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November 2010

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Venue:
The Rotunda4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: Free Admission
Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 8:00pm

Ches Smith & These Arches

Tony Malaby, tenor saxophone
Mary Halvorson, el. guitar
Andrea Parkins, electronics + amplified accordion
Ches Smith, percussion

"Finally Out Of My Hands is one of the year's most intriguing releases. The debut recording of Ches Smith & These Arches, this visceral studio session features an unorthodox instrumental combination courtesy of some of New York's finest improvisers. Eschewing conventional roles, they erase preconceived boundaries separating the frontline from the rhythm section, conjuring verdant sonic panoramas that balance compositional clarity with mercurial invention." -Troy Collins, All About Jazz

Ars Nova Workshop is thrilled to present percussionist Ches Smith's exciting new quartet, These Arches, featuring Tony Malaby, Mary Halvorson, and Andrea Parkins.  The group will be performing pieces from their debut album, which will be released in November on Chris Speed's artist-run Skirl Records.  Record collectors: Be sure to show up early because Hiding Place will be at The Rotunda with an excellent selection of jazz, avant-garde classical, soul, funk, prog, psychedelic, and “out” viny.

A former student of William Winant, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros, and Alvin Currin at Mills College, Ches Smith has proven to be one of the most versatile drummers working in experimental music today.  Navigating seamlessly from jazz to metal to punk to art-rock to electronic music to Haitian voodoo drumming, over the years he has worked with Secret Chiefs 3, Trevor Dunn, Xiu Xiu, John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, John Tchicai, Good For Cows, Marc Ribot, Fred Frith, Mr. Bungle, Carla Bozulich, Todd Sickafoose, 7 Year Rabbit Cycle, Theory of Ruin, Tim Berne, Terry Riley, Ben Goldberg, and many others.  His solo percussion, piano, and electronics project, Congs For Brums, released an album in 2006 and his next release, Noise To Men, will be out this year.

For this project, Smith has brought together an amazing group featuring some of the most talented jazz and experimental musicians working today.  Saxophonist Tony Malaby has worked with Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra, Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, Mark Helias' Open Loose, Fred Hersch, Michell Portal's Birdwatcher, Tim Berne, Chris Lightcap, Angelica Sanchez, Marty Ehrlich, Tom Rainey, Mike Sarin, Fred Lonberg-Holm, John Hollenbeck, William Parker, Nasheet Waits, and many others.  His current projects include Apparitions (with Drew Gress, Rainey, and Sarin), The Tony Malaby Cello Trio (with Lonberg-Holm and Hollenbeck), Paloma Recio (with Ben Monder, Elvind Opsvik, and Waits), and Tamarindo (with Parker and Waits).  He also works with the Malaby-Sanchez-Rainey Trio.

Guitarist Mary Halvorson is currently working in several projects with artists like Jessica Pavone, Nate Wooley, Anthony Braxton, Daniel Levin, Reuben Radding, Ellery Eskelin, Mark Helias, Taylor Ho Bynum, Todd Sickafoose, Jenny Scheinmann, Ingrid Laubrock, Tom Rainey, Jon Irabagon, Trevor Dunn, Tatsuya Nakatani, and many others.  She has appeared on many recordings, and in 2010 she has appeared on Map's Fever Dream and Tom Rainey Trio's Pool School.  Upcoming records include an album with her group People and the Mary Halvorson Quintet.

Composer and electro-acoustic instrumentalist (primarily laptop electronics, piano, and amplified accordion) Andrea Parkins works across a broad spectrum of contemporary creative culture, from dance and film to sound/installation works featuring her visual art.  She has performed with Nels Cline, Miya Masaoka, Otomo Yoshihide, Jim Black, Tom Rainey, Fred Frith, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Ellery Eskelin, Jessica Constable, and many others.  She has also been the recipient of many grants from New York State Council on the Arts, Meet The Composer, and American Composers Forum, among others.  Her recordings, on labels like Important, Eremite, Atavistic, and hatOLOGY, have received rave reviews from the New York Times, The Wire, Brainwashed, and Dusted.

Photo: Peter Gannushkin