Kris Davis & Craig Taborn (Piano Duo)


Kris Davis – piano
Craig Taborn – piano

Please join us for New Music Circle’s 58th Season opening concert
Saturday, October 1st at the 560 Music Center (E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall)
560 Trinity Ave, St. Louis, MO 63130 (map)
7pm doors / 8pm concert

Tickets available here
Performance and seating will be onstage in the main auditorium of the E. Desmond Lee room.
This concert will be professionally recorded and documented for an upcoming CD release.

Pianist-composer Kris Davis has prospered as one of the singular talents on the New York jazz scene, known for her ability to interweave jazz standards equally with experimental improvisations. Kris cites 20th century composers György Ligeti and Morton Feldman as inspirations in her quest to form complex compositions, yet she utilizes the sense of freedom found in avant-garde jazz to push these influences into new communicative territory. Her 2011 album, Capricorn Climber, made “best of the year” lists in The New York Times, NPR, and Art Forum. In 2015 she was granted the Doris Duke Impact Award. ( )

Craig Taborn is as likely to be playing free-improvisation with Roscoe Mitchell (Art Ensemble of Chicago), as he is to be playing straight-ahead jazz at New York City’s Village Vanguard. Though as adept in composed solo piano settings (see 2011’s critically acclaimed Avenging Angel) as with electro-acoustic sound collage (see 2004’s electronic album Junk Magic), his work resists genre labeling. While he has had a transformative impact on jazz, he remains even more deeply invested in the avant-garde models he has been exploring ever since his teenage years in Minneapolis, citing Cecil Taylor and Sun Ra as influences. Jazz Times ranked Taborn in its 2013 critics’ poll as “best piano player”, and in 2014 he was granted a Doris Duke Artist Award. ( )


NMC Showcase at Downtown Central Library




Tuesday, April 26th
6:30pm – 8:30pm

please note earlier start time than NMC events
St. Louis Public Library
1301 Olive St. 63103
map here
Facebook event here for more details
Tuesday, April 26th will see a collaborative presentation with St. Louis Public Library and Polish cultural presenter, St. Louis Polonia.  St. Louis acts, 18&Counting (Stan Chisolm), Vernacular String Trio (Cunningham, Andreotti, Weinstein), and Chris Smentkowski will each perform live scores to experimental films from Poland (1940-1980). This event will be free and open to the public. Details for the concert are here.

about the artists:

Chris Smentkowski – Electronics
Chris Smentkowski (b.1973) is a musician, artist, and curator. In 1998 he founded Brain Transplant and accepted the position as Director of Arts and Chief Curator for Saint Louis Polonia in 2014. He has exhibited his artwork nationally and lectured on contemporary Polish art both in America and in Poland, however, he remains best known for his work with experimental improvisation and noise in Saint Louis. Regular musical collaborators include Nathan Cook, Ajay Khanna, and Dave Stone.
Vernacular String Trio
Tracy Andreotti – Cello
Alex Cunningham – Violin
Joshua Weinstein – Upright Bass
Vernacular String Trio brings violinist Alex Cunningham (Hardbody, Hess/Cunningham), cellist Tracy Andreotti (Perihelion Trio, Union Avenue Opera) and upright bassist, Josh Weinstein (of All Soul, No Borders on KDHX) together for a spontaneous compositions. Formed nearly one year ago, the trio has become a fixture of STL’s rich experimental music scene and has regularly graced open ears at Schlafly Tap Room, Kismet Arts Center, Foam, and Tavern of Fine Arts. Recorded material is forthcoming.
Stan Chisolm – Electronics and live mix
18&Counting is the long-running project of St Louis visual artist/musician/dj, Stan Chisolm. Perhaps one of St. Louis’ most active names, On any given week one may find Chisolm DJ’ing (ranging from SLAM to any number of clubs), painting and showing his art (at galleries such as Regional Arts Comission and Hoffman Lachance), or performing his tense live 18&Counting sets (at Blank Space or 2720).  He recalls deciding on the 18andCounting moniker when he was thirteen, as “a way to hang out with everyone” in clique-oriented middle school. It also served as an ethos of sorts for his early forays into graffiti and street art. After earning his bachelor’s degree at Art Institute of Chicago, Chisholm spent the summer in Japan then bounced between Portland, Oregon, and Chicago before resettling in St. Louis. He performs as 18andCounting and releases eclectic monthly mixtapes, called 18on18, that drift between genres such as hip-hop, dub-step, Afro punk and electronica. He has received various awards from The Riverfront Times for Best DJ (2012), Best Solo Project (2011) and a 2011 RFT Mastermind Award (2010).

Tyshawn Sorey’s Alloy Trio

Presented by New Music Circle and KDHX

Saturday, April 16, 2016, 8:00 PM concert, 7:00 PM doors
at The Stage at KDHX, 3524 Washington Ave. 63103
Tyshawn Sorey — drums, Corey Smythe — piano, Chris Tordini — bass

Tyshawn Sorey

Widely considered one of the most talented and influential experimental jazz musicians of his generation, Tyshawn Sorey is a percussionist and composer whose innovative work defies all categories.

In 2015 Sorey received the prestigious 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award from the Doris Duke Foundation Performing Arts Awards. The International Contemporary Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, and TAK Ensemble have performed his compositions, which integrate African Diasporic, Western classical, and avant-garde musical genres. Sorey’s style embraces a basic paradox in contemporary experimental music, combining highly technical precision with the raw, virtuosic energy of improvisation.

Sorey has performed alongside most of the leading improvisers of our time, including Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Coleman and Anthony Braxton, and has had his work featured at major music festivals throughout the US. He is currently pursuing a PhD at Wesleyan University.

Tyshawn Sorey’s latest project, Alloy Trio, features original compositions with Corey Smythe on piano and Christopher Tordini on upright bass. The pieces focus on both space and texture, allowing for the reiteration of notes, patterns and silences. In live settings these pieces are uniquely unrepeatable and places the listener in the moment, alongside the musicians.


The Necks

Presented by New Music Circle and KDHX


Saturday, March 26, 2016 , 8:00 PM concert, 7:00 PM doors
at The Stage at KDHX, 3524 Washington Ave. 63103

The Necks

Unclassifiable, The Necks stand out over all the other groups Australia has produced. Neither jazz nor rock, this stylistically deceptive trio has maintained a singularly high standard throughout its career.

They will usually begin a set by playing a basic melodic/rhythmic figure and then developing it for up to an hour, gradually introducing microscopic changes and variations. Some critics have compared them to Krautrock groups (German genre of the late 1960s) like Can and Faust while others find similarities to the works of minimalist composers such as La Monte Young, Tony Conrad, or even Philip Glass.

Featuring lengthy pieces which slowly unravel in the most mesmerizing fashion (and frequently underpinned by an insistent, deep groove) the sixteen albums by The Necks hold up well under repeated listening. Chris Abrahams (piano), Tony Buck (drums), and Lloyd Swanton (bass) produce a collective chemistry that warrants their cult status.


Spektral Quartet

Spektral Quartet
Spektral Quartet

Saturday, March 5, 2016, 8:00 PM concert, 7:00 pm doors
at The 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave, 63130

+ Three free events with Spektral Quartet! Please see below for details…

“…leading the charge toward progressive, high-caliber contemporary classical music” – The Chicago Reader

Founded in 2010, the Spektral Quartet is widely regarded as one of Chicago’s most charismatic and forward-thinking chamber ensembles. The group’s creative approach to concert format, often shifting the role of audience member from spectator to participant, has earned it a loyal following within and beyond Chicago’s city limits.

Since its inception, the Spektral Quartet has welcomed the discourse between the masterworks of the traditional canon and works written this decade, this year, or even this week. 2013/14 also saw the release of the group’s first two full-length albums, both spotlighting the work of living, Chicago-based composers.

Concert program:

Hans Thomalla: New Work (2015)
Beat Furrer: String Quartet No. 3 (2004)
“The Spektral Quartet’s identity and orientation draws inspiration from within chamber music practice dating back to the quartets of Haydn, just as they forge uncharted sonic ground with the most forward-thinking composers of today. The musical style and current projects of German-born Chicago resident Hans Thomalla beautifully mirror the group’s approach to the string quartet. His music takes fragments of tradition and uses them as a germinative seed for his musical vocabulary, while he concurrently deals with materials on their own acoustical parameters. This concert presents the St. Louis Premiere of a new large-scale quartet by Thomalla, commissioned by the Siemens Foundation.
Austro-Swiss composer Beat Furrer’s “String Quartet No. 3” completes the program. This work, with its radical form and prismatic treatment of musical materials, spins out from the 16th century chorale at the work’s center. Its pregnant silences and sounds on the outer limits of musical exploration evoke a startlingly new musical language. Meanwhile, its form evolves in reverse order, allowing the listener to slowly come to the realization that the strange sounds they’ve heard develop are not creating something new, but originated in the veiled tonal chorale that serves as the piece’s crux. Its unspoken lyrics read: “You hear me not; at night I find no peace, for you conceal, as much as it pains me, your countenance.” – Spektral Quartet

+ Special FREE events with Spektral Quartet

Friday, April 4th – Artist talk at WUSTL – Spektral Quartet will lead an artist talk and discuss their practice and compositions. Free and open the public. 4pm-5pm at the Music Classroom Building, Room 102.  

Saturday, April 5th – Open Rehearsal at Tavern of Fine Arts: Join us for lunch as Spektral Quartet holds an open rehearsal from 1pm – 2pm at the Tavern of Fine Arts (313 Belt Ave). Free and open to the public

Saturday, April 5th – Pre concert talk from 7pm-7:20pm: Join NMC and Spektral Quartet for drinks and snacks in the Ballroom of the 560 Music Center. Members of Spektral Quartet will share insights about their concert program and the pieces to be performed.



 Co-sponsored by The Department of Music at Washington University in St. Louis