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MUSICIAN Born:

Michael Zerang

I was born in Chicago, Illinois, 1958, and is a first-generation American of Assyrian decent. I am a professional musician, composer, producer, and educator since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms. As an ensemble member, I have worked in a concentrated fashion with several small and large groups over the years, contributing as a composer and performer, including Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Liof Munimula, Survival Unit III, Brötzmann/McPhee/Kessler/Zerang Quartet, Resonance Ensemble, Friction Brothers, and The Winter Solstice Concerts with Hamid Drake – an annual event in Chicago since 1990

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mars Williams / Tollef Østvang: Painted Pillars

Read "Painted Pillars" reviewed by Mark Corroto

If you only know saxophonist Mars Williams from his gigs with the post-punk band The Psychedelic Furs or the hip-hop/funk band Liquid Soul, you're missing out on a talented and dedicated free-jazz improviser. He scatters himself in many directions, from collaborations with Chicago's Ken Vandermark, Tim Daisy, Jim Baker and Michael Zerang, to work in Europe ...

ARTICLE: JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

The Slovenian Experience: Jazz Festival Ljubljana 2017

Read "The Slovenian Experience: Jazz Festival Ljubljana 2017" reviewed by Henning Bolte

Ljubljana--capital of the Republic of Slovenia, member of EU, neighbored by Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Italy--hosts the oldest jazz festival in Europe, which held its 58th edition this year (June, 28--July, 2). The event is organized by Cankarjev House/Cankarjev Dom, a prestigious, state-run cultural center in midtown Ljubljana, residing in one half of an impressive twin ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Hamid Drake & Michael Zerang: For Ed Blackwell

Read "For Ed Blackwell" reviewed by Mark Corroto

This forty-two minute continuous recording of drummers Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang was released on the occasion of the 25th anniversary performance of their Winter Solstice Concerts in December 2015. The percussionists' tradition of welcoming the return of the sun to the northern hemisphere every December 21st by making music predawn only to be illuminated by ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ken Vandermark Resonance Ensemble: Double Arc

Read "Double Arc" reviewed by Mark Corroto

For the most part, we only follow the trajectory of an artist's career many years after his work has been completed. Looking back at the career of Miles Davis, you can now play connect-the-dots from bebop to Gil Evans to modal jazz to electric Miles. Certainly, back in the day, many a listener knew not where ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sonic Communion: Sonic Communion

Read "Sonic Communion" reviewed by John Sharpe

In one of the more appropriately titled releases, three French improvisers encounter two Americans in concert, captured during a short tour of France. Heading up the US contingent is underexposed AACM stalwart reedman Douglas Ewart, accompanied by another Windy City denizen in drummer Michael Zerang. Bassists Joelle Leandre and Bernard Santacruz thicken the ensemble sound, while ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Peter Brotzmann/Joe McPhee/Kent Kessler/Michael Zerang: Tales Out Of Time

Read "Tales Out Of Time" reviewed by Mark Corroto

It is rare, in this new century, for us to look back at the significant recordings of living artists. The powers that be seem to always be pushing out new product to support a tour and get media attention. Then of course, once the artist has passed on, let the reissue series begin. Thank God for ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin: Ichigo Ichie

Read "Ichigo Ichie" reviewed by Mark Corroto

I'm going to propose a computer “app" called Big Band World Domination. With this software players would be able to go forward and backward in time to have big bands compete against each other. Spin back to the territory bands of the 1920s, 30s, all the way to the 1960s, and then up to today. We ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Fred Lonberg-Holm/Ken Vandermark: Resistance

Read "Resistance" reviewed by Mark Corroto

When you consider all the musicians that have recorded duos with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, it sounds kind of like the SPAM Monty Python sketch comedy piece. “Yes, I'll have some Fred Lonberg-Holm and Ken Vandermark." What, you don't want Fred Lonberg-Holm and Axel Dörner, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Mats Gustafsson, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Peter Brotzmann, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mikolaj Trzaska/ Devin Hoff/ Michael Zerang: Sleepless In Chicago

Read "Sleepless In Chicago" reviewed by John Sharpe

With Poland proving such a welcoming venue for so many of Chicago's finest, it's no surprise to see a little quid pro quo from time to time. Reedman Mikołaj Trzaska, one of his country's most forward thinking players, has collaborated with various visiting Americans, most notably Joe McPhee and Ken Vandermark, but it is as a ...


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