Seattle Improvised Music Festival (Night 1)
March 11 @ 8:00 pm
Founded in 1986, the Seattle Improvised Music Festival (SIMF) is the longest-running festival in the US dedicated solely to music that is completely improvised.
Emerging from a radical experimental lineage that includes free jazz, modern classical, electro-acoustic and noise music, free improvisation explores the sonic possibilities of the instrument, unencumbered by fixed rhythms, chord progressions, tunes, or preconceived structure. There are no scores, charts, or plans; the form is revealed in real time, pulled from thin air. This is truly “music of the moment,” allowing artists from diverse musical backgrounds to collaborate in an atmosphere of spontaneity, intuition, playfulness, and discovery.
This year’s festival organizers Haley Freedlund, Chris Icasiano, and Steve Peters have invited four esteemed visiting artists – clarinetist Ben Goldberg (Bay Area), saxophonists Joe McPhee and Sam Newsome (both from NY), and pianist Dana Reason (Corvallis, OR) – to perform in curated groupings with a diverse selection of local performers representing several generations of Seattle improvisers, including veterans such as trumpeter Jim Knodle, bassist Pete Leinonen, clarinetist Laurel Evers, and Degenerate Art Ensemble vocalist Crow Nishimura, as well as pianist Marina Albero, flutist Leanna Keith, percussionist Rebekah Ko, and many others. Most of these artists have never played SIMF previously, and many will be meeting and playing together for the first time.
Concerts take place at Gallery 1412, Good Shepherd Center Chapel, and Cafe Racer. In addition to the evening concerts, festival highlights include the popular Saturday afternoon matinee featuring improvising dancers and musicians, a panel discussion led by Dana Reason, and an open jam on Sunday night for musicians of all instruments and levels of experience.