Glorious Ravage features extraordinary musicians from Northern and Southern California, based in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Long Beach, Irvine, San Diego and Los Angeles (plus one exceptional Brooklynite). These master improvisers draw inspiration from contemporary classical music, avant-garde jazz, electronic music, European experimental music, punk and pop, world folk traditions and the music of the African Diaspora.
Fay Victor, voice
Commanding and versatile vocalist, bandleader and composer Fay Victor has built a career in NYC and abroad singing inventive and open-minded music rooted in jazz song, bare-bones blues and experimental soundscapes. Her warm jazz tone offset by serious rock attitude and filtered through a master improviser’s sense of possibility, Victor has collaborated with titans of improvised music on both continents such as Ab Baars, William Parker, Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink, Anthony Braxton, and Roswell Rudd. She leads her own critically-acclaimed and versatile ensembles, the Fay Victor Ensemble, the Exposed Blues Duo, and Herbie Nichols SUNG.
Nicole Mitchell, flute
Nicole Mitchell is a creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. As the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Ice Crystal and Sonic Projections, Mitchell is repeated voted “Top Flutist of the Year” in the annual DownBeat Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association poll. Mitchell was the first woman president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and has been a member since 1995. She is a recipient of the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts (2011) and was among the first class of Doris Duke Artists (2012), and has been commissioned by Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Chicago Sinfonietta Orchestra, the French Ministry of Culture and the Maggio Fiorentino Chamber Orchestra. Mitchell is Professor of Music at the University of California, Irvine.
Kyle Bruckmann, oboe
Oakland, CA-based composer/performer Kyle Bruckmann’s work extends from a classical foundation into gray areas encompassing free jazz, electronic music and post-punk rock. He is a member of the acclaimed new music collective sfSound, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Eco Ensemble, Splinter Reeds, and Quinteto Latino. He has worked with the San Francisco Symphony and most of the area’s regional orchestras while remaining active in an international community of improvisers and sound artists. From 1996-2003, he was a fixture in Chicago’s experimental music underground; long-term affiliations include the electro-acoustic duo EKG, the art-punk monstrosity Lozenge, and the creative music quintet Wrack.
Vinny Golia, woodwinds
Composer, multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Vinny Golia fuses the rich heritage of jazz, contemporary classical and world music into his unique compositions and improvisations. Golia has presented his music to concert audiences in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the United States in ensembles varying dramatically in size and instrumentation. He has won numerous awards as a composer, and in 1982 created the 50-piece Vinny Golia Large Ensemble to perform his compositions for chamber orchestra and jazz ensembles. As a multi-woodwind performer, Golia has amassed many awards in his decades-long career, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Journalists Association (2006). He has released dozens of recordings, and has collaborated with Anthony Braxton, John Carter, Bobby Bradford, Joelle Leandre, Leo Smith, Horace Tapscott, John Zorn, Tim Berne, George Lewis, Barre Phillips, Rova Saxophone Quartet and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among many others. He is on faculty at the California Institute of the Arts, where he holds the Michel Colombier Performer Composer Chair.
Cory Wright, woodwinds
Reeds player Cory Wright, educated at Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Southern California, has been involved in both the jazz and creative music worlds for the past 20 years, including time spent in New York, Los Angeles and his current home in the San Francisco Bay Area. His recent projects reflect his interest in blurring the distinction between composed and improvised music, and in combining the harmonious with the atonal, the grooving with the arrhythmic. Wright has played in ensembles lead by Anthony Braxton, Vinny Golia, Eddie Gale, Adam Rudolph and Yusef Lateef. He is currently a member of Bristle, Wiener Kids, the Nathan Clevenger Group, Lisa Mezzacappa & Nighshade, and the Oakland Active Orchestra, and leads his own projects Green Mitchell and the Cory Wright Outfit.
Darren Johnston, trumpet
Since settling in San Francisco in 1997, Canada-born trumpeter/composer/songwriter Darren Johnston has collaborated and recorded with an extremely diverse cross-section of artists. Johnston is a first-call instrumentalist with a gorgeous tone and sublime musicianship in a dizzying array of genres, from work with straight-ahead jazz luminaries such as bassist/composer Marcus Shelby, to experimental icons like ROVA, Fred Frith and Myra Melford, rising star singer/songwriter Meklit Hadero, or with traditional Balkan brass band giants Brass Menazeri. As a bandleader and composer he has made his mark with the award-winning Nice Guy Trio, The Darren Johnston Quintet, the category defying Broken Shadows Family Band, and more. His interests span composing instrumental music, writing songs, and performing all styles of jazz, experimental and improvised music, as well as traditional music of the Balkans, Greece, Macedonia, Turkey, and the Arab world.
Michael Dessen, trombone
Michael Dessen is a composer and trombonist who creates music for improvisers, and explores the artistic potential of technologies including live electronics, telepresence and networked scores. Working with his own electro-acoustic trio and many collective projects, Dessen’s composing includes networked “scorestreams” that are displayed dynamically on screens for performers to interpret. As an improviser, he collaborates with diverse bands in addition to performing solo on digibone, an animistic world of slide trombone and live electronics. Dessen’s music has been supported by commissions from organizations including Chamber Music America and the Fromm Foundation. He has published writings on the role of African American traditions within late-twentieth century experimental music worlds, and he is a music faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, where he co-founded a new PhD program in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology (ICIT). Dessen’s teachers include Yusef Lateef, George Lewis, and Anthony Davis, and he is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BM), the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (MM), and the University of California, San Diego (PhD).
Dina Maccabee, viola
Dina Maccabee is a composer, songwriter, and performer who is comfortable in a variety of styles, from traditional American string music to contemporary experimental composition. She has developed her sound over the last decade as one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most versatile and creative string players and vocalists, while touring internationally with Real Vocal String Quartet, Vienna Teng, Beth Custer Ensemble, and others. Dina makes up half of the songwriting duo Ramon & Jessica, which has been nominated for an Izzy award and awarded grants from New Music America and the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and she has released a solo album of original songs on ContraPhonic Records, as well as an EP based on her work as Artist in Residence at Byrdcliffe Artist Colony in 2012. Founding Composer at Just Theater, in Berkeley, CA, Dina has also created music and sound design for theatrical productions by Shotgun Players, Crowded Fire Theater, and RipeTime Theater in New York. Dina grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and studied viola performance at University of Michigan. She is avidly interested in traditional North American fiddle music, Brazilian Tropicalia, and the works of American vocal pioneers Meredith Monk and Joan LaBarbara.
John Finkbeiner, electric guitar
Guitarist John Finkbeiner has performed and recorded with the best and brightest in the Bay Area music scene — as a member of Darren Johnston’s United Brassworkers Front, the Smith Dobson V Quartet, Lisa Mezzacappa’s Bait & Switch, Aaron Bennett’s Go-Go Fightmaster, Sheldon Brown’s Distant Intervals, Scott Larson’s Franco Nero, the Vijay Anderson Quartet, and among many others. He co-leads the Caribbean folk ensemble Les Gwan Jupons. As recording engineer and co-founder of New, Improved Recording in Oakland, CA, John has shaped the sound of an emerging generation of West Coast creative musicians, including ROVA saxophone quartet, John Schott, Jewlia Eisenberg, Tango No. 9, Aaron Novik and Devin Hoff. He also leads his own dub reggae-jazz group Guerrilla Hi-Fi, and tours the world as an in-demand garage rock guitarist.
Mark Dresser, acoustic bass
Mark Dresser is an internationally renowned bass player, improviser, composer, and interdisciplinary collaborator. At the core of his music is an artistic obsession and commitment to expanding the sonic and musical possibilities of the double bass through the use of unconventional amplification and extended techniques. His solo works include the DVD/CD/booklet triptich Guts: Bass Explorations, Investigations, and Explanations (2010) and CDs UNVEIL (2006) and Invocation (1994) feature the music evolving out of this research. His distinctive sound is documented in more than 130 recordings including thirty as a bandleader and co-leader. He has performed and recorded with Ray Anderson, Jane Ira Bloom, Tim Berne, Gerry Hemingway, Anthony Davis, Dave Douglas, Satoko Fujii, Osvaldo Golijov, Bob Ostertag, Joe Lovano, Dawn Upshaw, John Zorn and many others. From 1985 to 1994, he was a member of Anthony Braxton’s Quartet, which recorded nine CDs.
Lisa Mezzacappa, acoustic bass, conductor
Myra Melford, piano and harmonium
Pianist and composer Myra Melford, a Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Performing Artist Award and the Alpert Award in the Arts for Music, is an internationally celebrated instrumentalist and bandleader. Her current groups include Trio M, Snowy Egret, and Dialogue with Ben Goldberg, and she recently premiered an ambitious multidisciplinary work, Language of Dreams, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where she is artist-in-residence. Her work is both grounded in the blues and free jazz of her Chicago birthplace and in her lifelong interest in spiritual pursuits, a personal journey that has led her to Aikido, Siddha Yoga, and the wisdom traditions of the Huichol people of Mexico’s central highlands.
Kjell Nordeson, vibraphone/percussion
Kjell Nordeson is a Swedish percussionist based in San Diego and San Francisco, CA with a main focus on improvisation. With saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, he formed AALY Trio in 1986, which became one of the leading groups in the Swedish experimental scene in the 90s. Nordeson has toured extensively in North America, Europe, North Africa and Japan with various groups; altogether more than 1200 performances in 26 different countries. He has performed with Peter Brötzmann, Barry Guy, Ken Vandermark, Joe Morris, William Parker, Gerry Hemingway, Frank Gratkowski and Stefano Scodanibbio, and many others. In Stockholm he founded Co. Alba in 1994, with choreographer Nathalie Ruiz. Co., and has appeared in numerous performances at Sweden’s Royal Dramatic Theater, National Theater, and Stockholm’s City Theater. Nordeson is currently pursuing a PhD in music at University of California San Diego, studying percussion with Steven Schick and performing with the red fish blue fish percussion ensemble. His current work focuses on integrating improvisation and composition in solo percussion performance.
Tim Perkis, electronics
Tim Perkis has been working in the medium of live electronic and computer sound for many years, performing, exhibiting installation works and recording in North America, Europe and Japan. His work has largely been concerned with exploring the emergence of life-like properties in complex systems of interaction. He is a well known performer in the world of improvised music, having performed with hundreds of artists and groups, including John Butcher, Eugene Chadbourne, Fred Frith, Gianni Gebbia, Frank Gratkowski, Matt Ingalls, Joelle Leandre, Gino Robair, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Elliott Sharp, Wadada Leo Smith and John Zorn. Perkis has been composer-in-residence at Mills College in Oakland CA, artist-in-residence at Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center, designed musical tools and toys at Paul Allen’s legendary think tank, Interval Research, and was a resident fellow at the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Research (IMéRA) of the University of Aix-Marseille in France. He is also producer and director of a feature-length documentary on musicians and sound artists in the San Francisco Bay area called NOISY PEOPLE (2007), and the ongoing audio podcast NOISY PEOPLE (2015-).
Jordan Glenn, drum set/percussion
Jordan Glenn is a drummer, percussionist, composer, bandleader, conductor, video maker, and general craftsman who lives in Oakland, California. Glenn spent his formative years in Oregon drawing cartoons, taking dance classes from his aunt, and putting on plays with his sisters. As he got older he began making movies with his friends and studying jazz, classical, and rock music. In 2003 Glenn received a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Oregon. In 2006 he relocated to the Bay Area, received a masters degree from Mills College, and since then has worked closely with Fred Frith, William Winant, Zeena Parkins, Roscoe Mitchell, ROVA Sax Quartet, Ben Goldberg, Todd Sickafoose, John Schott, Dominique Leone, Aaron Novik, Darren Johnston, Aram Shelton, Cory Wright, Lisa Mezzacappa, Karl Evangelista, Michael Coleman, Matthew Welch and the bands Jack O’ The Clock, Arts & Sciences, 20 Minute Loop, Beep!, tUnE-yArDs, and the Oakland Active Orchestra. He also leads and conducts the ensembles Mindless Thing, Beak, Wiener Kids, and the Wiener Kids Family Band.Bottom of Form