Leah Bowden (percussion), Wendy Eisenberg (guitar), Jason Robinson (saxophone)
Leah Bowden is a percussionist and music scholar from California. She has performed, toured and recorded with red fish blue fish, William Winant, Anthony Davis, Mark Dresser, Steven Schick, Nicole Mitchell, Bang on a Can All-Stars, International Contemporary Ensemble, Kid Millions, El Otro Lado, Secret Drum Band and many others. Her 2018 dissertation (UC San Diego) represents the first scholarly work to date on Max Roach's historic percussion ensemble M'Boom. She is currently Acting Director of The Warren Smith Archives Project (Harlem, New York). Leah and her husband Philip reside in an 1850s farmhouse in Conway, MA. They maintain a small music studio, host artists, activists and other visitors, and graze Jacobs sheep on open pastures.
Wendy Eisenberg is an improvising guitarist, banjo-player, vocalist and songwriter. She has written for and performed in numerous projects, including the critically acclaimed experimental band, Birthing Hips, described by NPR as “brainy, noisy punk based in sonic adventure, technical mastery, and rejection of the status quo." Her work as an improviser has led to collaborations with Ted Reichman, Joe Morris, Damon Smith, John Zorn, Matt Mitchell and Zach Rowden, among many others. Eisenberg has premiered work by Mitchell, Zorn, Maria Schneider, and Bill Holman, as well as the work of her many peers. In addition to her work as a collaborative artist, she has two solo careers: improviser/composer, and songwriter. Wendy’s debut improvisational solo guitar record as an improviser will come out on Steve Lowenthal's VDSQ imprint in 2018. Her “songs” album, Time Machine, released on HEC Tapes in April 2017, was re-released on vinyl on Feeding Tube records in September 2018. She also has a trio album with Trevor Dunn and Ches Smith on John Zorn's Tzadik label.
The music of American saxophonist and scholar Jason Robinson ("rugged and scintillating," New York Times) thrives in the fertile overlaps between improvisation and composition, acoustic music and electronics, tradition and experimentalism. Initially a devotee of post-1960s jazz and creative music, Robinson is celebrated for bringing together various historical directions in jazz--bebop, post-bop, the avant-garde--with an improvisatory and compositional sensibility drawn from and extending the languages of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Lester Young. His musical interests, however, span far and wide. He is a critically acclaimed distinctive voice in a new generation of creative musicians in equal dialogue with jazz, popular music, experimental music, and electronic music. Robinson's primary group is his New York-based Janus Ensemble, which ranges in size from a quintet with reedist Marty Ehrlich, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer George Schuller, to the full nine-piece version of the group with the addition of reedist JD Parran, trombonist and tubist Bill Lowe, tubist Marcus Rojas, and drummer Ches Smith. Robinson has released 15 albums as leader or co-leader and appeared on nearly 50 albums in total. He performs regularly as a soloist (acoustically and with electronics), with his group the Janus Ensemble, and in a variety of collaborative contexts. He has performed at festivals and prominent venues in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and throughout Europe and/or recorded with Peter Kowald, George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Amiri Baraka, Drew Gress, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Marty Ehrlich, Eugene Chadbourne, Earl Howard, Toots and the Maytals, Groundation, Bertram Turetzky, Mark Dresser, John Russell, Roger Turner, Gerry Hemingway, Kei Akagi, Mel Graves, Liberty Ellman, Babatunde Lea, Mel Martin, Marco Eneidi, Lisle Ellis, Raphe Malik, Mike Wofford, Philip Gelb, JD Parran, Dana Reason, David Borgo, Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (at Pearl's, San Francisco), the La Jolla Symphony, SONOR (UCSD), and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, among others. As a scholar, Robinson’s work investigates the relationship between improvised and popular musics, experimentalism, and cultural identity. He has published articles and reviews in Ethnomusicology, Jazz Perspectives, and Critical Studies in Improvisation/ Études critiques en improvisation. Robinson is Associate Professor of Music at Amherst College.
Dave Haughey (cello), Jamie MacDonald (bass)
Brought together as orchestra sideman for Panopera, Jamie MacDonald instantly felt an instant kinship with Dave Haughey and invited him to explore where improvisation might take them without limits on sound, form or texture.
Dave Haughey changes the way people think about the cello. His holistic approach to modern cello playing encompasses myriad genres and techniques, making him one of the most versatile young cellists in the world. He is an improviser, composer, and teacher who is always searching for new ways to expand the unique capabilities of the cello, thus trailblazing a path to a world where the instrument is known not only for is place in classical music but also a versatile and ubiquitous tool for music making in any genre. Jamie Macdonald is known in the New England-area as a professional, musical, eclectic bassist who likes to blur genres rooted in tradition but exploring its boundaries. Together they are sure to surprise and expand what the expectations of two bass oriented string instruments are capable of.