Okka Fest Chicago:
Ken Vandermark/Mats Gustafsson/Christof Kurzmann on 10.06.
Ken Vandermark´s Made To Break (with Devin Hoff, Tim Daisy & Christof Kurzmann) on 11.06.
Christof Kurzmann Solo (with Video by Michaela Grill) on 12.06.
THE DOUBLE QUARTET
The Double Quartet is a free-improvising large ensemble that represents an incredible cross-section of the Chicago improvised music scene. The band is comprised of two distinct quartets – Extraordinary Popular Delusions (Mars Williams, Jim Baker, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt) and Bishop/Rempis/Kessler/Zerang (Jeb Bishop, Dave Rempis, Kent Kessler, and Michael Zerang) Both bands have made names for themselves with regular performances in Chicago, including the first quartet’s now legendary Tuesday night stint at Hotti Biscotti from 2006-2009, which continues today on Monday nights at Chicago’s Beat Kitchen.
Spanning an age-range of almost three decades, the cumulative history of these individual musicians and their intertwining collaborations is astounding. These settings date as far back as the late 70’s, and include The NRG Ensemble, Witches and Devils, Liof Munimula, Broken Wire, The Vandermark Quartet, The Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet, The Vandermark Five, Terminal 4, and The Engines, to name but a few. This octet is therefore a showcase of the distinct language these musicians have developed during the hundreds of gigs they’ve collaborated on in various combinations over the course of three decades.
Since their first performance at the Hideout Chicago’s Immediate Sound Series in the summer of 2008, the band has continued gathering about twice a year, in response to the overwhelmingly positive reception they’ve received from Chicago fans.
For more information about these musicians, check out the following links:
Born 1964 in Umeå, Northern Sweden.
Saxplayer, improviser and composer. Soloartist and international tours and projects with a.o. Peter Brötzmann, Sonic Youth, Merzbow, Jim O´Rourke, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Yoshimi and in working groups The Thing, Sonore, FIRE!, Gush, Boots Brown, Swedish Azz and Nash Kontroll. Large ensemble work with Barry Guy New Orchestra, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet and the NU - ensemble.1600 concerts and over 150 recordproductions in Europe, North America and Asia.
Collaborations with contemporary dance, theater, art as well as projects with noise, electronica, contemporary rock and free jazz.
Producer of international festivals and concert tours as well as work with own record labels Slottet, OlofBright Editions and Blue Tower Records.
Soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, contrabass saxophones
Amplified saxophone & live-electronics
Solo improviser, often in collaboration with contemporary dance, visual art, poetry and theatre
Composer of solo work for saxophone, live electronics and ensemble pieces. Sound Installations.
Commissions by Swedish Concert Institute, Swedish National Radio (P1 & P2), KulturBro 2000. . Compositions played by Sonic Youth, Nu-ensemblen, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Copenhagen Art Ensemble, The Thing, AALY Trio, Trondheim Improvisers Ensemble, FRIM Storband, Trondheim Voices a.o.
Curator of festivals; Sounds 89 & 99, Solo -92, Dygn (-95), Open Music - KulturBro 2000, 2002,
Wels /unlimited music 2003, Perspectives 2004, Perspectives 2007, Perspectives 2009, Nickelsdorf Konfrontationen 2010…
Curator of Swedish concert Institute's tour project-series “Frislag” since 2000.
Re-started FRIM in 1998 (the association of free improvised music in Sweden).
Citizen of Elgaland/ Vargaland (KREV)
Started Blue Tower Records with Harald Hult in 1989 -
Started Crazy Wisdom with Christian Falk and Conny C. Lindström in 1999 - 2003
Started Olof Bright Editions with Thomas Millroth in 2000 -
Started SLOTTET with Conny C Lindström and Maria Eriksson in 2006 - 2008
Extensive touring, over 1800 concerts and over 200 recording projects, with music ensembles and solo projects in Scandinavia, Europe, North America and Asia.
Major festivals and clubs/performance theatres/museums in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Belarus, Germany, Ukraine, Belgium, Holland, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Monaco, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, India, China, Japan, Korea, Tasmania, Australia, New Zeeland, USA, Canada and Ethiopia
Essential & Selective Discography
**Mats Gustafsson/Paul Lovens; Nothing To Read - Blue Tower BTCD03, 1990
**Mats Gustafsson/Barry Guy/Paul Lovens; Mouth eating trees and related activities -
OKKA Disk OD12010,1992
**Mats Gustafsson; Impropositions - Phono Suecia PSCD 99,1997
**Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet; 1,2,3 - OKKA Disk12022, 1997
**GUSH; Live in Tampere - Dragon DRCD 327,1996
**Günter Christmann/Mats Gustafsson; one to (two)-OKKA ODL 10002,1997
**Mats Gustafsson; Hidros One- Caprice CAP 21566,1999
**Mats Gustafsson; Windows: the music of Steve Lacy - Blue Chopsticks BC4, 1999
**Mats Gustafsson/Jim O´Rourke; Xylophonen Virtuosen - Incus CD38, 1999
**Mats Gustafsson/Ingebrigt Håker Flaten/Paal Nilssen-Love; The Thing - Crazy Wisdom 001, 2000
**AALY Trio with Ken Vandermark; I Wonder if I was Screaming - Crazy Wisdom 003, 2000
**Diskaholics anonymous trio - Crazy Wisdom 005, 2000
**Paal Nilssen-Love/ Mats Gustafsson; I love it when you snore - Smalltown STS063CD, 2002
**Mats Gustafsson; Trees and Truths - Olof Bright OBEP 6-8, 2002
**Mats Gustafsson w. SonicYouth and friends; Hidros 3 - Smalltown STS080, 2004
**The Thing; Garage - Smalltown STS078, 2004
**Cato Salsa Experience and The Thing with Joe McPhee; Sounds like a sandwich - Smalltown Superjazzz stsj103cd
**Mats Gustafsson; Slide - Firework FER 1054, 2005
**The Thing; Action Jazz - Smalltown STS, 2006
**SONORE; only the devil has no dreams - jazzwerkstatt 013, 2007
**Brötzmann/Gustafsson/Nilssen-Love; The Fat is Gone - Smalltown STSJ 138, 2007
**Boots Brown - Boots Brown - Slottet, SLM7, 2007
**The Thing & Ken Vandermark; Hide out - Smalltown STSJ105, 2007
**Mats Gustafsson; Its all about - Tyyfus 5 LP, 2007
**Guy / Gustafsson/ Strid; Tarfala - Maya MCD 0801, 2008
**The Thing; Now and Forever 3CD Box + DVD w Thurston Moore - Smalltown STSJ106, 2008
**Sonic Youth med Mats Gustafsson og Merzbow; Andre sider f Sonic Youth - SYR 8, 2008
**Mats Gustafsson; Mats G plays Duke E - Qbico, 2008
**Mats Gustafsson; Mats G plays Albert A - Qbico, 2009
**TR!O - Christmann/ Gustafsson / Lovens - FMP CD 136, 2010
**Mats Gustafsson - NEEDS, Dancing Wayang LP , 2010
for Mats Gustafsson discography and biography check;
Jason Adasiewicz’s SUN ROOMS
Sun Rooms features Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone, Mike Reed on drums, and Nate McBride on bass. The Chicago group formed in 2008, first experimenting as a free improvising trio, and later focused attention on arranging tunes that Adasiewicz wrote during his wife’s first pregnancy in the summer of 2009. In addition, the trio plays homage to Sun Ra, Duke Ellington, and Hasaan Ibn Ali - a little known pianist that was only documented once in his life, in 1964 with Max Roach and Art Davis.
Released in September of 2010 on Delmark Records, Sun Rooms is Adasiewicz’s third record as a leader. The critical attention that Sun Rooms has received includes: the New York Times Top 10 Records of 2010, The Village Voice Top 50 Jazz Records of 2010, The Chicago Tribune Top 10 Jazz Records of 2010, Dusted Magazine Top Jazz Records of 2010, and The Chicago Reader Top Albums of 2010.
Jason Adasiewicz is a vibraphonist, drummer, and composer. He is an integral member of Chicago’s jazz and improvised music scene, bringing his aggressive yet lyric style to over 20 working groups, including Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra, Rob Mazurek’s Starlicker, The Nicole Mitchell Ice Crystal Quartet, Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly, and Josh Berman’s Old Idea. For the last 4 years he has been nominated into the Downbeat Annual Critic’s Poll in the Rising Star Vibes category, and for the last 2 years in the Vibes category. Also, Jason has been nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association as a finalist for 2010 and 2011 ‘Mallet Instrumentalist of the Year’. His quintet Rolldown, with Josh Berman, Aram Shelton, Jason Roebke, and Frank Rosaly, formed in 2003 and have released 2 records, Rolldown (482 Music, 2008) and Varmint (Cuneiform Records, 2009).
---New York Times September, 27 2010 Critics’ Choice---
What is it about the plainspokenness in Chicago jazz? If “Sun Rooms,” the terse, nonvirtuosic and soulful new album from a trio led by the vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, were a film, it would be black-and-white with high contrasts. If it were an outdoor scene it would be a medium-busy urban street with squat, butch prewar buildings.
“Sun Rooms” — the name of the album and the name of the band — is just vibraphone, bass and drums, the rough plucking and the jagged cymbal triplets offsetting the vibraphone’s eaves of calm, the dry studio sound offsetting the metallic shimmer. It isn’t noir — it doesn’t have those pretensions — but it’s definitely gunmetal.
Over the last five years or so, Mr. Adasiewicz’s name has kept coming up in the context of an industrious and aesthetically tamped-down crew of Chicago players: the cornetist Josh Berman, the bassists Jason Roebke and Joshua Abrams — and, on this album, the bassist Nate McBride and the drummer Mike Reed. He writes lovely tunes, the better to play through dryly. (On this album, the easy-swinging “Life” and the ballad “Rose Garden” are some of the better songs I’ve heard recently written by jazz musicians.) And he knows their dimensions. Nobody here grandstands, fusses over details, or wastes time. Solos take their place in an arrangement and then disappear. There’s no problem of scale or mismatch of affect to material. It’s a modest and affecting band, in control of its mood.
The music here is very early-60s and imitates the temper of some jazz from that period: swinging-vanguardist records like Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle,” Eric Dolphy’s “Out There,” Andrew Hill’s “Smoke Stack.” Thelonious Monk is in there, too, in off-beat grace notes and whipped-up streaks of dissonant melodic improvising. And so, perhaps, are the lingering, ambient harmonies of instrumental Chicago rock bands like Tortoise and Isotope 217: Mr. Adasiewicz likes to let you feel his harmonies by ringing out his chords for a bar or two.
The album’s last three tunes are cover versions with various kinds of emotional kicks: Hassan Ibn Ali’s dark and querulous “Off My Back Jack,” slowed down to half speed; Sun Ra’s moody piece of chinoiserie, “Overtones of China”; and Duke Ellington’s devastating ballad “Warm Valley,” which is arranged simply as two solos over drums, a short one for bass and a longer one for vibraphone. Mr. Adasiewicz, in his turn, enacts the smart jazz musician’s trick of not revealing the melody until he’s well into the song. It’s a good idea, but there’s almost nothing on this record that isn’t.
CHRISTOF KURZMANN BIOGRAPHY
CHRISTOF KURZMANN (b. 6/19/63, Vienna, Austria; vocals, lloopp, clarinet, alto sax; Musician, Performer, Composer).
1985 - 1988 Music curator at Univercity of Vienna and journalist for newspapers in Austria and Austrian radio
1987 Founder of the Avant-Rock Duos „Extended Version's" and Quartet „More Extended Versions“
1994 Starts to work in the field of experimental electronic music. First compositions in the field of „New Music“
1995 Organizer of the electronic music festival „phonoTAKTIK.95“
1996 Founder of „Orchester 33 1/3“ (with Christian Fennesz,
Organizer of festival „Hyperstring - the use of the guitar today“
1997 - 2002 Curator of concert series „charhizma presents"
1998 Founder of „rhiz - bar modern“ in Vienna. Founder of Label „rhiz“
1998 - 2000 Curator of the Music/Video/Film-Program at Diagonale/Graz
1999 Premiere of Composition „White Hole“ (Kurzmann/Dafeldecker) at festival „Wien Modern“.
Founder of Label „charhizma“. Since then released more than 30 cd´s.
2000 Curator of exhibition „sounds & files“at Künstlerhaus/Vienna
Chicago: Premiere of Composition „Boiled Frogs“. Interpreted Works by Olga Neuwirth, Wolfgang Haubenstock Ramati at Renaissance Society/Chicago
2001 Organizer of charhizma-festivals in Paris and Berlin.
Composition for „Lichtspielhaus Bremen“ (together with Marina Rosenfeld)
Premiere of Installation „Boiled Frogs“ (together with Michaela Grill) at Musikprotokoll/Graz
2002 Artist in Residence at Podewil/Berlin (Stipendium for composition)
Leader of a Cultural Workshop at „World Social Forum“ in Porto Alegre/Brazil
charhizma-presentations in Tokyo, China (Beijing,and Kunming, Shanghai) and at the Frankfurt book fair
Composition for „Südwestfunk Baden Baden“ (together with Bernhard Lang)
2003 Composition „the air between“. Released on cd. Concerts in China, USA, Canada and Japan
2004 organizer of festival „Uchiage - improvisation in japan and here“ in berlin and vienna.
2005 Composition for „ Kunstmuseum Lentos“ in Linz /Austria. „4rooms“ with Andrea Neumann.
Participation in the first ever electronic Music Festival In South with Ensembles „My Kingdom For A Lullaby“ and „“Schnee“. Concerts in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Stellenbosh.
2006 Participation at „Salzburger Festspiele“ with Ensemble „Schnee“.
Foundation of Ensembles „ The Magic I.D.“ (with Margareth Kammerer, Michael Thieke and Kai Fagschinski)
2007 Tour with Ensemble „Schnee“ in Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Peru,Colombia)
Participation at „Festival Musique Actuelle“ in Victoriaville / Canada with John Tilbury, Stevie Wishart and Werner Dafeldecker.
2008 Tour through Latin America (Florianopolis, Bogota, Santiago de Chile, Valparaiso. Buenos Aires, La Plata). Taller de Improvisacion at Universidad Catolica in Santiago de Chile.
Founding Ensembles “El Infierno Musical“ (with Ken Vandermark, Eva Reiter, Clayton Thomas and Martin Brandlmayr). Premier of “Homage to Alejandra Pizarnik“ at Festival “Music Unlimited“ in Wels / Austria
2009 Tour in Lattin America (Buenos Aires (Alianza Francesa), Florianopolis, Santiago de Chile, Valparaíso, La Plata, Córdoba).
Workshop at Universidad Católica in Santiago de Chile.
Workshop at Fundación Telefónica in Lima / Peru.
Artist in Residence at “Worm“, Rotterdam / Holland..
Recording of Albums “El Infierno Musical“ (with Ken Vandermark, Eva Reiter, Clayton Thomas and Martin Brandlmayr based on Lyrics of Alejandra Pizarnik). Concerts in Salzburg, Wels at Konzerthaus Wien
2010 Concerts with Fred Frith, George Cremaschi and and Tobias Delius in Buenos Aires .
Festivals In Porto, Montreal,, Nickelsdorf, Chicago, New York and Berlin
Presently works together with:
bands: schnee, the magic i.d., el infierno musical, qmince, hammerriver
most recent musical partners: toto alvarez, martin brandlmayr, john butcher, eden carrasco, sebi ciurcina, werner dafeldecker, fernanda farrah, bernhard fleischmann, michaela grill, kai fagaschinski, margareth kammerer, leonel kaplan, fernando perales, eva reiter, marina rosenfeld, burkhard stangl, michael thieke,clayton thomas, ursula rucker, ken vandermark
MADE TO BREAK
Made To Break is improviser/composer Ken Vandermark's newest ensemble and his most radical. Combining elements of his interest and experience with the music of Ethiopia and the Ex, alongside the New Music ideas of John Cage and Morton Feldman, then mixing these with his sense of Jazz and Improvised Music history; Ken has devised a compositional framework for the band that can be restructured for every performance and deals with melody, sound, and rhythm in a completely unique way. This creative system gives the music of MADE TO BREAK an almost unprecedented flexibility and immediacy. The instrumentation of the group (electric bass, drums, electronics, and reeds) has given Ken an amazing palette of sound to explore in each composition, but it is the individuals involved (with Tim Daisy, Devin Hoff, and Christof Kurzmann), and their diverse approaches to improvisation, that gives the ensemble such a dynamic and spontaneous energy. MADE TO BREAK develops its preliminary work in June of 2011, then will tour Europe in November, in preparation of recording their first album in December.
Tim Daisy (percussion) has been an active member of Chicago’ s creative music scene since moving there in 1997. He has performed, composed, recorded, and toured with many of the city’s celebrated musicians and ensembles, including the Engines, KLANG, the Rempis Percussion Quartet, the Resonance Ensemble, and the Vandermark 5. In addition, Tim maintains an active composing schedule, writing for his own bands (such as Vox Arcana and Group 4-34) as well as contributing music to a number of collaborative projects- including chamber groups, jazz ensembles, dance, and film. He has had the fortunate experience to perform and record with many great improvisers both from around the world, including: Fred Anderson, Jim Baker, Jeb Bishop, Magnus Broo, Xavier Charles, James Falzone, Erik Friedlander, Per-Ake Homlander, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nate McBride, Joe McPhee, Dave Rempis, , Steve Swell, Mikolaj Trzaska, Ken Vandermark, Havard Wiik, Waclaw Zimpel, and Michael Zerang. Besides a regular concert schedule in Chicago, Tim has toured throughout North America and Europe, and has performed at numerous international music festivals.
Devin Hoff is a double-bassist, bass guitarist, guitarist and songwriter. He began playing music seriously at age 15, and has continued to do so ever since, foregoing college as he was already working at his chosen profession. Torn between the visceral energies of punk and metal and the spiritual freedom of free jazz in his youth, he has spent the last 20-plus years exploring the resonance and dissonance of these musical tendencies. Devin has played and recorded with many musicians and bands over the years, including Carla Bozulich, Nels Cline, Vijay Iyer, Carla Kihlstedt, Joshua Redman, Kira Roessler, Mike Watt, and Xiu Xiu. His main creative vehicles of the past decade or so are the “crust jazz” bass/drums duo Good For Cows (with drummer Ches Smith) and his ongoing solo bass project, The Devin Hoff Platform. He also plays under a pseudonym in various crust punk and metal projects.
Christof Kurzmann (vocals, lloopp, clarinet, alto sax), is an Austrian musician, performer, composer currently living in Buenos Aires. Beginning in 1994 he started his work in the field of experimental electronic music. Since that time Christof has collaborated with some of the most significant artists working in contemporary music and improvisation- including Toto Alvarez, Martin Brandlmayr, John Butcher, Eden Carrasco, Sebi Ciurcina, Werner Dafeldecker, Kai Fagaschinski, Fernanda Farrah, Bernhard Fleischmann, Michaela Grill, Margareth Kammerer, Leonel Kaplan, Bernhard Lang, Andrea Neumann, Fernando Perales, Eva Reiter, Marina Rosenfeld, Ursula Rucked, Burkhard Stangl, Michael Thieke, and Clayton Thomas- in groups such as El Infierno Musical, The Magic I.D., and Schee. During the course of his career Christof has performed throughout Europe, Japan, North and South Amercia. He has also been a music curator since the mid 1980's, and in 1999 founded the record label, Charhizma, which has released more than 30 cds.
Since the spring of 1986, Ken Vandermark has focused on expanding the possibilities of improvised and composed music. He's worked continuously from the middle 1990's onward- both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe- and his primary creative emphasis has been contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. Ken moved to Chicago from Boston in 1989. Since then he's performed and recorded in a vast array of contexts, and with many internationally renowned musicians (such as Johannes Bauer, Ab Baars, Magnus Broo, Peter Brötzmann, Mats Gustafsson, Terrie Hessels, Per-Ake Holmlander, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Thomas Lehn, Lasse Marhaug, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Lytton, Joe Morris, Steve Swell, Chad Taylor, Philipp Wachsmann, and Haavard Wiik), touring on a regular basis in North America, Europe, and Japan for more than half of each year. His concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad. In 1999 Ken won the MacArthur Prize for music.
(b. 9/22/64, Warwick, Rhode Island, USA; tenor sax, bass clarinet Bb clarinet, baritone sax; Bachelor of Arts in Film and Communications from McGill University, Montreal, 1986).
Since the spring of 1986, Ken Vandermark has focused on expanding the possibilities of improvised and composed music. He's worked continuously from the middle 1990's onward- both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe- and his creative emphasis has been contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. Vandermark moved to Chicago from Boston in 1989. Since then he's performed and recorded in a vast array of contexts, and with many internationally renowned musicians, touring on a regular basis in North America, Europe, and Japan for more than half of each year. His concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad.
Past groups of significance include the Vandermark 5, Powerhouse Sound, the Frame Quartet, DKV Trio, the Territory Band, NRG Ensemble, AALY, the Vandermark Quartet, Spaceways Inc., FME, and School Days. Currently, the majority of his work as a composer and improviser has been developed in Made To Break, Side A, Platform 1, Free Fall, and the Resonance Ensemble. In addition, he works on a regular basis with the total improvisation units Sonore, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, separate duos with the percussionists Paal Nilssen-Love and Tim Daisy, Lean Left, iTi, and Fire Room. Each year brings additional new projects and collaborations, which expand the range of his work. Vandermark also performs in a solo context. During December of 2008 he recorded his first soundtrack, for the documentary film, Strade d'Acqua (Roads of Water), directed by Augusto Contento. A second soundtrack will be developed during 2011, for another documentary by Contento, this time about Chicago's creative music scene. The material will include performances by Steve Albini, Wayne Montana, David Grubbs, John Herndon, and Rob Mazurek.
Besides his work as a performer, Vandermark has made many significant and highly respected contributions to both the Chicago and International Jazz/Improvised Music scenes by organizing concerts and sponsoring North American tours with a variety of artists and ensembles. With John Corbett he began programing the Empty Bottle “Wednesday Night Jazz Series” in 1996, and it brought musicians from Chicago, other parts of North America, and Europe to audiences for nearly a decade. From April 2006 to October 2008 he continued this work by co-directing the "Immediate Sound Series" with Mitch Cocanig at the Hideout; from autumn of 2005 to spring of 2009 he was a member of Umbrella Music, a musician-based group of organizers collaborating in Chicago which also programs an international music festival for Jazz and Improvised Music each November.
Citations of Merit:
-One of the "Chicagoans of the Year in the Arts, 1994" (Chicago Tribune, January 1, 1995) for his work with the Vandermark Quartet.
-Selected as one of the "25 For The Future," the most significant improvising musicians under the age of 40, by Down Beat magazine, June 1998.
-Selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 1999.
-In 2004 was named among the "Musicians Of The Year" by All About Jazz, New York.
-Picked as one of Chicago’s “40 Cultural Heroes” by Time Out magazine in September 2008.
-Was the first musician to be featured leading his own groups two years in a row at the Newport Jazz Festival (the Vandermark 5 in 2009, Powerhouse Sound in 2010).