“This program of a new ensemble and new music looks to give expression to the circle of music I am feeling these days. My Dark Woods concept puts my clarinet in the center of a “wood” sound and of compositions that start from Frederico Lorca’s phrase “everything that has dark sounds, has “duende”. Bright Sparks is the sister or brother, that which combusts and blends into the air, more metal than not. And with all my music, improvisation is the mother tongue, and each grouping of musicians who speak it brings a particular aspiration to the proceedings.” – Marty Ehrlich
Marty Ehrlich woodwinds, compositions
Ron Horton trumpet
Sara Schoenbeck bassoon
Erik Friedlander cello
Matt Pavolka bass
Satoshi Takahasi percussion
Saxophonist, clarinetist, and flutist Marty Ehrlich (b.1955) is celebrating over 40 years in the nexus of creative music centered in New York City. He began his musical career in St. Louis, Missouri, performing and recording with the Human Arts Ensemble. He then graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 1977, where his teachers included George Russell, Jaki Byard, Gunther Schuller, and Joseph Allard.Since coming to New York in 1978, he has made thirty recordings of his compositions written for his Dark Woods Ensemble, Traveler’s Tales Quartet, Trio Exaltation, The Rites Quartet, Philosophy of a Groove, and the Marty Ehrlich Large Ensemble. He has sustained three collective groups, C/D/E with Andrew Cyrille and Mark Dresser, Relativity with Peter Erskine and Michael Formanek, and the Ray Anderson/Marty Ehrlich Quartet. His compositions are represented on the Enja, New World, Muse, OmniTone, Palmetto, Tzadik, and Clean Feed labels.
As a woodwind multi-instrumentalist passionate about improvisation and interpretation, he has performed and recorded with a who’s who of contemporary composers including Muhal Richard Abrams, Ray Anderson, Anthony Braxton, John Carter, Andrew Cyrille, Jack DeJohnette, Anthony Davis, Mark Dresser, Marianne Faithful, Don Grolnick, Chico Hamilton, Jerome Harris, Julius Hemphill, Andrew Hill, Robin Holcomb, Oliver Lake, Leroy Jenkins, Myra Melford, Modeski/Martin/Woods, Bobby Previte, Rufus Reid, Wadada Leo Smith, and John Zorn, among many others. He has performed with the New York City and Metropolitan Opera, the Jose Limon and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance companies, and numerous chamber music contexts.
Ehrlich is the chief researcher for the Julius Hemphill Archive at NYU. His honors include composition grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, Chamber Music America, the NEA, and NYFA. The Marty Ehrlich Archive is in the Fales Library of NYU. Ehrlich is Professor Emeritus of Jazz and Contemporary Music at Hampshire College, and Interim Director of Jazz STudies at SUNY Stonybrook in 2023.