Kicking off Tour with Ken Vandermark and Nate Wooley

The Alternate Space is honored to be the kick off date on a tour of the improvisational performance duo Ken Vandermark and Nate Wooley.

Being the first stop on a tour with two improvisors creates quite a unique performance.  When the players get together for the first time they haven’t entirely settled into a interactive framework.  The energy in the performance is fresh and new, and can be a uniquely improvisational experience.

Since Nate and Ken have toured together before, so they will will be speaking the same sonic language, it’s a matter of getting fluent in that language again.  Their performance here at TAS on January 9, 2015 will be a good warm up for their next gig at the winter jazz fest in NYC.

Be sure to get your tickets to the first event on this national tour – seating is limited!

Ken Vandermark/Nate Wooley Duo Release New Album

Chicago saxophonist/composer Ken Vandermark and New York trumpet stalwart Nate Wooley had been operating in each other’s orbits for several years- having worked together with Paul Lytton, Joe Morris, Agusti Fernandez, and Terrie Ex- before putting together their duo project in October 2013, when they toured the United States for the first time.

With this unique ensemble, they deal directly with each other’s iconoclastic compositional and improvisational vocabularies, and have created a book of original material that takes inspirational cues from the under-appreciated work of John Carter and Bobby Bradford (two of their compositions are part of the group’s repertoire).  Vandermark and Wooley have worked together to create an organic combination of the jazz tradition, free improvisation, and modern composition, and have then placed it into the raw and intimate context of this duo.

Ken Vandermark Tour Dates

Tour: Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley Duo Tour
01/09/15 Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley Duo Watertown Alternate Space United States
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $15. Address: 125 Walnut St., Watertown, MA 02472.
01/10/15 Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley Duo New York, New York Winter Jazz Fest United States
Time: 8:00pm.
01/11/15 Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley Duo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia Art Alliance United States
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $15. Address: 251 s. 18th st..
01/12/15 Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley Duo Washington, DC Union Arts DC United States
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $15. Address: 411 New York Ave NE.
01/13/15 Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley Duo Raleigh, NC Neptunes Parlour United States
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $8. Address: 14 w. Martin Street.
01/14/15 Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley Duo West Columbia, SC Conundrum United States
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $10. Address: 626 Meeting St..
01/15/15 Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley Duo Asheville, NC The Mothlight United States
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $10. Address: 701 Haywood Rd.
01/16/15 Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley Duo Lexington, Kentucky Mecca United States
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: 5. Address: 948 Manchester St. An evening of solo and duo performances
01/17/15 Ken Vandermark Solo Louisville, Kentucky Dreamland United States
Time: 9:00pm. Address: 810 e. Market St. 9:00, solo 10:00 Ken Vandermark with The Dreamland Improvisation
01/18/15 Ken Vandermark Solo Sommerset, Kentucky W. B Jones Auditorium United States
Time: 3:30pm. Admission: Free. Address: 301 College St.. More information
01/21/15 Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley Duo Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Andy Warhol Museum United States
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $15. Address: 117 Sandusky St.

About Nate Wooley

exquisitely hostile

Nate Wooley was born in 1974 in Clatskanie, Oregon, a town of 2,000 people in the timber country of the Pacific Northwestern corner of the U.S. He began playing trumpet professionally with his father, a big band saxophonist, at the age of 13.   His time in Oregon, a place of relative quiet and slow time reference, instilled in Nate a musical aesthetic that has informed all of his music making for the past 20 years, but in no situation more than his solo trumpet performances.

Nate moved to New York in 2001, and has since become one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the burgeoning Brooklyn jazz, improv, noise, and new music scenes.  He has performed regularly with such icons as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, and Yoshi Wada, as well as being a collaborator with some of the brightest lights of his generation like Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh, Peter Evans, and Mary Halvorson.

Wooley’s solo playing has often been cited as being a part of an international revolution in improvised trumpet.  Along with Peter Evans and Greg Kelley, Wooley is considered one of the leading lights of the American movement to redefine the physical boundaries of the horn, as well as demolishing the way trumpet is perceived in a historical context still overshadowed by Louis Armstrong.  A combination of vocalization, extreme extended technique, noise and drone aesthetics, amplification and feedback, and compositional rigor has led one reviewer to call his solo recordings “exquisitely hostile”.

In the past three years, Wooley has been gathering international acclaim for his idiosyncratic trumpet language.  Time Out New York has called him “an iconoclastic trumpeter”, and Downbeat’s Jazz Musician of the Year, Dave Douglas has said, “Nate Wooley is one of the most interesting and unusual trumpet players living today, and that is without hyperbole”.  His work has been featured at the SWR JazzNow stage at Donaueschingen, the WRO Media Arts Biennial in Poland, Kongsberg, North Sea, Music Unlimited, and Copenhagen Jazz Festivals, and the New York New Darmstadt Festivals.  In 2011 he was an artist in residence at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY and Cafe Oto in London, England. In 2013 he performed at the Walker Art Center as a featured solo artist.

Nate is the curator of the Database of Recorded American Music ( and the editor-in-chief of their online quarterly journal Sound American ( both of which are dedicated to broadening the definition of American music through their online presence and the physical distribution of music through Sound American Records. He also runs Pleasure of the Text which releases music by composers of experimental music at the beginnings of their careers in rough and ready mediums.

More Nate Wooley

About Ken Vandermark

The exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation.

Born in Warwick, Rhode Island on September 22nd, 1964, Ken Vandermark began studying the tenor saxophone at the age of 16.  Since graduating with a degree in Film and Communications from McGill University during the spring of 1986, his primary creative emphasis has been the exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation.

In 1989, Vandermark moved to Chicago from Boston, and has worked continuously from the early 1990′s onward, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in a large array of contexts, with many internationally renowned musicians – including Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Tim Daisy, Hamid Drake, Terrie Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Devin Hoff, Christof Kurzmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Lytton, Andy Moor, Joe Morris, and Nate Wooley.

More than half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, and Japan, and his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad.  In addition to the tenor sax, he also plays the bass and Bb clarinet, and baritone saxophone.

A few of Ken’s Citations of Merit:

  • One of the “Chicagoans of the Year in the Arts, 1994″ (Chicago Tribune, January 1, 1995) for his work with the Vandermark Quartet.
  • Selected as one of the “25 For The Future,” the most significant improvising musicians under the age of 40, by Down Beat magazine, June 1998.
  • Selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 1999.
  • In 2004 was named among the “Musicians Of The Year” by All About Jazz, New York.
  • Picked as one of Chicago’s “40 Cultural Heroes” by Time Out magazine in September 2008.
  • Was the first musician to be featured leading his own groups two years in a row at the Newport Jazz Festival (the Vandermark 5 in 2009, Powerhouse Sound in 2010).
  • Selected as “Artist in Residence” for the Chicago Jazz Festival, 2012.

More Ken Vandermark

Duo: Ken Vandermark & Nate Wooley – January 9, 2015

The Alternate Space is excited to bring back both Ken Vandermark and Nate Wooley on January 9th, 2015.

Ken Vandermark is an American jazz composer and saxophone and clarinet player. A fixture on the Chicago-area music scene, Vandermark, a 1999 MacArthur Fellow, has earned critical praise for his playing and his multi-layered compositions, which balance intricate orchestration with passionate improvisation.

Nate Wooley is one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the burgeoning Brooklyn jazz, improv, noise, and new music scenes. He has performed regularly with John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, and Yoshi Wada. Wooley’s solo playing is often cited as part of an international revolution in improvised trumpet.

The two are touring together in support of a new duo release on Pleasure of the Text, Wooley’s own label.  This unique evening will feature two solo sets, followed by a duo set.  Vandermark’s current projects include Made to BreakThe Resonance Ensemble, and duos with Paal Nilssen-Love and Tim Daisy.  Wooley performs regularly with such icons as John Zorn and Anthony Braxton.

Order tickets today – limited seating.  Do not miss this once in a lifetime event!

About Laurence Cook

music for those first and foremost interested in music
— All About Jazz

Drummer Laurence Cook is a late first-generation American free improviser. Born in Boston, he studied painting at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston, before moving to N.Y.C. in the early ’60s and working as a longshoreman.

Laurance Cook has been a major figure in the jazz avant-garde since the 1960’s on twenty-two recordings, including Revenge, and Dual Unity with Paul Bley; Skillfullnes with Alan Silva,Wraparound with Joe Morris; “Fuzzagainst Junk” from Vision 1997 Festival with Thurston Moore; Triplet and Fire in the Valley with Jemeel Moondoc; Divine Mad Love with Sabir Mateen; November 1981, Thoughts, and Son of Sisyphus with Bill Dixon. He has worked with Sam Rivers, Lowell Davidson, Rahn Burton, Alan Silva, The Brecker Brothers, Robin Kenyatta, Mark Whitecage, and Barre Phillipsamong many others.

From the 1980s to now, Laurence has been at the epicenter of all that is worthwhile in Boston including nearly two decades with Eric Zinman and an emeritus mentorship via drum kit to the Boston core community in its most vivacious phase in several decades.

At his home performance base, Outpost 186 in Cambridge MA, Laurence makes robust contributions to astonishing ensembles with Jim Hobbs, Dave Bryant, Junko Simons, Joe Morris, Jeff Platz, Steve Lantner and Forbes Graham, among many.

Text for this article comes directly from and Laurence Cook.

More Laurence Cook