Fire Museum Presents:

Jill Burton/Michael Evans/Jack Wright

Shining Wizard


Wednesday, March 4th 8:00 PM
Aux Performance Space/Vox Populi Gallery
319 N. 11th street, 3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA
$7-10 sliding scale

Jill Burton/Michael Evans/Jack Wright Trio (Gainesville/NYC/Easton):

"...Burton is a lounge queen, animal imitator, lawdy mama--she's terrific!...profound incoherence..."--R.J. Smith, Village Voice
" of the great foundation improvisors of America..."--LaDonna Smith, Red Mountain Post
"...a performance artist of singular, non-assaultive, exploratory talent..."--Porter Anderson, Tampa Tribune

Extended vocalist/holistic/sound/movement/energy worker/performance artist JILL BURTON was a professional ballerina, modern dancer, dance teacher and accompanist, and free improviser in Gainesville FL during the 1970s. She lived in Manhattan's East Village from 1981-1991 where she was very active as part of the downtown experimental music/dance/performance art scene; including co-founding, w/Rain Worthington, the band HIZOHI (which also included Jane Scarpantoni, Yuval Gabay, and Kumiko Kimoto). She has been privileged to work with and learn from artists from the Peking Opera, the Noh Theater, and Alaska Native Tlingit dancers and storytellers.In other words, she’s badass.

Michael Evans is an improvising drummer/percussionist/ thereminist/composer whose work investigates and embraces the collision of sound and theatrics. As well as being a drumset player, his work with unusual sound sources includes found objects, homemade instruments, the theremin and various digital and homemade analog electronics. He has studied movement/sparring/drumming with Professor Milford Graves, drum technique with Joe Morello, tabla with Misha Masud, kanjira with Ganesh Kumar and Haitian/Afro-Cuban hand drumming with John Amira. He has studied musicianship with Helen Hobbs Jordan, composition with Richard Cameron Wolf, Blue Gene Tyranny and the theremin with Pamelia Kurstin.

Described twenty years ago as an "undergrounder by design," Jack Wright has been a saxophone improviser traveling through the US and Europe since the early 80s in search of interesting partners and playing situations. Now at 72 he is still the "Johnny Appleseed of Free Improvisation," as guitarist Davey Williams called him. His range is from fiery, breathless free jazz to quiet, breath-filled, and often animalistic sounds. A reviewer for the Washington Post said, "In the rarefied, underground world of experimental free improvisation, saxophonist Jack Wright is king".

Shining Wizard (Montreal):

Shining Wizard is a Montreal band featuring Farley Miller on drums (Feefawfum, L'Appel du Vide, Cannot Be Stopped) and Alex Pelchat on guitar (Drøm Før Du Dør, Gens Chrétiens, Leftovers Diable). Their most recent recording, YEAH NO, is available on their own imprint, Bricodisque. Other Shining Wizard releases have been made available by Cuchabata Records and Misery Loves Co. For fans of Han Bennink, Keiji Haino and Sonic Youth.

Ravenact (Berlin/NYC):

Ravenact is the new project by violinist Sara Walraf (Berlin) and pianist Liz Kosack (NYC/Berlin). They move between voices, instruments, light and shadows and respond to a call into subtext and inter-space. Based on Sara’s poetry they compose and explore the dimensions of dialogue.

Fire Museum Presents:

Helena Espvall

solo and with members of

Bardo Pond

Saturday, March 7th 8:00 PM
The First Banana
2152 E. Dauphin Street
Philadelphia, PA
$7-10 sliding scale

Helena Espvall (Lisbon):

Helena Espvall started to play electric guitar as a bored teenager in northern Sweden, and went on to take cello lessons and was never bored again. After having played in rock bands, a silent movie orchestra, an arabian ensemble and being inspired to play free improvised music by a shocking Eugene Chadbourne performance, she moved to the US in 2000,where she spends much of her time collaborating with dancers, playing with folk psych band Espers and singing bossa nova and Swedish traditional songs. Helena has performed several times at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, twice at the High Zero Festival of improvised music in Baltimore, MD, at the Improvised and Otherwise Festival in Brooklyn, NY, at Big Sur experimental festival in California and at Terrastock 2006 & 2008 among others. Espvall has received grants for artist residencies in Mojacar, Spain and at CESTA in Tabor, Czech Republic, and was invited to play at OpenCircuit InterAct, an international festival for improvised music in Hasselt, Belgium, last May where she performed with Chris Corsano, Paul Flaherty, C. Spencer Yeh, Daniel Carter and others. In 2006 she released her debut solo album Nimis & Arx on Fire Museum/Pax records. She has worked with Lukas Ligeti, Fursaxa, Damon & Naomi, Bert Jansch, Masaki Batoh (Ghost), Vashti Bunyan and many more.

Bardo Pond (Philadelphia):

Loosely formed in 1989 by guitar wielding art student siblings, Michael and John Gibbons, Bardo Pond became a reality in 1991 with the addition of vocalist and flautist, Isobel Sollenberger, bassist, Clint Takeda and drummer, Joe Culver (replaced in 1999 by trainee librarian, Ed Farnsworth). After releasing a string of 7” singles and debut album, Bufo Alvarius Amen 29:15, the fledgling band signed to Matador Records, for whom they produced their breakthrough second album, 1996’s Amanita. Bardo Pond released a further three albums for Matador – Lapsed (1997), Set and Setting (1999), Dilate (2001) – in addition to a number of spin off releases, garnered from outtakes and side projects and sold in strictly limited numbers at the band’s acclaimed and increasingly improvisational live shows. - ATP bio

Alabaster Museum Presents:


Nick Millevoi/Scott Verrastro duo

Bonnie Kane/Dave Miller duo

Sunday, March 8th 8:00 PM
The First Banana
2152 E. Dauphin Street
Philadelphia, PA
$7-10 sliding scale

Hypercolor (NYC):

Eyal Maoz, James Ilgenfritz, and Lukas Ligeti make up Hypercolor, the NYC- based spastic jazz-rock hybrid whose ridiculous artsong craftsmanship alternately revels in complexity or brazen simplicity, favoring entropy and near-disaster over order or tidiness Like experimental grafting surgery gone horribly awry, Hypercolor bears limbs borrowed from 80s NYC No-Wave, and early jazz/rock, and orchestral rock textures.

Eyal Maoz is a guitarist, composer, Tzadik and Ayler Records artist and a guest member of John Zorn's Cobra. "There's no doubt Eyal Maoz is in an exclusive club of post-Jimi Hendrix guitarists who include Nels Cline, Hilmar Jensson, Scott Fields, David Torn, and the legendary Terje Rypdal."- Michael G. Nastos - All Music Guide. September 2009. Transcending the boundaries of genre, composer and percussionist Lukas Ligeti has developed a musical style of his own that draws upon downtown NY experimentalism, contemporary classical music, jazz, electronica, and world music, particularly from Africa. Brooklyn composer, bassist, and educator James Ilgenfritz has been active in creative music since the late 90s. His work has been praised in Time Out New York, All About Jazz, and Downbeat Magazine. Recent performances include work with Lukas Ligeti, Pauline Oliveros, John Zorn, and Anthony Braxton.

Nick Millevoi/Scott Verrastro (Philadelphia):

Nick Millevoi is a Philadelphia-based guitarist who explores and expands upon the sound of the electric guitar through frequent use of non-traditional tunings, feedback, and raw noise. On his most recent solo-guitar releases, Numbers on the Side (Ivory Antler, 2014) and In White Sky (Flenser Records, 2012), Millevoi combines his 6- and 12-string electric guitars with drones and extreme volume to create a startling new sound. Nick is a member of the noise-rock-free jazz trio Many Arms, who have two releases on John Zorn's Tzadik label. Nick makes one half of the duo Archer Spade with trombonist Dan Blacksberg, who have performed music by composers Mick Barr, Gene Coleman, Dave Soldier, and Johnny DeBlase.

Drummer/percussionist Scott Verrastro utilizes a plethora of sticks, brushes, bells, shakers, cymbals and gongs, metal, contact mics, and household items -- in addition to a traditional drum kit -- to coax a wide palette of sounds. Verrastro received a degree in music literature from Northeastern University in Boston and continues to examine many forms of music, including all styles of improvisation and traditional folk. His improv psych band Kohoutek veers from drony Krautrock-inspired psych to abstract noise freak-outs and everything in between. Verrastro also plays in an all-percussion duo with Nathan Bowles (of Pelt/Black Twigs/Spiral Joy Band) and the Philly ensemble Curanderos (an improv collaboration between Bardo Pond and Kohoutek), and often accompanies multi-instrumentalist John Stanton in Kuschty Rye Ergot and guitarist Jeff Barsky in Insect Factory. Verrastro has also collaborated with saxophonists Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra Arkestra), Peter Brotzmann, Elliott Levin, Paul Flaherty, and John Dikeman, and has performed with JANDEK, vibraphonist Khan Jamal, George Kinney (of Golden Dawn), Damo Suzuki (of Can), Richard Pinhas (of Heldon), multi-instrumentalists Mike Tamburo and Little Howlin' Wolf, and bands such as Bardo Pond, Fern Knight, and United Bible Studies.

Bonnie Kane/Dave Miller (Philadelphia/NYC):

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.

Dave Miller is a drummer, improviser, educator and composer residing in New York City. His musical projects include Fire Maidens From Outer Space (with Bonnie Kane), Pet Bottle Ningen, Guiseppi Logan Quartet, Carter/Niggenkemper/Miller (with Daniel Carter) & others. Collaborations include Martin Bisi, Jonas Labhart, Chuck Bettis, Rob Duguay, Blaise Siwula, John Zorn, Matsumoto Kenichi, Noah Preminger, Natsuki Tamura, Chris DiMeglio, Valerie Kuehne, Bern Nix, David Moss, Steve Swell, Karl Berger, Demian Richardson, Dave Burrell, Koh Ohteru and many others.

Fire Museum Presents:

Ava Mendoza’s Unnatural Ways

Weasel Walter/Chris Pitsiokos duo

Saturday, March 14th 8:30 PM
Red Horse Studio
1550 East Montgomery Ave
Philadelphia, PA
$7-10 sliding scale

Ava Mendoza’s Unnatural Ways (NYC):

UNNATURAL WAYS is the main project of Brooklyn-based guitarist Ava Mendoza. Formed in early 2012 in Oakland, CA, the band's short but eventful time on the planet has included tours of Europe and the eastern and western USA. The original lineup consisted of Mendoza on guitar and voice, Dominique Leone- keys, and Nick Tamburro (The Dead Science)- drums. After relocating to Brooklyn in fall 2013, Mendoza reformed the band with NY musicians Tim Dahl (Child Abuse, Lydia Lunch Retrovirus)- bass and Nick Podgurski (ex Extra Life, Feast of the Epiphany)- drums. The group has developed a sound marrying the intense energy of early free jazz to instantly memorable songs. Winding their way through complex heavy rock, avant jazz and warped, noisy blues, the players push the boundaries of their own vocabularies and the written music to put on powerful and unpredictable live shows.

“My name is Ava Mendoza. I play guitars and stompboxes and write music. 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'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..” - bio

Weasel Walter/Chris Pitsiokos duo (Philadelphia/NYC):

Weasel Walter is a composer and instrumentalist who founded the band The Flying Luttenbachers in Chicago in 1991 with late jazz cult figure Hal Russell and is a current member of Cellular Chaos and Lydia Lunch Retrovirus. Over the years, The Flying Luttenbachers included noted Chicago musicians such as Ken Vandermark, Jeb Bishop, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Dylan Posa, and Michael Colligan, while creating an uncompromising and mercurial body of abstract music drawing equally from no wave, death metal,free jazz, gamelan, noise music, hardcore punk and modern classical. Walter moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2003, where he formed the latest of many Luttenbachers lineups, remaining on percussion with the addition of bassist Mike Green (Burmese), and virtuoso guitarist Ed Rodriguez (now in Deerhoof). Singular guitar phenomenon Mick Barr (Krallice, Octis, Orthrelm) joined the group in 2005. The Flying Luttenbachers ceased to operate in late 2007. On November 25, 2009, Weasel Walter moved to New York City and joined the band Behold... The Arctopus. He also formed Cellular Chaos with Marc Edwards (drummer) and Ceci Moss. He recently relocated to Philadelphia.

Chris Pitsiokos is a composer and improviser who performs primarily on alto saxophone. His work draws from elements of contemporary classical, noise, contemporary improvisation, and jazz. Influences include Merzbow, Ornette Coleman, Helmut Lachenmann, and Iannis Xenakis. Recent collaborators include Tyshawn Sorey, Peter Evans, Kevin Shea, Sam Pluta, Philip White, Marc Edwards, Brian Chase, and Weasel Walter. In addition to performing and composing music, Chris runs his own record label, Eleatic Records, curates the Gadfly Series at LES venue Spectrum, and programs a radio show at WKCR.


4/10 - Tom Swafford/Lee Todd Lacks, Kate Olson & a cast of others!
4/12 - Sir Richard Bishop, Robert Millis & Curanderos @ The Rotunda
4/15 - Daniel Levin/Nate Wooley/Matt Moran/Pedro Ström & Bobby Zankel Group @ Aux
4/30 - Bhob Rainey (solo) & Buck Hammerstein + Clear River Chapaukee @ Random Tea Room
5/9 - 75 Dollar Bill @ Pageant Soloveev
5/15 - Bhob Rainey (group) & Lina Allemano's Titamium Riot
5/25 - Ignatz & Daniel Bachman

All shows at First Banana unless otherwise noted

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Fire Museum Presents
Philadelphia, PA 19125