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Jonathan Chen Orchestra has returned! Join them for their new album release performance and special guest Lou Malozzi!
Composer, improviser, and sound artist, Jonathan Chen, creates work through either conceptual foci or through experimentation with materials. His work for electronics often consist of thick layers of fluctuating sounds produced through multiple feedback systems, and at other times a more simple approach such as his installation Amplified (2010), which only involves the light amplification of a person’s voice. As a violinist and violist his improvisational work emphasizes timbre rather than pitch, either drawing from a wide palette, or honing in on a single sound.
Chen’s work has been performed or installed at The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), The Soap Factory (Minneapolis), Sonic Circuits International Festival of Electronic Music and Art (Boston & NYC), 2 Kolegas & D22 (Beijing), Goldsmiths College (London), Chicago Cultural Center, Labor Sonar (Berlin), Eyedrum (Atlanta), The Flea (NYC), and many others. As an improviser he has performed as violinist, violist, and/or electronicist at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Renaissance Society (Chicago), Resonance FM (London), Malta Festival (Poznan, Poland), The Stone (NYC), Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (Chicago), The Smithsonian Institute, Sounds Like Now (NYC) Chicago Jazz Festival, The Metro (Chicago), Roulette (NYC), and many others.
Chen has a PhD in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York; a Master of Arts in Music Composition from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT; and a Master of Music in Violin Performance from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. His work has been published by Leonardo Music Journal (MIT Press), the Deep Listening Institute, Asian Improv Records, Interval, and Striking Mechanism, among others.
Tatsu Aoki, is a prolific composer and performer of traditional and experimental music forms, a filmmaker, and an educator. Born in Tokyo, 1957 into the Toyoakimoto artisan family, in the early 1970s, Aoki was active in Tokyo’s underground arts movement as a member of Gintenkai, an experimental ensemble that combined traditional music and new Western forms.
In 1977, Aoki left Tokyo and is now one of the most in-demand performers of bass, shamisen, and taiko, contributing more than ninety recording projects and touring internationally during the last thirty-five years. Aoki is a Founder and Artistic Director of Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival, which celebrated its twenty-second anniversary last year (2017).
Aoki was named one of 2001’s “Chicagoans of the year” by Chicago Tribune for his music for his cross cultural music and has performed with masters such as Roscoe Mitchell, Don Moye, pipa virtuoso Wu Man, and the late Chicago legend Fred Anderson. Aoki’s suite ROOTED: Origins of Now, a four-movement suite for big band, premiered in 2001 at Ping Tom Memorial Park, and was performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival and at MCA Stage as part of Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival. Additional notable releases include Basser Live (1999) and Basser Live II (2005), recorded live at MCA Stage; The MIYUMI Project (2000), Symphony of Two Cities (2002), and Posture of Reality with Wu Man (2003). The Asian American Institute awarded Aoki the Milestone Award in 2007 for his contribution to Chicago-area arts. In 2010, he received the Japan America Society of Chicago’s Cultural Achievement Award as well as a 3Arts Artist Award. He received the “Living in our Culture” award by the Japanese American Service Committee in 2014 and the Jazz Heroes’ Award by the National Jazz Journalist Association in 2015. In 2016, his Miyumi Project ensemble was the official musical presenter for the unveiling of Yoko Ono’s “SKYLANDING” installation in Chicago’s own Jackson Park; which also resulted in the group recording the “SKYLANDING” album produced by Yoko Ono. In 2017, the group contributed their unique vibe to the soundtrack of the film documentary addressing the Japanese American Incarceration, “And Then They Came for Us”, and released the corresponding album: “And then They Came for Us – Un-American”. 2018 brings a year of many project album releases and performances, including -“That’s what it WAZ” withTrio WAZ, The Miyumi Project’s“Raw and Alive 2”, The Reduction Ensemble’s first album release, and “Feedback” with the Jonathan Chen Orchestra.
Lou Mallozzi, is an interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago who works in performance, installation, sound art, improvised music, and drawing. He has exhibited and performed in the US and Europe at venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Renaissance Society, Ausland Berlin, Radiorevolten Festival Halle, TUBE Audio Art Series Munich, Fylkingen Stockholm, and many others. He is appears on recent CD releases by Ken Vandermark (Momentum 3: Monster Roster) and Rob Mazurek (Wrecks). He is Assistant Professor in the Sound Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.