Look what’s happening during the Portland Jazz Festival!!
Friday, February 22, 8:30 pm
Blue Monk (3341 SE Belmont)
Battle Hymns & Gardens + Angelica Sanchez/Phillip Greenlief/Sam Ospovat (NYC/Bay Area)
Fantastic double-bill featuring our dear friend Phillip Greenlief – Recipient of the San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie Award- and outstanding NYC pianist Angelica Sanchez with Bay Area drum dynamo Sam Ospovat. You won’t want to miss this stellar trio – you get both bands for less than the price of a movie!
Perry Robinson with Battle Hymns & Gardens
Monday, December 17, 8 pm (doors 7:30 pm)
Backspace (115 NW Fifth Avenue, Portland)
$5-15 sliding | All ages
The ebullient and talented jazz/avant-garde clarinetist Perry Robinson plays Monday, December 17 at Backspace (115 Northwest 5th Avenue in bustling Old Town Portland) with drummer Tim DuRoche, bassist André St James and Seattle trombone great Marc Smason —sharing the bill with Battle Hymns & Gardens
Perry Robinson (clarinet)
The son of Earl Robinson, famed songwriter and compadre of Pete Seeger, Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie, who wrote ”The House I Live In,” “Joe Hill,” young Perry Robinson grew up surrounded by music of all shapes and sizes. Growing up in New York during the 1950s, he was exposed to a rich array of jazz, including the music of Tony Scott, who would become an early influence. Awarded a scholarship to the radical Lenox School of Jazz, Perry soon found himself in the orbit of Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry, George Russell, Herb Pomeroy, Bill Evans, Max Roach, Kenny Dorham as well as the entire Modern Jazz Quartet.
Perry recorded his first album as a leader in 1962 in Newark for Savoy Records with a very young Kenny Barron on piano, bassist Henry Grimes, and Bill Evans Trio drummer Paul Motian. He recorded with Grimes again in 1965 for the ESP label in a trio setting. Later forming important alliances with New Thing musicians, Perry worked with Bill Dixon, recorded with Archie Shepp on his 1966 album Mama Too Tight and worked with the Jazz Composers Orchestra in the early 1970s and participated in the Liberation Music Orchestra, led by bassist Charlie Haden. Throughout the 1970s, Perry worked with German multi-instrumentalist Gunter Hampel, along with vocalist Jeanne Lee, drummer Steve McCall and wind players Mark Whitecage and Thomas Keyserling. Since then, Perry has been leading his own groups as well as appearing on recordings of Clarinet Summit with Alvin Batiste, John Carter, with William Parker, and with pianist Anat Fort, among others.
GATHER is a new dance-music piece about convergence and community scheduled to premier October 25–28 and November 1–3, 2012 at Conduit Dance in Portland, OR.
Developed by myself and choreographer Tere Mathern (co-artistic directors/co-creators), GATHER explores notions of interdependence, connection, singularity, isolation, division— offering both creators and the audience ways to think about how we gather, create, agree and disagree and navigate common purpose —when the commons becomes more and more fleeting in our lives.
Our seventh project (we’ve previously created two full-length performances including PIVOT, Mathern´s commission for White Bird in January 2010 as well as smaller works over the last five years), GATHER forges new ground for both Tere and myself —foregrounding the role of discovery, improvisatory composition, and group-driven creativity as a more richly concentrated element.
GATHER includes some of the region´s exciting artists: Battle Hymns & Gardens (saxophonists Reed Wallsmith, Joe Cunningham —both members of the critically acclaimed Blue Cranes—bassist Jon Shaw, drummer Tim DuRoche) and dancers Kristine Anderson, Eowyn Barrett, Lyra Butler, Tere Mathern, Rachel Slater, and Joshua Thrower.
WHAT YOU CAN DO — HOW YOU CAN BECOME PART OF THE CONVERGENCE
We currently have a USA Projects Campaign running —through October 22. And we need your help.
We need to raise $5500! We are seeking funds for the final phase of the project and to pay artists a more ‘livable’ artist fee. We also need funds for production costs – a costume designer, and a lighting designer/technical director.
One of the overarching themes of the work is how we change the conversation about the commons and activate an ethos of “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Your donation makes you part of that “we” – helping to reinvigorate the commons through live art and ask the questions that illuminate who we are, what we believe, and how we GATHER. You can give as little as $1 or as much as $1500 and get a live music performance in your home!
Your donations are also tax deductible! We are grateful for your support! Thank you for supporting live art and new ideas!
NYC’s Chris Cochrane—music from THEM (Tzadik)
with Battle Hymns & Gardens
Friday, June 1, 8 pm
The Ford Building (2505 SE 11th Ave., Portland)
Legendary Downtown NYC guitarist Chris Cochrane is doing several shows in the Northwest to promote his release, THEM (on John Zorn’s Tzadik label) featuring music from a multidisciplinary performance work created in collaboration with movement artist Ishmael Houston-Jones and writer Dennis Cooper. Mr. Cochrane will be playing music from that CD as well as new compositions ranging from songs to walls of sound, to barely audible drones.
Chris Cochrane is a guitarist who has been composing and playing music in NYC for 29 years. Chris has played with Zeena Parkins, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Eszter Balint, Thurston Moore, Mike Patton, Henry Kaiser, Andrea Centazzo, Annie Gosfield, Tim Hodgkinson, Miguel Frasconi, Richard Buckner, Davey Williams, Ladonna Smith, Jim Pugliese and many others. He has composed music for Dennis Cooper, John Jasperse, Neil Greenberg, Nayland Blake, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Jennifer Monson, Circus Amok and others. He was in the bands No Safety and Curlew.
BATTLE HYMNS AND GARDENS:
Reed Wallsmith (alto saxophone, composition)
Joe Cunningham (tenor saxophone, penny whisle, composition)
Jon Shaw (contrabass)
Tim DuRoche (drums, little instruments)
Battle Hymns and Gardens was originally formed in 2007 as a free improvisation ensemble, and have evolved into one of the most compelling units on the Portland scene, balancing original compositions reminiscent of Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman and Loft Jazz era giants like Sam Rivers with spacious, lyrical landscapes, a la Paul Motian and Roscoe Mitchell—as well as a healthy dose of deeply conversational interplay and humor—delivering music that is at once cinematic, deeply human and ever engaging.
Battle Hymns & Gardens have appeared in Portland as part of the 2012 Portland Jazz Festival, they can be heard this summer at PDX Pop Now!, and individually as part of the Creative Music Guild’s Improvisation Summit of Portland. They are also working on an evening-length score for choreographer Tere Mathern Dance that will premiere in October/November 2012. Their first audio release will be available in summer 2012.
“[Battle Hymns & Gardens are] persuasively combining some ‘60s-style free-jazz possibilities with a more structured framework to create some of the city’s most intriguing improvisation.” – Willamette Week
Anticipating a rift in the space-time continuum, or rather to fend off any potential litigious bar-fight with The Man, your favorite freewheeling ensemble Better Homes and Gardens will henceforth be known as Battle Hymns and Gardens –look for a new CD, more festival appearances, and many more exciting, new new things on the horizon. Meanwhile join us for an evening of music at The Blue Monk (3341 SE Belmont), on Sunday, March 4, 8 pm, as part of the “Ninkasi presents Sunday Night Jazz” series. It will be lovely, challenging, full of discovery and wonder…just like any journey to the edge of the frontier should be!