Evan Parker / Peter Evans Duo

Friday, October 2, 2015, concert 8:00 PM, doors 7:00 PM
Joe’s Cafe, 6014 Kingsbury Ave., 63122 (map)
Evan Parker — saxophones, Peter Evans — trumpet

Parker-Evans-2From the late 1960s onward, Evan Parker has remained a crucial figure in the development of European free jazz and free improvisation and has pioneered or substantially expanded an array of extended techniques for wind instruments. Critic Ron Wynn describes Parker as “among Europe’s most innovative and intriguing saxophonists … his solo sax work isn’t for the squeamish.” In Evan Parker’s music, thought process and breath control are continuous, each being the instrument and measure of the other.

Though Parker has worked extensively in both large and small ensembles, he is perhaps best known for his solo soprano saxophone music, a singular body of work that in recent years has centered around his continuing exploration of techniques such as circular breathing and multi-phonics. Alone, these are mere technical devices, such that Parker’s use of them is, he says, less analytical than intuitive. He has likened his solo performances to entering a quasi trance-like state. The resulting affect is a hypnotic, uninterrupted flow of snaky, densely textured sound, and many listeners have found it hard to perceive that one man could create such intricate, complex music in real time.

Now at the age of 71, Evan Parker’s list of associations is prolific and includes collaborations with such vanguard improvisers as Anthony Braxton and Milford Graves, yet also with avant-rock names like Spiritualized and Scott Walker, and he continues to perform with emerging improvisers such as Okkyung Lee, Chris Corsano, and John Wiese.

Peter Evans is a trumpet player, improviser and composer based in New York City. Since 2013, Evans has participated in New York City’s broad, hybridized scene of musical experimentation, thus his work cuts across a wide range of modern musical practices and traditions. He is committed to the simultaneously self-reflective yet collaborative nature of musical improvisation as a compositional tool, and his capabilities in improvised concert settings are already legendary. Says regular collaborator, Okkyung Lee, “Peter can do anything!”, and when leading his own groups, Peter Evans Quintet and Zebulon Trio, he juxtaposes the cerebral and the playful in a truly unique manner.

Born in 1981, Evans has been a member of New York City’s musical community since 2003, when he moved there after graduating from the Oberlin Conservatory with a degree in classical trumpet performance. He currently works in a wide range of settings, including solo performance, chamber orchestra, performance art, free improvisation, electro-acoustic and composition. Regular collaborations include work with Mary Halvorson, Zach Hill, Claire Chase, Brandon Seabrook and Nate Wooley.

Special Engagement:
Evan Parker and Peter Evans will participate in a collaborative performance and artist talk at FOAM (3359 S. Jefferson Ave.) on Saturday, October 3rd at 11am. This event is FREE and open to the public. Local musicians will collaborate in short sets with each artist. Foam will have coffee and pastries available. Please see our website for updated information. RSVP on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1642020816065882/


Silvie Courvoisier / Mark Feldman Duo

Presented by New Music Circle and KDHX

Friday, December 4, 2015, concert 8:00 PM, doors 7:00 PM
at The Stage at KDHX, 3524 Washington Ave., 63103 (map)
Sylvie Courvoisier — piano, Mark Feldman — violin

Mark Feldman / Silvie Courvoisier

Swiss pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and American violinist Mark Feldman have been close partners, both musically and personally, for more than fifteen years, and their music attests to that, imbuing a sense of familiarity yet avoiding predictability. Feldman spoke of the music’s goal to achieve “integration…the real organic integration of classical and modern jazz.”

Since relocating from Switzerland to New York City in 1998, Sylvie Courvoisier has been and active force in the downtown New York scene and has released albums on John Zorn’s Tzadik label as well as ECM. In both her playing and her composition, she reflects neoclassical influences mixed with European improvised styles and draws much inspiration from the unique sphere of experimental genres that make up the New York downtown scene, where she regularly performs and records with Ikue Mori and Susie Ibarra (as the trio Mephista), John Zorn, Yusef Lateef, Evan Parker, Lotte Anker, and Fred Frith, among others.

Mark Feldman belongs to that selective cadre of jazz violinists dominated by such greats as Noel Pointer and Stéphane Grappelli, all while honing a storyteller’s vernacular so much his own that he may one day be seen as the pioneer of a new tradition. Firmly established as one of jazz’s finest string players, his musical explorations establish a climate often associated with contemporary composition, yet include a sense of spontaneous ensemble interaction so critical to the jazz language. In concert he has performed with Paul Bley, Anthony Davis, Tim Berne, Muhal Richard Abrams, and many more.


SPECIAL FREE EVENT: Join New Music Circle and Jackson Pianos as we host a special event with Sylvie Courvoisier and Mark Feldman at the wonderful showroom at Jackson Pianos. Both artists will engage in a short performances and take time to discuss their work, music techniques, and participate in a Q+A. Snacks and beverages will be served. No RSVP is needed.

Thursday, December 3rd at Jackson Pianos (4354 Olive St, St. Louis, MO 63108). 6:30pm – 7:30pm. Free and open to the public.


Summer Interlude

We had a truly remarkable 2014/15 season, thanks to all the great artists and wonderful audience — our largest season turnout ever! We’ll be announcing our 2015/2016 season soon. Our first show will be Friday, October 2, so mark your calendars. In the meantime, check out some concert photos from our Facebook site.


Tim Berne Interview


Tim Berne took a moment from his busy touring schedule to talk to New Music Circle about his ongoing project, Snakeoil. The group has just released You’ve Been Watching Me, their third album for ECM. The Guardian described Snakeoil as a group that ” ingeniously joins intricately multi-voiced music, lyricism, contemplation, and rugged avant-funk.”

Can you tell me about your current tour?

Yeah, we are playing about 15 cities in the States, as well as Europe and South America. Right now we are in the Midwest route of our tour, which includes Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, and St. Louis. I Believe our last visit to St. Louis was around 1997 with Bloodcount. Actually, we released a live cd of that concert.

What are your thoughts on touring and the current state of touring for you in the US?

This tour, audience-wise, has been way above average…really good turnouts. I would say lately it’s been better than usual. It’s always hard work, at least for me, because I always book the tours myself, and the transport is difficult because of the great distances. But as far as playing the States goes, I love doing it, and in terms of this tour in particular all the audiences have been really amazing and enthusiastic and fun. People always ask what the difference is between playing in the US and in Europe, and I would say the shows might be easier to get in Europe, but audiences are better here. For instance, our show the other night in Berkley: It was on a Sunday, and I was told to expect a slim audience…but it ended up being completely packed and people were excited about the music…

…the Snakeoil project has been continuing for awhile now, which probably helps a bit too…

Yeah! We’ve been together for a while now, and I feel like maybe we’ve built up some momentum in terms of folks latching onto the project. The thing about Snakeoil is that every time we go on tour the music changes pretty significantly, and that no one in the group is playing it safe. Even though we have tunes, the musicians rarely approach it the same way – (drummer) Ches Smith is playing a lot more vibes now, which changes the dynamic. Also, with Snakeoil, we rehearse more than most groups and have a level of commitment because of the consistency of recording. It helps that we’ve been working on a record about every year and touring every year…I think all of this keeps everyone motivated. Seeing the response we’ve had from the recordings and live sets makes us want to keep doing it…

Can you tell me about the recent Snakeoil release on ECM, You’ve Been Watching Me?

The recording process has been pretty similar to the last few, as David Torn, who recorded our last one, produced this one as well. The way David mixes sounds is really three-dimensional. He knows how to get every detail out of the music. But recording-wise, after spending lots of time preparing, we go to the studio and then it happens super quick…usually in one or two takes. This one we made in about a day. Not to compare, but this may be one of my favorite of the Snakeoil series so far. The whole collaboration with ECM has worked out really well.

Something new for this group is the addition of guitars…

I try to throw a new thing into each album and I really wanted to bring something new in without messing with the chemistry, so there’s guitar on this one by Ryan Ferriera. Ryan’s worked with Matt Mitchell (Snakeoil pianist) over the last few years, and when he started working with Snakeoil it really worked out.

What is the writing process like for this group?

When I’m focused I can write a bunch of music in a few weeks. Then it takes rehearsals and gigs to work it all out. But I really try to think about contrast, and exploiting all the combinations between the instruments…taking shape as duos, trios, quartets, between the five of us. I’m looking to create some drama, so it doesn’t sound one-dimensional, “oh here’s the solo…” – that sorta thing.

Tim Berne and Snakeoil will be performing at 7:30 PM on Friday, May 8, at The Stage at KDHX.


Tim Berne’s Snakeoil – (quartet)

Presented by New Music Circle and KDHX

Friday, May 8, 2015
Concert 7:30 PM
Doors 7:00 PM
The Stage at KDHX – welcomed by KDHX
3524 Washington Ave. 63103 (map)
  • Tim Berne — saxophone
  • Oscar Noriega — clarinets
  • Matt Mitchell — piano
  • Ches Smith — percussion
New York-based alto saxophonist Tim Berne has long been regarded as one of the Downtown scene’s most forward thinking bandleaders. Active in New York since 1974, Berne has fostered the creative talent of subsequent generations.Since learning music at the elbow of St. Louis master Julius Hemphill in the ’70s, Berne has built an expansive discography, and The New York Times described Berne’s signature sound as one consisting of “wide intervals, athletic tone, tiny grooves worked into the music’s pivots and hesitations”.Within the project, Snakeoil, Berne writes highly investigative and intricate jazz, bringing together the talents of Oscar Noriega (clarinet, bass clarinet), Matt Mitchell (piano), and Ches Smith (drums, percussion). The group has released three highly acclaimed albums for ECM.For an interview with Tim Berne published in Sunday’s Post Dispatch, click here.

For more information and links to video clips, go to our facebook page.

Buy tickets for Snakeoil

Special thanks to Piano Distributors and Jackson Pianos