John Zorn: Game Pieces

What: Prolific composer John Zorn presents two of his game pieces, Cobra and Hockey at Roulette in May.
When: Saturday, May 6, 2017, 8pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $30/25 Online/Doors, $40 Premium
Info: / (917) 267-0368 =
Tickets: General Admission $25, Premium $40, $30 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY –  Roulette is thrilled to welcome back prolific composer John Zorn to present two of his game pieces, Cobra and Hockey. This will be the second time Cobra is performed at Roulette since the 2014 performance celebrated the work’s 30th anniversary. A concert experience of extraordinary vitality, the musical thrills and astoundingly visual interaction of the ensemble is deeply satisfying, seductive, and thought-provoking.

Zorn’s game pieces, a series of which these two are superb examples, rely on the use of tactics and strategy in a mix with musical imagination, communal and subversive instincts, personal style, and chutzpah wrapped inside a healthy set of rules. With no time limit, written musical material, or pre-arranged sequence of events, game pieces unfold freely under the prompter’s watchful eye. A number of methods are used to determine communication between ensemble members and the prompter and the direction and evolution of the music, including hand gestures and cue cards. Cobra, which has been recorded several times for various labels, will be performed by an all-star ensemble of some of New York’s most cutting edge improvisers. Hockey is one of Zorn’s earliest and most unique game pieces and features the composer himself on game calls, the classical virtuoso Mike Nicolas on cello and Aaron Edgcomb, the punk-jazz drummer from Trigger on percussion.

John Zorn’s untangling, extending, and illuminating of unresolved, highly potent concepts dangled by artists from Artaud to Braxton to Earle Brown to Hieronymus Bosch, his study of and immersion in Jewish culture, mysticism, military strategy and tactics, aural traditions, cartoons, cinema, and brutal noise has produced one of the most important bodies of musical work of the last century, and opened a path for the next. Beyond his compositions, Zorn is an accomplished saxophonist, bandleader, and an ardent promoter of experimental music. He founded the record label Tzadik in 1995 and has served as curator and artistic director at numerous New York music venues, including the Knitting Factory, Tonic, and The Stone, which he founded in 2005. A highly prolific creator, Zorn has hundreds of recordings and compositions to his name and has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia.


Eyal Maoz – Electric Guitar
Taylor Levine – Electric Guitar
Matt Hollenberg – Electric Guitar
Ikue Mori – Electronics
Sylvie Courvoisier – Piano
Michael Nicolas – Organ
Trevor Dunn – Acoustic Bass
Simon Hanes – Electric Bass
Ches Smith – Vibraphone
Tim Keiper – Percussion
Kenny Grohowski – Drums
Jim Black – Drums


John Zorn – Game Calls
Michael Nicolas – Cello
Aaron Edgcomb – Percussion