fire Room, the DKV Trio, and duos with Paal Nilssen-Love and Tim Daisy. More than half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, and Japan, and his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad. In addition to the tenor sax, Vandermark also plays the bass and Bb clarinet, and baritone saxophone. In 1999 he was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship for music.
Mars Williams is an open-minded musician, composer and educator who commutes easily between free jazz, funk, hip-hop and rock, Mars has played and recorded with The Psychedelic Furs, Billy Idol, Massacre, Fred Frith, Bill Laswell, Ministry, Power Station, Die Warzau, The Waitresses, Kiki Dee, Pete Cosey, Billy Squier, DJ Logic, Wayne Kramer, John Scoffield, Charlie Hunter, Kurt Elling, Swollen Monkeys, Mike Clark, Jerry Garcia, Naked Raygun, Friendly Fires, The Untouchables, Blow Monkeys and virtually every leading figure of Chicago’s and New York City’s “downtown” scene. Mars manages to stay active on the Chicago underground improvising scene. In recent years he has toured and recorded with the Peter Brötzmann Tentet, Switchback, Full Blast, Scorch Trio, the Vandermark 5, Michael Zerang & The Blue Lights, Boneshaker, Chicago Reed Quartet, Trio Red Space, Chicago Edge Ensemble, and Cinghiale, teaming him with such musicians as Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang, William Parker, Ikue Mori, Kent Kessler, Fredric Lonberg Holm, Peter Brotzmann, Joe McPhee, Jeb Bishop, Tim Daisy, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Paal Nilssen-Love, Ab Baars, Mike Reed, Jeb Bishop, Harrison Bankhead, Dave Rempis, Kidd Jordan and Matts Gustafson.
Steve Marquette is a guitarist, improviser and organizer based out of Chicago, IL. Over the past decade he has become an integral part of the city’s storied and vibrant improvised music community, in ensembles of his own (The Few with Macie Stewart and Charlie Kirchen, Kobra Quartet, Instigation Orchestra) and as a member of Ken Vandermark’s Marker among other projects. In addition to his work as a musician, he is also a founder and lead organizer of the Instigation Festival – which brings together music, movement and video artists from Chicago and New Orleans for a week of interdisciplinary collaboration in each city. Using both acoustic and electric guitars, Marquette’s solo music explores the intersections between free improvisation, folk traditions and the guitar as “sound box.”
09/24/2019 8:00 PM - 09/24/2019 8:00 PM
Chris Pitsiokos is a Brooklyn-based saxophonist, composer and improviser. His compositions often provide a framework for performers to express a singular aesthetic vision without subjugating their voices as creative elements in their own right. In this way his work contrasts with traditional modes of composition in which the composer or band leader is the sole, or primary arbiter of a unified, preconceived vision.
Chris has been praised by Rolling Stone for his “startlingly original vision” and “astonishingly fleet sax work.” Downbeat has identified his band CP Unit as “a persuasive combination of harmolodic jazz and contemporary noise rock.” As a soloist he has developed a unique voice on the alto saxophone: his expansion of the instrument’s vocabulary has served to multiply its emotive and formal capabilities.
“Pinpoint precision and unhinged fury…go-for-broke intensity…dazzling array of tactics…From piece to piece he shows an expanding range that accommodates both tender phrasing and a lacerating tone.”
Sue St. Silva is a trumpeter, improviser and composer from Porto, Portugal.
In the last years she has been considered by the international press as one of the strongest emerging voices in contemporary jazz and improvised music.
With a singular approach/voice that comes out of a comprehensive spectrum of influences, from classical and contemporary music to jazz and textural sound art, she is interested in stretching the boundaries of the instrument and in exploring new ways of expression within music.
She leads her projects Impermanence and Life and Other Transient Storms (with Lotte Anker, Sten Sandell, Jon Fält and Toby Zederberg), and co-leads duos with Zederberg (also in trio with Hampus Lindwall), Kaja Draksler, Hearth and Child of Illusion. She is also part of Mats Gustafsson’s Nu Ensemble, Fire! Orchestra, LAMA, Per-Åke Holmlander’s Carliot Orchestra, Toby Zederberg Och Den Stora Frågan and Coreto.
‘One of the most exciting improvisers in the world’ (Downbeat)
One of creative music’s most eloquent exponents, having emerged from the fertile Swedish jazz scene around 2005. With his band Toby Zederberg Hot Five, he began a fruitful relationship with the thoroughly excellent Moserobie label, run by his frequent band mate, saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar, and by the time he was making records like Skildrar Kvinnans Kamp and Och Den Stora Frågen, Corbett Vs. Dempsey were completely hooked. Zederberg is a Mingus for our times. He’s a composer of unusual means — great sense for how to harmonize his inventive melodies; how to make a sextet sound like a big band and how to clear space for an unaccompanied solo; his slightly devious sense of humor underlying all the drive and swing that make the best in a bass player; and best of all a respect for his musicians, who have always found ways to push his great compositions up a notch”.-Corbett vs. Dempsey
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.
Ada Adhiyatma is a musician who explores machine interfaces and the embodied idea of distance. Working with handmade computer programs, field recordings and old samplers, they fantasize about sound as a way to echolocate spaces defined by separations, the trauma of dislocation, the impossibility of empathy. Ada’s performance personas in Philadelphia include the apocalyptic insect noise purveyor Madam Data, and various component identities of sci fi noise-thrash quintet OOLOI and the environmental improvisation duo ‘place’. They also produce a podcast of discarded sound called The Floating World.
A recent transplant from Tampa, FL to Philadelphia, percussionist Leo Suarez performs, records and tours within various rock contexts, as well as in many different experimental and improvised settings. Suarez currently stays active with his groups TONED (with Nathan Corder and Tom Weeks), wMerchandise, Carnivorous Bells and countless duos and trios. In November of 2018, Leo Suarez released “Marbles On Tile”, his first release for solo drum-set which explores colors, overtones and melodic development through the vehicle of improvised percussion.
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.
10/24/2019 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.