TAS is thrilled to be welcoming back Ken Vandermark for another performance on January 8, 2018. Ken Vandermark, a Massachusetts native, will be coming home for this special, one-time gig. A fixture on the Chicago-area music scene since 1989, Vandermark has earned wide critical praise for his playing and his multilayered compositions, which typically balance intricate orchestration with passionate improvisation. He has led or been a member of many groups, collaborated extensively with other artists, and was awarded a 1999 MacArthur Fellowship. He plays tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, and baritone saxophone.
Performing with Vandermark, for the first time at TAS are Terrie Ex, Paal Nilssen-Ex, and a Norwegian bassist. Terrie Ex, born Terrie Hessels, started playing guitar when he co-founded The Ex in 1979 born out of the punk explosion and have since performed 1900 concerts together. Ex has free-improvised from the very start, from a little guitarsolo on the Awara/Ex 7" in 1981 until recent tours with Han Bennink, impro-groups Offonoff and Lean Left (with Ken Vandermark, Andy Moor and Paal Nilssen-Love). To produce impro-projects and African Music, he founded the TERP label in 2000 where he has collaborated with Tsehaytu Beraki, Getatchew Mekuria, Konono No.1 and Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed and released 25 CDs so far.
Paal Nilssen-Love has played an active part since 1990 in the jazz milieu in Stavanger and joined bands with established musicians such as trumpeter Didrik Ingvaldsen and saxophonist Frode Gjerstad. During his studies at the Jazz department at the University in Trondheim, where the first self-initiated bands were established, things developed fast – and Paal was nationally acknowledged at the age of 20. Paal moved to Oslo in 1996, where he joined and/or took part in the forming of bands like Vindaloo, SAN, Håkon Kornstad Tio, The Quintet and Frode Gjerstad Trio. He later on got more into self-initiated projects and collaborations with Swedish musicians, such as pianist Sten Sandell and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson. In 2014, Nilssen-Love focused his concentration on band Large Unit and projects involving more improvisation. Being active in several bands at the same time has always been Paal’s deliberate working method.
The improvisational performance quartet HASSLES was created as a band for the first time in order to conclude Ken Vandermark’s second Stone residency at the beginning of January 2018. The show at TAS is one stop in their concert series in North America. Doors open at 7:30pm on January 8, 2018 and music will begin at 8:00pm with two sets of music performed.