Tim Berne & Gregg Belisle-Chi Duo /Gordon Grdina


Gregg Belisle-Chi and Tim Berne photo courtesy of The Royal Room

Thursday, March 3, 7:30pm
Royal Room
5000 Rainier Ave
$20 advance/$25 doors


Brooklyn native and stalwart of the creative music scene, Tim Berne, brings his powerhouse alto saxophone playing and relentless curiosity back to the Northwest, where he was first drawn to the power of R&B through the music of Julius Hemphill while attending Lewis & Clark College in the 1970s. Berne has been performing internationally since 1982 with various ensembles including Caos Totale, Fractured Fairy Tales, Bloodcount, and Snakeoil among others. He has made over 50 recordings as a leader for labels such as Soul Note, Sony, JMT, ECM, and Intakt Records. Through his collaborative approach to improvisation, his distinct angular and off-kilter melodies, catalog of compositions, and work as record producer at Screwgun Records, Berne has left an indelible mark on the modern jazz and creative music scenes.

Asian-American guitarist and composer, Gregg Belisle-Chi, will be touring the West Coast with the saxophonist in March. A graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, and now based in Brooklyn, Belisle-Chi embarks on a new collaboration with Berne on their debut duet record, Mars (Intakt Records). Belisle-Chi’s 2021 release on Relative Pitch Records, Koi, is Belisle-Chi’s solo acoustic guitar interpretations of ten Berne compositions, which were produced by David Torn and Berne himself. Described by the New York Times as “a subtle stunner,” his work draws from the spaces between the spiritual and the analytical, the ethereal and the tactile, inviting listeners to a place of pause and reflection; music that “oozes beauty both in concept and execution, making us luxuriate in its immersive sonorities” (Part-Time Audiophile). Berne and Belisle-Chi will perform works off the latest record during the second set of the night.

Gordon Grdina photo by Peter Gannushkin

Opening the evening is Vancouver-based oud/guitarist, Gordon Grdina, with a set of Tim Berne compositions from his latest record Gordon Grdina : The Music of Tim Berne : Oddly Enough, on Grdina’s newly launched label AttaBoyGirl Records. Grdina moves fluidly between contemporary jazz, free improvisation, and world music stages, lending his distinctively fresh voice to a range of projects sifting through sound worlds as diverse as Bartok-inspired chamber jazz to explorations of Iraqi folk melodies.

This evening will feature three consummate improvisers skilled at interpreting diverse repertoires connecting through the nexus of Tim Berne’s repertoire. These musicians will doubtlessly move boldly through expansive sonorities, touching on fragments of familiar melodies to propel and energize the performance. Listeners can expect an unpredictable and dynamic performance spanning from soft and textural playing to momentary explosions of hard grooves. The Royal Room will present a great opportunity to witness light-footed and sensitive improvising musicians speaking a collective language. For tickets please visit royalroomseattle.org.


Posted on

January 31, 2022