• Friday June 18 | 9:30 pm

    Pitsiokos/El-magharbel/Collier/Davis + Ultan/Kempkers/Kleijn/David

    A wonderful night of music featuring 2 groups of improvisers from Chicago, New York, and Connecticut!

This is a live in-person event, but will also be streamed on the Elastic Twitch.
Chris Pitsiokos, alto saxophone
Zekkereya El-magharbel, trombone
Matthew Davis, trombone
Isaiah Collier, winds
Aliya Ultan, cello
Jamie Kempkers, cello
Katinka Kleijn, cello
Ben David, drums
Doors: 9:30pm
Showtime: 10:00pm
Chris Pitsiokos is an alto saxophonist and composer based in Brooklyn, NY. Aesthetically, his work combines the lyricism of jazz and the intensity of extreme rock forms and noise with the attention to detail and abstraction of contemporary classical music. Known for expanding the vocabulary of the saxophone through extended range, circular breathing, nuanced articulation, and other extended techniques, his recent work also commands considerable cathartic, emotive, and lyrical power. His compositions often function as a platform for performers to express a unified aesthetic vision without subjugating their individual voices as musicians in their own right. In this way his work contrasts with more traditional modes of composition in which the composer or band leader is the sole, or primary arbiter, of a singular vision.

Zekkereya El-magharbel is a trombonist and improvisor based in NYC. He is a member of the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra in Los Angeles.
Isaiah Collier is a model, arranger, composer and activist. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. Collier grew up being surrounded by music, both his Parents sang and played music along with his siblings.  An alumnus of the Jazz Institute of Chicago and The Chicago High School for the Performing Arts, Collier has worked and played with Chicago legends such as Willie Pickens, Delores Scott, Ernest Dawkins, Ari Brown, Dee Alexander, Maggie Brown, Robert Irving III, and Charles Heath IV.
Aliya Ultan (b. 1996) is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, composer, improviser, and filmmaker. Emerging from homelessness, Aliya’s creative means for survival have taken many forms. Classically trained as a cellist, composer, and improviser, Aliya has worked with the New York Philharmonic, Vijay Iyer, Tyshawn Sorey, and Douglas Ewart among others. Alongside Aliya’s endeavors as a composer-performer, she has worked as Program Director for Make Music Cleveland providing hundreds of instruments to displaced families across Ohio as well as free concerts in venues that are otherwise financially inaccessible. Aliya is currently based in nyc regularly organizing site-specific shows featuring improvisers, songwriters, bands, movers, and visual artists.

Jamie Kempkers studied cello at Hope College in Holland, MI. He moved to Chicago in 2001 where he began collaborating with Jonathan Chen on many experimental projects. A few years later he was invited to join Tatsu Aoki’s Miyumi Project and has been a proud member ever since. Jamie continues solo and collaborative work in Chicago which he considers a great pleasure and a great privilege. (photo credit: Tamara Smith)
Katinka Kleijn is a cellist, improviser and multimedia artist. A member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the International Contemporary Ensemble, she performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, at Lincoln Center, the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater; Carolina Performing Arts and the Library of Congress. Recordings include STIR with guitarist Bill Mackay for Drag City Records, and Dai Fujikura’s cello concerto for SONY Japan. Her composition Forward Echo for 11 improvisers premiered at the Instigation Festival, and devised work with Lia Kohl resulted in Water on the Bridge for cellos and swimming pool, presented by the city of Chicago. (photo credit: Todd Rosenberg)
Willfully ejected from popular genre at the ripe age of 0 and passionately unskilled, Ben David’s infrequent and primitive musical collaborations would be difficult to quantify. The ass end of a lazy Michigan rock duo or plugging a fishbowl into a tiny amp. Ben’s strategic avoidance of enculturation in any sense has led to a keen intuition for the calculated mutilation of Detroit’s unique brand of industry nepotism. Frequently going where he is not wanted, his wild and unassociated performances will leave you wondering…”How does this help me?” With years of experience engaging sound as lifestyle communication rather than a white spectacle; his approach has traded blows with some of the most self-aggrandizing, make-believe industry buttheads and no matter the instrument, Ben is sure to contribute to a profoundly neutralizing experience that will be easily forgotten.