Ken Field

Ken Field

Musicians | Instrument: Saxophone | Location: Boston

Something quite original in the world of jazz and beyond.

—Kory Cook, KUT Radio, Austin, TX

Updated: July 31, 2023

Born: January 26

Ken Field is a saxophonist, flautist, percussionist, and composer. Since 1988 he has been a member of the internationally acclaimed electrified modern music ensemble Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, with whom he has recorded eight CDs. Field leads the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, a experimental and improvisational brass band, and performs with the community-based Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band. Since 2015 he has annually led a pick-up band of unafiliated musicians at the HONK!Oz Festival in Wollongong, NSW, Australia. His solo releases document his work for layered saxophones and his soundtracks for dance and film. Field was named a Finalist in Music Composition by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Field has performed in the US, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, & Japan, and has been awarded residency fellowship grants at the MacDowell Colony (New Hampshire), the Ucross Foundation (Wyoming), the Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), the MacNamara Foundation (Maine), and the Atlantic Center for the Arts (Florida). His musical projects have been featured in The New York Times, Saxophone Journal, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Tower Pulse, Billboard, Cadence, The Wire, The Orlando Sentinel, The New Yorker, and many other publications. Field has performed at the Roswell (NM) Jazz Festival, for President Bill Clinton, with Trombone Shorty, Charles Neville, Grammy-winning percussionist Glen Velez, former J. Geils frontman Peter Wolf, the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, The Violent Femmes, and the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. In 2004 he was commissioned by Bridgman/Packer Dance to compose music for Under the Skin, which has been performed widely. A CD of this music was released in 2006 on Innova Recordings. Double Expose, his second commission for Bridgman/Packer, premiered in 2010. In 2000 Field released Tokyo in F, the live recording of an improvised concert he gave in Tokyo with three prominent Japanese musicians he met only just before the performance. His 1999 release of layered saxophone music, Pictures of Motion, integrates elements of ambient, hiphop, minimalism, swing, acid, improv, and Balkan processional music. The CD includes two of Field's compositions for Sesame Street, and features a guest appearance by renowned multi- instrumentalist Amy Denio. Field's 1996 debut solo release, Subterranea, documented his multitracked saxophone improvisations, recorded mostly in an underground chamber in Roswell, New Mexico.

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1,080
Interview

Ken Field & The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble: The Musical Road Less Taken

Read "Ken Field & The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble: The Musical Road Less Taken" reviewed by Tod Smith


Saxophonist/composer Ken Field describes the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble as a “funk and street beat brass band playing New Orleans and other modern improvised celebratory styles." Playing original compositions and those of artists as diverse as Billy Idol and Ornette Coleman, the RSE was formed in 1990 to entertain a at a pagan women's ritual celebration. The project continued and today RSE is a fixture on the Boston, New York and New Orleans musical scenes. RSE's two discs--Year of the Snake ...

233
Album Review

Ken Field: Under the Skin

Read "Under the Skin" reviewed by Samuel Chell


The opening track's sounds of bass with alto saxophone improvising over a street beat are practically an invitation to dance, especially to anyone who's been a “second liner" in a traditional New Orleans funeral recessional. This music, after all, was composed by alto saxophonist Ken Field as “dance music," an integral component of a multimedia work, Under the Skin, combining live dance performance, original music, and visual technology. The technology used in constructing the musical pieces is apt to make ...

231
Album Review

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic: Dancing on A'A

Read "Dancing on A'A" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Dancing on A'A documents the improvising quartet Birdsongs of the Mesozoic early in their second decade. It's highly unusual for a group of improvisers to stick together for over 20 years, but this is hardly an average group. While other stable musical units might doggedly pursue the same style to perfection, Birdsongs aims for the anti-style. Anything that crosses genre boundaries is fair game for this group.

On Dancing on A'A, electric and acoustic instruments arrive at fruitful collisions. Birdsongs ...

243
Album Review

Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic: Petrophonics

Read "Petrophonics" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


With their 10th recording titled Petrophonics, Boston Massachusetts based “Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic” have perhaps achieved the pinnacle of mastery with this truly superb newly released effort. Here, pianist/composer Erik Lindgren and woodwind specialist Ken Field cap off a string of successful solo ventures as the duo realigns with guitarist Michael Bierylo and synthesizer ace Rick Scott for the band’s latest and first effort in over five years.

“BOTM” continues to defy any rigid semblance of categorization yet surge onward ...

181
Album Review

Ken Field: Tokyo in F

Read "Tokyo in F" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


Whether educating students at workshops, scoring soundtracks for television, i.e. “Sesame Street”, “HBO” and “PBS” or his ongoing affiliation with the band, “Birdsongs of the Mesozoic”, New England area saxophonist/composer Ken Field is liable to pull quite a few tricks out of the many hats he wears. With two highly acclaimed solo efforts to his credit, Pictures of Motion and Subterranea Field’s latest recording features three reputable Japanese musicians whom he had only met prior to the actual performance.

Tokyo ...

224
Album Review

Ken Field/Katsui Yuji/Kido Natsuki/Shimizu Kazuto: Tokyo In F

Read "Tokyo In F" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Tokyo in F presents the international meeting of American Ken Field (Birdsongs of the Mesozoic) with Japanese musicians Kazuto (Arepos), Natsuki (Bondage Fruit), and Yuji (Bondage Fruit). Since this group of musicians had not previously played together before their date at Tokyo's In F nightclub, this live record oozes with spontaneity and a constant sense of discovery. Combining the restrained sound of chamber music with the constant fluxology of free jazz, the quartet makes creative use of its fresh instrumentation. ...

170
Album Review

Ken Field: Pictures Of Motion

Read "Pictures Of Motion" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Ken Field has crafted thirteen sonic pictures of pure sax excellence. They range from introspectively dark or airy ambience to peppy, bopping bounces. This is a stroll down neon-lit alleyways of mod jazz hipness. Some pieces are somber, solo, alto saxophone, sometimes layered or effects-altered and others are amplified with drums, acoustic bass, fretless electric bass, drums and percussion. Best references for what is happening here are adventurous works by Dave Binney, Theo Travis, Gallery, Paul McCandless, and mellower Lost ...

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Articles Across the Web

...or were mentioned in an All About Jazz article.

1

Recording

Ken Field's Revolutionary Snake Ensemble Releases "I Want That Sound!"

Ken Field's Revolutionary Snake Ensemble Releases "I Want That Sound!"

Source: All About Jazz

The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble (RSE) has been developing and cultivating a distinct sound critics and audiences alike hail for invigorating an illustrious musical heritage with fresh ideas, wit, and spunk while in the process attracting new and younger audiences to the music. In fact, RSE has been at the forefront of the jazz renaissance The Guardian (UK) newspaper recently touted as a “new golden age”. Over more than a quarter century of touring and performing in settings ranging from clubs ...

144

Performance / Tour

Ken Field's Revolutionary Snake Ensemble Returns to NYC

Ken Field's Revolutionary Snake Ensemble Returns to NYC

Source: Rolling Thunder PR

Boston's Acclaimed Revolutionary Snake Ensemble Returns to New York City Bringing their Avant Second Line New Orleans Funk Back For the First Time in Two Years “The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, a writhing, horn-heavy group led by the Boston-based saxophonist and composer Ken Field, dresses in feathered masks and sequined robes and covers a broad range of funk- and New Orleans-inspired music. A seasoned collection of horn and percussion players, the group, which is closing in on two decades of music-making, ...

118

Event

Downtown Boston's Jazz Swarms for Jazz Week from JazzBoston

Downtown Boston's Jazz Swarms for Jazz Week from JazzBoston

Source: Chris Rich

Ken Field graciously shared his sense of the role of swarming. It really turns on the reappearance of music in the public square without the conventions of venue performance. “Since the earliest days of my musical career I have always been attracted to the choral and contrapuntal sound of multiple iterations of the same instrument. Decades ago, when I was asked to add a sax solo to a track, I would invariably record multiple takes of the solo, and then ...

137

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Ken Field

Jazz Musician of the Day: Ken Field

Source:


98

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Ken Field

Jazz Musician of the Day: Ken Field

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Ken Field's birthday today!

JAZZ MUSICIAN OF THE DAY Ken Field

Ken Field is a saxophonist, flautist, percussionist, and composer. Since 1988 he has been a member of the internationally acclaimed electrified modern music ensemble Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, with whom he has recorded eight CDs... more

Website | Videos | Articles

Follow Ken Field

Put AAJ's Musician of the Day box on your website ...

222

Interview

Revolutionary Snake Ensemble's Ken Field Interviewed at AAJ

Revolutionary Snake Ensemble's Ken Field Interviewed at AAJ

Source: All About Jazz

Saxophonist/composer Ken Field describes the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble as a “funk and street beat brass band playing New Orleans and other modern improvised celebratory styles." Playing original compositions and those of artists as diverse as Billy Idol and Ornette Coleman, the RSE was formed in 1990 to entertain a at a pagan women's ritual celebration. The project continued and today RSE is a fixture on the Boston, New York and New Orleans musical scenes. RSE's two discs-- Year of the ...

165

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Ken Field

Jazz Musician of the Day: Ken Field

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Ken Field's birthday today!

JAZZ MUSICIAN OF THE DAY Ken Field

Ken Field is a saxophonist, flautist, percussionist, and composer. Since 1988 he has been a member of the internationally acclaimed electrified modern music ensemble Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, with whom he has recorded eight CDs... more

Website | Videos | Articles

Follow Ken Field @ AAJ

Put AAJ's Musician of the Day box on ...

"Something quite original in the world of jazz and beyond." —- Kory Cook, KUT Radio, Austin, TX

"A stone cold killer diller" Offbeat Magazine, New Orleans, LA

"Sly funky tuneful avant garde jazz" New York Music Daily

"Touches all the right cornerstones of jazz, but also funks my socks off!" Kyle Press, WKDU, Philadelphia, PA

Primary Instrument

Saxophone

Location

Boston

Willing to teach

Advanced only

Credentials/Background

Experienced and patient teacher with national & international performance credentials; private half-hour lessons in West Concord; Monday afternoon/evening; all levels; contact for references & details.

Clinic/Workshop Information

1. "Improvisation for Non-Improvisors" 2. "Soundtrack Design for Animation" 3. "Brass Bands from Bourbon Street to Sesame Street" 4. "Technology as a Tool" Presentation, residency, and workshop experience includes Wellesley College (MA), Alfred University (NY), Western New Mexico University, Sheridan College (WY), the Artists' Association of Nantucket (MA), Applewild School (MA), Camden-Rockport High School/YouthArts (ME), New Mexico Military Institute, the Carolina Film Festival (NC), Emory University (GA), the University of North Carolina, Hilo & Waiakea High Schools (HI), Dartmouth College (NH), the Massachusetts College of Art (MA), Lebanon Valley College (PA), the Boston Museum of Science (MA), the Creative Music Orchestra (New Haven, CT), the Fitchburg (MA) Art Museum, and, with Delfeayo Marsalis, the Nunez Correctional Learning Center (Port Sulpher, LA)

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All About Jazz user Matthew Shell All About Jazz user Michael Ricci All About Jazz user Victor Samalot All About Jazz user Tony Tate All About Jazz user Mark Haskins All About Jazz user Christopher Burnett All About Jazz user Billie Davies PR All About Jazz user Ken Joslin All About Jazz user Maxim Micheliov

Concerts

  Tue, Jun 25
Cambridge, MA
The New Edge
WMBR 88.1 FM
Tue, Jun 25. 2:00 pm
  Wed, Jun 26
Provincetown, MA
Johnny & The Washashores
Herring Cove Beach Deck
Wed, Jun 26. 6:30 pm
  Sun, Jun 30
Provincetown, MA
Ken Field's Holy Moly Sundays
Bubala's
Sun, Jun 30. 9:00 pm
  Tue, Jul 2
Cambridge, MA
The New Edge
WMBR 88.1 FM
Tue, Jul 2. 2:00 pm
  Thu, Jul 4
Chatham, MA
Chandler Travis Philharmonic
Chatham July 4th Parade
Thu, Jul 4. 9:30 am
  Fri, Jul 5
  Fri, Jul 5
Provincetown, MA
Scream Along With Billy - Born To Run
Grotta Bar
Fri, Jul 5. 10:00 pm

Music

Hmmm

From: Alien Field
By Ken Field