History | Past Performers | Reviews

1998 Seattle Improvised Music Festival
Thursday, April 30 -- Saturday, May 2
Speakeasy Cafe, Second Avenue at Bell
9 p.m., $5-15 sliding scale donation


The 13th edition of the festival -- the longest-running event of its kind in North America -- will present accomplished visiting musicians who have dedicated the majority of their musical lives to performing and recording non-idiomatic, freely improvised music.


Thursday, April 30

Jack Wright
Hailing from Boulder, Colorado, Jack Wright is a pioneer of free-form alto/tenor/soprano saxophone, a fiery individualist who in the mid-1970s founded the Wet Spot in Philadelphia, one of the first all-improv venues in the country. Like many fellow practitioners of free improv (about which he has written extensively), Wright is best known in Europe, where he often appears, but he has also spent 25 years tirelessly taking his art form to all the nooks and crannies of improv in the United States.

Day & Taxi
This Swiss trio comes with the recommendation of such dependable purveyors of new jazz and improvised music as John Corbett ("a delightful little group") and Milo Fine ("the music, imbued with an open breathing quality, strikes an admirable unself-conscious balance between the cerebral and the visceral, the direct and the oblique"). The group's leader, Christoph Gallio, is a soprano and alto saxophonist who has recorded with leading European and American figures on such ground-breaking labels as Unit Records, Leo Lab, and his own percasio production. Bassist Dominique Girod is a former student of the great Jean-Francois Jenny-Clark, and drummer Dieter Ulrich is a veteran player who has accompanied the likes of Trevor Watts, Urs Blochlinger, Tom Varner, and David Taylor.

Day & Taxi's appearance is supported by Pro Helvetia - Arts Council of Switzerland

Friday, May 1

Toshi Makihara
This innovative and original percussionist employs percussion instruments from many musical cultures, as well as home-made instruments, electronics, bicycle wheels, Styrofoam ice chests, and other found objects. He has performed with many leading musical improvisors, including saxophonist Gianni Gebbia and harpist Elizabeth Panzer, not to forget Seattle's own Wally Shoup. He has also performed with many dance and theater companies. Makihara is an active organizer of improvised music events, including the Philadelphia-based Improvisation in Media and Performance. His work reveals an interest in spiritual matters, informed by doctoral studies in religion at Temple University and his investigation of many religious and mystical traditions.

Saturday, May 2

Doug Carroll
Cellist Doug Carroll creates compelling new music through his use of electronic processing, amplification, and improvising to prerecorded music. He has studied composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Lou Harrison, and Anthony Braxton, and has completed graduate studies at one of the country's leading centers of electronic and experimental music, Mills College in Oakland, California.

Tim Perkis / John Shiurba / Matt Ingalls
This trio from San Francisco includes three seasoned players:

Tim Perkis has been performing and recording live electronic and computer music for many years in North America and Europe, exploring "the emergence of life-like qualities in complex systems of interaction." Founder of legendary computer network The Hub, Perkis has collaborated with such new-music luminaries as Chris Brown, Tom Nunn, Gino Robair, Leo Wadada Smith, William Winant, and John Zorn.

Guitarist John Shiurba is a composer and improviser whose musical pursuits span open improvisation, art-rock, and noise. In his rock guise, he is a member of Bay Area bands Eskimo, Ebola Soup, and the Molecules. As an improvising guitarist, he has shared the stage with Myles Boisen, Eugene Chadbourne, Carla Kihlstedt, and Gino Robair, with whom he recorded the forthcoming album Bubble & Squeak. A CD with Kihlstedt, shakuhachi improvisor Phil Gelb, and Seattle bassist Matthew Sperry is also forthcoming.

Matt Ingalls is a prize-winning clarinetist and computer-instrument designer whose compositions and performances employ acoustic instruments, voices, computer-generated tape, and interactive electronics. He also designs computer-music software.

The 13th Seattle Improvised Music Festival was organized by
Wally Shoup, Dennis Rea, and Matthew Sperry

Past Performers | Reviews | Other Sounds Concert Series | The Tentacle