russ johnson

Russ Johnson New Quartet with Aruàn Ortiz, Michael Formanek, Gerald Cleaver

Russ Johnson New Quartet
Saturday, February 18 at 8 PM

The Jazz Estate
2423 N Murray Ave
Milwaukee, WI
 
Aruán Ortiz – Piano “An avatar of creative and progressive improvisation,” Cuban-born, Brooklyn-based pianist, violist, and composer Aruán Ortiz has written music for jazz ensembles, orchestras, dance companies, chamber groups, and feature films. His work incorporates influences from contemporary classical music, Cuban-Haitian rhythms, and avant-garde improvisation; and consistently strives to break stylistic musical boundaries. He has been called “the latest Cuban wunderkind to arrive in the United States” by BET Jazz. Although Aruán tours predominantly with his own trio, he has also played, toured, or recorded with Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Wadada Leo Smith, Don Byron, Greg Osby, Wallace Roney, Nicole Mitchell, Steve Turre, Cameron Brown,and Nasheet Waits, to name a few.

Michael Formanek – Bass One marker of bassist Michael Formanek’s creativity and versatility is the range of distinguished musicians of several generations he’s worked with. While still a teenager in the 1970s he toured with drummer Tony Williams and saxophonist Joe Henderson; starting in the ’80s he played long stints with Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Fred Hersch and Freddie Hubbard. (As a callback to those days, Formanek recorded with hardbop pianist Freddie Redd in 2013). The bassist has played a pivotal role on New York’s creative jazz scene going back to the ’90s when he notably led his own quintet and played in Tim Berne’s barnstorming quartet Bloodcount. Nowadays Formanek’s in the co-op Thumbscrew with Brooklyn guitarist Mary Halvorson and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. Formanek is also a composer and leader of various bands. His principal recording and international touring vehicle is his acclaimed quartet with Tim Berne on alto saxophone, Craig Taborn on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums, which records for ECM; 2010’s The Rub and Spare Change and 2012’s Small Places both earned coveted five-star raves in Down Beat.

Gerald Cleaver- Drummer Gerald Cleaver, born May 4, 1963 and raised in Detroit, is a product of the city’s rich music tradition. Inspired by his father, drummer John Cleaver, he began playing the drums at an early age. He also played violin in elementary school and trumpet in junior high school and high school. He gained early invaluable experience with Detroit jazz masters Ali Muhammad Jackson, Lamont Hamilton, Earl Van Riper, and Pancho Hagood. While attending the University of Michigan as a music education major, he was awarded a Jazz Study Grant, from the National Endowment for the Arts, to study with drummer Victor Lewis. He graduated in 1992 and began teaching in Detroit where he worked with Rodney Whitaker, A. Spencer Barefield, Marcus Belgrave, Donald Walden, Wendell Harrison, and with visiting musicians Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris, Kenny Burrell, Frank Foster, Cecil Bridgewater, Ray Bryant, Eddie Harris, Dennis Rowland, Howard Johnson, Diana Krall, and Don Byron. In 1995 he accepted an appointment as assistant professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Michigan, and in 1998 also joined the jazz faculty at Michigan State University. He moved to New York in 2002.
He has toured and/or recorded with Henry Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, Lotte Anker, Matt Shipp, William Parker, Craig Taborn, Kevin Mahogany, Charles Gayle, Mario Pavone, Ralph Alessi, Jacky Terrasson, Muhal Richard Abrams, Tim Berne, Jeremy Pelt, Ellery Eskelin, David Torn, Miroslav Vitous, Terje Rypdal, Michael Formanek, Tomasz Stanko, Charles Lloyd, and Bill Frisell, among others.

Quinsin Nachoff’s “Flux” with David Binney, Matt Mitchell, and Kenny Wollesen

Thursday Nov 17, 10am – 12pm

UW-Parkside
Bedford Hall! FREE!!!!!
https://www.uwp.edu/therita/about.cfm

Flux with Dave Binney, Matt Mitchell, Kenny Wollesen, Quinsin Nachoff

NYC-based Canadian saxophonist and composer Quinsin Nachoff “is one of the truly bright younger jazz minds” (Globe and Mail). Nachoff has been colliding genres since his 2006 debut, Magic Numbers, which melded a jazz trio with a string quartet. He’s since composed music for a variety of ensembles, including the Penderecki String Quartet, the Turning Point Ensemble, and the Cecilia String Quartet, as well as his own Horizons Ensemble, Quiescence Quartet, the Pyramid Project and the FoMo quartet. As a sideman he’s performed and/or recorded with Kenny Werner, Howard Johnson, Tim Hagans, Kenny Wheeler and Don Thompson among others. He has coached at the Banff Centre for the Arts and taught at the University of Toronto and Humber College, as well as serving as artist-in-residence at the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane, Australia. On his most recent recording Flux, Nachoff explores the elusive terrain between modern jazz and contemporary classical, between the cerebral and the organic. Flux creates a fervently original sound that evokes bold, incisive playing from a singularly innovative quartet. It’s “a pure, bracing through-provoking musicŠ cliché- and convention-free,” says Peter Hum in the Ottawa Citizen of the group’s debut concert. Jazz Magazine in France gave the recording 4-stars, calling Quinsin “a brilliant virtuoso musician.” The music has “an intensity and modernity, a brashness and in-your-face confidence of delivery,” notes All About Jazz. “Solid stuff for the adventurous listener, this is moving work that hits the target mightily,” says Midwest Record.

Quinsin Nachoff – saxophone, composition
David Binney – saxophone
Matt Mitchell – piano, keyboards
Kenny Wollesen – drums

Nachoff’s writing is “bold, diverse and filled with compelling counterpoint.” – James Hale, DownBeat

Russ Johnson’s Headlands at The Sugar Maple

Thursday, September 29 at 8:00pm, $10 cover
The Sugar Maple
441 E Lincoln Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53207

Russ Johnson – trumpet/compositions
Rob Clearfield – keyboard
Matt Ulery – bass
Jon Deitemyer – drums


Trumpeter Russ Johnson is a recent Midwest transplant after spending 23 years as an important member of New York City’s jazz community. He has 7 recordings as a leader or co-leader and performed on more than 75 recordings as a sideman. Russ has worked alongside many of the legendary figures in jazz including Lee Konitz, Steve Swallow, Bill Frisell, and Joe Lovano. In addition, Russ has recorded and/or performed with a long list of the most prominent musicians currently on the international jazz scene, including Myra Melford, Ken Vandermark, and Tony Malaby. Russ has performed in more than 40 countries across the globe.

The Russ Johnson Quartet is his latest project & features 3 Chicago musicians (Jason Stein – bass clarinet; Anton Hatwich – bass; and Tim Daisy – drums) with international acclaim. This group recently performed at the Umbrella Festival in Chicago in November of 2013, and the 2014 Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park. Their new recording “Meeting Point” was released in May of 2014 on Relay Recordings. “Meeting Point” received 4 ½ stars in the May issue of Down Beat magazine & has been listed among the “Best CD’s of 2014” in the January 2015 issue of Down Beat. Magnet Magazine recently placed “Meeting Point” on its “Top 10 CD’s of 2014” in the jazz/improvisation category.

October of 2014 saw the release of “Still Out to Lunch,” on the German label Enja. The group performs the music of Eric Dolphy, and recently headlined “Edge Fest” in Ann Arbor Michigan and has a January 2015 performance scheduled at NYC’s “Winter Jazz Fest.”

Kenny Werner Trio featuring Ari Hoenig and Johannes Weidenmueller

Thursday – March 17, 2016, 7:30pm
UW-Parkside, Bedford Hall
900 Wood Rd.
Kenosha, WI 53144
uwp.edu/engage/musicperformances

tickets $10/$5 students

Kenny Werner, piano
Johannes Weidenmueller, bass
Ari Hoenig, drums


Kenny Werner has been a world-class pianist and composer for over forty years. His prolific output of compositions, recordings and publications continue to impact audiences around the world. In 1996 he wrote his landmark book, Effortless Mastery, Liberating The Master Musician Within. Werner has  since created videos, lectured world-wide and authored many articles on how musicians, artists or even business people can allow their “master creator” within to lift their performance to it’s highest level, showing us how to be spontaneous, fearless, joyful and disciplined in our work and in our life.

Kenny was awarded the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship Award for his seminal work, No Beginning No End. No Beginning No End is a musical journey exploring tragedy and loss, death and transition, and the path from one lifetime to the next. Utilizing over 70 musicians, Kenny’s third album for Half Note Records is an expansive composition featuring Joe Lovano, Judy Silvano, Wind Ensemble, Choir and String Quartet.

Born in Brooklyn, NY on November 19, 1951 and then growing up in Oceanside, Long Island, Kenny began playing and performing at a young age, first recording on television at the age of 11. Although he studied classical piano as a child, he enjoyed playing anything he heard on the radio. In high school and his first years of college he attended the Manhattan School of Music as a classical piano major.

His natural instinct for improvisation led Kenny to the Berklee School of Music in 1970. There he sought tutelage of the renowned piano teacher Madame Chaloff. A Her gracious wisdom and inspiration became a driving force in Kenny’s conception: A music conscious of its spiritual intent and essence.

 

Russ Johnson – Jon Irabagon Quintet feat. Ohad Talmor at West End Conservatory

Tuesday, December 29

at 8:45 PM

West End Conservatory
5500 W Vliet St
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53208
(414) 502-9378

Russ Johnson – trumpet
Jon Irabagon – saxophones
Ohad Talmor – tenor
Matt Ulery – bass
Jon Deitemyer – drums

$10 cover / 2 sets


Trumpeter Russ Johnson is a recent Midwest transplant after spending 23 years as an important member of New York City’s jazz community. He has six recordings as a leader or co-leader and has performed on more than 75 recordings as a sideman. Johnson has worked alongside many legendary figures in jazz including Lee Konitz, Steve Swallow, Bill Frisell, and Joe Lovano. In addition, he has performed and/or recorded with a long list of the prominent musicians currently on the international jazz scene including Ken Vandermark, Myra Melford, and Jenny Scheinman. His most recent recording, Meeting Point was released in May 2014 on Relay Recordings, and is already receiving critical acclaim. Johnson currently serves as the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside.