These photos were taken by friend and music fan Dennis McDonough.
Our fabulous background singers (who each sang some lead as well), Ayana Woods, Macie Stewart, and Sima Cunningham
and Principal Instigator Steve Marquette.
I have had the pleasure of interacting with musicians from the Chicago improvised music scene for about 10 years now. Recently some of that has been in the form of the Instigation Orchestra, which has been instigated by Steve Marquette. More of that is happening the week of February 6. Details below.
February 6th at 10pm | Hi-Ho Lounge | 2239 St Claude Ave
Mixed groupings with:
Jeff Albert (trombone), Helen Gillet (cello) Anton Hatwich (bass), Katinka Kleijn (cello), Steve Marquette (guitar), James Singleton (bass), Paul Thibodeaux (drums), Mars Williams (saxophones)
February 7th at 9:30pm | Zeitgeist | 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd
Aurora Nealand (reeds, acoordion), Lia Kohl (cello), Mars Williams (reeds), Rob Cambre (guitar), Jarell Hamilton (dance), Chanice Holmes (dance), Martiza Mercado-Narcisse (dance)
Paul Thibodeaux (drums), Reagan Mitchell (saxophones), Steve Marquette (guitar) , Katinka Kleijn (cello), Marie Casimir (dance) Maritza Mercado – Narcisse (dance)
Lia Kohl (cello), Katinka Kleijn (cello), Helen Gillet (cello), Kim Alpert(video)
Jeff Albert (trombone), Anton Hatwich (bass), Damon Locks (voice, electronics), Kim Alpert(video)
February 8th at 8pm | New Quorum | 2435 Esplanade Ave
Mixed groupings with:
Anton Hatwich (bass), Felicia Holman (dance), Jeremy Guyton (dance), Katinka Kleijn (cello), Lia Kohl (cello), Damon Locks (voice, electronics) Steve Marquette (guitar), Meida McNeal (dance), Jasmine Mendoza (dance), Avreeayl Ra (drums), Cristal Sabbagh (dance), Mars Williams (reeds)
February 9th at 10am | Live Oak Cafe | 8140 Oak Str
James Singleton (bass), Steve Marquette (guitar)
February 9th at 10pm | AllWays Lounge 2240 St Claude Ave
Steve Marquette (solo guitar)
Marcello Benetti Shuffled Quartet – Marcello Benetti (drums), Helen Gillet (cello), Jeff Albert (trombone), Rex Gregory (reeds)
Mars Williams’ Faces & Places : The Music of Ornette Coleman – Mars Williams (reeds, arrangements), Avreeayl Ra (drums), Anton Hatwich (bass), Rex Gregory (reeds), Mario Abney (trumpet)
February 10th at 8pm | Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
900 Camp St, New Orleans
The Instigation Orchestra with the Djasporas
The Instigation Orchestra
Jeff Albert (trombone), Anton Hatwich (bass), Katinka Kleijn (cello), Lia Kohl (cello), Damon Locks (voice, electronics), Steve Marquette (guitar), Reagan Mitchell (saxophone), Aurora Nealand (reeds, accordion and voice), James Singleton (bass, pocket trumpet), Paul Thibodeaux (drums), Mars Williams (reeds)
Marice Casimir (dance), Jeremy Guyton (dance), Felicia Holman (dance), Kai Knight (dance), Meida McNeal (dance), Jasmine Mendoza (dance), Cristal Sabbagh (dance)
Special guest Alvin Fielder (drums)
The Instigation Festival brings together some of the finest musicians and dancers from Chicago and New Orleans for a week of improvised collaboration. Throughout the week, these performers will meet in small and mid-sized music, dance and interdisciplinary ensembles culminating on Friday February 10th with a performance by the full Instigation Orchestra and the Djasporas – a large ensemble of twenty musicians and dancers.
Mars Williams has done a concert of Albert Ayler’s music mashed up with Christmas music for 9 years now. The last two years have included a New Orleans version. Here is a collection of images from the December 13, 2016 performance at Cafe Istanbul in New Orleans with Mars Williams, Jeff Albert, Rob Cambre, Helen Gillet, Jesse Morrow, and Paul Thibodeaux.
“This week Marquette and dance producer Marie Casimir, who recently ended a lengthy stint with Links Hall, have organized a series of events featuring combinations of Chicago musicians and dancers with collaborators from New Orleans. The endeavor started Thursday night with a series of trio sets, but its centerpiece is Saturday at Constellation: a performance by the Instigation Orchestra and dance troupe Djasporas (the former is an expansion of Albert’s long-running Instigation Quartet, which also draws on players from both cities). The orchestra’s diverse cast of Big Easy players consists of Albert, cellist Helen Gillet, reedist-accordionist-singer Aurora Nealand, bassist James Singleton, and drummer Paul Thibodeaux. (Singleton in particular should be well-known to Chicagoans from his long membership in the jazz group Astral Project.) On board from Chicago are Marquette, bassist Anton Hatwich, cornetist Ben LaMar Gay, vocalist Damon Locks, drummer Avreaayl Ra, and reedist Mars Williams. “
It was a great pleasure to work on the new Bobby Rush album. Shout out to Living Blues for noting the work of the “sidemen.”
“Meanwhile, the studio band attains a balance of emotional immediacy, musical depth and—yet again—seriousness of intent that never detracts from the playful mood of most of these tracks. (Special nod to the horns—their crisp riffing invokes, at various points, everything from vintage-era Stax to Tower of Power’s East Bay funk.)”
“As dirty horn scoops and stabs punctuate every phrase, the Louisiana blues-soul singer and harmonica player warns a cadre of would-be homewreckers away from the house where his woman awaits his return. The mailman, the milkman, the garbage man, even the preacher — none are immune to his suspicion.”
I had the pleasure or writing the horn parts, and playing in the section, for the new Bobby Rush album (to be released in September). Check out the NPR preview.
From Alex Rawls‘s piece on nola.com:
Improvised music alive and well — and growing — in New Orleans | NOLA.com: “Albert’s music works both sides of that wobbly fence. Sunday night, he and his quartet will feature jazz, semi-improvised and fully improvised music at Snug Harbor, but unless you’re listening closely, it will rarely be obvious which is which. His musical instincts rarely run to atonal squeaks and skronks, and his choices are influenced by the players around him.”
“If sentimentality is the synonym of nostalgia, then the antonym is anticipation, and maybe a better word would be modernity. That word comes to mind spinning the trio recording New Normal by trombonist Jeff Albert, drummer Dave Cappello and their guest, bassist William Parker. “