ARTHUR BROOKS ENSEMBLE V
CHRIS PITSIOKOS
DAMON SMITH/FORBES GRAHAM/ANDRIA NICODEMOU/CURT NEWTON
Washington Street Arts
Friday, May 17, 2019

Non-Event and Washington Street Arts present

ARTHUR BROOKS ENSEMBLE V
CHRIS PITSIOKOS SOLO
DAMON SMITH/FORBES GRAHAM/ANDRIA NICODEMOU/CURT NEWTON

Washington Street Arts
321 Washington Street, Somerville
8pm / $10-15 suggested donation

Trumpeter-composer ARTHUR BROOKS is one of the unsung heroes of the new music. In his 40+ year career he has collaborated with such legendary figures as Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor, Sonny Sharrock, Alan Silva, and Frank Wright among others. For over 20 years he taught alongside Dixon in the Black Music Division at Bennington College. Brooks founded Ensemble V at Bennington College in 1973 and the music has continued to evolve. Though Brooks is technically the leader and creator — or perhaps curator — of Ensemble V, he emphasizes that the band is a democracy. “Everybody’s a leader. And everybody has big ears. We find ourselves in areas that I would like to take home and develop and write, but I wouldn’t want to limit what we’re going to do.” For this performance, he’ll be joined by Jeremy Harlos - bass; Bill Heminway - trumpet; and Matt Weston – percussion.

CHRIS PITSIOKOS is a Brooklyn-based saxophonist, composer and improviser. His work combines the lyricism of jazz and the intensity of extreme rock forms and noise with the attention to detail and abstraction of contemporary classical music. His quartet CP Unit has been described as “moving easily between tangled-up spasms and furious explosions of numbed-out funk, with Pitsiokos unleashing an unrelenting but meticulously harnessed attack that recalls the duck-call fury of saxophonist John Zorn early in his career.” The Chicago Reader describes his solo work as displaying “a dazzling array of tactics, whether the overdubbed four-saxophone assault of “Four Alto” (a dedication to Anthony Braxton, and a pun on the elder reedist’s groundbreaking solo album For Alto), the introspective circular breathing of “Flutter,” or the Konitz-meets-Coleman balladry of “Waiting.” From piece to piece he shows an expanding range that accommodates both tender phrasing and a lacerating tone.”

DAMON SMITH has established himself as a central figure and stalwart organizer, developing a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. During his tenure in Boston, he has collaborated with local musicians ranging from Jeb Bishop, Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, Pandelis Karayorgis, Andria Nicodemou, Forbes Graham, Wendy Eisenberg, and others while bringing in collaborators like Weasel Walter, Henry Kaiser, Vinny Golia, and Jaap Blonk. As Smith prepares to leave Boston later this summer, he has ramped up his activity to a dizzying level. For this performance, he will be joined by Forbes Graham – trumpet; Andria Nicodemou – vibes; and Curt Newton – drums.

Non-Event’s programming is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.