Mankwe Ndosi, vocalist

“The bewitching and virtuosic vocalizing of Ndosi spans genres, ethnicities, species, continents, and likely galaxies, too.” – Greg Tate

Of Tanzanian and African American heritage, Mankwe Ndosi is celebrated for a sound and practice that spans genres and disciplines: celebrating influences from Jazz and African legacies, Hip Hop and Soul, performance art, theater, public art and improvisation. She has toured and recorded with independent hip-hop powerhouse duo Atmosphere and Brother Ali. Her solo releases include Do Gooder’s Blues (2009) and the critically acclaimed Science and Spirit (2012). She describes her style on Science and Spirit as “live, creative improvisational work with hip hop.” A long-time creative associate of Chicago-based AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) Mankwe has spent years exploring improvisational and creative music making at the forefront and intersections of modern creative and avant-garde Jazz. She tours and performs nationally and internationally with noted 2014 appearances with Nicole Mitchell and Ballake Sissoko in France and Switzerland, performances in the world-premier of River See, Sharon Bridgforth’s theatrical jazz masterwork in Chicago and Boston, performances with mentor and AACM stalwart Douglas Ewart. Her vocal work as a member of Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble is featured on the 2014 release Intergalactic Beings. Jazz Times reviewed the album, citing it as a “bold contribution to the art of Afrofuturism connects the all-embracing avant-gardism of the AACM, the cosmic chaos of the Sun Ra Arkestra.”

Cory Healey, drums

Cory Healey’s unique drumming has led to collaborations with artists from many different genres. He has toured North America and Europe and had the privilege of performing with Kenny Wheeler, Dr Lonnie Smith, John Abercrombie, and David Berkman. While living in Chicago, he performed and recorded with Algernon, Fareed Haque’s Flat EarthEnsemble, W.W. Lowman, Ike Riley, and Scott Hesse. In 2013, Healey moved to the Minneapolis, where he’s worked with some of the Twin Cities’ most prominent artists including Dead Man Winter, Dosh, Marijuana Deathsquads, and Anthony Cox. Healey leads The Beautiful Sunshine Band which features Erik Fratzke (bass), Jake Baldwin (trumpet), and Zacc Harris (guitar). The music traverses bebop, free jazz, ambient, and doom metal.

Adam Zahller

As a composer, his concert works have received premieres from ensembles such as LoadbangDuo Gelland, the 113 Collective, Eclipse Quartet, TAK, and Zeitgeist, as well as many acclaimed soloists. He holds a B.M. in music composition from the Chapman Conservatory, where he studied under Jeffrey Holmes and Sean Heim, and an M.A. in music composition from the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), where he studied under James Dillon.

As vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and improviser, he performs in various groups based in the Twin Cities. Notable among these are the 113 Collective, GUITARband, Realtree, Debths, Lip Gym, and Michelle Kinney’s What We Have Here. He also appears as a soloist.

He has also been involved with music and sound design in art museums and galleries. In September 2016 he collaborated with Jay Kreimer on sound design for “There’s Always an Apex Predator” (Tugboat gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska). He played an “Event” with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (Feb 2017). In the fall of 2017, he collaborated with Mohamud Moomin to make the sound design for “Sketches of Cedar Riverside” which was on view at the American Swedish Institute.

As an educator, he is currently mentor for the American Composers’ Forum’s NextNotes Lab (Twin Cities Chapter), and an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, teaching Theory of Rock and Pop Music. He has previously worked in many k-12 public and charter schools as a music instructor and paraeducator.

Charles Gillett, guitar

Improvising guitarist in many ad hoc groups. Frequent collaborations with Milo Fine, Jaron Childs, and Davu Seru.

Bass and guitar in Take Acre. Multi-instrumentalist in Brown Rainbow and Tall Walls.

Guitarist in Tuning The Pulse, a short documentary about Jandek’s 2012 performance in Mankato, MN.

Discography:
Senilita with Milo Fine, Viv Corringham and Davu Seru (Emanem 4132 2006)
Contiguous Chunks with The Milo Fine Free Jazz Ensemble (Shih Shih Wu Ai SSWA 11 2007)
Believers (soundtrack) with Take Acre (self-released CD-R 2009/Bandcamp)
The Untenability of Sentience with The Milo Fine Free Jazz Ensemble (Shih Shih Wu Ai SSWA 12 2009)
A = B. A is B. A represents B (do what I do, do what I say). Solo (insides music lesson 65 2009)
Take Acre self-titled LP (Late-Nature 018 2010)
The Material Solo guitar & collaboration with Mike Hallenbeck (insides music lesson 81 2011)
Cut From A Cloud with Take Acre (Late-Nature 019 2013)
“Spiegel im Spiegel” with Take Acre (Late-Nature 020 2013)
The Edgar Allan Poe Suite with reformARTwest (Sporadic Tangible Documents STD 2-4 2016)
For Sepp (Selections From The Edgar Allan Poe Suite) with reformARTwest (Nero’s Neptune NN032 2016)
Apophenia with Milo Fine, et al. (Atrocious Gnosis ATRGNO#5 2018)
175 albums with Brown Rainbow and Tall Walls (2002-2018)

http://cbg.brownrainbow.com

Adam Linz, bass, Part Two

Adam Linz joins us once again for part two.

Adam is a well-known bass player in the Twin Cities jazz scene. He co-leads the internationally award-winning group Fat Kid Wednesdays with childhood friends Mike Lewis and JT Bates, touring extensively throughout Europe and North America. Adam has taught at Macalester College, Augsburg College, Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth and EDAM Music outreach in Paris, and has given clinics in places such as Chile, Argentina, Seattle, New York, Houston, Germany, and Switzerland.  Adam has performed with such jazz greats as Evan Parker, Stanley Turretine, Milt Jackson and electronic artist, Dosh.

He has a Bachelor of Music from the William Paterson University Jazz Studies program.

Adam Linz, bass, Part One

Adam is a well-known bass player in the Twin Cities jazz scene. He co-leads the internationally award-winning group Fat Kid Wednesdays with childhood friends Mike Lewis and JT Bates, touring extensively throughout Europe and North America. Adam has taught at Macalester College, Augsburg College, Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth and EDAM Music outreach in Paris, and has given clinics in places such as Chile, Argentina, Seattle, New York, Houston, Germany, and Switzerland.  Adam has performed with such jazz greats as Evan Parker, Stanley Turretine, Milt Jackson and electronic artist, Dosh.

He has a Bachelor of Music from the William Paterson University Jazz Studies program.

Donald Washington, saxophones

Renowned reed player and music educator Donald Washington was born in Mobile AL, where he spent most of his childhood before migrating to Chicago with his family. In the windy city Donald took his first serious step towards becoming a musician after his father bought him a clarinet. Upon the completion of two hitches in the army he returned to the south to attend college at the University of Southern Alabama, where he received a degree in music education in 1970. Mr. Washington moved to Detroit and worked as auto assembler at a Chrysler plant—Donald says “that was a hum dinger”—for five years. It was in Detroit that he met his wife of 33 years, Faye, and began working as music educator for the public schools.

His wife convinced Donald to stay in the motor city, and it wasn’t long before he organized the internationally known youth big band: Bird Trane Sco Now. Cassias Richmond, Roy Whitaker, Kevin Washington, and James Carter are just few of the many young people who came up in this ensemble and went on to great careers.

The Washingtons moved to Minnesota in 1987. Donald has taught in Minneapolis Public Schools, and been a staple of the Twin Cities music scene for the past twenty years. Though he has ‘officially retired’ from teaching as of 2005, Donald is by no stretch of the imagination an idle man. He recently agreed to return to teaching for the Mpls board of education on a part-time basis, and his calendar remains as busy as ever, full of gigs and rehearsals with his many friends and colleagues in the arts community.

Levi Schwarzburg, Vibraphone

Levi Schwartzberg (vibraphone) is a 2014 graduate of Minneapolis Southwest High School, where he played for school ensembles, including the combo Cosmic Troubadours. As a vibraphonist, Levi performed with the Dakota Combo and PipJazz Youth All-Stars for two years each. He studied piano for about ten years, and took up the vibes in middle school, progressing quickly to a four-mallet level.   Levi performs around town in his own ensembles and numerous bands with such veterans as Davu Seru, Steve Kenny and Adam Linz.

Clay Pufahl, saxophone

Clay Pufahl, saxophone

1998 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, saxophonist/educator Clay Pufahl has performed with the Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra, Cedar Avenue Big Band, Skyway Big Band, Five by Design, B4 (swing band), the Minnesota Orchestra, the Four Tops, Lou Rawls, Franki Valli, and Minneapolis-based groups the Senders and Soul Tight Committee, as well as performing in productions at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Minneapolis Children’s Theater, The Guthrie, and Ordway Theater.  Clay has also been affiliated with the JazzMN Orchestra for many years, and recently launched Really Big Shoe with fellow saxman Joe Mayo. His teaching resume includes several years as woodwind and jazz instructor at Totino-Grace High School in Fridley.

Chris Weller, tenor saxophone

Chris Weller is a tenor saxophonist and composer living in Forest Park, IL. He attended Berklee College of Music on scholarship from 2007-2010 where he received his bachelors degree in saxophone performance. During that time, Weller performed in jazz groups across the nation. Since college, he has performed internationally as a bandleader, established a reputable private teaching studio, and hosted clinics in the U.S. and abroad on elementary, high school, and college levels.

Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums

Byron Johnson-Blanchard is a drummer, composer, bandleader, and music educator based out of the Twin Cites. Since graduating from McNally Smith College of Music in 2008, Byron has performed with renown Twin Cites musical acts such as High & Mighty, Tom Hunter, The Dap Squad, Sam Kuusisto, Vintage Raggs, Zacc Harris, Mill City Hot Club, and Papa John Kolstad. He is currently a member of Silverback Trio and BZB Trio. Byron also leads and composes for Amethyst 3, a trio that features Park Evans on guitar and Josh Granowski on bass.

Crystal Myslajek, Keyboard, Voice

Crystal Myslajek is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and sound artist who blends looping, ethereal vocals, and effects with minimalism, classical piano, and pop. She collaborates across disciplines including experimental film, performance art, theater, and dance. In 2016 she composed and performed music for Rachel Jendrzejewski’s play, ENCYCLOPEDIA. In 2015 she debuted multimedia compositions commissioned by the Cedar Cultural Center’s 416 Club and presented in the MONO NO AWARE international film exhibition in Brooklyn, NY. Myslajek’s improvisational piano work was featured in the Soap Factory’s 2013 Minnesota Biennial. Myslajek was vocalist and bass guitarist in Brute Heart. The trio was awarded City Pages’ 2012 Best Female Vocalist, featured in filmmaker Doug Aitken’s Station to Station project, and commissioned by the Walker Art Center to compose a score for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Other projects include accompaniment for SuperGroup collaborative, piano for musical theater by Cynthia Hopkins, and singing with the Anonymous Choir.

Phil Hey, drums

Born in New York City, he grew up in Philadelphia and the St. Paul suburb of Roseville, Minnesota. He started his music study with mentor and legendary jazz drummer Ed Blackwell at the Creative Music Studio in New York in 1975. His relationship with Blackwell continued until Blackwell’s death in 1992. He has also studied with Floyd Thompson and Marv Dahlgren, the former principal percussionist of the Minnesota Orchestra. He considers the Beatles and 1960s rock groups early music influences. He also credits his parents and his childhood band instructor for their support and encouragement in pursuing a music career.

He performs with several groups and leads the Phil Hey Quartet with Tom Lewis on bass, Dave Hagedorn on vibraphone, and Phil Aaron on piano. The quartet’s album Subduction: Live at Artist’s Quarter (2005) was named Best Jazz CD of the Year by the Twin Cities alternative weekly newspaper City Pages. City Pages also named him 2006 Jazz Musician of the Year.

His first album, Let Them All Come with Pat Moriarty, was released in 1977 on the small private label Min Records. The cover art by Homer Lambrecht is featured in Freedom, Rhythm, and Sound, a compilation of a jazz album artwork by Gilles Peterson and Stuart Baker. He has appeared on over 125 recordings and remains a first-call musician supporting regional recording artists as well as touring jazz artists. His jazz recordings include Von Freeman’s Live at The Dakota,[8] Pete Whitman’s X-Tet Where’s When?, Tom Hubbard’s Tribute to Mingus, and Ed Berger’s I’m Glad There is You, all of which received four out of five star ratings by Down Beat magazine reviewers.

In addition to his work as a jazz musician he has played regional performances with blues and rock acts, including Nick St. Nicholas, George “Mojo” Buford, and Mississippi Fred McDowell. He has appeared on the soundtrack of the 6th Day (2000) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and several independent film soundtracks including Been Rich All My Life (2006). In addition, he has played many touring theater productions, including The D.B. Cooper Project, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Irving Berlin’s I Love a Piano and has performed with comics Bob Hope, Red Skelton, and Don Rickles.

Jay Afrisando, saxophone

Jay Afrisando uses music and sound-based art to share awareness of human-nature-technology relationships; this includes building a better relationship between people and technology, promoting a healthier symbiosis between human & nature, and inducing consciousness of our senses (and its critical appraisal)—especially the auditory one—towards the surrounding.

To communicate these vision to public, broad range of approaches are chosen: from musical composition to sound installation, from acoustic to electroacoustic, from fixed-media to improvisation, from implied to overt participatory-setting that invites audience to the very making, and everything in-between.

Some of his works have been performed in Yogyakarta, Ubud, Jakarta, Amsterdam, New York, New South Wales, Seoul, Seattle, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Los Angeles by performers such as Ensemble Kyai Fatahillah (ID), Jay & Gatra Wardaya (ID), Duo Gelland (SE), Ere Lievonen (NL), Arend Grosfeld (NL), Anne Veinberg (AU), Alex Lubet (US), 가민 (Gamin, KR), Quartet of Quartets (AU), and many more.

Matt Rahaim, Hindustani vocalist

Matt Rahaim – Hindustani vocalist
accompanied by,
Abhinav Sharma – tabla
and
Abhijit Kshirsagar – harmonium

Matt has been performing Hindustani vocal music both in India and North America since 2000. His other performance experience includes oud, Afro-Cuban drumming, simulogue, shape-note singing, experimental vocal performance, Thank-You-Play, and Javanese gamelan. Matt also studies and teaches Middle Eastern music. In spring of 2010, he was studying oud performance and Arabic language in Damascus, Syria, funded by an ACM-Mellon Post-Doctoral fellowship; in 2012, he was a visiting fellow at the Center for Behavioral Research at the American University in Beirut.

Matt studied at Wesleyan University (BA, 2000) and UC Berkeley (PhD, 2009). His mentors in scholarship have included Bonnie Wade, Eve Sweetser, Vasudha Dalmia, Richard Crocker, Ben Brinner, Linda Hess, and Jon K. Barlow. His primary music teachers are Vikas Kashalkar and L.K. Pandit. Matt believes in the liberal arts, and he believes in going slowly.

Michelle Kinney, cello

Michelle’s career began in Minneapolis, MN when she returned after undergraduate school in Evanston, IL, after receiving a BA in music from Northwestern University. During this early phase in her career, she was recognized and frequently funded as a composer, collaborating with Twin Cities choreographers, filmmakers and theater artists, in addition to composing for her own new music ensembles. In 1989, Michelle moved to New York to pursue an MA in Performance Studies at New York University. She lived and worked in NYC for 13 years, touring Europe and the U.S. frequently as a composer and cellist, bridging many musical genres and forms from pop to art music, and collaborating in dance, film and theater.

Steve Kenny, trumpet

Steve Kenny, trumpeter, composer and bandleader is a founding member of ‘the illicit sextet’, “Group 47”, “What Would Monk Do?” and his own Quartets, and he is the creative force behind the production company “illicit Productions”, (www.illicit-productions.com) which produces well over one hundred live shows a year and has a growing yearly catalog of Jazz CD’s being produced, released and distributed, including the successful ‘Twin Cities Jazz Sampler CDs’, with Volume 3 slated to be released in 2019. Steve also curates and produces weekly Jazz series at Jazz Central Studios, Black Dog Cafe, and in the summertime at Studio Z in Saint Paul. His latest CD, ‘Quartets’ features original compositions and a series of different ensembles featuring Anthony Cox, Brandon Wozniak, Michael Lewis, JT Bates, Billy Peterson, Kenny Horst, Rodney Ruckus, Ron Evaniuk, Javi Santiago, Levi Schwartzberg, Miguel Hurtado, and Ted Olsen.

Cole Pulice, saxophone

Cole Pulice is a saxophonist and improvisor based in the Twin Cities. He’s been fortunate to work, collaborate, and learn from a beautiful and diverse array of musicians and artists from across disciplinary boundaries. Cole co-runs the brass and woodwind horn choir ‘drone band,’ writes and performs solo compositions for saxophone and electronics as ‘Cole,’ and has worked with groups like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Bon Iver.

Dave King, drums

David King (born June 8, 1970) is an American drummer and composer from Minneapolis. He is known for being a founding member of the jazz groups The Bad Plus (with Reid Anderson and Ethan Iverson) and Happy Apple (with Michael Lewis and Erik Fratzke) although he is active in many other projects including free jazz collective Buffalo Collision with NYC “Downtown” musicians Tim Berne and Hank Roberts and the electronic art/pop group Halloween Alaska as well as the noise/prog band The Gang Font with former Hüsker Dü bassist Greg Norton.