Spring 2012

Ars Nova Workshop's 13th year is coming soon! We wrapped up our 2011 season in late-November with two maximum capacity concerts by Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog and a double-header with Jason Adasiewicz's Rolldown and the Claudia Quintet + 1. Thanks to everyone who came out to support ANW this year, and we wish you all a wonderful holiday season.

ANW kicks off its 2012 season on January 19th with the Philadelphia debut of the Nate Wooley Quintet Alpha at The Rotunda. In a review of the quintet's recent Brooklyn performance, The New York Times' Nate Chinen wrote that Wooley's “an improviser with a tactile, patient, interrogatory approach to his craft.” We hope you'll join us for this first concert of the new year, and Wooley's first Philadelphia appearance since last March, when he played Vox Populi with C. Spencer Yeh, Paul Lytton and Ben Hall.

Below you'll find a summary of ANW's early 2012 concert schedule. Keep an eye on our website, because we'll be announcing a few more dates very soon. For more information, and to purchase tickets, please refer to the event pages on our website. Happy holidays, and we'll see you on January 19th!


Thursday, January 19, 8pm
Nate Wooley, trumpet; Josh Sinton, bass clarinet; Matt Moran, vibes; Eivind Opsvik, bass; Harris Eisenstadt, drums
The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street, Free
Led by mighty trumpeter Wooley, this quintet unites five young, leading musicians from Brooklyn's jazz scene and aims to expand the American jazz vocabulary. Inspired by Out To Lunch-era Eric Dolphy, its debut recording, (Put Your) Hands Together, is a mesmerizing display of muscularity and sophisticated restraint. From brutal breathy blasts, bizarre pops and bright hisses to beautifully dynamic group dialogue, it was one of 2011's best jazz releases.

Friday, March 9, 8pm
Matthew Shipp, piano; Michael Bisio, bass; Whit Dickey, drums
Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th Street, $15
Sometimes elegant, sometimes brutal, and always uncompromising, Shipp slams and seduces the keys unlike any other jazz pianist to create a delightfully sonic and stunningly physical event. His most recent recording is The Art Of The Improviser—a double-LP showcasing one side of solo pieces and another with his trio featuring bassist Bisio and drummer Dickey. Tonight's Philadelphia debut is a record release celebration for the trio's new Thirsty Ear Recordings album, Elastic Aspects.

Wednesday, April 4, 8pm
Dave Rempis, saxophones; Fred Lonberg-Holm, bass; Paal Nilssen-Love, drums
LASSE MARHAUG, electronics
The Maas Building, 1325 Randolph Street, $15
The Philadelphia debut of heavy-hitting power-trio Ballister, and a rare solo performance by Norwegian noise artist Lasse Marhaug. Uniting two leading Chicago improvisers and Norway's Nilssen-Love, Ballister's debut, Bastard String, celebrates the trio's furious capacity for daring improvisation, blistering solos and compelling dynamics. Marhaug, who's worked with Merzbow, Mats Gustafsson and Sunn O))), has been at the forefront of the noise scene for two decades, frequently crossing into the domains of improv, free-jazz and metal.

Saturday, April 14, 8pm
Chris Speed, saxophone; Oscar Noriega, saxophone; Trevor Dunn, bass; Jim Black, drums
The Maas Building, 1325 Randolph Street, $15
These four artists have been on the scene for many years, working with John Zorn, John Hollenbeck, Satoko Fuji, Susie Ibarra, Nels Cline, Mike Patton, Dave Douglas and Tom Rainey, and in celebrated ensembles such as The Claudia Quintet, Mr. Bungle, Alas No Axis, and Tim Berne's Los Totopos and Bloodcount groups. With their collective years of diverse musical experiences, when they unite, Endangered Blood forms a sharp jazz-unit with the ferocity of a heavy-metal band.

Sunday, April 15, 8pm
Steve Lehman, saxophone; Chris Tordini, bass; Damion Reed, drums
The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street, Free
The first Philadelphia performance by the Steve Lehman Trio since 2009, and the saxophonist's first local appearance since ANW's three-night Composer Portrait: Fieldwork series last March. Whether working with artists like Anthony Braxton and Vijay Iyer, or with the Janacek Philharmonic, JACK Quartet or the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Lehman blurs the lines between traditions and sound-worlds, and consistently offers a unique musical vision, making him one of the most forward-thinking young composers today.