Alabaster Museum Presents:

Cactus Truck with Ava Mendoza

Elliot Levin/ Aaron Martin/Scott Verrastro Trio

David Fishkin/Julius Masri Duo

Sunday, December 14th 8:00 PM
Pageant : Soloveev Gallery
607 Bainbridge St
Philadelphia, PA
$8-$10 sliding scale

Cactus Truck (Amsterdam) with Ava Mendoza (NYC):

“Discovery of the year: Cactus Truck. Young Dutch improvisers (about time!). Sparky and real. -Terrie Ex in his recollections of 2011 in The Wire. “Improvisations of a raw beauty, grinding and chaotic.” - Ab Baars, saxophonist

Cactus Truck creates startlingly intense music, not merely in terms of volume or velocity but through complete physical/psychological surrender. One can find hints of delta blues, early free jazz, Japanese noise, and no wave in the music. Cactus Truck is based in Amsterdam and they’ve collaborated frequently with members of The Ex, including Terrie Ex, Andy Moor, Arnold de Boer (ZEA) and Colin McLean, as well as Ab Baars, Han Bennink, Dave Rempis, Jeb Bishop, Peter Jacquemyn, Teun Verbruggen, Gerri Jaeger (Knalpot) and Jon Rune Strøm. For some dates on tour they will be joined by Ava Mendoza on guitar.

My name is Ava Mendoza. I play guitars and stompboxes and write music. Currently I'm based out of Brooklyn, NY, having recently relocated here from Oakland, CA. I have played guitar for most of my life and been active for the last decade playing my own music and in many different groups. In any context I try to bring expressivity, energy and a wide sonic range to the music I play. I've toured throughout the U.S. and Europe and recorded or performed with a broad spectrum of musicians including pop-folk band Tune-Yards, Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Art Bears, Massacre), singer Carla Bozulich (The Geraldine Fibbers, Evangelista), Nels Cline (guitar hero of Wilco), members of ROVA saxophone quartet, and more. I like writing for dance, theater and film. I've played on recordings released by labels Weird Forest, Tzadik, Clean Feed, NotTwo, ugEXPLODE, Resipiscent, Tompkins Square, Bridge Records, Edgetone, Table and Chairs, and others.

Elliot Levin/Scott Verrastro (Philadelphia) & Aaron Martin (Washington DC):

Born and based in Philadelphia, pursuing early studies with Michael Guerra (legendary saxophonist/clarinetist of Philadelphia Orchestra under Stokowski); and composer/flutist Claire Polin (collaborator with flute innovator William Kincaid). Studied music and creative writing at the U. of Oregon. Later studies with masters- pianist/improvisor/composer Cecil Taylor; and saxophonist/improviser/composer Odean Pope led to long time relationships of performing and recording with their ensembles.

A member of many groups in Philadelphia/NYC area over the past 30 years (since the early '70's), he has continued to work with his own ensembles as well including INTERPLAY Ensemble, NEW GHOST, The PHILADELPHIA PHENOMENA to name a few...(collaborating with artists such as Rick Iannacone, Ed Watkins, Marshall Allen, Tyrone Hill, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Calvin Weston, and many others.

Joining him tonight are Alto Sax player Aaron Martin from Washington DC (OOO Trio, New Atlantis, etc) and Scott Verrastro (Kohoutek, et al) for a high energy session!

David Fishkin/Julius Masri Duo(Philadelphia):

David Fishkin was not born so much as he shot out like a cannonball.  He started playing saxophone at age 7.  Later, he attended Oberlin College.  In between semesters, he studied with the great Philadelphia-based saxophone player Odean Pope.  Since then, David has worked as a musician and  teacher.  His current projects include the West Philadelphia Orchestra, Lagomasino/Fishkin and others.

Julius Masri is a percussionist and circuit bender. He has played in: The Electric Simcha, TinMouth, Q-1, Circles, Chakra Khan/Air Pirates, Wolf Vs., KuruKuruPa, LionsHead, GoldenBall, Ex Reverie, Br'er, The Burrs, Unidos Da Filadelfia Samba.

Fire Museum Presents:

Tatsuya Nakatani

Bonnie Kane

Veronica Jurkiewicz

Saturday, December 20th 8:00 PM
The First Banana
2152 E. Dauphin Street
Philadelphia, PA
$8-$10 sliding scale

The evening will consist of a solo set from each musician, ending with a trio performance.

Tatsuya Nakatani (Easton, PA):

Tatsuya Nakatani is a creative artist originally from Osaka, Japan. He has been residing in the USA since 1994 and is currently based in Easton, PA. Since the late 1990s, Mr. Nakatani has released over sixty recordings in the USA and Europe and has performed countless solo percussion concerts through intensive touring. He has also collaborated with hundreds of other artists internationally and presented master classes, workshops and lectures across the USA and around the world.

Nakatani's approach to music is visceral, non-linear and intuitively primitive, expressing an unusually strong spirit while avoiding any categorization. He creates sound via both traditional and extended percussion techniques, utilizing drums, bowed gongs, cymbals, singing bowls, metal objects and bells, as well as various sticks, kitchen tools and homemade bows, all of which manifest in an intense and organic music that represents a very personal sonic world. His approach is steeped in the sensibilities of free improvisation, experimental music, jazz, rock, and noise, and yet retains the sense of space and quiet beauty found in traditional Japanese folk music. His percussion instruments can imitate the sounds of a trumpet, a stringed instrument or an electronic device to the extent that it becomes difficult to recognize the source of the sound. He has devoted himself to a musical aesthetic where rhythm gives way to pulse, often in a way that is not always audible or visible, in currents that incorporate silence and texture. Nakatani’s primary music activities include solo percussion performance, N.G.O. (Nakatani Gong Orchestra) and collaborations with musicians and dancers both in live performance and recordings.

Tatsuya Nakatani has spent the past decade traveling and performing extensively throughout the United States and beyond. His constant touring fosters the raw and fresh quality in his music, which can only survive through an open willingness to share energy, culture, music and self on a global human scale. He has toured and performed in Japan, China, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Ukraine, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Argentina, Chile, Israel and across the USA, coast to coast. While touring, he also conducts master classes and workshops at schools and universities, emphasizing his unique musical approach and philosophy. Tatsuya collaborates and performs with a wide range of artists, from internationally renowned musicians to students of all ages, occupations and musical skill levels.

Bonnie Kane (Philadelphia):

From the beginning of the band W.O.O., to the development of the W.hole O.ther O.rbit network, which includes her legendary projects: W.O.O.Revelator, WORLD OF TOMORROW, and Mambo Mantis, to her duet recordings with Kevin Shea, Federico Ughi, Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut, and Ernesto Diaz- Infante, to her guest recordings with the John Spencer Blues Explosion and The Brian Wilson Shock Treatment, Bonnie Kane has always sought the magic of the moment, bringing her Fresh Sound Guarantee to every performance.

Her dedication to improvisation was influenced by an unusually early and continuous exposure to Sun Ra (she grew up in Philadelphia, and was blessed by June Tyson), a background of equal parts: Hendrix, Ayler, and Zappa - and studies with Sonny Simmons, Paul McCandless, Glenn Moore, Ralph Towner (Oregon), and Jon Raskin (ROVA Saxophone Quartet). A stint in the original Club Foot Orchestra (whose members included Snakefinger (The Residents) and Eric Drew Feldman (Captain Beefheart), introduced her to electronic processing for horns, and a brief study at Mills College under Anthony Braxton solidified her direction.

Bonnie terms her work in the area of feedback and extended saxophone technique, as avant-core, a music she defines as mixing the extremes of psychedelic rock and hard core with the energies of avant garde jazz.

Veronica Jurkiewicz (Philadelphia):

A co-founder of Classical Revolution, multi-instrumentalist Veronica Jurkiewicz has extensive experience performing creative and improvised music. Performing regularly with Sonic Liberation Front and its many incarnations, Veronica has performed alongside Marshall Allen, Odean Pope, William Parker, Keir Neuringer, Thurman Barker Kim Kashkashian and many others.


1/23 - Maria Chavez
1/30 - Seaven Teares/Destroying Angel

All shows at First Banana unless otherwise noted

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