Marty Ehrlich, William Parker to be Featured in New Music Circle's 2013-14 Season


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In the spring, the thoughts of performing arts presenters often turn to the announcement of the next season's schedule. Here in St. Louis, the Sheldon Concert Hall already has announced their various 2013-14 season series, and Jazz St. Louis is set to release next year's schedule for Jazz at the Bistro and the Touhill before the end of the month.

Meanwhile, although New Music Circle isn't quite ready yet to make a formal announcement of their own, NMC administrator Jeremy Kannapell was kind enough to share with StLJN a “sneak peek" at what the organization has planned for 2013-14.

The venues and exact dates are yet to be determined, but NMC's season once again will feature a mix of improvised and composed music and multimedia performances, this year with a bit of a Chicago accent thanks to two shows featuring artists from the Windy City.

First, though, NMC will begin their season in October with a performance from University City's own Marty Ehrlich (pictured). A multi-instrumentalist and composer who plays alto sax, clarinets and flutes, Ehrlich, who turns 58 this month, was influenced early in his career by St. Louis' Black Artists Group and was mentored by saxophonists Oliver Lake and Julius Hemphill.

After attending the New England Conservatory, in 1978 he moved moved to New York, where he's become part of the national and international music scene as both an in-demand sideman and soloist and a bandleader exploring different ways of blending composition and free improvisation. Ehrlich's St. Louis appearances in recent years have been too few and far between, so his visit home will be especially welcome.

Later on in October, NMC will present a concert by bassist William Parker's quartet. Considered to be one of the most important bassists in free jazz, Parker is highly regarded for his work with major musicians including Cecil Taylor, David S. Ware, Peter Brötzmann, Matthew Shipp and many others, as well as for being the organizer of the annual Vision Festival in New York City.

In November, Chicago electronic musician and sound artist Olivia Block, who appeared here in May 2012 as part of an NMC group showcase, will return to do a full length performance. Originally a rock guitarist and vocalist in Austin, TX, Block relocated to Chicago in 1996 and began composing music that incorporates a variety of electronic elements, from drones and glitches to computer-manipulated field recordings, as well as occasional acoustic instruments, too.

Block will be joined by her frequent collaborators, filmmakers/performers Luis Recoder and Sandra Gibson. The three have have been working together since 2007, and their best known piece “Untitled" has been performed at the Sundance Film Festival and in London, Los Angeles, Texas, and Naples, Italy. Gibson and Recoder employ a variety of live performance techniques, including some - film loops, spray bottles, colored gels, unfocused lenses and hand-shadows - that evoke memories of late 1960s psychedelic light shows, though they're used in different ways and for different ends. For more about Recoder, Gibson and “Untitled," check out this video interview.

After a break for the holidays, NMC will resume in February with a concert from bassist Joshua Abrams, who has worked with various groups in Chicago's improvised music scene. His credits include the band Town and Country, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble, Jeb Bishop, and Hamid Drake, as well as leading a quartet with Guillermo Gregorio, Axel Dorner, and Jeff Parker, and the trio Sticks and Stones with Matana Roberts and Chad Taylor.

In March, NMC will present its annual showcase of St. Louis musicians, with the lineup still TBA at this point.

The season will conclude in April 2014 with a performance from the Claire Chase Quintet. Chase, 35, is a California native who studied music at Oberlin College before founding the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in 2001. She has premiered over 100 new solo works for the flute incorporating extended techniques and electro-acoustic elements, and has played in diverse venues around the world as a soloist and chamber musician.

When New Music Circle releases their full season schedule complete with dates, venues and ticket prices, StLJN will have details for you right here.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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