Performers listed alphabetically by first name.
Described twenty years ago as an “undergrounder by design,” Jack Wright isa veteran saxophone improviser based mainly in Philadelphia. He has played mostly on tour through the US and Europe since the early 80s in search of interesting partners and playing situations. Now at 76 he is still the “Johnny Appleseed of Free Improvisation,” as the late guitarist Davey Williams called him in the 80s, on the road as much as ever. He continues to inspire players outside music-school careerdom, playing sessions with visiting and resident players old and new. His partners over the years are mostly unknown to the music press, and too numerous to mention. He’s said to have the widest vocabulary of any saxophonist, including leaping pitches, punchy, precise timing, sharp and intrusive multiphonics, surprising gaps of silence, and obscene animalistic sounds. He has had a book published, Jan. 2017, The Free Musics, which is becoming very popular among improvisers. A reviewer for the Washington Post said, “In the rarefied, underground world of experimental free improvisation, saxophonist Jack Wright is king”. But for a true assessment listen to the music he and his partners create: Spring Garden Music, for sounds and writings. (PA) springgardenmusic.com
Jada studies sitar in the Dhrupad tradition of classical Indian music. She layers this ancient, often improvisational, style meant to induce peace and contemplation, upon beds of experimental drone. Influenced by the practice of raga-rasa, Jada evokes emotional discourse and plays with the transformation of both inner and outer music. (Brighton MA) Soundcloud; Vimeo
Member of Seven Count: comprised of three multidisciplinary artists (Adam Tinkle (sax, visuals, electronics), Angus McCullough (trumpet, visuals, electronics), Jake Nussbaum (Drums) with backgrounds in disparate media, Seven Count came together in 2016 to investigate the experiential, spiritual, and political efficacies of sound. We view improvisation not just as a way of making art, but as an ethical response to deep listening, presence in the moment, and being in relation to others. jakenussbaum.com
Relentlessly creative, and challenging the boundaries of saxophonic extended techniques, Williams’ role in defining the pursuit of expressive freedom through the use of the instrument cannot be understated; from founding the Experimental Arts Union of Florida, +SoLo Sound Gallery, and Vantage Bulletin publishing, to designing the educational curriculum currently taught at [neu]Sonics Music Initiative, his energy is contagious and an inspiration. (Jacksonville FL) Bandcamp
An adventurous percussionist, working across diverse musical genres. She focuses on rock and hiphop drum kit, and art-music marimba and vibes; she is actively touring and recording as a soloist, collaborator and session player. Jane has performed in concert halls, art galleries, cafes, castles, kindergartens, hospitals, universities, forests and festivals from Rome to San Francisco, and Manhattan to France. Born in England and raised in Scotland, Jane completed her BA and MA in Music at the University of York (UK), and her Doctorate in Percussion Performance at the University of Illinois. Burlington VT) janeboxall.com
His work is often described as a cinematic experience, utilizing acoustic guitar, sitar, modified audio cassette tape loops and open reel tapes; provoking memories of past and beyond, warm and rich as does the noise from a record needle touching an LP; at times violently explosive yet soothing and irresistible. (Brooklyn NY) jarvisearnshaw.com
Jed Speare was an artist and arts manager working in a variety of media and settings. Initially trained in music composition, he presented sound, performance, video, installation, conceptual, multimedia and community-based works locally, nationally, and internationally in festivals and locales such as San Francisco, Amsterdam, Canada, Taiwan, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, Bulgaria, France, and Italy. (Boston MA) mobius.org/jed-speare; Obituary
Violinist, composer, and electronic musician based in Philadelphia, PA who specializes in experimental, rock, and classical music. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Jeffrey spent over a decade as a professional musician in the New York City music scene, where he worked as a freelance violinist and developed a practice of creating music through a combination of improvisation and composition, including work developed collaboratively with his experimental classical ensemble thingNY and others. As a solo artist, he often performs with the software Ableton Live. He has toured the US, Europe, and China, as a solo artist, with thingNY, with cabaret-punk band the World/Inferno Friendship Society, with Switzerland-based ensemble LUCERNE FESTIVAL Young Performance, with bass and violin duo Dykes & Young, with percussion and violin duo Wise & Young, and others. He has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, the Rachael Ray show, the Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum, and more. (Philadelphia PA) jeffrey-young.com
“The human condition is an endless source of fascination. How can we search for meaning while negotiating the promises and demands of consumer society? What can mundane actions tell us about an individual’s relationship to the self, to others, or the Universe? Might awkward pauses, glottal stops, wordplay, or shrieks open new avenues to the inner recesses of the mind? Is the quickest way to the human soul through the eye, the brain, or the stomach? Which will redeem us: conceptual art or slapstick comedy?” (Fitchburg MA) jeffu.tv
Founder/director of 11 Jane St. Art Center; choreographer, dancer, teacher and other stuff too (Boston MA)
A sound based performer who modifies found objects that are signifiers of power, gender, queerness and intimacy to create atypical instruments. For this festival, I will be playing hacked vibrator synthesizers with processing through an instrument pickup. Ambient noisy drones can be expected. (Hudson NY) Jenkutler.com
Master gardener (Billerica MA)
Jessica Rylan is a sound artist and electronic musician. The main focus of her work to date has been the design and construction modular synthesizers which use analog electronic circuits to create a diversity of sounds. She uses her synthesizers in installations at galleries and also in her high-energy, live musical performances as Can’t (CA). irfp.net
Extended vocalist, composer, sound/ movement/performance artist JILL BURTON was a professional ballerina, modern dancer, dance teacher/accompanist, and free improvisor in Gainesville FL during the 1970s. In 1978, she traveled to San Francisco where she met for the first time her life-long friends and collaborators Davey Williams and LaDonna Smith, and connected for the first time to a larger, world-wide community of free improvisors. She lived in Manhattan’s East Village from 1981-1991 where she was very active as part of the downtown experimental music/dance/performance art scene; including co-founding, w/Rain Worthington, the band HIZOHI (which also included Jane Scarpantoni, Yuval Gabay, and Kumiko Kimoto). She has been privileged to perform with, and learn from, artists from all over the world, including the Peking Opera, the Noh Theater, and Alaska Native Tlingit dancers and storytellers. She has studied and practiced hands-on healing and energy work for over twenty years, always incorporating this into her performance work. In other words, she is a “world-class, visionary badass” who “doesn’t give a flying fig for the rules”. (Gainsville FL) jillburton.net
Jim Banta has danced with Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble, Margot Parsons, Cambridge Chamber Ballet Ballet, and Impulse Dance Company. He has performed recently with Chu Ling Dance, Rozann Kraus, Foremost Dance Troupe, Mariale Celiman, Angel Dance Company, and Back Pocket Dance Company. He is currently performing ‘Drosselmeyer’ in Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theater production of “The Nutcracker.” (Cambridge MA) pbjdanceco.org/about/
Artist and designer working with computer mediation, web art, performance, photography and video in conjunction with conventional media. Exploring cultural material and material culture—generatively oscillating at the nexus of fantasy and biography (Fantabiograpy)—Jim finds the meta-spiritual and psychoactive critically important as incredibly elusive in making art. Jeffers is interested in most things, particularly, superheroes, airplanes, Swiss Army knives, rabbits, television, education, his family, and global socioeconomic fairness. (Port St Lucie FL)
I’m an abstract synth music/noise sculptor from Lowell, MA. More of an explorer than an artist, I’m always trying new things without actually finishing much. Working within the realm of analog electronics, I often use chaotic oscillators to breathe life into my pieces. Working mostly alone, I appreciate opportunities to collaborate with other musicians and visual artists, as they challenge me in different ways than my solo work does. (Lowell MA) Soundcloud, Vimeo
Butoh and other movements improvisation’d and choreograph’d with EMU and ensemble inedit. (Boston MA)
Logging a thousand performances in 44 states and 25 countries “twisting and warping minds,” (Decibel Magazine) Pittsburgh-based experimental black metal/ solo grind violinist Joey Molinaro’s “stomping and ferocious playing is inescapable” (Foxy Digitalis).
Acoustic or electric, Molinaro “executes the spirit and function of hardcore punk and Appalachian folk” (Foxy Digitalis) with “vocals [that] haunt, like a preternatural voice from beyond the pale” (Razorcake).
Always fast, heavy and explosive, his songwriting style reaches into grindcore, black-metal, avant-garde, bluegrass, late-romantic, acoustic rock, and flamenco styles. He has retired his vegetable-oil fueled automobile and rugged backpack and now tours almost exclusively by motorcycle.
Joey’s work is available through Inverted Music, Gold Bolus, Labelship, and Auris Apothecary records. His reworking of The Inalienable Dreamless by Discordance Axis led to his collaboration with the band’s founder on the final album by Gridlink. joeymolinaro.com
Musician (bass, spoken word, performance art). Occasional performances with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Keith Jarrett, Bill T. Jones, Captain Kangaroo, Tuli Kupferberg (Fuggs), Jemeel Moondoc, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), and in Broadway musicals. Music educational and biographical essays published in leading reference books and journals. Appearances on nationwide television and radio. Taught privately—and at The Boston Conservatory, Berklee, Massachusetts College of Art, Northeastern University, and Boston Arts Academy. Served on the Board of Overseers at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. Twelve recordings, one video released. (Boston MA) All About Jazz
(b.1977, NY USA) Jonas Bers is a Hudson-Valley based media artist working with hand-built and hacked audiovisual systems. Bers’ performances use salvaged scientific apparatus, VHS-era editing machines, surveillance equipment, and military surplus devices as tools to generate both sound and video in real-time. jonasbers.com
Cellist Junko Fujiwara has been performing and advocating innovations in contemporary and improvised music while teaching and maintaining Western classical and jazz traditions over a span of nearly thirty years. Based in New England, she has enjoyed the diversity of performing in a variety of musical genres at many venues not just on the East Coast but also in the Midwest and internationally in Europe. Among her current performing groups are: Eric Hofbauer Quintet, BOLT: Adventurous Improvised Music, and Mimi Rabson’s String Theory Trio, where some of her own original compositions are featured. Downbeat Magazine, Boston Globe, and Spontaneous Music Tribune (Poland) are some of the internationally-renown publications that have given recognition of her work. (Salem NH) junkocello.com