Ches Smith Laugh Ash
Monday, March 11
8:00 PM
  • Performance

Solar Myth
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA
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This is a seated show.

Program Info

$25 General Admission
21 & Over


Laugh Ash

  • Ches Smith – drums, percussion
  • Shara Lunon – vocals
  • Anna Webber – saxophone
  • Oscar Noriega – saxophone
  • Nate Wooley – trumpet
  • Jennifer Choi – violin
  • Kyle Armbrust – viola
  • Michael Nicholas – cello
  • Shahzad Ismaily – bass, synthesizer


Ars Nova Workshop welcomes percussionist Ches Smith and his new project Laugh Ash to Solar Myth on Monday, March 11.

Laugh Ash plays a set of music whose touchstones are myriad but ultimately meaningless in the face of an inventive and unfamiliar expression. The compositions make use of disorientation and juxtaposition: stark chamber melodies coexist with synthetic rhythms, explosive bursts of improvisation with elusive song forms, austere ambience with thundering complexity. In addition to Smith on drums, electronics and an array of percussion, the band features an assemblage of leading voices in contemporary music, each a composer, performer and/or bandleader in their own right, straddling the realms of jazz, new music and sounds outside of genre.

Laugh Ash is laced with touchstones from throughout Smith’s widely varied output – his work with fellow jazz innovators like John Zorn, Tim Berne, Nels Cline, Darius Jones, Mary Halvorson and Kris Davis; his avant-rock excursions with Mr. Bungle, Xiu Xiu and Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog; his experiences in contemporary classical music, from studies at Mills College with William Winant to performances with pioneering minimalist Terry Riley; and the experimentation with electronic music in his solo project Congs for Brums. Hints of cyclical minimalist composition and pulsating 808 beats, blistering extreme metal and skronky free jazz all emerge from this mélange.