Brandeis Improv Festival 2015 Featuring Milford Graves

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Explore the many ways that improvisation enlivens the arts and sciences; inspires individual and group creativity; and encourages cultural innovation at the first annual Brandeis Improv Festival, the weekend of March 27-29th 2015. This three day festival, which is free and open to the public, will be filled with concerts, live performances, panel discussions and workshops, featuring a diverse range of mediums and artistic genres, from free jazz legend Milford Graves to pioneer turntablist Mister Rourke; fine art demonstrations to new technology playshops.

The Festival opens on Friday afternoon, March 27th at 3:00 with an open discussion on “Improvisation and Social Transformation” between Tom Hall (author of “Free Improvisation: A Practical Guide”) and Cindy Cohen (director of the program in Peace building and the Arts), followed at 5:00 by a multimedia improvisation (Shapiro Student Center) between artist Lennie Peterson, Tom Hall (sax), and Marty Ballou (bass). The first day concludes with a concert beginning at 7:00 pm, featuring virtuosic jazz pianist Tim Ray; the Bob Nieske 4 (Bob Nieske, Phil Grenadier, Dave Tronzo and Jon Hazilla) playing "free music and written music freely"; swinging interpretations of the American Songbook by the April Hall Quintet (April Hall, Tim Ray, Tom Hall, Marty Ballou, Les Harris, Jr.), and a solo performance by legendary free jazz drummer Milford Graves.

On Saturday March 28th, drummer, healer and polymath Milford Graves gives the Keynote Address at 11:00. Sarah Hickler (Emerson College) conducts an Action Theater Workshop at 1:00, followed by a 3:00 panel discussion “Creativity, Learning, and Improvisation” with art historian Peter Kalb, improvising musician Tom Hall, movement and theater specialist Sarah Hickler, and neuroscientist Eric Rosenbaum. At 5:00, innovative Djs Mister Rourke and Axel Foley conduct a workshop on “Turntables as an Instrument” and at 6:30 Eric Rosenbaum (MIT MediaLab) hosts a MaKey MaKey Playshop. The Brandeis Improv Festival Dance Party, beginning at 7:00 brings you a mashup of dance music from the past, present and future, featuring Guttmann’s Klezmer All Stars (Mimi Rabson, Michael McLaughlin, Jim Guttmann and Grant Smith) turntable duo Mister Rourke and Axel Foley, and Club d’Elf (Mister Rourke, Tom Hall, Paul Schultheis, Mike Rivard, Dean Johnston); along with the live video art of Greg Kowalski and special guest dancers.

Sunday March 29th opens with a 12:00 workshop on "Perception and Expression" at the Rose Art Museum, hosted by art historian Peter Kalb and improviser Tom Hall. Focus on the visual arts continues at 2:00 with a live art demonstration with painter, printmaker and public artist Jane Goldman and improvisational action painter Chris Gill, accompanied by keyboardist Dave Bryant (of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time). The Brandeis Improv Festival closes with an extravaganza of improvisation beginning at 5:00, featuring the music of the twenty four member Brandeis Improv Collective (with special guest Dave Bryant), and a smorgasbord of on-campus improv comedy, dance and theater groups.

All events will be at the Slosberg Recital Hall on the Brandeis Campus in Waltham, Massachusetts (415 South Street), unless otherwise indicated. The Brandeis Improv Festival is curated by Tom Hall and sponsored by the Brandeis Arts Council. Brandeis University is wheelchair accessible. For more information: http://www.freeimprovisation.com

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Kristine Walker
ImprovLive 365
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