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Guest, Nov 2011

Will Connell Quartet

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March 17, 2012 8:00 pm

William Connell, Woodwinds/Flute, Vincent Chancey, French Horn, Max Johnson, Bass and Jeremy Carlstedt, Drums


William Connell received a CAPS grant for orchestral composition in 1980.Has recorded with Chico Hamilton,various William Parker ensembles,including the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra,the Walter Thompson Big Band,the composer’s collective Commitment,and Steve Swell. He has performed and/or toured with Rahsaan Roland Kirk,Horace Tapscott,Sam Rivers’ Winds of Manhattan,David Murray Big Band,Cecil Taylor,Anthony Braxton,Pharoah Sanders Butch Morris,Roy Campbell,Billy Bang,Tito Nieves,Elton John,Ryan Adams,and many others. As a copyist/arranger he has worked for major musicians in the new music,(i.e.Ornette Coleman,Julius Hemphill,Matthew Shipp),as well as in popular music,(i.e.Stevie Wonder,Roberta Flack,Michael Jackson,Simon and Garfunkel).

         His compositions have been recorded byAzar Lawrence,David Murray,and Don Pullen.He is currently a member of the composer’s collective Silverback,featuring Frank Lacy,Newman Taylor Baker,and Hilliard Greene,his own ensemble Sadhana,with Vincent Chancey,French Horn,the Sound Vision Orchestra,Steve Swell’s N.O.W. Ensemble,and Cecil Taylor’s Orchestra.

         Mr. Connell has been profiled in The Dark Tree,a book about the Los Angeles Black Arts,written by Steven Isoardi,published by California University Press.

 Vincent Chancey earned a respected place for himself in the world of jazz music with his remarkable ability on the French horn. He learned his polished skills while studying underJulius Watkins, butChancey‘s talent and style are both inherent gifts.

         During his long career, which began in the ’70s, Chancey has performed with the famous Sun Ra Arkestra, Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, the David Murray Big Band, the Carla Bley Big Band, the Beaver Harris French Horn Connection, and the Richard Abrams Orchestra. Altogether, Chancey has appeared on somewhere over 70 recordings and toured with bands in the United States, Africa, and Europe.

 Max Johnson is one of New York City’s most sought after bass players.  Known mostly for his work in New York’s free jazz & bluegrass scenes, he has worked alongside legendary artists Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Henry Grimes, William Parker, Candido Camero and countless others.  His musical career has taken him to Germany, Switzerland, England and Canada; to the stages of the Jazz Standard, Le Poisson Rouge, BB King’s, the Highline Ballroom and has brought him to perform at the Vision Festival, the Bern Jazz Festival, Quebec City Int’l Summer Fest, Lollapalooza, and the Zappanale festival.

Max’s musical career began at age 13 when he took up the electric bass, and by age 16 had already toured the United States.  In these early years, while still at High School in New Jersey, Max Johnson was able toured nationally and internationally with Jon Anderson (Yes), John Wetton (King Crimson), and the Butthole Surfers, while playing shows locally with Adrian Belew (King Crimson), Vernon Reid (Living Color), Andrew W.K., Ronnie Spector, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Doobie Brothers) and a long list of others.        After High School, Max Johnson attended the New School University, where he studied with Henry Grimes, Mark Helias, Reggie Workman, Cameron Brown, Jane Ira Bloom and many other masters, while still performing professionally.  It was during this time when he started composing music and leading his own groups.  In his time at the school, Max made many connections, and has performed outside of the school with faculty members Diane Moser, Kirk Nurock and Bobby Sanabria.As a professional musician, Max Johnson has worked with many of jazz’s greatest names including Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Perry Robinson, Vinny Golia, Joseph Jarman, Tyshawn Sorey, Vincent Chancey, Steve Swell, Douglas Ewart, Will Connell, Kirk Knuffke, Louie Belogenis, Erik Friedlander, Mark Whitecage, Ahmed Abdullah, Warren Smith, and Butch Morris.  He has also performed alongside many of his favorite bass players including Henry Grimes, William Parker, Ken Filliano & Hilliard Greene.  Max Johnson performs most frequently with his trio featuring Kirk Knuffke and Ziv Ravitz, and is releasing his debut album “Quartet” with Mark Whitecage, Steve Swell and Tyshawn Sorey in the Summer of 2012.”Johnson’s bruising bass lines, fingered with hardness in a gloriously unamplified state, were regularly alternated with groaning, bowed stretches, establishing a sequence of percussive bullishness, entering into hovering sustain. ” – Martin Longley, All About Jazz 2011

At 8 years old Jeremy Carlstadt  picked up the sticks and embarked on a 25+ year path into the music. While attending the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, under the tutelage of Davey Yarborough, I was the recipient of the Count Basie Festival Award for Outstanding Soloist. Onward to NYC, I became a student at The New School, and was soon learning the secrets of jazz with Chico Hamilton, Arnie Lawrence, Charli Persip, and Makanda Ken McIntyre – true legends. In 2004 I appeared on poet Ursula Rucker’s ‘Silver or Lead’ tour which took me to Europe and South Africa. In 2005, I became a member of Chico Hamilton’s group, Euphoria, which has appeared nationally at venues such as The Newport Jazz Festival. Chico’s most recent effort, ‘Twelve Tones of Love’ included my composition, ‘Penthouse A’, which garnered airplay in the US and abroad.Now on over a dozen released recordings, I am also a member of : Brian Settles’ Central Union, Thunk (featuring Steve Gauci, Kenny Wessell, and Mike Bisio), and Vincent Chancey’s Phat Chance. In addition, I recently appeared at The Stone in NYC with my own group.


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