Where: LaFontsee Gallery
833 Lake Drive SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
“Gebhard Ullmann is one of the finest improvising artists in the world today,”
Adventuremusic.org presents the second season of experiential concerts, The Underground Series, with a new international improvising ensemble co-led by saxophonist/bass clarinetist Gebhard Ullmann and trombonist Steve Swell: The Chicago Project, featuring Chicagoan cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and drummer/percussionist Michael Zerang.
As part of a 6 concert tour the Chicago Project’s performance in Grand Rapids offers a glimpse into the evolution of an improvising ensemble, a nightly experience of musical growth and possibility.
“Gebhard Ullmann is one of the finest improvising artists in the world today,” said pianist Paul Bley of the Berlin-based tenor saxophonist/bass clarinetist with 50 recordings released under his own name. Steve Swell has a foundation in the teaching of veteran trombonist Roswell Rudd and blossomed from there into a socially conscious, virtuoso trombonist and visionary bandleader (hear his ensemble “Slamming the Infinite”).
Together Ullmann and Swell developed a musical simpatico leading to more unique concert experiences than are generally fielded outside of major cities (Berlin, New York and Chicago, in this instance). They put Grand Rapids on their tour route in 2004, leading a quartet including jazz giant Barry Altschul, drums, and Hilliard Greene, bass; returning in 2007 and 2008, then Ullmann’s Clarinet Trio performed in west Michigan in 2010. Each memorable concert in that history was improvised and will never be heard again. Experiencing this music live is unlike anything you’ve ever heard in your life.
Here’s hoping you’ll tell your friends about the explorations in sound occurring Sunday afternoons in Grand Rapids. This year’s series will include performances by
- February – Gary McCourry’s Saxophone Ensemble
- March – Matt Ulery’s Large Chamber Jazz Ensemble
- April 17th – Adam Rudolph and Hamid Drake
This concert is made possible in part by The Goethe Institute.