May the 4th Be With You: Jaimie Branch’s Anteloper and Fly or Die

Saturday, May 4, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
Jaimie Branch is a 2019 Roulette commissioned artist

Ghostly avant-garde trumpeter Jaimie Branch presents newly commissioned work for Roulette with her drum-trumpet duo Anteloper and quartet Fly or Die. Anteloper is the electric brainchild of Branch and percussionist Jason Nazary (Little Women, Helado Negro, Bear in Heaven). After meeting in 2002 at the New England Conservatory of Music the duo began working together as drummer and trumpeter and have continued their collaboration through time and space. This performance marks an evolution of their alliance with the incorporation of synthesizers and video work by Chicago-based artist Kim Alpert. With deep rhythmic passages, telepathic improvisations, and effortless melodic negotiations, Anteloper pushes forward, swinging its horns all the while. Be prepared to be draped in light and washed in sound.

Fly or Die, Branch’s quartet featuring Lester St. Louis on cello, Jason Ajemian on bass, and Chad Taylor on drums/mbira will play selections from their self-titled record on International Anthem—a dynamic ride that dares listeners to open their minds to music that knows no genre, no gender, no limits—as well as premiering new material from their forthcoming album.

Read our Spotlight interview with jaimie branch in our Spring 2019 zine or online here.


Anteloper X Kim Alpert
Jaimie Branch — trumpet/synth
Jason Nazary — drums/synth
Kim Alpert — video synth

Fly or Die
Jaimie Branch — trumpet
Lester St. Louis — cello
Jason Ajemian — bass
Chad Taylor — drums


A mainstay of the Chicago jazz scene and recent active addition to the New York scene, Jaimie Branch is an avant-garde trumpeter known for her “ghostly sounds,” says The New York Times, and for “sucker punching” crowds straight from the jump off, says Time Out. Her classical training and “unique voice capable of transforming every ensemble of which she is a part” (Jazz Right Now) has contributed to a wide range of projects not only in jazz but also punk, noise, indie rock, electronic and hip-hop. Branch’s prolific as-of-yet underexposed work as a composer and a producer, as well as a sideman for the likes of William Parker, Matana Roberts, TV on the Radio and Spoon, is all on display in her debut record Fly or Die – a dynamic 35-minute ride that dares listeners to open their minds to music that knows no genre, no gender, no limits.

Jason Nazary is a drummer/producer/improviser/composer from Atlanta and based in Brooklyn. Fascinated by the intersection of acoustic and electronic music, Jason has been a force in New York’s creative music scene for over a decade. He’s released two records under his solo project, So Ghost, that explore the use of acoustic drums as trigger and control sources for electronic instruments in the context of raw, minimalist composition and improvisation. He also co-leads a number of ensembles, among them the dystopian electro noise duo Clebs with singer Emilie Weibel, Anteloper: an improvising modular beat shredding duo with trumpeter/juno explorer Jaimie Branch, Bear In Heaven: a psychedelic, synth heavy indie rock band, and Little Women: a noise meets free jazz, soul quartet.

With a background in fine art, music, and carpentry, Chicago-based video artist Kim Alpert is a working artist, creative strategist, speaker, and consultant. She makes art to inspire conversations and creates experiences that drive emotions and make memories.

“Between the world of physical and digital there is a connective element of pure design and intention. This is where I play. Somewhere undefined, beyond the boundaries that words make.”

Lester St. Louis is a composer, cellist, and curator based in Brooklyn, NY. He has performed with Joe Morris, Dre Hocevar, Chris Pitsiokos and others, has presented several solo concerts, and programs a music series in Brooklyn. For the past several years, he has managed the Lower East Side experimental art venue Spectrum. St. Louis’s activity revolves around improvisation, composition, research, performance, and practice in order to find new ways to execute ideas in provocative and inspiring ways.

Chicago underground jazz bassist Jason Ajemian once lived in Zen temple, where he unlearned all of the breathing techniques he picked up from his formal jazz training and began to try something deeper than musical rhythm. It’s an experience that defines his music to this day, through a technique called “breath process music,” in which each player in his band plays to his or her own pace and feeling. In fact, Ajemian, a member of the underground experimental music scene in Chicago, always shines when his bass lines seem to come out of nowhere. — Wei-Huan Chen, Journal & Courier | USA Today

Chad Taylor (b. 1973) is a composer, educator, percussionist, scholar, and co-founder of the Chicago Underground ensembles. Originally from Tempe, AZ, Taylor grew up in Chicago where he started performing professionally at the age of 16. Taylor has performed with Fred Anderson, Derek Bailey, Cooper-Moore, Pharoah Sanders, Marc Ribot, Peter Brotzmann, Malachi Favors and many others. He leads his own band Circle Down which received a 5 star review for its debut recording by All Music. Taylor holds a BFA from the New School in Jazz Performance and a MFA in Jazz Research and History from Rutgers University.


May the 4th Be With You Jaimie Branch with Anteloper and Fly or Die 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.