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Venue:
Philadelphia Art Alliance251 S. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $12 General Admission
Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 8:00pm

Gerald Cleaver Group

Jean Carla Rodea, voice
Andrew Bishop, reeds
Dave Ballou, trumpet
Michael Formanek, bass
Gerald Cleaver, drums

Ars Nova Workshop is excited to present this performance by the Gerald Cleaver Group, featuring Jean Carla Rodea, Dave Ballou, Andrew Bishop, and Michael Formanek.

Gerald Cleaver, born in Detroit in 1963, began playing drums, trumpet, and violin at an early age.  In his teens, he played with Ali Muhammad Jackson, Lamont Hilton, Earl Van Riper, and Pancho Hagood.  He earned a BA in music education from University of Michigan and, while there, won a National Endowment For The Arts Jazz Study Fellowship, which led to him studying with Victor Lewis.  Upon graduation he taught in the music department at both his alma mater and Michigan State University.  Over the years he has worked with Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Hank Jones, Matthew Shipp, Reggie Workman, Joe Morris, William Parker, and Ralph Alessi, to name only a few.  In 2002, Cleaver's Veil of Names group, featuring Mat Maneri, Ben Monder, Andrew Bishop, Craig Taborn, and Reid Anderson, received a Best Debut Recording nomination from the Jazz Journalists Association for their album Adjust.  In addition to his many other projects, Cleaver continues to work as a band leader with Uncle June, Violet Hour, and Farmer By Nature.

Cleaver has assembled some of the top musicians to work in this group.  Vocalist Jean Carla Rodea has worked with Joe Morris, William Parker, Joachim Badenhorst, Pascal Niggenkemper, Javier Moreno, Kyoko Kitamura, Devin Gray, Juan Pablo Carletti, and Brian Questa in her groups Jean Carla Rodea's Azares, the Jean Carla Rodea Group, and the Jean Carla Rodea Trio.

Composer and trumpeter Dave Ballou has performed and/or recorded with Kevin Norton, Andrew Hill, Dave Liebman, Oliver Lake, Steely Dan, Drew Gress, Tom Rainey, Tony Malaby, John Hollenbeck, Mario Pavone, Karl Berger, Daniel Levin, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Spokane Symphony and many others.  He is a tenured Associate Professor at Towson University.  He has released 9 albums as a group leader or co-leader, and latest is The Macroquarktet: Each Part A Whole with improvising trumpet legend Herb Robertson.

Composer, saxophonist, and clarinetist Andrew Bishop has worked with Karl Berger, Drew Gress, Chris Lightcap, Mat Maneri, Tony Malaby, John Zorn, The Either Orchestra, and many others.  He has received many awards and commissions from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, The Chicago Symphony, Meet The Composer, and several others.  He has recorded two albums as a group leader, Time and Imaginary Time and The Hank Williams Project (both on Envoi), and is currently working with Cleaver's Violet Hour, The Ellen Rowe Quartet, the Tad Weed Freedom Ensemble, Bottomed Out, and his two projects, the Bishop-Cleaver-Flood Trio and his Hank Williams Project.  He is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Michigan.

Born in San Francisco in 1958, bassist Michael Formanek got his start working with Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Dave Liebman, Fred Hersch, and Attila Zoller.  Throughout his career he has recorded and/or performed with a wide range of artists, including Elvis Costello, Tim Berne, Uri Caine, Marty Ehrlich, Stan Getz, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Mat Maneri, Dave Burrell, Jim Black, Chris Speed, Dave Ballou, and many others.  He has performed on over 100 records, and his first album as a group leader was 1990's Wide Open Spaces.  Several critically acclaimed albums have followed, such as Extended Animation, Low Profile, Nature of the Beast, and Am I Bothering You?  He has toured and recorded on multiple occasions with Tim Berne, in projects like Berne's Bloodcount and on many as band leader and composer.  He has won many commissions and awards from Chamber Music America, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and The Peabody Conservatory for Fanfare, and in 2003 he became a full-time faculty member in John Hopkins University's Jazz Studies Department.  His new album is set to be released this Fall on ECM.