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Venue:
Philadelphia Art Alliance251 S. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $15 General Admission
Saturday, May 23, 2015 - 8:00pm

Spectral + Marshall Allen

Marshall Allen Birthday Celebration

Dave Rempis, saxophone
Larry Ochs, saxophone
Darren Johnston, trumpet
Marshall Allen, alto saxophone + EVI

Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present Spectral with special guest Marshall Allen.

Spectral consists of Chicago saxophonist and producer Dave Rempis, Bay Area trumpet maestro Darren Johnston, and saxophonist Larry Ochs, best known for his work with the groundbreaking Rova Saxophone Quartet. Formed in the fall of 2011 for a performance at Oakland’s Uptown Lounge, the trio released their self-titled debut in May 2014 on Aerophonic records. Their music has been described as “improvised carpentry, making elegant constructions out of each horn’s complete range of sounds, both customary and unexpected” (Chicago Reader).

Dave Rempis, a long-time member of the famed Vandermark Five, is a member of a number of Chicago-based groups, including the Engines, Rempis/ Rosaly Duo, Ballister, and Wheelhouse. He also performs and tours with Ken Vandermark’s Territory Band, Resonance Project, and the Ingebrigt Haker Flaten Quintet. He has performed with Peter Brötzmann, Hamid Drake, Steve Swell,  John Tchicai, Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Anderson, Kevin Drumm, Paal Nilssen-Love, Nels Cline, Tony Buck, and Joe McPhee. Rempis has been named three times in the annual Downbeat Critics’s Poll as a rising star in both the alto and baritone saxophone categories.

Larry Ochs has been performing with ground-breaking San Francisco-based Rova Saxophone Quartet along with John Raskin, Bruce Ackley, and Steve Adams since 1978. In 2007, Ochs began the band called Kihnoua, inspired by Korean improvised music, with compositions by Ochs. This band features Dohee Lee on vocals and Scott Amendola on drums and electronics, and has featured artists such as Joan Jeanrenaud, Okkyung Lee, Fred Frith, and Zeena Parkins. Over the years, he has worked with some of the finest in jazz and improvised music, including Mark Dresser, Miya Masaoka, Wayne Horvitz, William Winant, Dave Douglas, Nels Cline, Henry Kaiser, Wadada Leo Smith, Ben Goldberg, and more. He also has served as the acting executive director of the non-profit organization “Rova:Arts” since its inception in 1986, and in that capacity has produced many large collaborative concerts in San Francisco and beyond. 

Since settling in San Francisco in 1997, Canada-born trumpeter/composer/songwriter Darren Johnston has collaborated and recorded with an extremely diverse cross-section of artists, yet always finds ways to be true to his own unique voice in each context.  He has worked with artists such as Marcus Shelby, ROVA, Fred Frith, Myra Melford, singer/songwriter Meklit Hadero, traditional Balkan brass band Brass Menazeri, and more. He leads the award winning The Nice Guy Trio, The Darren Johnston Quintet, Broken Shadows, and more. Johnston was featured as one of Downbeat Magazine’s “25 Trumpeters for the Future,” and has been listed multiple times in the critic’s polls.

As a young musician, Marshall Belford Allen (b. May 25, 1924) performed with pianist Art Simmons, Don Byas and James Moody before enrolling in the Paris Conservatory of Music. After relocating to Chicago, Allen became a pupil of Sun Ra, subsequently joining the Arkestra in 1958 and leading Sun Ra's formidable reed section for the next 40 years. Marshall, along with John Gilmore, June Tyson and James Jacson, lived, rehearsed, toured and recorded with Sun Ra almost exclusively for much of Sun Ra's musical career. As a member of the Arkestra, Allen pioneered the Free Jazz movement of the early sixties, having remarkable influence on the leading voices in the avant-garde. He is featured on over 200 Sun Ra recordings in addition to collaborations with Phish, Sonic Youth, Digable Planets and Medeski, Martin & Wood. Allen assumed the position of maestro in 1995, following the ascension of Sun Ra in 1993 and John Gilmore in 1995. Marshall continues to be committed to the study, research, and development of Sun Ra's musical precepts and has launched the Sun Ra Arkestra into a dimension beyond that of mere "ghost" band by writing fresh arrangements of Sun Ra's music, as well as composing new music and arrangement for the Arkestra. He works unceasingly to keep the big-band tradition alive.