Oakland Freedom Jazz Society presents The Solo Show, V. 1, Music for Clarinet



The diversity of clarinetist Ben Goldberg's musical interests may only be matched by the intensity of his study. He grew up on The Beatles and classic jazz, started playing Klezmer music at the University of California, Berkeley in the early '80s, and studied with renowned classical clarinet teacher Rosario Mazzeo. In 1984, he became the clarinetist for The Klezmorim, touring throughout the U.S. and Europe, where he also met and learned from the legendary soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy. In 1987, he started the New Klezmer Trio with drummer Kenny Wollesen and bassist Dan Seamans, a band that led the way in injecting elements of jazz and the avant-garde to the previously insulated world of Jewish traditional music.

Since then, he has worked with musicians as influential and eclectic as Andrew Hill, Bobby Bradford, Bill Frissell, Vijay Iyer, Myra Melford, Nels Cline, John Zorn, and the genre-mashing Tin Hat outfit. Today, he is an integral part of the West Coast scene, and leads groups including the Ben Goldberg quintet, which crafted a deeply personal dedication to Steve Lacy with The Door, The Hat, The Chair, The Fact (Cryptogramophone, 2006). 2009 saw the release of Speech Communication (Tzadik, 2009), the first release from a version of the New Klezmer Trio in nine years. Goldberg also started his own record label to put out Go Home (BAG Production Records, 2009), an album of his heavily grooving compositions played by a quartet with Charlie Hunter on guitar, Ron Miles on trumpet, and Scott Amendola on drums.



John McCowen's musical path is rooted in the DIY culture of American hardcore music. John was a vocalist in hardcore music until he heard the music of Albert Ayler. At that point, he began channeling his energy through the saxophone. After a few years as a touring musician and independent study, he entered academia and studied clarinet with Eric P. Mandat who opened his eyes to microtonality and extended techniques. John is a member of the Chicago musical community now living in Oakland. He plays in Wei Zhongle, Vibrating Skull Trio, and John McCowen Clarinet Quartet. 





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