The Institute of Contemporary Art and Ars Nova Workshop are pleased to present the return of Ken Vandermark with an evening of improvised music featuring the Chicago saxophonist solo and in collaboration with the string trio The Few. Vandermark will also do a very special DJ set in conjunction with ICA’s presentation of The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now. This event is free and open to the public.
Vandermark is well known to Philadelphia audiences; the prolific and ever-inventive saxophonist last appeared in the city earlier this year with his provocatively eclectic electro-acoustic quartet Made To Break. He returns in an entirely different setting, this time collaborating with an improvisatory, entirely acoustic string trio. The Few is one of the latest additions to a long list of internationally renowned musicians with whom Vandermark has collaborated, including Fred Anderson, Peter Brötzmann, Hamid Drake, Mats Gustafsson, Joe McPhee, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Paal Nilssen-Love, Eddie Eric Revis, Nasheet Waits, Nate Wooley, and Dutch anarcho-jazz-punk group The Ex.
As Tad Hendrickson wrote recently in JazzTimes, “The level of Vandermark’s activity would seem to indicate a clone at work simultaneously, a celebrity-level personal management team, or someone unburdened by the need for sleep.” His current activity includes work with Made To Break, Lean Left, Side A, Shelter, and Fire Room; duos with Paal Nilssen-Love, Tim Daisy, and Nate Wooley; as well as work as a solo performer. In addition, he is the music director of the experimental pop band The Margots, and since June of 2015 has been co-curator of Option, a music series held on a weekly basis at the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago.
The Few brings together three of the most dynamic string players from the latest generation of Chicago’s storied improvised music community. Macie Stewart (violin/voice), Charlie Kirchen (bass) and Steve Marquette (guitar) form an improvising acoustic trio that deftly blends their wide-ranging influences into a singular whole. They will be releasing their debut record on Marquette’s Two Cities label in December 2016.