:: JUN - AUG 2015 ::
Butch Morris: Homage to an innovator

In This Dispatch:

Rova Shows

Favorite Street: Bruce Ackley

Rova Member Shows

Join the Rova:Arts Community

Heading into summer 2015, Rova is focused on two major projects: Rovaté2015 – No Favorites, a special tribute to Lawrence “Butch” Morris; and the band’s collaboration with the performance group, inkBoat, as part of their tribute to Anna Halprin, 95 Rituals. See complete details on all events below.

Key to making Rovaté2015 - No Favorites a successful concert is your participation in our INDIEGOGO campaign. Launched last week and running only for the next 3+ weeks, this fundraising effort will make it possible to befittingly prepare and document the compositions created for this tribute to Morris. Your contribution of any amount is welcome, and those who are able to contribute at higher levels can enjoy some rewarding perks. The ensemble for the Monday, June 29 concert (and subsequent recording at Fantasy Studios) will consist of the Rova Quartet plus an accomplished cast of adventurous Bay Area improvisers, all listed under Rova Shows below. CLICK HERE to help support the work of this committed 11-member crew. 

Below you’ll also find information on other Rova member shows. We hope you’ll come hear Larry, Jon, Steve and Bruce as they lead their own ensembles, or work with other band leaders, to create fresh sounds in other musical contexts. And, in the Favorite Street section, see what’s been inspiring Ackley.

In the fall Rova will be recording and touring, as well as reviving some of the best commissioned works created for us over the past 30 years.

We were unable to include a contributing artist for On Rova’s Radar this time, due to time constraints, but watch for the +1: Guest Contributor feature again in our September mailing.

Rova Shows

June 10, 7:30 PM

Rova Power Trio Meets Rova Sax Quartet plus String

Rova Power Trio: John Shiurba - electric guitar; Jason Hoopes - electric bass; Jordan Glenn - drums
Rova String Quartet: Christina Stanley - violin; Tara Flandreau - viola; Alex Kelly - cello; Scott Walton - bass
Rova Sax Quartet: Larry Ochs, Steve Adams, Jon Raskin, Bruce Ackley

In the run-up to Rova’s major show Rovaté2015, taking place on June 29 at ODC Theater, this concert will present the musical units of the Rovaté ensemble. This show will allow us to see the No Favorites music evolve before our eyes and ears.

Set 1 - Rova Power Trio: Graphic scores and Rova conducts.
Set 2 - Rova String Quartet: Grahpic scores and Rova conducts.
Set 3 - Rova: Graphic scores, Radars, Improvisations 

Center for New Music
55 Taylor Street (near Market St.)
San Francisco

Sunday, June 21, 5 PM to 9 PM

The Garden of Memory

Larry and Steve, Chapel of the Chimes 2014. photo Steve Ballman

The Garden of Memory is held every June 21st from 5pm to 9pm to celebrate the Summer Solstice at The Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland. An amazing array of musicians play in every corner of a cavernous columbarium on the grounds of a vast cemetery. Never experienced it? Impossible! Get yourself over there!! The Garden of Memory is a truly creative 20-ring new musical circus—an overwhelmingly inspiring event.

Rova will perform with guest saxophonist Aram Shelton, alternating sets with the duo of guitarist Gyan Riley and violinist Timba Harris.

Garden of Memory
Chapel of the Chimes
4499 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland 94611


Monday, June 29, 8:00 PM

Rovaté 2015—No Favorites: An Homage to Lawrence "Butch" Morris

ODC Theater
3153 – 17th Street
San Francisco

Rovaté 2015 will feature Rova composing for and conducting an all-star band of Bay Area improvisers. This concert’s OrkestRova will present three extended works honoring the spirit of the music of the late great jazz artist, Butch Morris. The concert date is just prior to the ensemble entering Fantasy Studios to record the pieces. 

The pieces to be performed (and later recorded) are: Contours of the Glass Head, a Rova-designed structured improvisation in 9 seamless movements; Larry Ochs’ For Buckminster Fuller, combining occasional traditional notation, "time-line charts" showing entry and exit points, and process cues indicating how to interact and with whom during each small "moment" on the timelines; The Double Negative - three graphically notated pieces from Steve Adams and Jon Raskin, arranged by Adams to overlap and function as one extended composition.

Instrumentation for all pieces is Rova Sax Quartet plus electric guitar, electric bass, and drums, to Rova's left onstage; and string quartet, to Rova's right onstage. Rova members will rotate to the conductoror conductionpodium at center stage, as the music dictates.

Rova +     
Rova String Quartet + 

Christina Stanley - violin; Tara Flandreau - viola; Alex Kelly - cello; and Scott Walton - bass  
Rova Power Trio +
John Shiurba - electric guitar; Jason Hoopes - electric bass; and Jordan Glenn - drums 


Thursday, July 9 & Friday, July 10, from 5 to 8 PM

Presented by Dancers' Group ONSITE Series

Rova + inkBoat : 95 Rituals - An Homage to Anna Halprin

95 Rituals is performed by inkBoat’s international ensemble of dancers, performance artists, musicians, composers and designers: Yuko Kaseki, Sten Rudstrøm, Heekyung Cho, Joshua Kohl, Crow Nishimura, Dohee Lee, Dana Iova-Koga, Suki O’Kane, Shinichi Iova-Koga and Sherwood Chen; as well as guests Rova Saxophone Quartet, Oguri, Roxanne Steinberg, Holley Farmer and We Players.

The Hyde Street Pier @ Fisherman’s Wharf
2905 Hyde Street (the base of Hyde Street at Jefferson Street)
San Francisco 
Further information can be found online at 95rituals.org

Details on all events will be updated regularly on our website, and the Rova:Arts Facebook page. (Be sure to ‘like’ us!)


Favorite Street - Bruce Ackley


John Zorn - Transmigration of the Magus (Tzadik, 2014)
John Zorn - Magick (Tzadik, 2004)
John Zorn - Myth and Mythopoeia (Tzadik, 2014)

John Zorn’s visits to San Francisco have always been special events. Starting with his first 1970s music, and “Theatre of Musical Optics” gigs; to his riveting Langton Arts performances; to early collaborations with Rova; the myriad versions of, and venues for, Cobra; various incarnations of the Masada Quartet; the legendary Yoshi’s gigs— Zorn has consistently delivered unique and powerful art. His most recent concert performance in late April, presented by the California Institute of Integral Studies at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, was particularly exceptional.

The composer presented the Jack Quartet, performing his complete cycle of string quartets—including his early work Cat of Nine Tails, the startling Necronomicon, and his newest, Pandora’s Box, for string quartet and voice. It was a rich two set show, exploding with brilliant ideas, sacred moments, frightening textures, dense alchemical layers of sound, pushing towards a new string quartet language, but with a keen awareness of the tradition and its trajectory. The work was deeply moving on every level, and the Jack Quartet killed it.

Three Zorn discs that have been in my ears this season are: Transmigration of the Magus (dedicated to his dear friend, Lou Reed); Magick (which includes Necronomicon); and Myth and Mythopoeia (with Pandora’s Box). The Reed dedication’s instrumentation is guitar, organ, two percussionists playing bells and vibes, and two harps, and is especially delightful. The play of the textures is breathtaking. Moments invoke In a Silent Way, and Duster-period Gary Burton Quartet (with Larry Coryell). Truly remarkable.



Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend
BBC Documentary (available on YouTube)

I’d listened to a lot of “Northern Soul” records prior to seeing this doc a few weeks ago, but I had no idea of the history of this scene. This documentary is fun to watch, and shows a fascinating aspect of British pop culture. The music is fantastic, and the dancing might surprise you.

Cecil Taylor
Cecil Taylor à Paris - Les grandes répétitions 1968 

Produced in 1968 by Pierre Schaeffer, Luc Ferrari and others, and shot in Place Voges in Paris, the film is a 45-minute long document of Cecil Taylor speaking about the life, as well as playing with Andrew Cyrille, Jimmy Lyons and Alan Silva. What a magnificent group, and rare view into that scene. 

Cilla Black: Alfie
1965 recording session at Studio One Abbey Road Studios

Burt Bacharach, Hal David, George Martin, Cilla Black. Nothing else to say. Just watch it.


Stefano Scodanibbio - Incontri & Reuniones
a new release of   i  d i s c h i  d i  a n g e l i c a (IDA 033) 

This forthcoming CD (due out in Italy this week) is a tribute release to the amazing contrabassist, Stefano Scodanibbio. An artist with incredible depth, passion and skill, Stefano was a world traveler who made musical connections with players across the globe for more than the 3 decades prior to his premature demise a few years ago. I first met him in San Francisco in 1981, and have dear memories of many duo sessions with him in my Mission District kitchen. In 1996 we had the opportunity to perform together with Rohan de Saram and Miya Masaoka in San Francisco. It was around this time that we went into Myles Boisen’s Oakland studio to record the duos included in this disc. 

Stefano Scodanibbio contrabass in duets with:
Bruce Ackley - soprano saxophone
Rohan de Saram - cello
Tristan Honsinger - cello
Michael Kiedaisch - percussion
Garth Knox - viola
Terry Riley - korg triton synthesizer
Mike Svoboda - trombone
Frances-Marie Uitti - cello


Rova Member Shows

Thursday, June 11, 8 PM

Duos: Ochs/Tarasov + Adams/Hammond 

Larry Ochs  saxes + Vladimir Tarasov – drums
Steve Adams – woodwinds + Ross Hammond – guitar     

Gold Lion Arts
2733 Riverside Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 281-0400

Wednesday, June 17, 8 PM

Lisa Mezzacappa and Michael Dessen

Improvisation evening featuring the great visiting trombonist Michael Dessen

Michael Dessen - trombone
Lisa Mezzacappa - bass
Steve Adams - woodwinds
Kyle Bruckmann - double reeds
Scott Walton - bass and piano
Tim Perkis - electronics
Berkeley Arts Festival
2133 University Avenue
Sliding scale $10-20

Friday, June 19, 8 PM

Play That Thing or Throw It Away

Mr. Robair

Larry Ochs – tenor and sopranino saxes
Darren Johnston – trumpet
Gino Robair – Gino

Three Cats Making Magic Happen 
Larry Ochs and Darren Johnston have been out on tour all of May (in a trio with Chicago altoist Dave Rempis.) Come hear how their ESP has evolved on the road. Ochs and Robair made some really cool musical connections in a trio with Thollem Electric in January. Should be a beautiful set of free improvisation.
Center for New Music
55 Taylor Street (near Market St.)
San Francisco

Monday, June 22, 8:30 PM

Improvisations for Silent Film at the Atlas Café

Ben Tinker’s That Hideous Strength ensemble plays improvisations to silent films at the Atlas Café. Part of an ongoing series of movie-music events at this local favorite in the Mission District, Tinker presents a flexible ensemble of improvisers, spontaneously crafting soundtracks to pre-talkie, obscure and classic films. This is a fun and FREE event.

Benjamin Tinker – analog synthesizer
Josephine Torio – voice and hammer dulcimer
Tania Chen – objects
Bruce Ackley – reeds
David Cuetter – pedal steel guitar, theremin
+ Surprise performers

Atlas Café 
3049 20th Street (corner Alabama St.)
San Francisco

Tredici Bacci

Berkeley-born Simon Hanes, son of drummer John Hanes, writes, arranges, conducts and plays guitar in a 13-piece Boston-based ensemble called Tredici Bacci (bad Italian for 13 kisses.) They play music inspired by 70's Italian sex romps and slasher movies (listen on Bandcamp). Simon will lead a West-Coast version of the band comprised of local hotshots culled from Rova, Dan Plonsey's ensembles, Orchestra Nostalgico, Myles Boisen's Ornettology, etc. A fun filled evening of action-packed cinematic sounds is guaranteed!

Simon Hanes - guitar, composer
John Hanes - drums
Christina Stanley - vocals
Chris Grady - trumpet
Steve Adams - tenor
and others 

Berkeley Arts Festival
2133 University Avenue
Sliding scale $10-20

Sunday, June 28, 8 PM

Curated by Jon Raskin

Matthew Goodheart - Composer & Improviser

Performance of solo piano work by Raskin: Considered Decay

Composer, pianist, Matthew Goodheart

This continuous event moves between sound installation and performance, centered on works created by and written for Matthew Goodheart. Known for his work with transducer-activated instruments and idiosyncratic piano improvisations, the event will feature a mixture of works, including works commissioned by Berlin’s Transmediale, Euroradio Ars Acoustic, a solo piano piece written for him by Jon Raskin, and a performance of his solo bass composition by Czech-based artist George Cremaschi

Center for New Music
55 Taylor Street (near Market St.)
San Francisco


Tuesday, August 4, 8 PM

Michael Vlatkovitch – Tryyo, with special guest, Jon Raskin

The Vlatkovich Tryyo is an ensemble of possibilities. The group focus is to explore and create new possibilities. The possibility of three/four musicians moving the jazz tradition forward by their non-traditional interactions of melody, accompaniment, harmony, and rhythm. The Tryyo explores the relationships each of the instruments in the group have with one another. The possibility of changing the orchestration. The possibility of instrumental roles expanding and contracting. The possibility of possibilities is the quest. Creating new music that changes with each listening. Changing not to make the composition unrecognizable, but to develop the core ideas and concepts, to explore all the possibilities. The ensemble demonstrates that the possibilities are infinite. We are very pleased that Jon Raskin will be performing with us.

Center for New Music
55 Taylor Street (near Market St.)
San Francisco

Monday, August 10, 8 PM

Quartet NYC  

Jen Baker, Mike Lockwood, Ikue Mori

Bruce Ackley – soprano sax
Ikue Mori – computer electronics
Jen Baker – trombone
Mike Lockwood - drums

This is a dream band for me.
Jen Baker is a joy to play with, and this will be our first opportunity since she relocated to NY a couple of years ago. Mike Lockwood is an incredible percussionist who just migrated to Brooklyn. And, I so much enjoy playing with Ikue I do it whenever possible. This quartet will be a marvel.    

The Stone
New York City  

Thursday, August 20, 8 PM

Ménilmontant – Improvisations for a Silent Film

Bruce Ackley – soprano and tenor saxes, Bb clarinet
Tania Chen – piano and objects
Andy Strain – trombone
Nava Dunkelman – percussion and stuff

I’ve been improvising to silent films with Ben Tinker, Tania Chen and others in Ben’s band, This Hideous Strength. I’ve selected this group of players especially for this film event because of their poetic sensibilities, spontaneity, and skills.

Center for New Music
55 Taylor Street (near Market St.)
San Francisco

Friday, August 28th, 8 PM

Aram Shelton & Jon Raskin - Table Top Sax

Aram Shelton and Friend

Center for New Music
55 Taylor Street (near Market St.)
San Francisco


A Letter from Albuquerque

Our recent trip to the southwest to play Santa Fe and Albuquerque was a complete pleasure in every way. We got to play new works for two consecutive nights, saw old and new friends, ate some great food, and got a taste for a very different environment. Many thanks to all who made the concerts possible, and so successful. Below is a note we received from a new Rova fan.


I saw you guys at the Outpost this past week in Albuquerque...I actually came up to you at intermission commenting on the Steve Lacy tune. Anyway, I just wrote a message to my friend about the concert (he lives in Philly), and I would like to share my experience with the band. I am not sure who reads this email, or if it is too verbose, in any case, if you could pass it around that would be great.

I saw the Rova sax quartet last week and it was really nice. My goodness these guys take off where the World Sax Quartet left off. They have compositions and ways of playing that are just mind bending and even boggling. It is a very precise synergy that allows them to improv within the structure of these multi-dimensional compositions.

The tunes engage of number of modalities such as avant-garde, swing along with some spacious tensions that create soundscapes that are really fascinating to listen to. It is kind of interesting because when listening to this music, and to really hear what they are doing, it is necessary that you do not allow the activities in your mental landscape to interfere with the direct perception of the sonic flow. I suppose it is just a matter of sustained attention. It is interesting because at one point I was slightly drifting in a bit of daydreaming and then I gently move my attention to a more expansive sense that felt more like a timeless moment unfolding…it was like a waking up and embracing of the space. At that point the composition really started to make sense with a sophisticated spontaneity that just filled me with such wonder and awe in the land of play.

I just want to say to the members of the band, that in every sense of the word, you guys are truly AWEsome, and it is great that you continue to be generating new material. Thank you so much for coming to Albuquerque!



Feedback and reactions like Paul’s make performing and touring so rewarding. As Carlos Santana put, “it’s connecting the molecules to the light.”

RIP Bernard Stollman, Founder of ESP-Disk’

As the founder and driving force behind the innovative record label ESP-Disk’, Bernard Stollman, made available some of the most iconoclastic and incendiary recordings of the 1960s. The label’s tagline, “You’ve never heard such sounds in your life,” aptly described the label’s mission and output. ESP-Disk’ released significant recordings of Albert Ayler, Paul Bley, Byard Lancaster, Sun Ra, The New York Art Quartet, Frank Wright, The Fugs, Patty Waters, Marion Brown, Pearls Before Swine, Giuseppi Logan, and many of the groundbreaking players who emerged in the wake of the 1964 “October Revolution”—a momentous series of concerts that presaged the emergence of a freer, more exploratory approach to improvisation in the context of jazz.

After a long hiatus, Stollman reactivated the label in 2005 to re-issue earlier recordings, and to release those of new artists. He died this past spring. For a really good read on ESP-Disk’, its milieu, and the trials and tribulations of Mr. Stollman, check out Jason Weiss’s enlightening chronicle, Always in Trouble: An Oral History of ESP-Disk’, the Most Outrageous Record Label in America.

Join the Rova:Arts Community

Become a Fan on Facebook!

Already a fan? Encourage your Facebook friends to become Rova:Arts fans. 

Stay Tuned

You can stay in touch with all Rova:Arts activities through our website, subscribing to Rova's Radar, and our FaceBook and MySpace pages. See links at the bottom of the page. Also, check out Rova on YouTube!  Subscribe to our channel and be notified when there are new Rova videos for you to watch. Go to http://www.youtube.com/user/ROVAARTSSF and click the subscribe button.

About Rova:Arts

Rova:Arts, formed in 1986 to support the activities of Rova, has been instrumental in producing local projects and advancing an ongoing cultural exchange between local Bay Area artists and the international scene through its Rovaté concert series. These events, made possible by funding to Rova:Arts, have engaged Bay Area musicians and composers—as well as musicians from around the world. Rova:Arts projects are often reproduced in other parts of the world, thereby bringing the work to a broader audience. Also, many Rova:Arts events have been recorded, resulting in releases which have been enthusiastically celebrated.

Click here to find out more and to Join Rova:Arts. If you are interested in getting involved in a more hands-on-way, feel free to contact us: http://www.rova.org/contact.html. Thanks for being part of the art.

Support Rova:Arts through Amazon Smile

You can increase your donation potential by clicking on Amazon Smile. Bookmark this link so all of your eligible Amazon shopping will benefit Rova:Arts.



Be sure to visit us online:

Copyright © 2015 Rova:Arts, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp