Jason Robinson’s Janus Ensemble

Monday, February 24, 2014. 8:00 pm

Tiresian Symmetry & Beyond – Winter Tour 2014

“Rugged and scintillating… both chaotic and in perfect order” –The New York Times

“One of the most respected soloists and bandleaders in jazz’s experimental wing” –Jazz Times

Jason Robinson’s Janus Ensemble

Oscar Noriega, Bb & bass clarinets, alto saxophone
Marty Ehrlich, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, C flute
Jason Robinson, tenor & soprano saxophones, alto flute
Bill Lowe, tuba, bass trombone
Michael Dessen, trombone
Liberty Ellman, guitar
Drew Gress, bass
George Schuller, drums
Ches Smith, drums, glockenspiel

Saxophonist and composer Jason Robinson’s celebrated, unusual nine-piece, Janus Ensemble, embarks on a five-concert tour of the US Northeast and Canada in February 2014. The tour, titled Tiresian Symmetry & Beyond, features re-worked pieces culled from the ensembles acclaimed 2012 album, Tiresian Symmetry (on Cuneiform Records), as well as the debut of Resonant Geographies, a new suite of Robinson compositions for the Janus Ensemble. The first three pieces from the suite will be performed at each concert – “Outcropping (Salt Point, 1995),” “Futures Unimagined (Quabbin Reservoir, 2012),” and “Confluence (Virgin Creek, 1996)” – each acting as a meditation on the relationship between geography and personal history, structure and expression. Drawn from personal experiences and evoking the emotional ephemera of specific places, the titles of each piece reference a time and physical location in northern California or western Massachusetts.

The Janus Ensemble’s five-concert tour includes stops on the 25th season of the award-winning Magic Triangle Concert Series in Amherst, MA; an appearance on the long-running Dimensions in Jazz series in Portland, ME; and the group’s Canadian debut at Montreal’s Casa del Popolo.

A Californian transplanted to New England, Jason Robinson’s artistic journey began in the San Francisco jazz scene of the 1990s. Now based in New York, the saxophonist, composer, and bandleader has collaborated with creative musicians equally interested in improvisation and composition, acoustic and electronics music, tradition and experimentalism: George Lewis, Pauline Oliveros, Anthony Davis, Marty Ehrlich, Warren Smith, Matt Wilson, Mark Dresser, Ches Smith, Marcus Rojas, Gerry Hemingway, Kei Akagi, Liberty Ellman, Babatunde Lea, Marco Eneidi, JD Parran, and Ray Anderson, among others. An Assistant Professor of Music at Amherst College, Robinson’s written work explores the relationship between improvised and popular musics, experimentalism, and cultural identity. In addition to various book chapters in edited volumes, he has published articles and reviews in Ethnomusicology, Jazz Perspectives, and Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études critiques en improvisation.