Mars Williams presents An Ayler Xmas
Friday, December 18, 2020
9:00 PM
  • Performance

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This program will be viewable as a livestream on the Ars Nova Workshop website.

Program Info

Free with RSVP / Donation
All Ages

  • Mars Williams – sax, toy instruments
  • Josh Berman – cornet
  • Jim Baker – piano, viola, Arp synth
  • Krzysztof Pabian – bass
  • Brian Sandstrom – bass, guitar, trumpet
  • Steve Hunt – drums
  • Peter Maunu – violin

Join us for a special livestream event as Mars Williams celebrates the release of “An Ayler Xmas Vol. 4: Chicago vs. NYC,” the new recording featuring Chris Corsano, Nels Cline, and many others.

Broadcast live from Constellation in Chicago, the performance will bring an entirely unique sound that pays tribute to Ayler, the spirit of Christmas, and joyous improvisation. In the spirit of celebration and coming together Constellation is pleased to partner with music presenters across north America to help simulcast these concerts including Festival Suoni Per Il Popolo in Montreal, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and the TONE Festival in Toronto.

Saxophonist Mars Williams is most famous as a member of The Psychedelic Furs and his rock pedigree includes membership in Akron New Wave band The Waitresses and work with Billy Idol, Ministry, Massacre, and many more. But Williams has proven his jazz bona fides with Peter Brötzmann and Ken Vandermark, and guiding Liquid Soul and Hal Russell’s NRG Ensemble, to name just a few. Williams also leads the Albert Ayler tribute band Witches & Devils, and out of their holiday concerts grew a unique tradition. Williams merges a variety of Christmas songs with the indelible repertoire of free-jazz titan Albert Ayler, who brought a scalding intensity to tunes rooted in gospel and spirituals. It may sound silly, but the performances are no joke, and they produce a seriously joyful noise. The band tackles warhorses like “O Tannenbaum” and “12 Days of Christmas” in the same smoldering fashion as their take on Ayler.

poster graphic - Mars Williams presents An Ayler Xmas Vol. 4

Cover: Albert Ayler / Photo by David Redfern / Redferns Collection / Getty Images