• Dec 10 2019 | 9:00 pm

    Barton/Voidself/Soderberg/Campbell/Riggs, Erik Sowa/Steve Kaiser Duo, Mai Sugimoto Group

    Tonight improvising guitarist Christopher Riggs is joined by an ensemble of collaborators, saxophonist Mai Sugimoto leads her respective group, and the Sowa/Kaiser duo perform on drums/guitar.

Erik Sowa/Steve Kaiser Duo

Erik Sowa is a percussionist based in Chicago, IL.


Steve Kaiser is a guitarist, composer, and educator based in Chicago, Illinois.  Involved in the city’s vibrant jazz, experimental, and improvised music scenes, Steve has performed with artists such as Scott Angst, Paul Abella, Luc Parcell, Preyas Roy, and Devin Foster, among others. Since 2013, Steve has been an instructor of guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, and piano at The Music Room in Palatine, Illinois. He holds an M.A. in guitar performance and a B.M. in jazz studies from Eastern Illinois University, where he studied with Scott Hesse.

Mai Sugimoto Group

Mai Sugimoto – saxophones, Paul Giallorenzo – organ, Isaiah Spencer – drums

Mai Sugimoto is a Japanese born saxophonist and composer living in Chicago, IL. In 2018, she released her debut quartet album, Born/Raised (Asian Improv Records) which was made possible by an artist grant from the city of Chicago. Sugimoto is an integral member of Chicago-based quartet, Hanami, that has released two albums and appeared at the Chicago Jazz Festival. She often appears with bassist, Tatsu Aoki’s ensembles including Fred Anderson Legacy Band. Howard Reich of Chicago Tribune has described her as “a compelling performer” with “dry-champagne tone and lyrical lines.” Sugimoto channels inspiration from her Japanese and American musical roots into writing and performing with various groups.


will soderberg… uses guitar, electronics & field recordings to evoke sounds ranging from the dawn of sound reinforcement to the digital future that doesn’t include you… his work has included multimedia installations and performances exploring the outer limits of sound and video for over 3 decades, including shows across north america, and in germany and japan…


Nora Barton is a Chicago-based cellist and educator. As a performer she demonstrates versatility within a wide array of genres, with collaborations ranging from experimental ambient improvisation to dancing around with an amplified cello in a punk marching band. She also organizes monthly concerts for Classical Revolution Chicago, providing access to classical chamber music performances in a variety of unexpected public spaces. She is the founding cellist of experimental improvisation group NbN Trio and a.pe.ri.od.ic, and performs regularly with ensembles Abbey Bowed, Manual Cinema, Mucca Pazza, and mbira space jam trio ExtraOcular. She holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Roosevelt University.


Voidself – Introverted drones, inverted soundscapes. Enter and become interred & turn


Michelle Campbell – Harp

As one of Chicago’s most in-demand harpists, Michelle Campbell has performed at top venues and theaters like the Goodman Theatre, Millennium Park, Copernicus Center, Mercury Theatre and the Lyon & Healy Recital Hall. She is a regular performer for the Emanation Concert Series held throughout the city and is the resident harpist for The Langham Chicago and The Four Seasons. Michelle currently instructs harp at the Westside Instructional String and Harp Program, a music initiative by Chicago West Community Music Center. Michelle earned a Bachelors of Music degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters of Music degree from Northern Illinois University.


Christopher Riggs is autistic and plays free improvisation on the electric guitar. Without the use of processing or FX, Christopher squeezes sounds from his instrument the Chicago Reader has called “unapologetically ugly”. Riggs received his Bachelor of Music in 2007 from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and his Master of Arts in Music Composition from Wesleyan University in 2012. He studied guitar and composition under Marc Michaud, Ross Feller, Randolph Coleman, and Ronald Kuivila. Christopher Riggs teaches 4th grade for Chicago Public Schools. He lives on Chicago’s southside with his wife and two daughters.