Deszon X. Claiborne, drums
Deszon is a master, original trap drummer, with impeccable reading and playing chops as well as inventive, little surprises he brings to the music every time.
Ken Filiano, Bass
Noted for his accomplishments in jazz, spontaneous improvisation, classical, and inter-disciplinary performance with dance and spoken word, Ken Filiano fuses the rich traditions of the double bass with his own seemingly limitless, often astonishing, inventiveness. Critics have called Ken a "creative virtuoso," a "master of technique" . . . "a paradigm of that type of artist. . . who can play anything in any context and make it work, simply because he puts the music first and leaves peripheral considerations behind."
Noted for his accomplishments in jazz, spontaneous improvisation, classical, and inter-disciplinary performance with dance and spoken word, Ken Filiano fuses the rich traditions of the double bass with his own seemingly limitless, often astonishing, inventiveness.
Ken's solo bass CD, Subvenire (NineWinds), received unanimous critical praise, and a first place mention in Cadence Magazine's poll of top releases of 2003. For this and numerous other recordings, critics have called Ken a "creative virtuoso," a "master of technique" . . . "a paradigm of that type of artist. . . who can play anything in any context and make it work, simply because he puts the music first and leaves peripheral considerations behind."
Ken leads two groups for which he also composes: a quartet with Michael Attias, Tony Malaby, and Michael T.A. Thomspon, and a quintet with Attias, Jackson Krall, Steve Swell, and Tomas Ulrich. His prolific output also includes performances and/or recordings with Bonnie Barnett, Rob Blakeslee, Bobby Bradford, Roy Campbell, Nels Cline, Alex Cline, Eric von Essen, Ted Dunbar, Giora Feidman, Bob Feldman, Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Dennis Gonzalez, Vinny Golia, Lou Grassi, Francois Grillot, Hayes Greenfield, Phil Haynes, Fred Hess, Jason Hwang, Joseph Jarman, Sheila Jordan (with the Aardvark Orchestra), Raul Juarena, Joe Labarbera, Joelle Leandre, Frank London, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Tina Marsh, Warne Marsh, Bob Meyer, Dom Minasi, Hafez Modirzadeh, Butch Morris, Barre Phillips, Roberta Piket, Don Preston, Bob Rodriguez, Roswell Rudd, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Ursel Schlicht, Paul Smoker, Chris Sullivan, Peeter Uuskyla, Fay Victor, Biggi Vinkeloe, Kenny Wessel, Andrea Wolper, Pablo Ziegler.
Ken tours widely, playing across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and South America. He has appeared at numerous festivals including the Charles Ives Festival, Summerfest (chamber and orchestra; Rutgers University), Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival (Finland), Cascade Festival of Music (principal bass, Bend, OR), Jazz em Agosto (Lisbon), Seixal Jazz Festival, Jazz Ao Centro (Coimbra, Portugal), Fundacio Joan Miro (Barcelona), DuMaurier International Jazz Festival (Vancouver, BC), Jazzin' Tondela, Bergamo Jazz Festival, Banlieues Bleues Festival (Paris), Tampere International Jazz Festival (Tampere, Finland), Bumbershoot Festival, Texaco New York Jazz Festival, Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival, NY JVC Jazz Festival; and on concert stages worldwide, including Carnegie Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, and Philharmonie am Gasteig (Munich).
Along with new music concerts and solo excursions with poets and dancers, Ken has been a guest lecturer, performer, and workshop leader at institutions across the country and beyond, including the Actor's Institute of New York, San Francisco State University, UCLA, Centro de Arte Moderna (Lisbon), and at Rutgers University, where he received his Master's Degree.
Ken Yamazaki, PERCUSSION
Ken Yamazaki is a texture king, bringing his full array of small instruments, patience and musicianship to any environment.
Lou Grassi, Drums
Lou Grassi is internationally known for his work in both the traditional and the avant-garde jazz worlds. He has literally played from Ragtime to No-Time: He toured with Ragtime pianist Max Morath and for the past decade has been the leader of the Lou Grassi PoBand ("some of the best freestyle improvisers on the scene at the end of the 20th century . . ." All Music Guide to Jazz).
Since the release of his CD PoGressions in 1996 Lou's star has been on the rise. He has subsequently appeared on more than 40 new recordings. His nine CDs as a leader, including six by the PoBand, have established him as one of the most versatile, original, and creative drummers working in this idiom.
Lou Grassi has performed and/or recorded with a wide range of outstanding artists, including Marshall Allen, Billy Bang, Borah Bergman, Rob Brown, Roy Campbell, The Copascetics, Jimmy Garrison, Charles Gayle, Burton Greene, Urbie Green, Gunter Hampel, Johnny Hartman, Guenter Heinz, Fred van Hove, Joseph Jarman, Sheila Jordan, William Parker, Perry Robinson, Roswell Rudd, John Tchicai and Kenny Wessel, among others.
He has toured extensively, performing throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Central Americaand Russia. He has been a featured artist at numerous international festivals, including The Vision Festival, NYC, The Texaco New York Jazz Festival, NYC, The Rochester Jazz Festival, Rochester, NY, The Rive de Gier International Jazz Festival, France, Festas Lisboa, Portugal, CAMP 99, Germany, The Guelph Jazz Festival, Canada, Festival Frei Improvisierter Music, Germany, The Hurta Cordel International Festival of Improvised Music, Madrid, Spain, the Ad hoc Music Offen Ohren Festival, Munich, Germany, Jazz ao Centro Festival, Coimbra, Portugal, The Klappstuhlfest, der Ort, Wuppertal, Germany and the WIM Festival of Improvised Music in Antwerp, Belgium. Lou has also performed at Banlieues Bleues Festival, Paris, France; Lueneburg Jazz Nights, Germany; The Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival, NYC, and The International Dixieland Festival of Dresden, Germany, among others.
Lou Grassi has created original music for more than 15 dance pieces by choreographers including Richard Bull, Carolyn Dorfman, Bill T. Jones, Lois Welk, and Arnie Zane. Lou received funding from Meet the Composer for more than half of these collaborations. He has also been the recipient of grants from The National Endowment of the Arts (1974) and The American Music Center (2002) and he has written on the subject of dance accompaniment for Modern Drummer magazine (August 1984). Since 1978, He has been on the staff of New Jersey City University as a dance accompanist, and he has been a teaching artist for New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) since 2001. He continues to teach privately and is available for workshops and clinics.