is Assistant Chair of the Music Department, and a full-time lecturer in jazz studies, jazz piano, and theory. As an improvising pianist/keyboardist he has performed and/or recorded with such artists as Joe Giardullo, Karl Berger, Assif Tsahar, Tiger Okoshi, Santi Debriano, Brian Melvin, Daniel Levin, Tatsuya Nakatani, John Dirac, Jorrit Dijkstra, Albey Balgochian, Laurence Cook, Dino Govoni, Luther Gray, Jim Robitaille, Brooke Sofferman, Bruno Raberg, Reuben Radding, Dennis Warren’s Full Metal Revolutionary Jazz Ensemble, the Artie Shaw Orchestra (led by Dick Johnson), and the Zen Bastards, among others.
Category Archives: Signature Artists
David Bithell (trumpet, electronics)—Signature Artist
is devoted to the exploration of the intersection between experimental music and theater. His use of live performance, video, staging, music technology, and improvisation create abstract narratives that balance between the tragic and comic. He has performed his compositions throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia in a variety of settings. As a trumpet player specializing in contemporary and improvised musics he has devoted himself to the exploration of new possibilities for that instrument. He is the trumpet player and co-organizer for the sfSoundGroup (a West Coast experimental music collective) and has played with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players, and the La Jolla Symphony.
Eric km Clark (violin)—Signature Artist
is an accomplished violinist, composer, and improviser presenting many different styles of new music throughout the world, with the majority of his shows taking place in Los Angeles, Toronto, and New York City. He has worked with many of the world’s most innovative artists and ensembles, including the late James Tenney, Jurg Frey, Michael Gordon, Richard Foreman, Guy Maddin, Wadada Leo Smith, Christian Kesten, Michael Pisaro, and Butch Morris. Mr. Clark is a member of the genre setting new music ensemble The California E.A.R. Unit (LA), the Dog Star Orchestra (LA), neithernor (TOR), and the Kadima String Quartet (LA). His playing has been released on Innova, New World, Tonehole Music, Sundialtech and Tzadik (Spring 2012). His compositions have been released on Henceforth Records and CQB.
Joseph “Butch” Rovan (clarinet, electronics)—Signature Artist
is a composer/media artist and performer on the faculty of the Department of Music at Brown University, where he co-directs MEME (Multimedia & Electronic Music Experiments @ Brown) and the Ph.D. program in Computer Music and Multimedia. Prior to joining Brown he directed CEMI, the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia, at the University of North Texas, and was a compositeur en recherche with the Real-Time Systems Team at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris. Rovan worked at Opcode Systems before leaving for Paris, serving as Product Manager for MAX, OMS and MIDI hardware.
Kevin Patton (guitar, electronics)—Signature Artist
is a musician, scholar, and technologist active in the fields of experimental music and multimedia theatre whose work explores the intersection of technology and performance. The design of new musical instruments as well as interfaces and computer systems for analysis, improvisation, and projection is at the center of his practice. Patton is also a frequent collaborator in installation, network art, and performance art projects. His work has been recognized for his collaboration with visual artist Maria del Carmen Montoya with the prestigious 2009 Rhizome commission for the piece, I Sky You, an installation that combines chemically synthesized light, video tracking, and sound design.
Myra Melford (Piano)—Featured Signature Artist
Originally from Chicago and classically trained, Myra Melford is a composer with a singular, kinetic, and lyrical voice in piano improvisation. Chicago blues, architecture, jazz, and experimental music inspire her work. She has released over 40 recordings, including 20 as a leader or co-leader, and maintains three bands: the celebrated quintet Snowy Egret, the collective Trio M, and the duo Dialogue with clarinetist Ben Goldberg. She is a Guggenheim Fellow for “Language of Dreams,” (2013), a Doris Duke Performing Artist (2013) an Alpert Award in the Arts recipient (2012), and has been honored numerous times in Down Beat Critic’s polls. She was the Artistic Director and Co-curator for the 2015 New Frequencies Fest: Jazz@YBCA in San Francisco, and has been a professor at UC Berkeley since 2004, teaching classes in improvisational practices and composition.
Recent projects include Snowy Egret (Enja/Yellowbird), her latest quintet recording released in spring 2015 and Life Carries Me This Way (Firehouse 12, 2013), a solo piano recording featuring original compositions based on the drawings of Don Reich. She presented a 25-year retrospective of her work at The Stone, in New York City, in March 2015.
New and upcoming recordings include a duet with Ben Goldberg (released in January 2016), a duet with Allison Miller due out in fall of 2016, a trio with Miya Masaoka and Zeena Parkins, and a trio with Nicole Mitchell and Joelle Leandre.
In March 2016, she will present Snowy Egret for a week at the Village Vanguard in New York City. In May/June 2016, she will be in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, developing “Dissonant Futures,” a piece for piano, prepared piano, electronics and video with Ian Winters.
Karl Berger (Vibraphone)—Featured Signature Artist
Karl Berger is a six time winner of the Downbeat Critics Poll as a jazz soloist, recipient of numerous Composition Awards ( commissions by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, European Radio and Television: WDR, NDR, SWF, Radio France, Rai Italy. SWF-Prize 1994 ). He became noted for his innovative arrangements for recordings by Jeff Buckley (“Grace”), Natalie Merchant (“Ophelia”), Better Than Ezra, Buckethead, Bootsie Collins, and for his collaborations with producer Bill Laswell.
He recorded and performed with Don Cherry, Lee Konitz, John McLaughlin, Gunther Schuller, the Mingus Epitaph Orchestra, Dave Brubeck, Ingrid Sertso, Dave Holland, Ed Blackwell, Ray Anderson, Carlos Ward, Pharoah Sanders, Blood Ulmer, Hozan Yamamoto and many others at festivals and concerts in the US, Canada, Europe, Africa, India, Phillippines, Japan, Mexico, Brazil.
Founder and director of the Creative Music Foundation, Inc., dba The Creative Music Studio, a not-for-profit corporation, dedicated to the research of the power of music and sound and the elements common to all of the world’s music forms; and to educational presentations through workshops, concerts, recordings, with a growing network of artists and CMS members worldwide.
Ulrich Maiss (cello, electronics)—Signature Artist
lives in Reiffenhausen, Germany. Musicians and artists he works with include Lou Reed, Zülfü Livaneli, Al Di Meola, Robert Wilson, Joseph “Butch” Rovan, Lynn Miles and Theodor Franck. He appears on albums by Metallica, Element Of Crime, Alexander Veljanov, Vinx and ChillFactor 5 to name but a few. Well known as a performer of contemporary European chamber music, he has also performed with various rock and folk acts throughout Northern Europe, Greece and Turkey. His solo projects in the field of experimental music led him to Japan, the U.S. and Canada.