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Hallwalls Spring Concert Series

For years, Hallways has been bringing some of the country’s top musicians to play in Buffalo. The spring of 2017 is no different. Following is the live music line-up featured from April 10 to June 14, broken down by Hallwalls, featuring a look at the artists, band history, YouTube videos, Bandcamp links, and images. There’s a ton of great talent coming to play. Be sure to catch as much as you can!

Hallwalls Spring 2017 Concert Series

Monday, April 10 at 8:00 p.m.

Peter Evans Septet (NYC)

Hallwalls • 341 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, N.Y. 14202

$15 general, $12 students/seniors, $10 members

Peter Evans – trumpets, compositions

Mazz Swift – violin

Sam Pluta – live electronics

Ron Stabinsky – piano, synthesizers

Tom Blancarte – bass

Levy Lorenzo – percussion, electronics

Jim Black – drums

Hallwalls is pleased to welcome virtuoso trumpet phenom Peter Evans & his extraordinary new Septet for an evening of visceral, multi-faceted, cutting edge music. 

Peter Evans is a trumpet player, and improvisor/composer based in New York City since 2003. Evans is part of a broad, hybridized scene of musical experimentation and his work cuts across a wide range of modern musical practices and traditions. Peter is committed to the simultaneously self-determining and collaborative nature of musical improvisation as a compositional tool, and works with an ever-expanding group of musicians and composers in the creation of new music. His primary groups as a leader are the Peter Evans Septet and the Zebulon trio. In addition, Evans has been performing and recording solo trumpet music since 2002 and is widely recognized as a leading voice in the field, having released several recordings over the past decade. He is a member of the cooperative groups Pulverize the Sound (with Mike Pride and Tim Dahl) and Rocket Science (with Evan Parker, Craig Taborn and Sam Pluta) and is constantly experimenting and forming new configurations with like minded players. As a composer, he has been commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Yarn/Wire, the Donaueschingen Musiktage Festival, the Jerome Foundation’s Emerging Artist Program, and the Doris Duke Foundation for the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival. Evans has presented and/or performed his works at major festivals worldwide and tours his own groups extensively. He has worked with some of the leading figures in new music: John Zorn, Kassa Overall, Jim Black, Weasel Walter, Levy Lorenzo, Nate Wooley, Steve Schick, Mary Halvorson, Joe McPhee, George Lewis, and performs with both ICE and the Wet Ink Ensemble. He has been releasing recordings on his own label, More is More, since 2011. NEW ON MORE IS MORE: “GENESIS”, the PE QUINTET LIVE in EUROPE:


and coming up:

Sunday, April 23 at 8:00 p.m.

Anna Webber’s Simple Trio (NYC)

Hallwalls • 341 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, N.Y. 14202

$15 general, $12 students/seniors, $10 members

Anna Webber – flute, saxophone, compositions

Matt Mitchell – piano

John Hollenbeck – drums

“Reedist Anna Webber, a Brooklynite by way of British Columbia, is one of the most exciting new arrivals on the New York avant-garde jazz scene in the past couple years. Her second album, SIMPLE, demonstrates the inextricable link between her improvising and her compositions; her detail-rich writing recalls the work of elders as disparate as Tim Berne and Henry Threadgill, and her busy motion evokes a fizzy sort of exhilaration.” -Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

Anna Webber is an integral part of a new wave of the Brooklyn avant-garde jazz scene. A saxophonist and flutist who strives for the unexpected, she has furthermore consistently proven herself to be a unique and forward-thinking composer with releases such as 2014’s SIMPLE (Skirl Records) and 2013’s Percussive Mechanics. Binary, the follow-up to SIMPLE which features bandmates John Hollenbeck and Matt Mitchell, further establishes Webber as a compelling improvisor and composer. It was released in October 2016, also on Chris Speed’s Skirl Records.

More info at:


Thursday, May 4 at 8:00 p.m.

Dave Rempis solo & guests (CHI)

Hallwalls • 341 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, N.Y. 14202

$15 general, $12 students/seniors, $10 members

Dave Rempis – saxophones

+ guests:

Ravi Padamanabha – drums

Brian DeJesus – contrabass

Steve Baczkowski – saxophones

Prolific Chicago-based saxophonist Dave Rempis (Rempis Percussion Quartet, Ballister, Rempis/Abrams/Ra, The Engines, Vandermark Five) will undertake a sprawling solo journey around the United States this spring, developing repertoire for his first solo release scheduled on Aerophonic Records this fall, while also working to strengthen the informal networks that connect, inform, and sustain the improvised music scene throughout the U.S. Each concert on the trip will involve a solo set, as well as a collaboration with one or more locally-based musicians in every city he visits. The working title of this ambitious project is “Lattice”.

Dave Rempis was born in Wellesley, Massachusetts on March 24th, 1975. He began his musical studies at the age of 8. Upon graduating from Northwestern University, Rempis decided to focus on performing, and in March of 1998 at the age of 22 was asked to replace veteran saxophonist Mars Williams in the well-known Chicago jazz outfit The Vandermark Five. This opportunity catapulted him to notoriety as he began to tour regularly throughout the US and Europe playing clubs, concert halls, and festivals on both continents.

During his tenure with The Vandermark Five, Rempis also began to develop the many Chicago-based groups and international collaborations for which he’s currently known, including The Rempis Percussion Quartet, The Engines, Ballister, Rempis/Abrams/Ra, Wheelhouse, The Rempis/Rosaly Duo, and  The Rempis/Daisy Duo. Many of these groups have been documented on the Okkadisk482 MusicNot TwoClean Feed, Solitaire, and Utech record labels.  Past collaborations have included performances with Paul LyttonAxel DörnerPeter BrötzmannHamid DrakeSteve Swell, John TchicaiRoscoe MitchellFred AndersonKevin DrummPaal Nilssen-LoveNels ClineTony Buck, and Joe McPhee. Rempis has been named regularly since 2006 in the annual Downbeat Critics’s Poll as a “rising star” on alto saxophone, and as a “rising star” and “established talent” on baritone saxophone.

more info at:


Wednesday, May 25 at 8:00 p.m.


Hallwalls • 341 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, N.Y. 14202

$15 general, $12 students/seniors, $10 members

Tristan Honsinger – cello

Nicolas Caloia – doublebass

Joshua Zubot – violin

Legendary cellist Tristan Honsinger started improvising in Montreal more than forty years ago, prior to his decisive move to Europe, where he’s been at the centre of improvised music activity ever since. So this group represents an oblique sort of homecoming, as well as an introduction to some of this city’s finest players today. Their rapport is obvious, the results a satisfying mixture of musical empathy and creative conflict. Tristan plays with characteristic daring from his reserves of readymade tune fragments and shards of poetry and into the protean unknown that is the foundation for the best group improvising. Violinist Josh Zubot and bassist Nicolas Caloia don’t merely follow him there, but provoke him – and each other – in ways that are, by turns, subtle, assertive, and irreverent. A superb encounter.

Honsinger is a particularly interesting artist because he has worked with so many first generation improvising artists and has an intimate knowledge of the regional differences in approach. For example, Honsinger has played extensively with Derek Bailey and Evan Parker in the UK; Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink in Holland; Peter Brotzman and Peter Kowald in Germany; and Cecil Taylor in the USA. He has also spent considerable time in Italy and Japan. Currently Honsinger regularly gives workshops and master classes with the ICP Orchestra. In the past the workshops he has given in Montreal have served as a catalyst for a number of important artistic creations, including Jean Derome’s “Oiseaux”. In fact, this entire tour grows out of an informal workshop Nicolas Caloia attended in 1999.

More on Tristan Honsinger:

More info at:


Saturday, June 3 at 8:00 p.m.

Peter Brötzmann / Heather Leigh Duo

Burchfield-Penney Art Center

$15 general, $12 students/seniors, $10 members

Peter Brötzmann – saxophones, tarogato, clarinet

Heather Leigh – pedal steel guitar

“This music is the purest kind, choosing to usurp notions such as pitch, rhythm or melody in the search for its sounds. Its spontaneity is what can initially draw a listener in, with the default praise for group improvisation being a congratulation of their ‘telepathy’ or ‘chemistry’. The most defining characteristic of Brötzmann’s playing – other than his infamously harsh tone – has always been the way in which the pieces come to life around him.” – Tristan Bath, The Quietus

The daughter of a coal miner, weaving a trail from West Virginia to Texas and now residing in Scotland, Heather Leigh furthers the vast unexplored reaches of pedal steel guitar. Her playing is as physical as it is phantom, combining spontaneous compositions with a feel for the full interaction of flesh with hallucinatory power sources. With a rare combination of sensitivity and strength, Leigh’s steel mainlines sanctified slide guitar and deforms it using hypnotic tone-implosions, juggling walls of bleeding amp tone with choral vocal constructs and wrenching single note ascensions. In late 2015, Heather Leigh released her first proper studio album, ‘I Abused Animal’ on Stephen O’Malley & Peter Rehberg’s Ideologic Organ/Editions Mego labels to widespread acclaim. Renowned as a fearless free improviser, ‘I Abused Animal’ is a breakthrough work showcasing Heather Leigh’s songwriting prowess, foregrounding her stunning voice and her innovations for the pedal steel guitar. Warmly recorded in a secret location in the English countryside, the album transmutes the power of her captivating live performances to a studio setting, capturing her tactile playing in full clarity while making devastating use of volume and space. Heather Leigh explores themes of abuse, sexual instinct, vulnerability, memory, shadow, fantasy, cruelty and projection across the album’s psychedelic hymnals. At times the intimacy of the recordings makes you feel like she’s singing directly into your ear, playing just for you.

In 2016 Heather Leigh will be touring extensively as a solo artist in support of ‘I Abused Animal’. Additionally, Heather Leigh performs in a duo with Peter Brötzmann. Their debut release ‘Ears Are Filled With Wonder’ is available on Not Two Records (CD) and Trost Records.

Peter Brötzmann is one of the most important and uncompromising figures in free jazz and has been at the forefront of developing a unique, European take on free improvisation since the 1960s. 

Brötzmann first trained as a painter and was associated with Fluxus (Participating in various events and working as an assistant to Nam Jun Paik) before dissatisfaction with the art world moved his focus towards music. However he continued to paint and his instantly recognisable visual sensibility has produced some of our favourite LP sleeves as well as a number of gallery shows in recent years. 

Self-taught on Clarinet and Saxophone, Brötzmann established himself as one of the most powerful and original players around, releasing a number of now highly sought after sides of musical invention including the epochal ‘Machine Gun’ session in 1968 – originally released on his own Brö private press and later recordings for FMP (Free Music Production) the label he started with Jost Gebers. Brötzmann’s sound is “one of the most distinctive, life-affirming and joyous in all music” and he has performed with almost all of the major players of free music from early associations with Don Cherry and Steve Lacy to regular groupings with Peter Kowald, Alex Von Slippenbach, Han Bennink and Fred Van Hove, the Chicago Tentet (Mats Gustafsson/Joe McPhee/Ken Vandermark and more) and various one-off and ad hoc associations with many others including Keiji Haino, Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton and Rashied Ali.


Thursday, June 8 at 8:00 p.m.

BassDrumBone (NYC)

Hallwalls • 341 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, N.Y. 14202

$15 general, $12 students/seniors, $10 members

Ray Anderson – trombone

Mark Helias – contrabass

Gerry Hemingway – drums

40th Anniversary tour and recording in 2017!

BassDrumBone is a trio that has wedded the uniquness of it’s instrumentation with the singular personality of it’s three members. A true collective, their music combines three distinct compositional and improvisational approaches with an exceptional musical rapport. Mark HeliasGerry Hemingway and Ray Anderson began performing as a trio in the fall of 1977. Their first record, “Oahspe”, was released in 1979 on the Auricle Record label. Bob Rusch in his review of the record, wrote: “Exceptionally good music, fearlessly played and tightly coordinated. Recommended.”

In 1984 “Right Down your Alley” was released on Soul Note Records of Italy and in the beginning of 1986 “You Be” was released on the Minor Music label of Germany. Both records received acclaim from the European and American press including a five star review in Downbeat magazine for “You Be”. Next in 1988 came “Wooferlo” which was released on the Soul Note label. Ben Watson of Wire Magazine commented: “Each musician has a story to tell, the solos are stuffed with event and happenstance”.

After 1988 the group went into a temporary dormancy while all three of its members pursued their own individual groups. In the fall of 1993 BassDrumBone became active again for a tour in Europe. A tour in 1996 yielded “Hence the Reason”(enj9222) and in March of 1999 BDB released some archival material from 1986-97 on an Auricle Records  cd entitled “Cooked to Perfection”. BassDrumBone celebrated its 25th year together with the release of “March of Dimes” on the Dutch label Data. On the eve of our 30th anniversary, Clean Feed released “The Line Up”. Followed by “The Other Parade” also on Clean Feed in 2009.

And now on November 15, 2017 will come a very special double CD called “The Long Road” on Auricle Records.

“…brimming with a telepathy indicative of the threesome’s long journey as kindred spirits * * * * (4 stars) Bradley Bambarger, March 2017 Downbeat Magazine

“Four decades on and still going strong, this venerable group, comprised of established musicians who share aesthetic outlooks and common histories, is something of a rarity by contemporary standards. Richly varied, The Long Road is a winning testament to their creative longevity.” Troy Collins November 2016 AllAboutJazz

Gerry Hemingway has been composing and performing solo and ensemble music since 1974. Recent recordings of his music for solo percussion include Electro-Acoustic Solo Works (84-95) and Acoustic Solo Works (83-94) on the German Random Acoustics label. Mr. Hemingwayʼs newest working band is a quartet with Ray Anderson or Herb Robertson, Ellery Eskelin-tenor sax and Mark Dresser or Mark Helias on bass. The band performed 40 concerts in the States in 1998 and itʼs first recording is Johnnyʼs Corner Song on the Auricle Record label. The quartetʼs has since released Devils Paradise & The Whimbler on the Clean Feed label of Portugal. This follows twelve years of performances and recordings of his European based quintet whose final Cd is entitled Waltzes, Two-Steps and Other Matters of the Heart. Previous recordings include, Special Detail (91), Down to the Wire (93) and Demon Chaser (94) all on the Swiss Hat Art label and Slamadam (95) and Perfect World (96) on Random Acoustics. His work as a composer and percussionist includes recordings and performances with Derek Bailey, Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, Ray Anderson, Conrad Bauer, John Cale and Hank Roberts among many others. For eleven years, starting in 1983, he was a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet from 1983-1994 and more recently has been performing as a member of the Reggie Workman Ensemble. Collaborative projects include trios with pianist Georg Graewe and cellist Ernst Reijseger, Michel Wintsch & Baenz Oester, duoʼs with Marilyn Crispell, Thomas Lehn, John Butcher. more info at:

“If I ever had a home, it was the slide trombone” says Ray Anderson. Although the perennial poll-winner (6 times in Down Beatʼs Critics Poll!) is indeed at home with the “slip-horn”, his unique music is now being heard all over the world. Andersonʼs innovative and influential style is technically awesome but straight from the heart. Born in Chicago in 1952, Ray Anderson started playing trombone when he was eight. After three years in California, playing in funk, R&B and jazz groups, Ray Anderson moved to New York City in 1972. He picked up a wide variety of musical experience, played in the booming loft scene and spent important periods with Barry Altschulʼs trio and Anthony Braxtonsʼ quartet. “Playing with Braxton (during 1978-81) really ended my period of apprenticeship and Iʼve led or co-led my own groups ever since.” These bands have included the wild funk unit Slickaphonics. Now Anderson can be heard leading his quartet (piano or guitar, upright bass and drums), his Wishbone Ensemble (which adds percussion and violin to the quartet), his Alligatory Band (electric bass and guitar, drums, percussion and trumpet) his Bonified Big Band (classic big band instrumentation) and Rayʼs latest incarnation, The Pocket Brass Band featuring Jack Walrath on Trumpet, Bob Stewart on Tuba and Charli Persip on Drums. Ray is also a member of Slideride, a four trombone cooperative featuring Craig Harris, George Lewis and Gary Valente. more info at:

Composer/bassist Mark Helias has been making innovative music since finishing a Masters Degree at the Yale School of Music in 1976. With impeccable credentials as a virtuoso bassist, composer and band leader, he has composed for, as well as performed and recorded with such modern masters as Edward Blackwell, Anthony Davis, Dewey Redman and Anthony Braxton. Mr. Helias has recorded five albums of his own compositions beginning in 1984 with Split Image. This was followed by four others,The Current Set (1987), Desert Blue (1989) and Attack The Future (1992), Loopin the Cool (1995) all for the German label Enja Records. His varied interests have involved him in such projects as two Anthony Davis operas X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X and Under The Double Moon, as well as performance, dance, film and video collaborations with Mary Perillo and John Sanborn. Heliasʼ compositional output includes numerous notated pieces ranging from solo bass to symphony orchestra. Since 1981 Mr. Helias has been awarded thirteen composition and performance grants. In 1992 his piece Upside the Downside was premiered in St. Louis, Missouri by the String Trio of New York. The piece was commissioned by Meet the Composer/Readers Digest. Helias has worked with numerous bands including those of Barry Altschul, Oliver Lake, Slickaphonics, Abbey Lincoln, Don Cherry, Cecil Taylor and Ray Anderson. In addition to his performances on over sixty albums, Mr. Helias has been producing recordings for other artists on the Gramavision, Enja, Avant/DIW and Sound Aspects, and New World labels. He has recently completed a large work for symphony orchestra. more info at:


Wednesday, June 14 at 8:00 p.m.

DKV Trio (CHI)

Hallwalls • 341 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, N.Y. 14202

$15 general, $12 students/seniors, $10 members

Ken Vandermark – saxophones/clarinet

Kent Kessler – contrabass

Hamid Drake – drums

photo: Krzysztof Penarski

“A simple superlative: DKV Trio is the best working band in Chicago jazz. That’s no small feat considering that its members work in lot of other combinations. Assembled in 1994 by reedman Ken Vandermark, the group forged an instant bond that mandated further investigation. Drummer Hamid Drake never fails to provide a spark and when he and bassist Kent Kessler get on the good foot you can expect a bonfire.

Where many free groups avoid funky swinging or melodic materials DKV eagerly embraces them. The trio’s open-ended, sometimes set-length improvisations unfold in sections: Drake and Kessler might set up a cyclical groove for Vandermark to dive into or soar above, then an insistent bass clarinet ostinato might free up the bassist to take one of his superb arco solos after which Drake might suddenly kick out a Max Roach high hat jam or hit the ground running with some infectious Afro-pop polyrhythms or reggae snare-centricity… All three players are respectful listeners cresting space and letting the music breathe but challenging each other as well. Each time out DKV invents a new context where daring exploration and pure corporeal pleasure shake hands and get down to business.”- John Corbett, Chicago Reader

By the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free jazz improvisers Peter Brotzmann, Fred Anderson, and Ken Vandermark, among others.

Hamid Drake was born in Monroe, LA, in 1955, and later moved to Chicago with his family. He ended up taking drum lessons with Fred Anderson’s son, eventually taking over the son’s role as percussionist in Anderson’s group. As a result, Fred Anderson also introduced Drake to George Lewis and other AACM members. By the late ’70s, he was a member of Foday Muso Suso’s Mandingo Griot Society, and also played reggae. He’s been a member of the Latin jazz band Night on Earth, the Georg Graewe Quartet, the DKV Trio, Peter Brotzmann’s Chicago Octet/Tentet, and Liof Munimula, the oldest free improvising ensemble in Chicago.

Drake has also worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Mahmoud Gania, Pat Metheny, bassist William Parker (in a large number of lineups), and has performed a solstice celebration with fellow Chicago percussionist Michael Zerang semiannually since 1991.

Hamid Drake recorded material is best represented on Chicago’s Okkadisk label.

Kent Kessler began playing double bass in the 1980s and it became his primary instrument when he was asked in 1985 to join the NRG Ensemble, who toured Europe and recorded for ECM Records under the leadership of Hal Russell until his death in 1992. In 1991, he gigged with Zerang and guitarist Chris DeChiara; in need of a hornist, they called Ken Vandermark, who had been considering leaving the Chicago scene. Kessler and Vandermark would go on to collaborate extensively on free jazz and improvisational projects such as the Vandermark 5, the DKV Trio and the Steelwool Trio. In the 1990s and afterwards he worked with Chicago musicians such as Hamid Drake, Fred Anderson, and Joe McPhee, and also with European musicians such as Peter Brötzmann, Mats Gustafsson, Misha Mengelberg, and Luc Houtkamp.

Ken Vandermark began studying the tenor saxophone at the age of 16. Since graduating with a degree in Film and Communications from McGill University during the spring of 1986, his primary creative emphasis has been the exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. In 1989, he moved to Chicago from Boston, and has worked continuously from the early 1990′s onward, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in a large array of contexts, with many internationally renowned musicians (such as Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Tim Daisy, Hamid Drake, Terrie Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Devin Hoff, Christof Kurzmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Lytton, Andy Moor, Joe Morris, and Nate Wooley). His current activity includes work with Made To Break, The Resonance Ensemble, Side A, Lean Left, Fire Room, the DKV Trio, and duos with Paal Nilssen-Love and Tim Daisy; in addition, he is the music director of the experimental Pop band, The Margots. More than half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, and Japan, and his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad. In addition to the tenor sax, he also plays the bass and Bb clarinet, and baritone saxophone. In 1999 he was awarded the MacArthur prize for music.


Hallwalls Music Program is made possible through a generous grant from The Cullen Foundation & public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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