Music Program

Tuesday, April 28 at 8:00 p.m.

Tim Berne's Snakeoil

$15 general admission, $12 students/seniors, $10 members

Tim Berne (alto saxophone)
Oscar Noriega (clarinet and bass clarinet)
Matt Mitchell (piano)
Ches Smith (drums, percussion)

Now on his third release for the ECM label, Tim Berne’s Snakeoil remains a fascinating ensemble, a “chamber-like group” in Berne’s words, albeit one that packs some power. Tim’s tough alto is heard with Oscar Noriega’s earthy clarinets, Matt Mitchell’s cryptic piano, and Ches Smith’s tone-conscious drums, vibraphone, gongs and congas. Berne: “I'd decided on this very transparent instrumentation to try and avoid obvious stylistic references and to focus the listener on the musical ideas being presented.” Two years of wood-shedding preceded the recording of “Snakeoil” at New York’s Avatar Studios early in 2011, and the band was ready to roar.

Tim Berne was recently ranked in the Top 10 of Time Out New York’s “Essential NYC Jazz Icons”, an honour he will likely take with a pinch of salt, but also a reminder of the persistence of his endeavours: “Based on the recorded evidence, it may very well have been Tim Berne who was the definitive genius of NYC’s downtown 1980s jazz scene,” Time Out opined. “In the intervening years, he has remained committed to exploring the small group jazz idiom with a series of gritty, head-turning bands that have helped propel younger players such as Jim Black, Craig Taborn and Ches Smith into alt-jazz stardom” ... continue reading >>


Tuesday, May 19 at 8:00 p.m.

Joshua Abram's Natural Information Society

FREE admission ($10 - 20 suggested donation)

Joshua Abrams (guembri, bass)
Emmett Kelly (electric guitar)
Lisa Alvarado (harmonium, gong)
Ben Boye (chromatic electric autoharp)
Frank Rosaly (drums)
Mikel Avery (drums)

Bassist, composer, and collaborator Joshua Abrams has been an essential voice of Chicago's vibrant music scene for the past fifteen years, playing and recording as leader and sideman in a wide range of projects and spanning all genres (Hamid Drake, Tortoise, Tony Conrad, Sam Prekop, Jandek, Craig Taborn, Bill Dixon, Kevin Drumm, Bonny "Prince" Billy). Abrams's most recent project, Natural Information, represents yet another fascinating entry in his composing oeuvre, gathering aesthetic input from all over the globe and melding these influences into his own vivid personal statements. At the heart of Abrams's sound here is the guimbri, a three-stringed animal hide bass, traditionally used by the Gnawa of North Africa in healing ceremonies. Combining quintet formats with adroit use of sampling techniques, Abrams creates intricate psychedelic environments that join the hypnotic character of Gnawa guimbri music with more contemporary musics and methodologies. Comparisons to "Brown Rice" era Don Cherry, Sandy Bull's "Blend" recordings, and Can's "Magic" albums are well drawn.

This concert is made possible with support from David Kennedy, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation & public funds from the Music program of the New York State Council on the Arts.


Thursday, May 21 at 8:00 p.m.


FREE admission ($10 - 20 suggested donation)

Dave Rempis (saxophones)
Darren Johnston (trumpet)
Larry Ochs (saxophones)

The trio Rempis/Johnston/Ochs is a collaborative horn trio featuring Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis alongside Bay Area masters Darren Johnston on trumpet, and Larry Ochs on saxophones. This free-improvising project came together in the fall of 2011, when Rempis journeyed to the West Coast to discover some things about his compatriots on the Bay Area improvising scene. Trumpeter Johnston, a frequent visitor to Chicago, where the two had collaborated in several different settings in the years prior, suggested this trio lineup for a performance at Oakland's Uptown Nightclub. Although Rempis hadn't worked with Ochs before, the latter's renowned experience in the all-horn lineup of The ROVA Saxophone Quartet made the idea especially appealing. From the first few notes, that initial meeting flowed comfortably, yet in totally unexpected ways, with all three making logical structural decisions that gave their improvisations the feel of through-composed pieces. Eager to continue developing this language that the three later came to dub "invisible architecture," Rempis made a follow-up trip to the Bay Area in the spring of 2012 for two more concerts and a studio recording session. Spectral, the first document of their work, was the result of that visit, and shows an improvising trio playing out an audible game of chess ... continue reading >>


Friday, June 19 at 8:00 p.m.

Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit

Burchfield Penney Art Center

Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit
Thomas Johansson - cornet and flugelhorn
Mats Äleklint - trombone
Julie Kjær - alto saxophone and flute
Klaus Holm - alto and baritone saxophone
Per Åke Holmlander - tuba
Ketil Gutvik - electric guitar
Tommi Keranen - electronics
Jon Rune Strøm - double and electric bass
Christian Meaas Svendsen - double and electric bass
Andreas Wildhagen - drums and percussion
Paal Nilssen-Love - drums and percussion
Christian Obermayer - live sound

This concert is made possible with support from David Kennedy, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation & public funds from the Music program of the New York State Council on the Arts.

t: 716-854-1694
f: 716-854-1696

Tues.—Fri. 11-6
Sat. 11-2
Sun. & Mon. closed

from Mar. 20, 2015
through May. 1, 2015

Amid/In WNY 2015

Amid/In WNY 2015 is a conversationally-derived casual survey of the art of our region at this moment. It does not include everyone and, in the end, will not include everyone. It's not planned as some all-encompassing, omnibus survey. We have used the term "studio trolling" to describe our process and that's an apt description. Bobby Griffiths • Adele Henderson • Billy Huggins • George Hughes • Kevin Kline • Benjamin Minter • Rodney Taylor • Necole Zayatz • Curated by Kyle Butler, John Massier, Rebecca Wing