Jen Shyu

Jen Shyu
Solo Rites: Seven Breaths
Friday, November 11. 2016
The Kranzberg Arts Center
501 N Grand Blvd. 63103 (map)
Jen Shyu – voice, performance, multiple instruments

Born to Taiwanese and East Timorese immigrant parents, 2016 Doris Duke Artist Jen Shyu is an experimental jazz vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, producer, and Fulbright scholar. Known mostly for her virtuosic singing with saxophonist and 2014 MacArthur Genius Fellow Steve Coleman since 2003 and having collaborated with innovators such as Anthony Braxton, she has performed her own music around the world in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and festivals around the world. The New York Times reviewed her live concerts as “the most arresting performances I’ve seen over the past five years. It’s not just the meticulous preparation of the work and the range of its reference, but its flexibility: She seems open, instinctual, almost fearless”. The Wall Street Journal said, “Her voice, a wonder of technical control and unrestrained emotion, tells a story dotted with well-researched facts and wild poetic allusions. She claims both as her truths.”

Jen is currently based in New York City, touring with her group Jade Tongue and performing Solo Rites: Seven Breaths in the US and abroad. In March 2016, she premiered Song of Silver Geese, a multilingual, ritual music drama composed for Jade Tongue, dancer Satoshi Haga, and Mivos Quartet at Roulette. She is currently working on this and her next solo work, which will result in a United States 50-state “Songs of the World Now (SOWN)” tour.


Spring Roll Quartet

NMC and KDHX Present
Sylvaine Hélary’s Spring Roll Quartet
Saturday, October 22nd, 2016
The Stage at KDHX
3524 Washington Ave. 63103 (map)

Sylvaine Hélary (flute/compostions)
Antonin Rayon (piano/MS20 synthesizer)
Hugues Mayot (saxophones/clarinets)
Sylvain Lemêtre (vibraphone/percussion)

Sylvaine Hélary (France) is a composer, and flutist, active in a multitude of endeavors, from performance art, composing for large ensembles, to improvised engagements with Chicago figures such as cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and percussionist Mike Reed. Her most recent ensemble, working under the title Spring Roll, covers a span of styles in an almost collage-like manner. Spring Roll’s thematically dense surrealist arrangements with percussive counterpoint warrant comparison to composers like Ornette Coleman and Harry Partch, as well as underground-rock greats Henry Cowell and Captain Beefheart. The quartet includes Hélary, Antonin Rayon (piano/MS20 synthesizer), Hugues Mayot (saxophones/clarinets), and Sylvain Lemêtre (vibraphone/percussion).

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.