Euphonic Productions presents:
THE VANDERMARK FIVE featuring:
Ken Vandermark - reeds
Dave Rempis - reeds
Jeb Bishop - trombone
Kent Kessler - bass
Tim Daisy - drums
9pm, Wed, March 26th (see pictures and reviews of the show)
$8 at the door
488 Flat Shoals Avenue
Tim Daisy, Dave Rempis, Jeb Bishop, Ken Vandermark, Kent Kessler
Ken Vandermark was born on September 22, 1964 in Warwick, Rhode Island and began playing trumpet in the fourth grade, switching to the tenor saxophone as a junior in high school. Since 1982, he has been seriously exploring the possibilities of new improvised music.
During the years 1986-1989, he lived in Boston and was a leader of the trio Lombard Street. During this period, he began studying the bass clarinet. In the Fall of 1989, he moved to Chicago and is now working with a variety of improvising ensembles including: the Vandermark Five, the DKV Trio, the Chicago Bridge Unit, the Sound In Action Trio, Cinghiale, Witches and Devils, the Signal To Noise Unit and the Payne/Vida/Vandermark Trio.
He added the Bb clarinet to his instrumental arsenal during 1992. Ken was selected as one of the "Chicagoans of the Year in the Arts: 1994" by the Chicago Tribune (January 1, 1995) for his work with the Vandermark Quartet. His group, the Vandermark Five, was selected for inclusion in the sound aspect of the "Art in Chicago: 1945-1995" exhibition held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in that city from November 16, 1996 through March 23, 1997. In addition to these Chicago groups, Ken has been fortunate enough to have worked with some of the most highly respected national and international improvising musicians in the world, such as Fred Anderson, Johannes Bauer, Peter Brotzmann, Axel Dorner, Georg Graewe, Mats Gustafsson, Thomas Lehn, Paul Lovens, Paul Lytton, Joe McPhee, Joe Morris, Raymond Strid, and Wolter Wierbos.
Aside from the various schools of improvised music influenced by the history of jazz, Ken's music has been greatly informed by sources like "Mississippi" Fred McDowell, James Brown, John Cage, Captain Beefheart, Meshuggah, Gyorgy Ligeti, Funkadelic, and various traditional musics from around the world.
Since the beginning of 1996, he and writer John Corbett have acted as co-organizers of the "Empty Bottle Wednesday Night Jazz Series" concerts that continue to bring improvisers from Chicago, North America, and Europe to audiences on a weekly basis. In conjunction with the series, they have also presented two international jazz festivals (in May 1997 and 1998) at the Empty Bottle, and were selected as "Best Underground Music Promoters" by Chicago's New City (September 25, 1997). New City also selected Ken as one of its "Music 45", a list of Chicagoans having the greatest impact on the nation's music industry, in 1998 and 1999. He placed first in the January, 1999 Cadence Reader's Poll as the musician receiving the greatest number of individual nominations for best recordings released in 1998, and was picked by Down Beat magazine in June as one of the "25 For the Future", the most significant improvising musicians under the age of 40 performing today. Also in 1999, Ken became a committee member for the "New Music-New Millennium Series" put together by Michael Orlove of the Chicago Cultural Center. In the summer of that year, he was accorded the rare and high honor of becoming the only musician selected as a 1999 MacArthur Fellow. Ken Vandermark (reeds) formed the Vandermark 5 in the Spring of 1996 as an outlet for compositional and improvisational ideas he¹d developed over years of work with such renowned bands as the NRG Ensemble, the Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet, the AALY Trio, the Vandermark Quartet, the Steel Wool Trio, Cinghiale, Steam, the Barrage Double trio, The Sound in Action Trio, and Tripleplay. Looking for a combo with the capability to sound like a large ensemble, he chose four exceptional musicians who have years of performance experience with different kinds of improvised music to join him on the project: Jeb Bishop (trombone/guitar), Kent Kessler (bass), Tim Daisy (drums) (Tim Mulvenna was replaced by Daisy last year), and Dave Rempis (alto/tenor saxophone) (Mars Williams was replaced by Rempis in March of 1998). The range of instrumentation and stylistic potential contained in this unit has allowed Vandermark to write charts that run the gamut of musical possibilities, incorporating elements of jazz history, contemporary composition, funk, rock, and traditional music from around the world into the ensemble¹s material. The focus remains, however, an improvisation, and he has allowed ample room for the members of the group to interpret and reinterpret his writing with their spontaneous ideas.
The Vandermark 5 has always concentrated on live performance as a means to hone its skills and has played regularly since its inception (of special importance is their ongoing Tuesday night series at the Empty Bottle in Chicago that began in November of 1996). 1998 was especially productive, with a two-week tour of Eastern America in the fall and two International Festivals within four months (Rive de Gier, France and Mainz, Germany). The band¹s work has been documented on four CD¹s so far, with a fifth to be released in June of 1999. It's second studio CD, Target or Flag, was picked as the best record of 1998
by Cadence Magazine (Jan 1999) Reader's Poll.
The Vandermark 5's music has been called "the most consistently exciting stuff I¹ve heard by any small U.S. band since the Art Ensemble of Chicago." (Cadence Magazine, June 1997).