Henry Kaiser, Anthony Pirog and Friends
Henry Kaiser, guitar
Anthony Pirog, guitar
Dave Ballou, trumpet
Michael Formanek, bass
Mike Kuhl, drums
Tickets: $12/$10 full-time students with ID
Grammy winner Henry Kaiser is widely recognized as one of the most creative and innovative guitarists, improvisers, and producers in the fields of rock, jazz, world, and contemporary experimental musics. The California-based musician is one of the most extensively recorded as well, having appeared on more than 250 different albums and contributed to countless television and film soundtracks. A restless collaborator who constantly seeks the most diverse and personally challenging contexts for his music, Mr. Kaiser not only produces and contributes to a staggering number of recorded projects, he performs frequently throughout the USA, Canada, Europe and Japan, with several regular groupings as well as solo guitar concerts and concerts of freely improvised music with a host of diverse instrumentalists.
Evidence of his exceptional musical breadth and versatility can be found in a partial list of the extraordinary artists with whom he has recorded and/or performed: Herbie Hancock, Richard Thompson, David Lindley, Bob Weir, Lukas Ligeti, Michael Snow, The ROVA Sax Quartet, Elliot Sharp, John "Drumbo" French, Raymond Kane, Michael McClure, Bill Laswell, Steve Lacy, Fred Frith, Barbara Higbie, Terry Riley, Jody Stecher, John Abercrombie, Leo Smith, moe., Negativland, Michael Stipe, Terry Riley, Jim O'Rourke, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sergei Kuriokhin, Zero, Critters Buggin', Diamanda Galas, Sonny Sharrock, Hans Reichel, Chris Cutler, Henry Cow, John Zorn, Andy West, David Torn, Bill Frisell, Joey Baron, Davey Williams, Eugene Chadbourne, Evan Parker, Sang-Won Park, Material, The Golden Palominos, Victoria Williams, Jin-Hi Kim, John Oswald, Glenn Phillips, Toshinori Kondo, John Stevens, Tom Constanten, Kiyohiko Senba, Bruce Anderson, Sang-Won Park, Yuji Takahashi, Jaojoby, John Medeski, Zoogz Rift, Ngoc Lam, Dama Mahaleo, Merl Saunders, Freddie Roulette, Mari Kimura, Harvey Mandel, Danny Carnahan, Robin Petrie, Rakoto Frah, Rossy, Alan Senauke, John Tchicai, George Lewis, Kazumi Watanabe, Peter Brotzmann, Zero, Bob Bralove, Greg Allman, Billy Kreutzman, Jerry Garcia, Miya Masaoka, Miroslav Tadic, Cecil Taylor, Nels Cline, and Amos Garrett.
On the global roots front, Kaiser has made 4 albums of cross-cultural collaborations with Korean musicians Sang Won Park and Jin Hi Kim. He is also known for the 10 albums that he has made with musicians from Madagascar, his many albums of collaboration with musicians from Sweden and Norway, his album with Zimbabwe's Thomas Mapfumo and Wadada Leo Smith, several collaborations with Vietnamese musicians, and his production work on 6 albums of music from Burma, as well as his numerous productions with Hindustani musicians such as Ali Akbar Khan and Brij Bhushan Kabra. Most recently he recorded 2 albums of collaboration with Carnatic musicians from South India, playing together with a Chinese gu-qin player from Beijing and two other American Improvisors.
Kaiser has had a parallel career in the film and television industry for over 35 years, working as a producer, director and soundtrack composer. He directed and produced many hours of science television programming. He received an Academy Award nomination for his work as the producer for Werner Herzog's ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, he was also the underwater camera and soundtrack composer for that film. Kaiser worked on 3 other Herzog films: THE WILD BLUE YONDER, GRIZZLY MAN, and LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY.
He is a scientific diver in the US ANTARCTIC PROGRAM. 2012 marked his tenth deployment beneath the twenty foot thick ice of the Ross Sea. Previously he taught underwater research at THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY for 17 years; where he was a an early pioneer in the use of underwater video for scientific research and diver training. Mr. Kaiser has more Antarctic under-the-ice footage in films and tv shows than any other underwater cameraman. With nine scientific diving deployments to Antarctica, he probably has more dives under fast ice than any other professional videographer.
Anthony Pirog is making his mark on the guitar playing universe, one sonically enthralling, diversely influenced project after another. From his work on Janel and Anthony's “Where is Home,” described in Guitar Player Magazine as “approachable experimentalism,” to his “pristinely executed rock guitar solos” with Skysaw, Anthony displays a “crystalline tone that’s immediately recognizable as his own” in his ever-evolving conception of how a guitar can sound.
Born in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Anthony lived in Chevy Chase, Maryland and Carmel Valley, California before his family settled in the Washington DC suburb of Vienna, Virginia when he was nine. At home he listened to his father's blues, surf and doo-wop albums and their influence can be heard in his playing today. Formerly in a surf band, Anthony's father had a 1963 Fender Jaguar and it was on this guitar Anthony first played music. In high school, Anthony was in more than a dozen bands before an interest in free jazz and experimental music led him to study jazz guitar at Berklee College of Music in Boston, eventually completing his degree in jazz performance at NYU in 2004.
As it turned out, the studying paid off. By 2004 Anthony had distinguished himself, quickly earning a reputation as a masterful guitarist, capable of using his studied yet unorthodox voice to fit a wide range of musical styles including jazz, country, fingerstyle and old time music, free improvisation, free jazz, surf and experimental music.
Anthony has played with musicians across a wide spectrum of styles and genres. He has performed with renowned avant jazzers such as Elliot Sharp, Michael Formanek, Ches Smith, Mary Halvorson, William Hooker, Eyvind Kang, Skuli Sverrisson, Doug Weiselman, Dave Ballou, Balázs Pándi, Tatsuya Nakatani, Jessika Kenney and played in myriad jazz, electronic and improvisational groups up and down the East Coast. Some of the groups Anthony's played with include: Out of Your Head Collective, Better Than Lost, Beep Honk, Kung Fu Bastard, The Landscaping Crew, The Bobby Muncy Quartet, Ad Hoc Quartet, Inner Loop and Stylus. In 2012, he performed a sold-out show at The Stone with Violet (Jeff Surak) and Berlin filmmaker Sylvia Schedelabuer.
But jazz and experimentalism are just two of the many facets of Anthony Pirog. He's performed with rock, roots and rockabilly musicians and ensembles like Billy Hancock, Dave Elliot and Joe Stanley, The Dave Kitchen Band at SXSW 2008, The El Rays, The Rocking Bones and many, many others. Anthony also played with ex-Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlain in the rock trio Skysaw, who's album was released on Dangerbird Records in 2011.
The groups Anthony leads further reflect his eclectic influences and varied tastes. He leads several groups of his own including The Anthony Pirog Trio, Quintet, Sextet and Septet. He led a 22-member ensemble in performance of Terry Riley's “In C” at the Sonic Circuits Festival of Experimental Music, a DC area festival for new music at which Anthony has become a staple, performing for six straight years. The 2011 performance garnered a favorable review in The Washington Post. Anthony went on to record a similar session, leading a 30-piece ensemble playing “In C”; this recording will be released in 2013. Anthony also performs solo. His solo work can be found on his record label, Sonic Mass Records.
It is as one half of the experimental duo Janel and Anthony that Anthony's diverse influences and varied styles converge most elegantly. As he puts it, “We’re able to play in all the different scenes: jazz, roots, surf, rockabilly, Persian, experimental. And then we bring all of that into Janel and Anthony.” The duo began in Northern Virginia and Janel and Anthony have toured East and West Coasts as well as the Midwest. In October 2010 they enjoyed a residency at Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn. Janel and Anthony's second album “Where is Home” has received international praise and radio play from places like the BBC, The Village Voice, The Washington Post, Downbeat Magazine, Allmusic and The Huffington Post. “Where is Home” also appears on 10 “Best of 2012” lists and is available on Cuneiform Records. Additionally, Janel and Anthony's 2006 self-titled debut album has been re-released by Cricket Cemetery Records in 2012.
Whether playing with Janel and Anthony or another one of his many groups, Anthony remains a prominent figure in the emerging artistic and musical scene in and surrounding our Nation's Capital. Anthony's played at many DC area venues including the Kennedy Center, Black Cat, Twin's Jazz, The Rock and Roll Hotel, Galaxy Hut, Strathmore Mansion and the French Embassy in addition to playing the Sonic Circuits Festival of Experimental Music. He's appeared in numerous concerts presented by Transparent Productions, Capital Bop, Claveus Productions, Electric Possible and Brightest Young things.
Anthony's frequent gigging has gotten recognition in the form of press and awards. In 2011, the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA), Washington's most prestigious music awards, named Anthony Washington's Best Modern Rock Instrumentalist. In 2012 he was awarded a “Jazzie” by The Washington City Paper as Best Guitarist 2012, “the hands-down victor.” The Washington Post praised his music in 2012 for its “fusion of talent and creativity.” Recently, Anthony has begun to receive national recognition as well. He was featured in a September 2012 article in Guitar Player Magazine on “Rising Artists You Must Hear.” Then in January 2013, he was featured in a 5-page interview in Guitar Player Magazine in which he was praised for his “copious creativity” and “loopy, cross-genre melodicism.”
Seemingly able to master any convention he chooses to adopt and more than capable of developing and adapting his own, Anthony Pirog challenges our preconceived notions about genre and guitar sound. As he comes further into his own as an artist, he continues to shape, tear down and reshape his unique conceptions of what guitar can be. Anthony's style is studied, yet unorthodox; avant-garde, yet accessible; faintly familiar, yet conspicuously original.
Trumpeter/ Composer Dave Ballou has released nine internationally recognized CD’s as a leader or co-leader. He has performed or recorded with ensembles led by Rabih Abou-Kahlil, Steely Dan, Michael Formanek, Woody Herman, Andrew Hill, John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, Sheila Jordan, Oliver Lake, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Dewey Redman, Don Preston, Maria Schneider, LaMonte Young and an extensive list of jazz personalities. Dave has performed Bach's Brandenberg Concerto #2 with the Bella Musica Orchestra of NY, Larry Austin's Improvisations with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Gunther Schuller's Journey into Jazz with the Spokane Symphony and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. He also was a featured soloist for the world premiere of Schuller’s Encounters. Dave was a orchestra member for the Tony award winning Broadway revival of 42nd St. (2001-2004).
His compositions have been performed and recorded by the Meridian Arts Ensemble, Trumpeter Jon Nelson, French Hornist Adam Unsworth and the TILT Brass ensemble.
He earned a BM (magna cum laude) from Berklee College of Music in 1986 and a MA from the University of New Hampshire in 1992.
Ballou is an Associate Professor of Music and the division leader for the Jazz and Commercial music division.
Michael Formanek's singular approach to the acoustic bass has led to an impressive
range of musical associations. During his thirty five-plus, year career, he has played
and/or recorded with Elvis Costello, Tim Berne, Uri Caine, Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz,
Marty Ehrlich, Chet Baker, Tony Williams, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, Bob Mintzer,
Fred Hersch, Dave Liebman, Joe Henderson, Mark Isham, Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew
Tabackin Big Band, Mingus Big Band, Terumasa Hino, Cedar Walton, Attila Zoller,
George Coleman, Jane Ira Bloom, Bob Moses, Gunther Schuller, Peter Erskine, Joe
and Matt Maneri, Gary Thomas, Harold Danko, Dave Burrell, Joe Lovano, Evan Parker,
Ellery Eskelin, Oliver Lake, Marilyn Crispell, and many others.
Composition also plays a significant role in Formanek's overall musical profile, and four
albums of his original music, Wide Open Spaces, Extended Animation, Low Profile and
Nature Of The Beast have been released to critical acclaim on the Enja label. Am I
Bothering You, a recording of solo bass performances made for Tim Berne's Screwgun
label, has firmly established itself as an important contribution to that genre. Formanek
produced or co-produced all of these recordings and among the featured musicians are
Greg Osby, Tim Berne, Mark Feldman, Dave Douglas, Marvin 'Smitty' Smith, Ku-umba
Frank Lacy, Marty Ehrlich, Wayne Krantz, and Jim Black. Formanek received Chamber
Music America's New Works: Creation and Presentation Grant for 2000-2001 to
compose a new piece for the Tim Berne/Michael Formanek Duo, which was recently
performed in Philadelphia as part of the Chamber Music America Encore program for
2007. Formanek was commissioned to compose an original piece for the 150th
anniversary of the Peabody Conservatory. The piece, The Open Book for jazz soloists
with orchestra, was premiered at Peabody in February of 2007, and featured members
of the Peabody Jazz Orchestra and the full Peabody Concert Orchestra under the
direction of Hajime Teri Murai. He received Individual Artist Awards for composition by
the Maryland State Arts Council in 2009 and 2012, and was awarded Fellowships by the
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts for a residency to compose new work in 2010 and
2011, and will return in 2013.
In 2010 Michael Formanek’s first CD as a leader and composer in more than a decade
was released on the ECM label. The Rub and Spare Change features the amazing
group of Tim Berne on saxophone, Craig Taborn on piano, and Gerald Cleaver on
drums, and Formanek on bass, and has received numerous accolades including Five
Stars in Down Beat Magazine, and a place on many best CD’s of 2010 lists. As a result
the Michael Formanek Quartet toured Europe in April of 2011, and continues to perform
whenever possible in the US and elsewhere. A new CD of his original compositions for
the Michael Formanek Quartet was recorded for ECM at the end of 2011, and was
released in the Fall of 2012. In addition to many other great reviews, Small Places also
received Five Stars in Downbeat, an extremely rare event for any artist to have
Downbeat’s highest rating on two consecutive recordings. Other current projects include
performances with a new cooperative trio, Thumbscrew, with guitarist Mary Halvorson
and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, and have their first recording due to be released on
Cuneiform Records in January of 2014, and a new recording of improvisations with
Ellery Eskelin and Susan Alcorn, Mirage, released May of 2013 on Clean Feed.