Saxophonist Aaron Burnett founded his ensemble the Big Machine as a way of interacting with society’s urgent need for freedom and peace in a world ruled by corporations and overwhelming technology. In a small ensemble setting, the Big Machine incorporates elements of modern-day electronic and world music with the traditional classical and jazz practices. As part of his Roulette residency, Burnett and the Big Machine premiere Compound Gravity, a project that combines electronic live production with traditional jazz harmonic themes, and aims to explore these possibilities within the format of a small group of musicians. The ensemble includes Burnett, Peter Evans, Carlos Homs, Nick Jozwiak, and Kayvon Gordon, and will present new works alongside older compositions—delving into the stylistic, rhythmic and harmonic using specific genres of music such as Drum and Bass, Hip Hop, modern jazz, and modern classical. New works will explore the possibilities of various poly-rhythms, serial compositional techniques, solo repertoire, extended technique, including jazz-oriented song forms and melodies.
Aaron Burnett — tenor sax
Peter Evans — trumpet
Carlos Homs — piano, keys
Nick Jozwiak — bass
Kayvon Gordon — drums
Aaron Burnett began to study classical saxophone at the age 11. After attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for Classical and Jazz Performance (1999-2001), he relocated to Berklee College of Music in Boston for Classical Composition (2005-2008), graduating with a degree in Professional Music. Burnett has always stressed the importance of establishing a unique sound for himself while in college, studying classical Baroque composition techniques, advance harmony, world music, and atonal composition. He has performed with many renowned musicians such as Vijay Iyer, Teri Lyne Carrington, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Michelle Rosewoman, Jeff Tain Watts, and Kim Thompson, and toured with three-time Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding in her 2012 world tour with Radio Music Society. Burnett retains true nature of jazz in his music and his playing, always searching for new ways of interpreting the music while remaining modern and consistent with the times we live in.
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 Ensemble and Being & Becoming. Evans has been exploring 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. 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, Ingrid Laubrock, Jim Black, Weasel Walter, Ambrose Akinmusere, Matana Roberts, Tyshawn Sorey, Levy Lorenzo, Nate Wooley, Steve Schick, Mary Halvorson, Joe McPhee and performs with both ICE and the Wet Ink Ensemble. He has been releasing recordings on his own label, More is More, since 2011. 2018 will see the release of a new solo album, the first duo album with Levy Lorenzo, a new record by Pulverize the Sound, and the new album by the Peter Evans Ensemble.
Carlos Homs is a keyboardist/composer/producer from New York City. As an alumnus of Berklee College of Music and New School University, Carlos has gone on to perform, tour and record with hip-hop, pop, jazz and avant-garde artists including Peter Evans, Tyshawn Sorey, Pete Robbins, Mos Def (Yassin Bey), Bernard Purdie, Jim Black, Reggie Workman, Steve Lehman, Kim Thompson, Jason Palmer, James Moody, Cirkut(producer), Mustafa da Poet, Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and others. He is a featured performer Peter Evan’s “Ghosts”, Steve Lehman’s “Selebeyone”, Kim Thompson’s “Treasures Abound” and others as well as having an album with his trio ARK under the same name. In 2014, Carlos worked a music director for Broadway companies Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor. Carlos was also the keyboardist for former local jam-band MUN playing festivals and venues such as Farm Fest, The Catskill Chill, Brooklyn Bowl, the 8×10 (Baltimore), Garcia’s and others. Behind the scenes, Carlos is working diligently on his production chops and composing for a second ARK album.
Nicholas Jozwiak was born in the Chicagoland area to a family of musicians. He studied classical piano at a young age followed closely by the double bass. His first teacher was young bassist educator Virginia Dixon, followed by the enigmatic former principle of the Honolulu Symphony, Tony Monaco. Discovering jazz and improvisation in high school, Nick was invited to study at the Dave Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony, (under Ingrid Jensen and Geoffrey Keezer), the Vail, Colorado Jazz Workshop (under John Clayton) and the Berklee Summer Jazz Workshop (under Terri Lynne Carrington). He also performed as principle bassist for the Chicago Youth Symphony’s 2006-2007 season, performing Brahms, Strauss and Barber in Eastern Europe. In 2007 Nick moved to New York City to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. There he studied with William Parker, Mark Helias, Ben Street, Richard Boukas and Ron Petrides, developing a strong appreciation for abstraction, experimentalism, free jazz and improvisation. Meanwhile, Nick participated in a rich DIY scene in the Bushwick, Brooklyn area, centered around two sister venues, the Freedom Garden and 1012 Willoughby, performing and organizing shows. Performances range from live collage art, conductions, free improvisations, experimental ensemble compositions and drone-based, throat-sung solos. As a prolific sideman he has made acid-country music on tour with Jolie Holland, burning straight ahead jazz with Kimberly Thompson, bubble gum folk with Oh! My Blackbird, pop-rock on tour with Dylan Gardner, improvised performance art with Jay-Zee Sushi Car and Muyassar Kurdi, neo-soul/r&b with José James, and forward-thinking contemporary jazz with Aaron Burnett.
Kayvon Gordon was born and raised in Detroit. At a young age, he was taken under the mentorship of legendary trumpeter Marcus Belgrave. Later, he went on to study at the University of Michigan. Gordon has performed In Europe, Africa, South Asia, The United Arab Emirates, and North America. He has also had the honor of sharing the stage with Marcus Belgrave, Joe Lovano, Johnny O’Neal, Robert Hurst, Rodney Whitaker, Sullivan Fortner, and Wynton Marsalis, to name a few.
Aaron Burnett: Compound Gravity is made possible, in part, by the Jerome Foundation.
The Jerome Foundation, a long-time supporter of young composers, was a mainstay in Roulette’s early development and continues to help us fulfill our mission by presenting ambitious work by promising artists. Each year, the Jerome Foundation supports five artist residencies and four commissions at Roulette.