Resonance Ensemble, photo by Krzysztof Penarski

Resonance Ensemble, photo by Krzysztof Penarski

niedziela, 13 lutego 2011

Ken Vandermark

Ken Vandermark, photo by Nikita

Ken Vandermark (b. September 22, 1964, Warwick, Rhode Island, USA; tenor sax, bass clarinet Bb clarinet, baritone sax; Bachelor of Arts in Film and Communications from McGill University, Montreal, 1986).
Since the spring of 1986, Ken Vandermark has worked to expand the possibilities of improvised and composed music. He has worked continuously from the middle 1990's onward- both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe- and his primary creative focus has been contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. Vandermark moved to Chicago from Boston in 1989. Since then he's performed and recorded in a vast array of contexts, and with many internationally renowned musicians, touring on a regular basis in North America, Europe, and Japan for more than half of each year. His concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad.
Past groups of significance include the DKV Trio, the Territory Band, NRG Ensemble, AALY, the Vandermark Quartet, Spaceways Inc., FME, School Days, Caffeine, Cinghiale, and Steam. Currently, the majority of his work as a composer and improviser has been developed in the Vandermark 5, Powerhouse Sound, the Frame Quartet, Free Fall, and the Resonance Ensemble. In addition, he works on a regular basis with the total improvisation units Sonore, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, separate duos with the percussionists Paal Nilssen-Love and Tim Daisy, Lean Left, iTi, and Fire Room. Each year brings additional new projects and collaborations, which expand the range of his work. Vandermark also performs in a solo context. During December of 2008 he recorded his first soundtrack, for the documentary film, Strade d'Acqua (Roads of Water), directed by Augusto Contento. A second soundtrack will be developed in the spring of 2010, for another documentary by Contento, this time about Chicago's creative music scene. It will involve Steve Albini, Wayne Montana, David Grubbs, John Herndon, Rob Mazurek, and Chad Taylor.
In addition to his work as a performer, Vandermark has made many significant and highly respected contributions to both the Chicago and International Jazz/Improvised Music scenes by organizing concerts and sponsoring North American tours with a variety of artists and ensembles. With John Corbett he began programing the Empty Bottle “Wednesday Night Jazz Series” in 1996, and it brought musicians from Chicago, North America, and Europe to audiences for nearly a decade. From April 2006 to October 2008 he continued this work by co-directing the "Immediate Sound Series" with Mitch Cocanig at the Hideout; from autumn of 2005 to spring of 2009 he was a member of Umbrella Music, a musician-based group of organizers collaborating in Chicago which also programs an international music festival for Jazz and Improvised Music each November.

Citations of Merit:
- Selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 1999.
- One of the "Chicagoans of the Year in the Arts, 1994" (Chicago Tribune, January 1, 1995) for his work with the Vandermark Quartet.
- Selected as one of the "25 For The Future," the most significant improvising musicians under the age of 40, by Down Beat magazine, June 1998.
- In 2004, was named among the "Musicians Of The Year" by All About Jazz, New York.
- Picked as one of Chicago’s “40 Cultural Heroes” by Time Out magazine in September 2008.

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