Nels Cline in a blue shirt, seated in front of pink wall with a small framed artwork, holds a worn electric guitar and looks into the camera with an announcement.

Ars Nova Workshop is proud to announce a new commission from multi-genre guitar explorer Nels Cline.

With the COVID-19 crisis drastically affecting the live music industry, we felt inspired to partner with our friends at the Jazz Touring Network, an extension of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, as well as the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, to catalyze creative projects for several musicians who have dedicated their careers to creating music that pushes boundaries. Commissioned pieces from these projects will eventually be performed live (when it is safe to do so) at a series of Ars Nova Workshop concerts in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Jersey City, and more.

For his commissioned work, Nels has been working on a suite for the Nels Cline Consentrik Quartet, comprising himself on guitar, Ingrid Laubrock on saxophones, Chris Lightcap on acoustic bass, and Tom Rainey on drums. Nels shares an excerpt of two of the pieces, “In the Flow” and “Time of No Sirens”, in the personal video shared here.

About the artist

Nels Cline is best known these days as the lead guitarist in the band Wilco. His recording and performing career — spanning jazz, rock, punk and experimental — is well into its fourth decade, with over 200 recordings, including at least 30 for which he is leader. Cline has received many accolades including Rolling Stone anointing him as both one of 20 “new guitar gods” and one of the top 100 guitarists of all time. Beyond Wilco, Cline performs in a duo project with guitarist Julian Lage in addition to a quartet, The Nels Cline 4 (featuring Lage plus bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Tom Rainey), performs as Stretch Woven with percussionist Scott Amendola, leads The Nels Cline Singers (featuring Amendola plus bassist Trevor Dunn and percussionist Cyro Baptista) and plays with Stained Radiance (an improvisational live project with performance painter Norton Wisdom). Cline also periodically presents concerts of his concept album Lovers, which involves a 17-person ensemble and collaborates with dozens of composers/improvisers.


The commissioning of this project is led by Ars Nova Workshop.

This program has been made possible by the support of The Jazz Touring Network, a program of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Cover: Nels Cline announces a new suite of works commissioned by Ars Nova Workshop, in a video message shared during a time of increased restrictions on live public performances throughout much of the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic, late-summer 2021.