“Guitarist Schanzer’s ensemble with Marty Ehrlich, reeds and Bobby Previte, drums…plus guitarist Howell with John Zorn, sax and Rick Brown, drums.”
Jeffrey Schanzer is a composer and guitarist involved in a wide variety of music, ranging from fully notated to fully improvised. He has studied composition with Morton Feldman and Anthony Davis and guitar with Oswald Rantucci.
Jeffrey performs with his wife, composer/pianist Bernadette Speach, in Schanzer/Speach Duo, and leads the Jeffrey Schanzer Ensemble. Within the context of the Duo and his Ensemble, Jeffrey has worked with such musicians as Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Oliver Lake, Leroy Jenkins, Bobby Previte, Ned Rothenberg and Wadada Leo Smith.
Mark Howell was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1952 and moved to New York City in 1982. In 1996 Howell earned an M.F.A. in music composition at SUNY Stony Brook; and in 2004 a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the CUNY Graduate Center with a dissertation called “An Ethnoarchaeological Investigation of Highland Guatemalan Maya Dance-Plays.” In 1983 he formed an avant-garde post-rock band called Better Than Death (BTD) with bass clarinetist Michael Lytle. In 1986 he collaborated with Etron Fou saxophonist, Bruno Meillier to form a Euro-American group called Zero Pop. They recorded, All the Big Mystics and Glows in the Dark. In between Zero Pop tours BTD recorded Swimman (1987), and followed that release with a U.S. tour. Between 1986 and 1994 Zero Pop toured Europe seven times and the United States three. Howell played guitar on the Curlew record, North America, and met Martin Bisi, Rick Brown, Tom Cora, and Fred Frith. In 1989 he and Frith, Nick Didkovsky, and Rene Lussier formed the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet.