Ken Vandermark & Nate Wooley


Ken Vandermark and Nate Wooley courtesy of the artists

Wednesday, June 13, 8pm
Chapel Performance Space
4649 Sunnyside Ave N

Presented by Earshot Jazz & Nonsequitur

Two of the most distinctive innovators in jazz and freely improvised music join forces. An evening of rare music is assured.

Reeds player Ken Vandermark and trumpeter Nate Wooley worked together for several years in the bands of distinguished leaders like Agusti Fernandez, Paul Lytton, and Joe Morris before forming a duo in 2013.

Vandermark had been a catalyst of cutting-edge jazz in Chicago, and then moved to New York in 1989 to continue to explore the terrain of free jazz and experimental music. So he was a standout player long before the MacArthur Foundation honored him in 1999 with one of its famous and generous no-strings-attached fellowships.

He has recorded many albums with his Vandermark 5 quintet and collaborated with the likes of Peter Brötzmann, Hamid Drake, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Lytton, Joe McPhee, Joe Morris, and Fred Anderson—renowned innovators, all.

In search of new collaborations and new areas of musical exploration, he travels constantly throughout North America, Europe, and Japan, and wherever he plays is acclaimed. In addition to the tenor sax, Vandermark plays baritone saxophone and the bass and Bb clarinets. He is, as the Chicago Tribune put it, a player who “has learned to harness his galvanic energy, to bring a composer’s craft to the improviser’s art.”

Oregon-raised trumpeter Nate Wooley moved to New York in 2001 and has become an in-demand trumpet player on the booming jazz, improv, noise, and new-music scenes of Brooklyn. Performing with such icons as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Ivo Perelman, Matthew Shipp, Sylvie Courvoisier, Fred Frith, and Evan Parker, as well as a host of younger players, his renown has grown as an idiosyncratic kind of trumpeter. He has so convincingly expanded the possibilities of the instrument through nonstandard techniques that even one of the current greats of his instrument, Dave Douglas, has said: “Nate Wooley is one of the most interesting and unusual trumpet players living today, and that is without hyperbole.”

Since their days of working together in the bands of other leaders, Vandermark and Wooley have released two duo albums—East By Northwest (2014) and All Directions Home (2015)—and have toured extensively in North America and Europe. Combining composition and improvisation, at times melodic, at times abstract, this duo is, as the New York Times put it, “abrasive yet sensual”—it is “music of casual extremity.”

They will celebrate the release of their new album by performing its long-form works.

–Peter Monaghan

Sliding scale $5-$15. Tickets and information at earshot.org.


Posted on

May 31, 2018