Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival 2015
NBS and the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival(CIPTF)
Although puppetry has been a staple of Chicago’s theater scene since the 1950’s, there has never been a major international festival celebrating the rich and varied art form.In January 2015, Blair Thomas changes all this as the founder and artistic director of the inaugural Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival.From the 16th – 25th of January venues all around Chicago will showcase an entertaining and eclectic array of puppet styles from around the world including marionettes, shadow puppets, Bunraku puppets, tiny toy puppets, and distinctive, innovative styles of contemporary puppetry. Nearly 50 different performances are currently slated, showcasing more than a dozen puppet theater acts and artists from around the globe, presented by 10 Chicago top cultural institutions in partnership with the festival.
Founded to establish Chicago as a center for the advancement of the art of puppetry, the 10-day, city-wide Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival is a mission-driven program of Chicago-based theater company Blair Thomas & Co. Founded in 2002, Blair Thomas & Co. is recognized as an international contributor to contemporary puppetry and a creator of uniquely expressive spectacle theater.
Venues for the festival include The Field Museum, The University of Chicago, The Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and our very own Links Hall, among others.Specific acts have yet to be named.For more information visit its page on Facebook, follow its progress on Twitter,@ChiPuppetFest, and find a complete list of performances and seminars at the official website.
“Nasty, Brutish & Short Presents…” showcases the rich Chicago puppet scene over multiple programs and features Dave Herzog’s Marionettes, Noah Ginex Puppet Company, Meredith Miller, Rough House, Sea Beast Puppetry, Von Orthal Puppets and more to be announced soon!
On Saturday, January 24 “Nasty, Brutish & Short Presents…” hosts a late-night International Puppet Slam featuring the riskier short-form work of the festival’s visiting artists for adult audiences.
Tickets for individual NBS events go on sale September 29. Links Hall is also offering a special NASTYPASS, granting entrance to all NBS events during the Puppet Festival for only $30.
Saturday, January 17
1:00 PM -SNORF!by Noah Ginex Puppet Company
Click here to purchase tickets.
Sunday, January 18
1:00 PM -Stars on Stringsby Dave Herzog’s Marionettes/ The Dunworth Puppets
7:30 PM –Nasty, Brutish & Short: A Puppet Cabaret* featuring VonOrthal Puppets, Sea Beast Puppet Company, Jessica Simon, and Hearts and Brains (repeated on January 19)
Click here to purchase tickets.
Monday, January 19
7:30 PM –Nasty, Brutish & Short: A Puppet Cabaret* featuring VonOrthal Puppets, Sea Beast Puppet Company, Jessica Simon, and Hearts and Brains (repeated from January 18) Click here to purchase tickets.
Tuesday, January 20
7:30 PM –Nasty, Brutish & Short:Drunken Half-AngelfeaturingMichael Montenegro,Jude Mathews andNoah Silver
Click here to purchase tickets.
Wednesday, January 21
7:30 PM – Nasty,Brutish & Short: A Puppet Cabaret* featuring Joe Mazza, Rough House, Vanessa Valliere, and Meredith Miller (repeated on January 22)
Click here to purchase tickets.
Thursday, January 22
7:30 PM – Nasty,Brutish & Short: A Puppet Cabaret* featuring Joe Mazza, Rough House, Vanessa Valliere, and Meredith Miller (repeated from January 21)
Click here to purchase tickets.
Friday, January 23
7:30 PM –Nasty, Brutish & Short:Drunken Half-AngelfeaturingMichael Montenegro,Jude Mathews andNoah Silver
(repeated from January 20)
Click here to purchase tickets.
Saturday, January 24
1:00 PM —The Joshua Show
Click here to purchase tickets.
10:30 PM —The International Puppet Slam* featuring artists from around the world TBA –
Funded in part by the Puppet Slam Network (a project of IBEX Puppetry).
Click here to purchase tickets.
The ABC Project is a celebration of the thriving improvisational dance and music scenes currently forging new territoriesin Amsterdam, Berlin, and Chicago. Join us for a week of music and danceat multiple locations in Chicago followed by the Doek Festival 2016 in Amsterdam!
Supported by the MacArthur International Connections Fund
The Jason Roebke Octet engagement at Doek ABC Festival 2016is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists Internationalin partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
ABC Festival in Chicago – April 10-17, 2016
Links Hall and Constellation team up to co-produce one week packed with improvised dance and music.
Sun 4/10 – 8:30pm – CHICAGO/AMSTERDAM Mixed Groups @Hungry Brain
Mon 4/11 – 7pm – PEEP SHOW: Nicholas Cline Precious Jennings Jane Jerardi Eric Boeren @Links Hall at Constellation
Mon 4/11 – 9pm – BOEREN QUINTET & DIKEMAN/WIERBOS ENSEMBLE @The Whistler
Set 1: Boeren Quintet
Eric Boeren – cornet, Wilbert Dejoode – bass, Gregg Moore – tuba, Jason Adasiewicz – vibes, Mike Reed – drums
Set 2: Dikeman/Wierbos Ensemble
Wolter Wierbos – trombone, John Dikeman – tenor, Mars Williams – tenor, Kent Kessler – bass, Avreeayl Ra – drums
Tues 4/12 – 4pm – TECHNOLOGY OF THE CIRCLE WORKSHOP – Onye Ozuzu
Tues 4/12 – 7pm – RANDOM PAIRINGS
Dancers: Julia Rae Antonick, Keisha Bennett, Ayako Kato, Matt McMunn, Jonathan Meyer, Cristal Sabbagh
Musicians: Eric Boeren, Wilbert de Joode, John Dikeman, Oscar Jan Hoogland, Gregg Moore, Michael Moore,
Wed 4/13 – 12pm – IMPROVISATION AND INSTANT CHOREOGRAPHY WORKSHOP – Michael Schumacher
Wed 4/13 – 9:30pm – OSCAR JAN HOOGLAND CHICAGO PROJECT | SOUND OF THE CITY WORKSHOP
Thu 4/14 12pm – IMPROVISATION AND INSTANT CHOREOGRAPHY WORKSHOP –Michael Schumacher
Thu 4/14 – 7pm – 3-ON-3: MICHAEL SCHUMACHER, GREG MOORE, WILBERT DE JOODE
Set 1 – Michael Schumacher w/Jessica Cornish, JulieAnn Graham, Jake Wark, Gerrit Hatcher, Michael Vatcher
Set 2 – Gregg Moore w/John Dikeman, Joshua Abrams
Set 3 – Wilbert de Joode w/Tomeka Reid, Peter Manu, Mary Wu
Fri 4/15 – 12pm – IMPROVISATION AND INSTANT CHOREOGRAPHY WORKSHOP – Michael Schumacher
Fri 4/15 – 8:30pm – AVAILABLE JELLY
Eric Boern – cornet, Michael Moore – alto saxophone, Wolter Wierbos – trombone, Ernst Glerum – bass, Michael Vatcher – drums
Sat 4/16 – 7pm – Dans Dance
Sat 4/16 – 8:30pm – AMSTERDAM REAL BOOK
Meet the ABC Artists
Josh began his dance training at the age of 17 with Paul Winkelman learning ballroom dance. He finished the BFA Program with the University of Utah’s Modern Dance Department in 2008. He has had the opportunity to work with Stephen Koester, Eric Handman, Surfscape Contemporary Dance Theatre, John Beasant III, Zeng Wan Shen, GoGo Vertigoat Productions, Jessie Youngblood, The Seldoms, Khecari, and Kate Corby and Dancers. Josh is heavily influenced by theatre and the philosophy that life is too short to take too seriously.
Julia Rae Antonick
Julia Antonick is a dancer and choreographer whose movement and choreography reflect a digestion of modern/contemporary dance and Indonesian dance with an emphasis on kinetics, filigree, and partnering work. She has been immersed in an ongoing duet collaboration with her partner Jonathan Meyer since 2007 that focuses on the research and investigation of duet based movement forms and the performative crafting of those queries and since 2006 she has been making work with percussionist Joe St.Charles. With Meyer, she has served as Artistic Director for Khecari since 2010. Julia graduated from the Chicago Academy for the Arts with the Dance Department’s Award of Excellence and received her BFA in dance from CalArts. She has received choreographic residencies at Djerassi, Ragdale, Links Hall (LinkUp), the Chicago Cultural Center (DanceBridge), The Storefront Theater, and was chosen for The School at Jacob’s Pillow Modern/Contemporary workshop and Mordine’s Emerging Artist Mentoring Program. She has received grants from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Illinois Arts Council, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Chicago Seminar on Dance and Performance, The Weasel Fund, Community Arts Assistance Program, was awarded the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Grant for 2009/2010, received honorable mention for the 3Arts award in 2012 & 2013, and is a US Artists Fellowship nominee along with Meyer for 2015. Julia is currently an artist in residence at Indian Boundary and Revere Parks in Chicago through Khecari and is currently developing a new work Orders from the Horse with her partner Jonathan Meyer that investigates surrender in improvisation that was one of six US dance project shortlisted for The Kevin Spacey Foundation’s Artists of Choice Award in 2015.
Mikel Patrick Avery
Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist Mikel Patrick Avery has been active within the Chicago art scene since moving to the area 8 years ago. Established as a jazz drummer, he is commonly recognized for his orchestral and melodic style of drumming that often involves the use of unconventional “non-musical” objects. Mikel is also a dedicated composer, photographer, producer and educator. In recent years, he has become an integral voice in Rob Mazurek’s Moon Cycles, Joshua Abrams’s Natural Information Society, The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and Theaster Gates’s Black Monks of Mississippi. He also leads several of his own projects including 1/2 Size Piano Trio, Mikel Patrick Avery *PLAY*, and a new conceptual dance company co-led with artist Amanda Avery called The Something Beautiful Movement Orchestra. Mikel has performed at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Documenta 13 (in Kassel Germany), Kepler Studio (Berlin), Guelph Jazz Festival, White Cube (London), MCA Chicago, and he has given a performance for President Barack Obama. The Hyde Park Jazz Festival and Rebuild Foundation commissioned Avery’s PARADE to premiere at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival in 2015.
Keisha is a Dance Major at Columbia College Chicago. She is currently a Teaching Artist Assistant at Crown Elementary Community Acd Fine Arts Center where she teaches an after school dance class alongside Teaching Artist, Leslie Woods. She was part of the dance ensemble in Onye Ozuzu and Greg Ward’s Black Saint and the Sinner Lady that premiered in Millennium Park last summer and Keyierra Collins’ DOUBLE DUTCH TRAINING GROUND.
For more than ten years, cornetist, improviser, composer, and music presenter Josh Berman has been an essential contributor to Chicago’s active improvised music scene. His work encompasses both developing opportunities for presenting improvised music, and performing in a variety of highly collaborative formats. He’s a co-founder of critically acclaimed Umbrella Music, as well as co-curator of the Emerging Improvisers’ Organization. He’s performed as bandleader of his own groups, Josh Berman Trio, Josh Berman’s Old Idea, and Josh Berman and His Gang, and as co-leader of Chicago Luzern Exchange. In addition to his work as bandleader, Berman has performed and recorded with some of the most internationally respected musicians and composers in jazz and improvised music: Bill Dixon, Ab Baars, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Rob Mazurek, Jeb Bishop, and Paul Lytton. He is also a frequent collaborator with dance artists; his collaboration with dancer Ayako Kato and musician Jason Roebke was awarded a CROSSCUT grant for New Collaborations in Sound/Movement from Experimental Sound Studio and Links Hall. Berman was named in the DownBeat critics’ poll among Rising Stars, Trumpet. He has toured the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan.
Jeb Bishop was born in Raleigh, North Carolina during the Cuban missile crisis. He began playing the trombone at the age of 10, under the tutelage of Cora Grasser. He majored in classical trombone performance at Northwestern University from 1980-82, studying with Frank Crisafulli. Deciding he did not want to pursue a career as an orchestral musician, he returned to Raleigh in 1982 and took up engineering studies at NC State University. Raleigh’s developing underground rock scene attracted him, and from 1982-84 he played bass guitar in rock bands in the Raleigh area. In late 1995, Bishop joined the Vandermark 5 as one of its founding members, and remained with the band through the end of 2004. During this period he also became associated with many other groups, including the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, School Days, Ken Vandermark’s Territory Band, and his own Jeb Bishop Trio, and became a very frequent participant in ad hoc and free-improvised concerts in Chicago. Bishop performed in the inaugural concerts of two of the longest-running free-music concert series in Chicago: the Myopic Books weekly concerts (originally at Czar Bar; with Rev Trio) and the Empty Bottle Wednesday night concert series (with a quartet of Terri Kapsalis, Kevin Drumm, and Jim O’Rourke). He curated the monthly Chicago Improvisers Group concerts at the Green Mill from 1999-2002, and co-curated the weekly Eight Million Heroes concert series at Sylvie’s in 2005-6. Bishop has made dozens of recordings with many different groups, has toured North America and Europe many times, and maintains a busy performing schedule.
In a way every improviser’s story is a refraction of their personal experience. Cornetist and composer Eric Boeren’s begins in the brass band in the Netherlands’ far south—where folks speak their own dialect—grooving on the horns’ interplay and massed power. After he came to Amsterdam to study, he learned other communal dialects, as free improviser and as a member of (among other bands) the Peru-to-Madagascar-to-Ellington co-op Available Jelly, Sean Bergin’s South African-influenced M.O.B., new music composers Guus Janssen’s and Paul Termos’s improvising groups, and Michiel Braam’s orchestra Bik Bent Braam, with its musical mobiles. From the mid-1990s Eric has helped organize weekly improvisers’ series in Amsterdam, where he began his own investigations into Ornette Coleman’s compositional and improvisational methods—Ornette’s way of tweaking forms and inventing new material on the fly. That led to the Eric Boeren 4tet with Michael Moore on reeds, Wilbert de Joode on bass and Han Bennink on drums, a band that mixes Coleman’s themes and Boeren’s contrasting numbers in freewheeling suites. Eric’s compositions and musical games are designed to facilitate focused collective improvisations. Boeren keeps opening doors, for the fresh views. He also leads the HO&I (HOt and Improvised), with the contrasting electric guitars of Franky Douglas and Paul Pallesen, plus Julius Peter Nitsch’s electric bass and Tijn Jans’s drums. Boeren’s and Douglas’s compositions mix free funk with Caribbean, Latin American and South African beats. Different companions, a different emphasis—but with every voice contributing to a spontaneous conversation.
Jessica Cornish attended the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign to study dance improvisation with Kirstie Simson. After graduating in 2012, Cornish traveled to China through the Freeman Foundation Theatre Award for a cultural performance exchange. Funded by a Beverly Blossom Award, she continued on to India where she worked with Kolkata SANVED; a program that uses dance therapy to help women recover from sex trafficking and prostitution. After India, Cornish went on to Berlin to study with Andrew Morrish, a movement and voice improviser, and then on to Amsterdam where she worked with Jija Sohn and took class at SNDO, De Theatereschool’s BA in choreography program. Cornish moved to Chicago in 2013 where she has since worked with phenomenal movement and performance artists such as Hope Goldman, Victoria Bradford, Alana Parekh, and Lia Kohl. In 2013 Cornish was awarded the Beverly Blossom Alumni Award to support a choreographic project with Linda Lehovec in Santiago. In 2014, Cornish was a LinkUp artist in residence at Links Hall and began working on SKIRTS, a collaboration with Victoria Bradford funded by a Chicago Cultural Center DCASE grant. Cornish was a Guest Artist in residence at UIUC, and spent two months in residence at PLACE, Lake Charles LA. In 2015, Cornish was invited by the Krannert Center for Performing Arts at the University of Illinois as an emerging artist to develop her Ensemble of Soloists Workshop in residence. Cornish was most recently selected as one of 12 dance artists in the Chicago area to participate in the Regional Dance Development Initiative, a program that will help to further develop Chicago’s Dance Community. Currently, Cornish is developing Bridges, a project that will produce performances on top of several of Chicago’s moveable bridges as well as establishing her performance practice with one of Chicago’s upright bass musicians, Albert Wildeman.
Wilbert De Joode
Wilbert de Joode (1955) is a veritable research scientist of bass pizzicato and bowing techniques. A self-taught musician, he has been playing the double-bass since 1982. He began working in groups that improvised within a jazz framework. Other musicians were soon drawn to his idiosyncratic style, and in the mid 80s he played in groups led by Vera Vingerhoeds, Armando Cairo and Ig Henneman where he further developed his improvisation skills. He came into contact with such musicians as J.C.Tans, Rinus Groeneveld, Michiel Braam, Han Bennink, Han Buhrs (Schismatics) and Ab Baars. De Joode is currently one of the most active bass players on the European improvised music circuit. His individual style and musicality transforms the double bass into an equal partner in the most varied ensembles. A personal tone colour, exploration of the outer registers, quirky improvisations and the use of gut strings contribute to an instantly recognizable and intriguing sound. The seventeen improvised pieces on his first solo cd Olo (distributed by ToonDist) show how rich and complex his sound on the double bass is.
John Dikeman is an American saxophonist currently residing in Amsterdam. Drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources, John’s playing runs the gamut of improvised music and technique. John has performed extensively in the Netherlands and USA as well as Canada, Brasil, Russia and throughout Europe and the Middle East. While on the east coast John performed extensively with many of the top musicians from the USA including Nate Wooley, Mike Pride, Daniel Carter, Tatsuya Nakatani, etc. In 2004 Dikeman moved to Cairo, Egypt where he worked full time as a professional musician and educator, leading numerous ensembles as well as freelancing in a wide range of settings that included performing as a soloist for the Cairo Symphony Orchestra and being a long term member of the band of Nubian pop star Mohamed Mounir. Since moving to Amsterdam, Dikeman has performed with Joe McPhee, Jeb Bishop, Han Bennink, members of The Ex, Roy Campbell, Ab Baars, and many others. John was selected for the 2012 Young VIP tour which featured the trio Cactus Truck plus guests on tour throughout the Netherlands. John was invited to join Stichting Doek as a core artistic member in 2012. In the fall of 2012 Cactus Truck completed a 37 concert tour of the USA. Their performance at Zebulon in New York City earned them a place on Andrey Henkin’s list of Best Concerts of 2012 for the New York City Jazz Record.
JulieAnn Graham is an improviser, teacher and massage therapist. She teaches movement to actors at Columbia College Chicago, and the Second City Training Center. Her educators and collaborators have included Angie Hauser, Asimina Chremos, Keith Hennessey, The Architects, Julia Mayer, Nana Shineflug and Ayako Kato. Her work has been shown at Links Hall, The Other Dance Festival, Second City, and Hamlin Park. Her movement education continues into the study of Bartenieff Fundamentals, a movement connectivity practice. She has two amazing children Nora and Levi who she improvises with every day.
Oscar Jan Hoogland
In DOEK, Oscar Jan Hoogland represents the so-called “fourth generation” of Dutch improvisers, in the lineage of Misha Mengelberg, Guus Janssen and Cor Fuhler—smart pianist/composers with an itch to make music that cuts across genres, who don’t take themselves so seriously, but whose whimsical music has real bite and brainpower. Hoogland plays in a plethora of groups. They include: EKE, a trio with Yedo Gibson on reeds and Gerri Jäger on drums where he plays his unique homemade electric clavichord; the smart and playfully improvising quartet The Ambush Party with Natalio Sued on tenor Marcos Baggiani on drums and his long time compagnon Harald Austbø on cello. He plays duo with drummer Han Bennink, in Gibson’s roiling Royal Improvisers Orchestra, and in the bicycle-portable, words-and-music street outfit, the Bakfietsband. He leads his own recordplayer orchestra The Phonograph Orchestra and then there is the improvising post-punk band The Job where he takes up the guitar a moog and a megaphone to be one of four one-man-bands on stage next to Jochem van Tol, Onno Govaert and Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti. Hoogland has been a devoted organizer over the years not only pushing his own bands forward but also initiating projects like the scene based repertoir project The Amsterdam Real Book, setting up festivals and music serries in Amsterdam as well as running his own recordlabel De Platenbakkerij. Currently he colleborates as a programmer with the EYE-filmmuseum and the OT301 for respectively the E*cinema series and the Eddie and the Eagles.
Saxophonist/clarinetist/improvisor/composer Keefe Jackson arrived in Chicago in 2001 from his native Fayettevile, Arkansas. He performs regularly in the U.S. and in Europe with many musicians including Pandelis Karayorgis, Tomeka Reid, Tim Daisy, Dave Rempis, Jeb Bishop, Jason Roebke, Guillermo Gregorio, Jason Adasiewicz, Mike Reed, Jason Stein, Josh Berman, Aram Shelton, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Frank Rosaly, Jason Roebke, Anton Hatwich, and Marc Unternaehrer in groups such as the Fast Citizens, Chicago Luzern Exchange, Keefe Jackson’s Project Project (big band) and Likely So (reed septet). He has also appeared with Michael Moore, Ab Baars, Michiel Braam, Satoko Fujii, and Anthony Coleman. Bill Meyer, writing in the Chicago Reader, commended: “…the impeccable logic of his lines and the richness of his tone leave you wanting more… Jackson’s high-register squiggles and coarsely voiced, rippling runs push the limits of the tenor’s tonal envelope.” Frank van Herk, writing in de Volkskrant (Amsterdam), asserted that “…[Jackson] has an old-fashioned, warm-woolly sound, and a feeling for melodic lines that take their time in unfolding.” He has been mentioned in the DownBeat Critics Poll in the Rising Star Tenor Saxophone category. Recordings are available on Delmark and Clean Feed Records.
Darrell Jones has performed in the United States and abroad with a variety of choreographers and companies such as Bebe Miller, Urban Bush Women, Ronald K. Brown, Min Tanaka, and Ralph Lemon. Along with performing, Darrell is a choreographer and a tenured faculty member at The Dance Center of Columbia College who has choreographed for professional and student ensembles (The Seldoms, University of Colorado, University of Illinois). He received choreographic fellowships from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography and Chicago Dancemakers Forum. He is a two-time Bessie award recipient for his collaborative work with Bebe Miller Company and for his most recent research in (e)feminized ritual performance.
Ayako Kato is a dancer, choreographer, teacher and curator who hails from Yokohama, Japan. Highly acclaimed by theNew York Times, theVillage Voice, theChicago Tribune, theChicago Reader, andTime Out – Chicago, Ayako has been an artistic director ofArt Union Humanscape(AUH) since1998 and presented over 140 interdisciplinary collaborative productions with musicians and artists in the United States, Japan and Europe.In January 2014, she was selected as one ofThe Players 2014: The Fifty People Who Really Perform in Chicago, in the field of theater, dance and performance, by the Chicago arts weeklyNewcity.Her works have been presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago; Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago; Dance Theater Workshop, NYC; Joyce Soho, NYC; Die Pratze Dance Festival, Tokyo; Musée d’Art moderne et contemporain, Strasbourg, France; Chicago Jazz Festival; The Other Dance Festival, Chicago and other festivals and venues.Kato has received awards and honors, including Audience Architects Dance: A Moving Canvas as a part of Dance/USA Engaging Dance Audiences (EDA) program supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Special Event, The Japan Foundation, Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award, The Puffin Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, Crosscut Music and Dance Collaboration Award from Links Hall and Experimental Sound Studio.
Jessica Marasa is a producer, improviser and dance performance artist based in Chicago. She is the founder of The Watering Can and her works have been seen at Links Hall, Hamlin Park, Stage 773 and Signal Ensemble Theater. She has collaborated with Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak since 2008 and had the pleasure of performing alongside Chicago’s creative talents including Ayako Kato, Onye Ozuzu, Kristina Isabelle and Khecari Dance Theater. Information on her work can be found atwww.thewateringcandance.com.“…Marasa then stirs like she has lava in her hips—hot but innocent, the way a volcano is innocent. Rolling her eyes with her whole sassy head, she looks like she’d as soon split the world open at its belly as eat a slice of cherry pie.”-Jena Cutie, The Chicago Reader (July, 2014)
Since Fall 2005, Julia Mayer’s primary focus has been a solo movement practice that she has developed on Friday mornings at Links Hall. Each week, she steps into the studio and puts herself through a fairly strict schedule of meditation, free-writing, warming up and authentic movement that awakens that day’s dance. And then she dances. One long juicy dance. She works with many of the attentional strategies she learned from Deborah Hay, tricking herself to keep paying attention, to stay alert to the dance, to notice when she starts to think she knows what it is and, if she does, to move on.
Matthew McMunn is a member of The Seldoms dance company. He has experience dancing with a number of companies and choreographers including Peter Carpenter, Winifred Haun, Lucky Plush Productions, Synapse Arts Collective, and Kate Corby and Dancers. He has performed in The A.W.A.R.D. Show!, The Other Dance Festival, Dance/USA Conference, Fred Astaire Awards, Spring to Dance (St. Louis), and in the feature film Were the World Mine. In June 2014 Matthew danced on stilts in Kristina Isabelle’s Levels and Lines at Loyola University and at the Devanter Stilt Festival in Holland. In 2014 Matthew also danced for Philip Elson in Terms and Conditions and with The Humans in my my grey sky. Matthew created Up Makes Down with Isabelle Collazo and presented the piece at three local venues. Matthew also presented choreography this year in Fused Muse Ensemble’s “Breaking Ice” and in Lizzie Leopold’s “Archipelago.” He recently collaborated with Margi Cole to choreograph a duet for Chicago’s “Going Dutch.” Matthew performs and teaches through Michael Lee and Opus Mime Theatre Company.
A gymnast in high school, Jonathan Meyer discovered dance at Oberlin College in 1990. After a capoeira immersion in Brazil with Maestre Medicina, he returned to college to receive an undergraduate degree in dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He spent time in Montreal, Utah, Amsterdam, and New York, alternating between the dance world and work with at-risk youth in wilderness therapy programs. In 2002 he founded Khecari in Taos, New Mexico, before relocating to Chicago in 2006. Shortly thereafter he began his intensive collaboration and partnership with Julia Rae Antonick, with whom he currently runs the company. Meyer has been a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, an artist in residence at Djerassi and Ragdale Foundations and through LinkUp and DanceBridge in Chicago, and has received support from the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. He is certified as a Somatic Movement Educator by the School for Body-Mind Centering® and is completing BMC Practitioner certification.
Michael Moore has a deep understanding of both the American jazz and the Dutch improvised music traditions, but his writing and playing are also influenced by music from other cultures. He has played Turkish music with Ogüz Büyükberber and Hüsnü Senlendirici, Malinese with Toumani Diabate, Keletigui Diabate and Habib Koite, Portuguese with Fernando Lameirinhas and Cristina Branco, and Brazilian with Rogerio Bicudo, Banda Mantiqueira and Paulo Moura. The musics of Sicily, Madagascar, Istria and Indonesia have also been particularly influential. He has collaborated with and been influenced by poets and poetry, dancers and other visual artists. Michael continues to write, improvise, play and prepare new releases for Ramboy and other labels.Since ’91 his activities as composer and performer have been documented both on his own recording label, Ramboy, and others including hatART, Palmetto, Gramavision, Between the Lines and Red Toucan. His playing and writing are to be heard on more than 80 CDs.His more recent activities include performances with his ‘Fragile’ Quartet, Michael Moore Quintet, Jewels & Binoculars – play the music of Bob Dylan, Misha Mengelberg’s Instant Composers Pool Orchestra, the Magpie dance and music performance group, the Achim Kaufmann Trio, Benoit Delbecq, Oskar Aichinger (music of Carla Bley and Annette Peacock) and the Paul Berner band.
Onye Ozuzu is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher currently serving as Interim Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Columbia College Chicago. She has been actively presenting work since 1997.Her work has been seen nationally and internationally at The Joyce Soho (Manhattan, NY), Kaay Fecc Festival Des Tous les Danses (Dakar, Senegal), La Festival del Caribe (Santiago, Cuba), Lisner Auditorium (Washington DC), McKenna Museum of African American Art (New Orleans, LA), as well as many anonymous site-specific locations. She has performed locally in Chicago at Hamlin Park Summer Sampler, with Red Clay Dance in La Femme, and in the Afro-Latin@ Summer Dance Intensive at Columbia College Chicago.She has been Artist in Residence at EarthDance Workshop and Retreat Center, Bates Dance Festival, Chulitna Wilderness Lodge and Retreat, and Camp Merveilles.Recently, she premieredBlack Saint and the Sinner Ladyat the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park (Chicago, IL)—a live dance and music performance in honor of Charles Mingus’ album of the same title, made in collaboration with jazz composer Greg Ward, and commissioned by Links Hall and Constellation.Ozuzu has dedicated much of her work as a dance artist to cultivating space for diverse dance forms to exist in pluralist relationship to one another. In her body she has negotiated the inter-sectionality between many movement forms from tennis to ballet, West African dance to Hatha Yoga, freestyle House to salsa, contemporary dance to Aikido. Rather than just “collecting” these dance styles, she cultivates the ability to make choices among these techniques with an intention to access a purposefully hybridized movement practice. She seeks a relationship that is like the relationship of a maker to their tools, rather than a person to their habits. Ozuzu makes contemporary dance that is “tooled” by, but not dictated by, traditional movement cultures in style, technique, concept and execution.
Mike Reed (b. Bielefeld, Germany May 26, 1974) is a musician, composer, bandleader and arts presenter based in Chicago. Over the last two decades he has emerged as a dominant force within Chicago’s diverse artistic community, both through the music he makes and the live events he produces. In addition to leading three working bands, all rooted deeply in jazz and improvised music, he’s founding director of the Pitchfork Music Festival, the current programming chair of the Chicago Jazz Festival, and the owner and director of the acclaimed performing arts venue called Constellation. He is a devoted cultural advocate committed to providing platforms for artistic expression unhindered by commercial pressures.His long-running post-bop quartet People, Places & Things has collaborated with guest musicians like Ira Sullivan, Julian Priester, Art Hoyle, Craig Taborn , and Matthew Shipp over the years. Reed leads an improvisation-heavy quintet called Loose Assembly as well as the expansive octet Living by Lanterns (with includes guitarist Mary Halvorson, cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, drummer Tomas Fujiwara, and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock). In addition to forging ongoing collaborative relationships with legendary musicians such as reedist Roscoe Mitchell and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, Reed remains a lynchpin in his native city, working as a key member of vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz’s trio Sun Rooms as well as the octet led by bassist Jason Roebke. Over the years he was worked with Chicago musicians like guitarist Jeff Parker, flutist Nicole Mitchell, saxophonists Fred Anderson and David Boykin, and cornetist Rob Mazurek. He’s a member of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), where he served as vice-chairperson between 2009-2011.DownbeatMagazine has recognized Reed asJazz Artist, Rising Starin its 2009 Critics Poll, and one of the80 Best Things About Jazzin its 80th Anniversary issue. In 2010 TheChicagoTribunenamed Reed as one of its Chicagoan’s of the year and in 2014Chicago Magazinecited him as the 94th most powerful and influential people in the city.
The diversity of Jason Roebke’s musical associations make him one of the most sought after bassists in Chicago and beyond. He composes music for two ensembles, Jason Roebke Combination and the Jason Roebke Octet. Solo performance and a duo with dancer Ayako Kato are also at the forefront of his creative activities. His playing is intensely physical, audacious, and sparse. The Chicago Reader described his work as “a carefully orchestrated rummage through a hardware store.” He is a member of the Jeb Bishop Trio, Jason Adasiewicz Rolldown, Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore, Mike Reed’s People, Places, and Things, and Jorrit Dijkstra’s Flatlands Collective & Pillow Circles. Roebke studied privately with saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell as well as legendary double bass pedagogue Stuart Sankey. In 2009, he was awarded the Fellowship in Music Composition from the Illinois Arts Council. Roebke tours widely in the US and Europe.
Cristal Sabbagh is an art educator at Adlai E. Stevenson H.S., a fine artist and an interdisciplinary performance artist. Her work is motivated by a multitude of areas such as: film, culture, death/rebirth, hip hop, West African dance and butoh.
Based in Amsterdam, Michael Schumacher is a performing artist with roots in classical and modern dance.He has been a member of several groundbreaking companies, including Ballet Frankfurt (with William Forsythe), Twyla Tharp Dance, Feld Ballet, Pretty Ugly Dance Company, and Magpie Music Dance Company. A collaborative figure in several productions of Peter Sellars, Schumacher has appeared inBible Pieces,Peony Pavilion,El Niño,Bach Cantatas,La Passion de Simone, andThe Vimalakirti Sutra.Working as dancer, choreographer, and teacher, Schumacher has developed a unique approach to the discipline of improvisation. Music is a fundamental element of his process, and he has collaborated with many pioneering musicians, including percussionist Han Bennink, violinist Mary Oliver, and cellist Alex Waterman.As a choreographer, Schumacher has created original works with the dancers of Ballet Frankfurt, Netherlands Dance Theater III, The Dutch National Ballet, and Dansgroep Amsterdam. In recent years, Schumacher’s work has come to the forefront in several productions of the Holland Dance Festival. WithJiÅ™í Kylián, he created the hauntingly beautifulLast Touch First, which has been performed throughout Europe and the U.S. to great acclaim. Recently Schumacher createdQueen Lear ,a dramatic duet in which he and Sabine Kupferberg reveal Shakespeare’s epic narrative with striking simplicity.In 2008, Schumacher was awarded both the Gouden Zwaan and theJiri Kylián Ring, the first dancer/choreographer ever to receive the two awards at the same time.
Jason Stein was born in 1976 and is originally from Long Island, New York. Stein is one of the few musicians working today to focus entirely on the bass clarinet as a jazz and improvisational instrument. He studied at Bennington College with Charles Gayle and Milford Graves, and at the University of Michigan with Donald Walden and Ed Sarath. In 2005, Stein relocated to Chicago and has since recorded for such labels as Leo, Delmark, Atavistic, 482 Music and Clean Feed. Stein has performed throughout the US and Europe, including performances in festivals in Lisbon, Cracow, Utrecht, Barcelona, Debreccen and Ljubljana. He has had the opportunity to perform with a number of exciting local and international musicians including: Michael Moore, Jeff Parker, Oscar Noriega, Rudi Mahall, Ken Vandermark, Rob Mazurek, Jeb Bishop, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten, Urs Leimgruber, Pandelis Karayorgis, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Tony Buck, Eric Boren, Kent Kessler, Tobias Delius, Michael Zerang, Michael Vatcher, Peter Brotzman, and Wilbert De Joode.
Greg Ward (born 1982) is rapidly emerging as one of the leading virtuoso saxophone players of his generation, with a unique versatility in a wide variety of styles including Modern Jazz, Funk, Latin as well as Classical, Indian, Klezmer and African Music. Ward grew up in a musical household, singing in Gospel groups as a child before the discovery of Charlie Parker led him to dedicate his life to the saxophone. Honors quickly followed, including the Downbeat Magazine High School Jazz Soloist Award (2000), participation in the exclusive Stean’s Institute at Ravinia (2001), scholarships from the Vail Jazz Workshop in Colorado, and selection as a Jazz Mentor with the Jazz Institute of Chicago. In 2002, Saxophone legend Fred Anderson hand-picked Ward to curate the Wednesday Night Jam Sesssions at Chicago’s Premier Jazz Club, the Velvet Lounge.Ward’s diverse musical interests have led him to explore the world of Classical and Crossover music as a composer and performer. Recent commissions include a chamber work for ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), a new ballet for the Peoria Ballet Company, and a septet for Gallery 37’s Downtown Sound Gallery Composer’s Series. In June of 2007, he composed a quartet for sax, cello, guitar, and percussion(Infatuation With the Flame) that was performed as a part of the International Contemporary Ensemble’s ICE Fest 2007 and on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series. Greg Ward and Onye Ozuzu were co-commissioned by Constellation, Links Hall and the City of Chicago Made In Chicago World Class Jazz series to premiere the new dance and music composition Black Saint and the Sinner Lady in Millennium Park in August 2015 inspired by Charles Mingus’ 1963 album.
For trombonist Wolter Wierbos, it’s all about fluidity: of tone, and time, of line and strategy and setting. It’s been said he can sound like a whole Ellington trombone section, from plunger-muted ya-yas to gorgeous melody statements, to dark shadings in the corners. He improvises free-associative solo concerts that suggest still more avenues to investigate. Even in composed music, he may improvise—might make up a better trombone line than the one written for him. No wonder he’s a 30-year linchpin of Misha Mengelberg’s ICP Orchestra, where the players are always re-arranging the tunes. But he’ll always nail a part if the harmonies depend on it. “I see myself as a sort of sculptor or painter,” Wierbos says, “putting sound, rhythm and form into the music. This mostly happens very intuitively and on the spot. My range goes from totally improvised music to material that’s mostly written out. The music I like to play most has a lot of my own invention in it—and improvised forms, the principle of instant composing. When music is 100% written out, I lose interest.”For a quicksilver player, he’s had long tenures in the co-op Available Jelly, and the bands and orchestras of Gerry Hemingway, Maarten Altena, Guus Janssen, and Sean Bergin. The groups he puts together for concert presentations at dOeK festivals (or his Amsterdam houseboat concerts) may improvise from scratch, or he may invite himself into another composer/performer’s concept: the rhythmically fiendish guitarist Franky Douglas, or the Moluccan-Dutch singer Monica Akihary.
Mary Wu works in design, fabrication, and programming of electro-mechanical devices, especially for persons with disabilities, medical procedures, and artistic projects. She uses her research skills to pose questions and solve problems as well as her hands-on engineering background to design and build devices or programs. Mary runs the Movement Improv Open Lab at Hamlin Park and Links Hall.
ABC at Doek Festival in Amsterdam – April 28 – May 4, 2016
Doek is a collective of improvisers creating opportunities for experimentation, research and performance. Doek musicians share attitudes toward tactics, references, ancestors and antecedents in improvisation and push the musical practice forward in their many groups and ad hoc combinations. Through initiating, organising and financing concerts, projects, tours and a yearly festival, Doek has become a central platform for improvisation. As a partner to established or emerging venues and organisations Doek exposes a broad public to a vibrant world of improvisation. Doek is structurally supported by the Fonds Podiumkunsten (Performing Arts Fund).
For more information about the Doek Festival,please visit:doek.org