Monday, July 30, 2018

New Music Circle announces
season schedule for 60th year

New Music Circle has announced the lineup for their 2018-19 season, and they've got some intriguing shows planned for their 60th anniversary as a presenting organization, including a rare appearance by multi-instrumentalist and composer Anthony Braxton in October, and a return visit from flutist Nicole Mitchell, this time bringing her own band to St. Louis for a concert in March.

Founded in 1959 and still the longest continuously operating independent presenter of new music in the USA, NMC will preview their 60th year for the public at a fundraiser and kickoff event on Tuesday, August 14 at Tick Tock Tavern.

The anniversary season proper gets underway a few weeks later, with cellist Okkyung Lee, multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, percussionist Chris Corsano, and guitarist Bill Orcutt featured in two nights of what might be called tag-team improv, with different duo pairings on Friday, September 21 at Joe's Cafe and Saturday, September 22 at Off Broadway.

Next up is Braxton (pictured, top left), who will perform with harpist Jacqueline Kerrod on Monday, October 8 at Xavier Hall on the St. Louis University campus. A veteran educator who taught for many years at Mills College and Wesleyan University, Braxton is known as a conceptualist and challenger of musical paradigms, and in addition to the performance, he'll also present a post-concert talk.

The following month, instrument builder and composer Ellen Fullman will perform on Friday, November 9 at 560 Music Center.

Fullman (pictured, center left) presumably will be offering St. Louisans their first experience of her Long String instrument, which consists of dozens of metallic strings up to 70 feet long that are put under tension and played with rosin-coated fingers.

The calendar year ends with a concert by Lonnie Holley, an Alabama native known for his visual art as well as his music, on Saturday, December 1 at Off Broadway. Often employing found objects and recycled materials in his artwork, Holley first gained attention in the 1980s among followers of what's often called "outsider art," and in the last decade, he's moved into performance as a keyboardist and vocalist who improvises his material on the spot.

To start 2019, NMC will present in January a double-bill featuring separate sets from two young composer/performers, Sarah Davachi and Lea Bertucci, though the exact date and venue still are TBA.

Then in February, local audiences will get their first chance to hear NYC-based trumpeter Jaimie Branch, who's been getting noticed in the jazz press for her recent work as both leader and collaborator in several different ensembles. She'll be teamed up with Chicago cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and Norwegian percussionist Ståle Liavik Solberg for a show that has a date - Saturday, February 9 - but with the venue still TBA.

After that, Nicole Mitchell (pictured, bottom left), who performed in St. Louis a couple of years ago with cellist Tomeka Reid and drummer Mike Reed, will return, this time leading her own quintet for a concert on Friday, March 22 at Xavier Hall.

Also returning will be St. Louis native Andrew Lampert, who shared an NMC bill with violinist C. Spencer Yeh in April of this year. He'll be back in 2019 to present a program of "curated experimental films" on either Friday, April 12 or Saturday, April 13 at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium.

Finally, the organization's 60th anniversary year will wrap up in May with an "NMC Showcase" of St. Louis artists, date and venue still TBA.

All shows will start at 8:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Single tickets can be purchased online via NMC's website or at the door, and are priced at $20 regular admission, $10 for students and "struggling music supporters," except for the Braxton concert, for which prices will be $25 and $15. NMC also offers "membership" and "benefactor" packages that include tickets for the entire season at a discounted per-show price.

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