Sunday, April 22, 2012

Live, Local, Let's Go!

The Uncertainty Music Series, held in various locations in New Haven, continues on Wednesday, April 25, with a concert featuring the duo of Colin Fisher (guitar, saxophone, drums) and Brandon Valdivia (drums, percussion, electronics).  They go by the name of Not The Wind Not The Flag and they will perform at 9 p.m. in Elm Bar, 372 Elm Street.  NTWNTF makes music that pushes and pulls at convention, can be noisy and improvisational and will often surprise the listener.  They will add Adam Matlock (accordion) and series curator Carl Testa (bass) for a different set as an unnamed quartet.  For more information, go to

The Improvisations Concerts series at Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor Street in Hartford, continues on Thursday April 26 with an evening of solos, duos, trios and quartet music.  The series, curated by Stephen Haynes (trumpets) and Joe Morris (bass, guitar), has been an exciting addition to the resurgent live music scene in the Capitol City.  For "Improvisations VII", Messrs. Haynes & Morris welcome Kyoko Kitamura (voice) and Rick Rozie (acoustic bass).  Mr. Rozie, principal bassist with The Hartford Symphony as well as a member of the faculty at the Hartt School and the Jackie McLean Institute, has successfully maintained a career that moves from the classical to the improvisatory.  With his brother Lee "Mixashawn" Rozie, he co-led the Afro-Algonquin ensemble and also played with pianists Anthony Davis and Muhal Richard Abrams, vibraphonist Jay Hoggard and flutist James Newton.  Ms. Kitamura, who performs with reed player Michael McGinnis in the experimental ensemble ok|ok and sings with Professor Anthony Braxton's "Trillium E" ensemble, recently self-released "Armadillo in Central Park", a collection of quirky songs that will make you laugh as you scratch your head in amazement.  This should be a fascinating evening of improvisational adventures.  For more information, go to or call 860-232-1006.  To find out more about the series, go to

The following evening (4/27), Mr. Morris brings his guitar to Firehouse 12, 45 Crown Street, as a member of the Noah Kaplan Quartet. Mr. Kaplan (tenor and soprano saxophones), a California native and graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, will play music from "Descendents" (Hatology), a CD recorded at the Firehouse  in November of 2008 with Mr. Morris, Giacomo Merega (electric bass) and Jason Nazary (drums.) The recording is a spirited blend of serious compositions and strong improvisations, angular riffs, an interactive rhythm section and more.  The blend of burbling electric bass and Nazary's creative percussion often works as counterpoint to the saxophonist's probing melodic lines and the guitarist's quiet yet insistent phrases.  The NKQ will play 2 sets -- 8:30 and 10 p.m. --  for more information, go to  For a good overview of Noah Kaplan and his different musical adventures, go to

On Saturday evening April 28, the always nattily-attired Jay Hoggard (vibraphone) presents his Quartet in concert at 8 p.m. in Crowell Concert Hall, Wyllys Avenue, Middletown.  Mr. Hoggard, a Wesleyan graduate and member of the Music faculty, will present the world premiere of the multi-part suite "Sonic Hieroglyphs from Wood, Metal, and Skin", dedicated to the inspiration of Wangari Maathai, the late Nobel Peace Prize recipient from Kenya.  Quartet members include long-time associates James Weidman (piano) and Yoron Israel (drums) plus bassist Santi De Briano.  Joining them will be Professor Anthony Braxton and Marty Ehrlich (reeds), Kwaaku Kwaakye Martin Obeng (percussion) and Brandee Younger (harp.) Knowing Professor Hoggard's love of percussion and African music as well as his deep knowledge of jazz traditions, this should be an exciting evening of music.  For ticket information, go to or call 860-685-3355. 

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