Longtime collaborators and acclaimed improvisors, guitarist Jeffrey Schanzer and pianist Bernadette Speach, join legendary percussionist Warren Smith in a rare appearance of trios, duos, and solos among the three musicians as well as a premiere of new work between the Schanzer/Speach Duo and the surreal landscapes of video artist Anney Bonney.
Jeffrey Schanzer: classical and electric guitars
Bernadette Speach: piano and toy piano
Warren Smith: percussion (drums and mallet percussion)
Anney Bonney: video processing
The Schanzer-Speach Duo’s collaborative works combine the intuition and spontaneity of improvisation with the structure of formal composition. Pianist Bernadette Speach is a noted new music composer and student of Morton Feldman, and guitarist Jeffrey Schanzer is composer rooted in jazz. Their album Dualities was released on the Mode/Avant label to much acclaim. Artists who have performed with the Duo include Lester Bowie, Thomas Buckner, Mark Dresser, Joseph Jarman, Oliver Lake, Joelle Leandre, Fred Ho, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Myra Melford, David Pleasant, Bobby Previte, Alva Rogers, Ned Rothenberg, and Wadada Leo Smith.
Jeffrey Schanzer is a composer and guitarist involved in a wide variety of music, ranging from fully notated to fully improvised. He studied composition with Morton Feldman and Anthony Davis and guitar with Oswald Rantucci. His recordings include “No More In Thrall”, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, where his father was a prisoner, performed by the Sirius String Quartet with percussionist Kevin Norton on the CRI label and, as a sideman, Leroy Jenkins’ and Joseph Jarman’s “Out of the Mist” on Ocean Records.
Bernadette Speach‘s work as a composer embraces a variety of styles, and includes solo, chamber, and orchestral works. Her work has been played by numerous performers in venues across the world. Most recently Embrace the Universe (2001) for Orchestra, Chorus (SATB) and soloists: Mezzo-Soprano, Viola, Piano, with text: Hymn to Matter from The Divine Milieu by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was premiered on May 9, 2016, Teatro Petruzzelli, Bari, Italy. In and Out of Love—after Liaisons and Send in the Clowns from A Little Night Music, was premiered by Anthony de Mare, pianist and Artistic Director of Liaisons: Re-imagining Sondheim from the Piano, at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, which commissioned the work, and received its New York City premiere on March 9, 2013 at Symphony Space. Bernadette’s music is published by Kallisti Music Press, and has been recorded on Mode Records and includes Without Borders (Mode 16), Reflections (Mode 105) with The Arditti String Quartet, pianist Anthony de Mare, poet/writer/journalist Thulani Davis, and others. Bernadette lives in Brant Lake, New York.
Warren Smith has a long an illustrious musical history. One of his earliest major recording dates was with Miles Davis as a vibraphonist in 1957. In 1961, he co-founded the Composers Workshop Ensemble. In the 1960s, Smith accompanied Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Lloyd Price, and Nat King Cole; he worked with Sam Rivers from 1964–76 and with Gil Evans from 1968 to 1976. In 1969, he played with Janis Joplin and in 1971 with King Curtis and Tony Williams. He was also a founding member of Max Roach’s percussion ensemble, M’Boom, in 1970. In the 1970s and 1980s Smith had a loft called Studio Wis that acted as a performing and recording space for many young New York jazz musicians, such as Wadada Leo Smith and Oliver Lake. Through the 1970s Smith played with Andrew White, Julius Hemphill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, Count Basie, and Carmen McRae. Other credits include extensive work with rock and pop musicians and time spent with Anthony Braxton, Charles Mingus, Henry Threadgill, Van Morrison, and Joe Zawinul.
A member of the New York avant-garde since the late 1970s, experimental multimedia and video artist Anney Bonney renders hypnotic worlds and surreal textures reminiscent of those only seen in fever dreams and drugged minds. A co-founder of Antenna, TV—an artists’ public access program, she’s been an arts editor for BOMB Magazine, curated performance, video, and media art for The Kitchen, and has taught courses at SVA, Parsons School of Design, and SUNY Purchase. Bonney has exhibited video work worldwide and received numerous awards.
Bernadette will perform her solo piano work In and Out of Love, which was commissioned by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.