Category: Press Releases

Lisa Mezzacappa: Glorious Ravage

What: Lisa Mezzacappa presents Glorious Ravage, an evening-length song cycle inspired by female explorers.
When: Thursday, October 12, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – San Francisco composer + bassist Lisa Mezzacappa presents Glorious Ravage, an immersive evening-length song cycle for a large ensemble of California improvisers with films commissioned from Bay Area experimental filmmakers. Glorious Ravage features original compositions by Mezzacappa, and takes as its inspiration the writings of female adventurers near the turn of the 20th century, who trekked to the wildest parts of the earth to discover, escape, and lose themselves.

Glorious Ravage is the product of extensive collaboration between Mezzacappa and four moving image artists—Konrad Steiner, Alfonso Alvarez, Kathleen Quillian, and Janis Crystal Lipzin—all significant figures in the Bay Area experimental film and video community for decades, working in video, animation and manipulated found and archival film footage. The ensemble features fourteen virtuoso instrumentalists, plus versatile Brooklyn vocalist Fay Victor.

Lisa Mezzacappa is a San Francisco Bay Area composer, bassist, bandleader and producer. Called “one of the most imaginative figures on the Bay Area creative jazz scene” by the San Jose Mercury News and “a Bay Area treasure” by KQED National Public Radio, she has been an active part of California’s vibrant experimental music community for more than 15 years. Mezzacappa’s activities as a composer and bandleader include ethereal chamber music, electro-acoustic works, avant-garde jazz, music for groups from duo to large ensemble, and collaborations with film, dance, sculpture and installation art. Recent projects include works inspired by noir crime fiction; scientific processes on micro and cosmic scales; Victorian lady adventurers; and vintage Italian science fiction comics. She has released her music on the New World, Clean Feed, NoBusiness, Leo, and NotTwo record labels, and has received support or her work from the MAP Fund, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Aaron Copland Fund.

Ches Smith: Laugh Ash

What: Ches Smith debuts three new pieces that explore orchestrational commonalities and incongruences.
When: Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – In his new chamber noise ensemble Laugh Ash, Ches Smith debuts three new pieces that explore orchestrational commonalities and incongruences among acoustic instruments and electronic sounds. With an ensemble drawing from the worlds of contemporary concert music and new jazz, the writing draws on both traditions, with Smith’s electronics providing a beat, a noise factor, or an enhanced orchestration. To further this element, producer / engineer / musician Eli Crews will be providing live sound manipulation.

Laugh Ash is a new ensemble assembled by drummer, percussionist and composer Ches Smith in which the intricacies of chamber ensemble composition are morphed through a lens of low-fi hip hop, damaged electronics, and block structures. The group consists of a mix of players at the forefront of New York City’s new music and jazz scenes: Jennifer Choi, Anna Webber, Nate Wooley, Oscar Noriega, Michael Nicolas, and Eli Crews.

In addition to leading his own bands These Arches, Ches Smith Trio (with Craig Taborn and Mat Maneri) and We All Break, Ches Smith also works as a side musician, playing drums and percussion with Marc Ribot, Tim Berne, Mary Halvorson, the Dave Douglas and Lee Konitz Quintet, Darius Jones, Matt Mitchell, John Zorn, Secret Chiefs 3, Terry Riley and many others. He also collaborates in the doom-improv trio Tanks with Brandon Seabrook and Toby Driver, and free jazz duo Good for Cows with Devin Hoff.

For Living Lovers // Brandon Ross & Blazing Beauty

What: Brandon Ross presents a compositional series inspired by photographic images of Venezuelan artist Carolina Muñoz.
When: Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Folk jazz guitarist Brandon Ross presents Immortal Obsolescence, a compositions series for improvisation inspired by photographic images of Venezuelan artist Carolina Muñoz, followed by the acoustic duo of For Living Lovers.

For Living Lovers is the acoustic duo of guitarist Brandon Ross and acoustic bass guitarist Stomu Takeishi. Founded in 2002, For Living Lovers developed out of the discovery of a shared musical sensibility and influence of instruments designed by legendary luthier Steve Klein. The duo has recorded and toured the film music of Toru Takemitsu, played the prestigious Saito-Kinen Festival in Nagano, Japan, and released Revealing Essence on Sunnyside Records (2014) to superlative reviews.

Brandon Ross is a guitarist, composer, vocalist, and songwriter based in New York City. He has performed and recorded with jazz luminaries such as Henry Threadgill, Cassandra Wilson, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Oliver Lake, Leroy Jenkins, Wadada Leo Smith, Bill Frisell and many others, crafting a personal approach to guitar and improvisation that has taken him all over the world. A co-founder of the avant power trio, Harriet Tubman, and the nuanced acoustic duo, For Living Lovers, Ross moves freely between sonic terroirs of bombast and intimate subtlety. In addition to composing for documentary films and television, Ross leads the experimental music ensemble Brandon Ross Pendulum. He is a 2014 CMA New Jazz Works grantee.  

RE: Lunar Eclipse

What: Lunar Eclipse by RE is an interactive audiovisual performance within an monumental inflatable dome sculpture.
When: Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – A night under the stars — in a dome! Roulette is pleased to host Lunar Eclipse, an interactive audiovisual performance taking place within an monumental inflatable dome sculpture. Audience members are encouraged to enter the dome and move throughout the space during the performance. The evening will culminate in an immersive interactive “lunar eclipse.”

RE is comprised of six musicians and visual artists from the US and Thailand. The group met in Brooklyn and began collaborating on experimental multimedia performance projects, including Rendrgram, D.O.M.E., Zumest, New York Sound Painting Ensemble, Globular Cluster, Tiritee, and WX. Such collaborations have incorporated elements of structured improvisation, large scale sculpture and projection art, experiential audience engagement, and relatable and non relatable narrative landscapes.

Kazuhisa Uchihashi: FLECT ft. Ikue Mori + Shelley Hirsch

What: A night of improvisation featuring Kazuhisa Uchihashi on electric guitars + daxophone with Ikue Mori and Shelley Hirsch.
When: Thursday, September 28, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Japanese free improvisational guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi presents FLECT, an evening of improvisation featuring experimental vocalist Shelley Hirsch and electronics pioneer Ikue Mori.

Kazuhisa Uchihashi is a Japanese guitarist involved in free improvisation music. Born in 1959 in Osaka, Uchihashi started playing the guitar at age 12, going on to play in various rock bands before later studying jazz music. In 1988, Uchihashi joined the band the First Edition, and formed the band Altered States in 1990. He was also a member of Otomo Yoshihide’s Ground Zero from 1994 to 1997. In addition to his role as a free improviser, Uchihashi also plays daxophone, an electric wooden experimental instrument of the friction idiophone category. Uchihashi was musical director for Osaka theatre group Ishinha and has held improvisation workshops (known as New Music Action) in various cities in Japan, as well as London, Oslo, and Vienna. He owns his own record label, Innocent Records a.k.a. Zenbei Records, had held a music festival annually since 1996.

Shelley Hirsch is an  internationally-renowned vocalist, composer, storyteller and performance artist.

After moving to New York from her native Tokyo in 1977, Ikue Mori began playing drums in seminal No Wave band DNA with fellow noise pioneers Arto Lindsay and Tim Wright. In the mid 1980s, Mori began to employ drum machines in the context of improvised music. While limited to the standard technology provided by the drum machine, she nonetheless forged her own signature style. Throughout in 1990s she collaborated with numerous improvisors throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, while continuing to produce and record her own music. After becoming involved with the city’s flourishing improvisational scene via John Zorn, she began experimenting with drum machines, and in recent years utilizes the laptop as her primary instrument.

James Brandon Lewis: UnRuly Notes // Val Jeanty Duo

What: James Brandon Lewis + Val Jeanty present live spontaneous composition followed by new ensemble UnRuly Notes.
When: Monday, September 18, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Former Roulette artists-in-residence James Brandon Lewis (saxophone) and Val Jeanty (electronics) join forces to present live spontaneous composition in a duo format, followed by Lewis’ new ensemble UnRuly Notes playing works inspired by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák.

Saxophonist and composer James Brandon Lewis has received accolades from cultural tastemakers such as Ebony Magazine, who hailed him as one of the “7 Young Players to Watch” in 2013. Lewis has shared stages with icons such as Benny Golson, Geri Allen, and Dorinda Clark Cole, as well as Roulette artists Ken Filiano, Darius Jones, and Jason Hwang. Lewis attended Howard University and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

Haitian electronic music composer Val Jeanty creates esoteric sounds that tantalize the subconscious while creating a healing / cosmic frequency. By synergistically combining acoustics with electronics and the archaic with postmodern, Jeanty incorporates her African Haitian musical traditions into the present and beyond.Her AfroElectronica installations have been showcased in New York City at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, and The Village Vanguard. She is also recognized internationally and has performed at The SaalFelden Musical Festival in Austria, Stanser Musiktage in Switzerland, Jazz à la Villette in France, and the Biennale Di Venezia Museum in Italy.

Matana Roberts: “breathe…”

What: Saxophonist Matana Roberts presents a new conceptual song cycle entitled “breathe…”
When: Thursday, September 14, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Matana Roberts‘ “breathe…” is part of a conceptual sound cycle exploring rise of militarized police in American culture and beyond. The program will focus on alternative modes of composition, improvisation and moving image as part of a conceptual graphic score. The performance will be the culmination of work that Matana is creating during her residency at Prismatic Park, curated by Blank Forms. 

Matana Roberts is an internationally recognized, Chicago-born saxophonist and multidisciplinary sound conceptualist working in various mediums of performance inquiry. She has created alongside visionary experimentalists of this time period in various areas of improvisation, dance, poetry, visual art, theater; as a saxophonist, documented on various sound recordings as collaborator, side woman and leader. Her recent work focused on the place / problem of memory and tradition as recognized, deciphered, deconstructed, interrogated through radical modes of sound communication, alternative styles of musical notation, and multi-genres of improvisation. Roberts’ work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), Fridman Gallery (NYC), Museum of Contemporary Art — MOCA (Chicago) and Museum of Contemporary Art — MOCAD (Detroit). She is well-known for her acclaimed Coin Coin project, a multi-chapter work of “panoramic sound quilting” that aims to expose the mystical roots and channel the intuitive spirit-raising traditions of American creative expression. Constellation Records began documenting the Coin Coin project in 2011 and has released the first three of a projected twelve album-length chapters to date.

Peggy Lee Septet: Tell Tale

What: The Peggy Lee Septet, featuring Vancouver’s leading improvisers, presents Tell Tale, inspired by HBO’s Deadwood.
When: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Conceived in 2009 as a response to writer / creator David Milch’s HBO series Deadwood, Peggy Lee’s Tell Tale features an ensemble of improvisers from Vancouver’s deep and varied creative music community. Likening the players to characters in a story, Lee provides each player a chance  to voice their individual ideas in unaccompanied solos and in small ensembles within the framework of a musical suite. The seven composed sections of the music imply the arc of a story, yet are also intended as launching pads for the players to make extended improvised statements. The listener is lead on a journey that is never the same twice.

Cellist, improviser, composer Peggy Lee was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She studied classical cello, completing a bachelor’s degree in performance at the University of Toronto as a student of Vladimir Orloff and Denis Brott. She furthered her studies on the cello with lessons with Martha Gerschefski in Atlanta Georgia. Lee first became interested in collaborating with artists from different mediums and in veering away from the classical path during the fall of 1988, when she began a year residency with a string quartet at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta. She eventually relocated to Vancouver, which she now calls home. Peggy’s first forays into improvisation in Vancouver happened with dancers at the EDAM (experimental dance and music) studio at the Western Front and eventually led to her meeting and joining guitarists Ron Samworth and Tony Wilson in their respective bands; as well as becoming a member of the New Orchestra Workshop, which went on to have interesting and fruitful collaborations with Butch Morris, Wadada Leo Smith, René Lussier, Barry Guy and George Lewis. Peggy continues to collaborate with longtime musical associates including Dave Douglas, Wayne Horvitz, Robin Holcomb, Veda Hille and Lisa Miller.

Roulette Announces Fall 2017 Season (September—December)

Brooklyn, NY — Roulette is pleased to announce the release of their fall season from September 5 to December 21, 2017.

The fall seasons begins in September with the fifth annual Resonant Bodies Festival, a one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear expert contemporary music vocalists curate and present repertoire that feeds their passion. Taking place over three nights, the festival features Theo Bleckmann, Jennifer Walshe, Davóne Tines, Hai-Ting Chinn, Joan La Barbara, Odeya Nini, Mary Bonhag, Kamala Sankaram, and Kayleigh Butcher. The following week, the Peggy Lee Septet, featuring Vancouver’s leading improvisers, presents Tell Tale, a project conceived in 2009 as a musical response to the HBO series Deadwood; followed by Matana Roberts presenting “breathe….” , a conceptual sound cycle exploring rise of militarized police in American culture. The month concludes with former artist-in-residence James Brandon Lewis presenting two new ensembles — UnRuly Notes, featuring works arranged and inspired by Antonin Dvorak, and a saxophone + electronics duo with composer Val Jeanty; followed by Japanese guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi performing FLECT with special guests Shelley Hirsch and Ikue Mori.

The month of October begins with Lunar Eclipse, an interactive audiovisual performance within an inflatable dome sculpture from the ensemble RE. Guitarist, vocalist, and composer Brandon Ross calls upon the photographs of Venezuelan artist, Carolina Muñoz, to present Immortal Obsolescence, followed by the acoustic duo of Ross and Stomu Takeishi. Ches Smith debuts new ensemble Laugh Ash, whose composition are morphed through a lens of low-fi hip hop, damaged electronics, and block structures. Glorious Ravage, a panoramic free jazz cycle from San Francisco bassist-composer Lisa Mezzacappa takes its inspiration from adventures and writings of 19th century female explorers. The Austrian Cultural Forum of New York once agains opens its Moving Sounds Festival at Roulette, featuring MSHR, Yatta, and BR-Laser; followed by emerging composer Kelly Moran presenting pieces influenced by states of altered consciousness and their effect on musical processes; and vocalist Charmaine Lee presenting Ceremony, a collaborative work developed with pianist and composer Conrad Tao preceded by an improvisational duo with Nate Wooley. Veteran string quartet Brooklyn Rider presents Spontaneous Symbols, an evening of new works from Tyondai Braxton, Paula Matthusen, and more; and dancer Nami Yamamoto draws on love and loss to present three nights of Headless Wolf.

November kicks off with Tredici Bacci celebrating 1960s-1970s pop culture by scoring soundtracks to Italian silent films. Composer Chris Lightcap combines for his two working groups, Big Mouth and Suprette, to convene SuperBigmouth; followed by violinist Mari Kimura presenting two world premieres inspired by the work of Japanese master ceramacist Susumu Notomi that utilize her prototype motion sensor “mugic.” Victoria Keddie returns to curate the second annual video art festival, Optics 0:1 Combinations; and David First’s Western Enisphere ensemble presents new works that explore hyper-minimalist microtonality and sensual phenomena. Producer Raz Mesinai performs Sleepwalker 3, a piece for piano, violin, bass and electronics that combines dub, contemporary composition, and sound system design. The month concludes with Experiments in Opera, ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), and M.o.M., Inc. celebrating the life and legacy of Pauline Oliveros with the premiere of The Nubian Word for Flowers; A Phantom Opera, Oliveros’ opera collaboration with writer / director IONE.

December concludes with Austrian group Studio Dan performing Breaking News, featuring the premiere of a new work from George Lewis; followed by Jeremiah Cymerman premiering hypnotic new music for four clarinets and two percussionists inspired by Carl Jung’s Red Book. Acclaimed saxophonist Darius Jones will perform Samesoul Maker, which explores the commitment of the father figure during the process of childbirth on the planet Or’gen. The piano duo of Vicky Chow and a special guest, under the name X88, will present Outer Limits, featuring works by composers Tristan Perich, Nik Baärtsch, and more. Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra returns to Roulette’s stage for Murmuration, which draws on Rudolph’s usage of a non-linear score. The fall season concludes with Phill Niblock’s annual 6-hour Winter Solstice concert.

Resonant Bodies Festival 2017

What: The annual Resonant Bodies Festival returns in September to present nine boundary-pushing vocalists perform over three consecutive nights.
When: Tuesday—Thursday, September 5-7, 2017, 7:30pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Roulette is pleased to host the fifth annual Resonant Bodies Festival, taking place September 5-7, 2017.

Highlights include Grammy-nominated jazz singer and composer Theo Bleckmann performing “Songs in Color and Black and White,” a piece he has written and developed over the past seventeen years, on opening night, Tuesday, September 5, followed by legendary composer / performer / sound artist Joan La Barbara presenting a world premiere opera based on the lives and work of Joseph Cornell and Virginia Woolf on Wednesday, September 6. The festival closes on Thursday, September 7 with Kayleigh Butcher (director and founder of Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble) presenting newly commissioned works by Sivan Cohen Elias, Cara Haxo, Andrew Tham, and Daniel Felsenfeld, with the help of choreographers Katelyn Halpern and Miro Magloire, as well as violinist Hajnal Pivnick.

Tuesday, September 5 Theo Bleckmann, Jennifer Walshe, Davóne Tines

Wednesday, September 6 Hai-Ting Chinn, Joan La Barbara, Odeya Nini

Thursday, September 7 Mary Bonhag, Kamala Sankaram, Kayleigh Butcher

Founded in 2013, Resonant Bodies Festival is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear expert contemporary music vocalists present repertoire that feeds their passion. Presented over three nights, nine dynamic and unique vocalists curate and present 45-minute sets expressing their particular blend of musical tastes. The festival recently expanded to Australia and was presented at the Melbourne Recital Center in May 2017, with further expansion on the horizon.