New Music Circle has posted a preview of the lineup for their 2011-12 season on their website. At this point, it's just a list of artists - no dates or venues yet - but most notably, the proposed season would include the St. Louis debut of pianist Matthew Shipp (pictured).
The 51-year-old Shipp has been a noted figure in free jazz and improvised music for 20 years now, both for his own work and for his longtime membership in saxophonist David S. Ware's quartet. His piano playing has been compared variously to Cecil Taylor, Andrew Hill and Thelonious Monk, among others, but in recent years Shipp also has experimented with music that references contemporary classical, hip hop and electronica. His most recent recording, the two-disc set Art of the Improviser, was released in February 2011.
Other musicians slated for NMC's 2011-12 season include:
* Drummer John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet with Chris Speed (clarinet/tenor saxophone), Matt Moran (vibraphone/percussion), Ted Reichman (accordion) and Drew Gress (bass).
* Composer, improviser and multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee's Survival Unit, with percussionist Michael Zerang and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm.
* Violinist Tony Conrad, who's also an experimental filmmaker and video artist. Conrad was an early member of the Theatre of Eternal Music, the famed 1960s group with John Cale, Angus MacLise and La Monte Young, and also has worked with composer Rhys Chatham.
* Percussionist Chris Corsano, who has toured with Icelandic singer Björk and recorded with Evan Parker, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Nels Cline, Jim O'Rourke, and many others.
The NMC season also will include a video and electronic music performance by Keith Fullerton-Whitman; a concert of electro-acoustic and chamber music by James Mobberley and Paul Rudy; and a return appearance by cellist Craig Hultgren, who's known for his use of extended techniques in both composed and improvised music.
Rounding out the 2011-12 schedule will be a concert of original chamber music by Frank Stemper, who's a professor and composer in residence at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and another "NMC Showcase," a multi-artist concert featuring new work from several different local musicians and ensembles.
Assuming they're able to pull it all off, this would be a very impressive season, balancing improvised music and free jazz, intermedia performances, and contemporary composed music. When NMC releases final information on their 2011-12 schedule, venues and ticket prices, we'll have it all for you right here.
(Edited 5/19/11 to fix a couple of typos.)