Tony Barba and Blood Moon
- Dates: December 9, 2022
- Location: North Street Cabaret
- Time: 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Tony Barba is a saxophonist/educator/producer whose career has spanned the last twenty-five years. Originally hailing from Acton, Massachusetts and previously living in NYC and Chicago, Tony has resided in Madison, Wisconsin since 2013. He has performed, taught and toured professionally all over the world. A long standing member of the globe trotting Youngblood Brass Band, Tony has also performed and recorded with such notable and diverse artists as Makaya McCraven, Bon Iver, David Murray, Josh Ritter, the Mountain Goats, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the Temptations. In Madison he is currently a member of Acoplados, Golpe Tierra, Immigre, Michael Brenneis’s Plutonium, and the Paul Dietrich Jazz Orchestra. He co-leads the organ quartet Barbacoa and the improvised duo project Outside the Sphere with drummer Michael Brenneis. Additionally, Tony leads Blood Moon, a new quartet with an album of all original music which is slated to be released in the spring of 2020. He also has recently released two solo albums featuring saxophone and electronic manipulation entitled Winter’s Arms (2016) and Ether (2019). Tony has been the instructor of the Memorial High School Jazz Band since 2017 and has a growing private studio of saxophone students.
Matt Gold is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer based in Chicago, IL. His work pulls from diverse traditions of electric and acoustic music. Matt has played in venues across North America, Europe, and Asia, and has written music for film as well. His work has been praised for being “accessible, yet healthily unconstrained by genre and sure of its own identity” (UK Vibe) and for "effortlessly embodying its own dialect—defined by varied, spacious soundscapes, innovative improvisational flourishes and rich harmony" (Downbeat Magazine). In May 2020 Gold released Imagined Sky (Whirlwind Recordings), displaying his penchant for concise melody and a nuanced, exploratory palette of abstracted Americana. His latest solo release, Midnight Choir, delves more explicitly into Gold’s deft songwriting and imaginative production. He also releases music as part of the instrumental duo Sun Speak and the singer/songwriter duo Storm Jameson. As an instrumentalist and collaborator, Gold performs and records with a wide array of creative artists including Makaya McCraven, Greg Ward, Sara Serpa, Hood Smoke, and Jamila Woods. He co-curates the Flood Music concert series and record label.
Award winning bassist, composer and Shifting Paradigm recording artist John Christensen supplies an open-hearted solidity and adventurous spirit to all of his music endeavors. With an appetite for expressing in many musical genres and situations, John has found a unique compositional voice, as demonstrated on his highly acclaimed debut album as a leader, Dear Friend.
While an ardent student and practitioner of improvised Black American Music, John’s music also has deep roots in Rock, Folk, and Americana. Content to have his bass playing compared to Charlie Haden’s lyricism, as in reviews for Johannes Wallmann’s latest album Precarious Towers, he’s also happy to have comparisons difficult to find. His compositions strive toward a hopefulness and appreciation for the beauty and awe of life, and the wonder of small, important things.
John Christensen began his bass studies with Chris Wood in high school. After brief stints at Berklee College and North Texas, John moved to San Francisco and played in the burgeoning music scene during the late 90’s. Since Moving to Wisconsin in 1999 John has become a highly sought-after side musician, playing with numerous regional and international artists and bands. He leads his own groups and is also a co-founder of Lesser Lakes Trio with longtime collaborators Devin Drobka and Jamie Breiwick as well as KASE, an improvised hip hop trio with Jamie and Turntablist Jordan Lee.
Devin Drobka is one of the most in-demand and creative musicians in the midwest for the past 15 years. Audiences around the world have been enthralled with his wide sonic palette and limitless rhythmic possibilities on the drums. A deep love of jazz, metal, folk, hip-hop, ambient, idm, and classical music has helped shaped Devin’s unique voice and vision on the drums both as a leader and as a sideman. His highly personal and creative drumming can be heard within the realm of jazz having performed with Greg Osby, Jerry Bergonzi, Dayna Stephens, and Joe Lovano as well as indie- folk bands like Field Report and indie rappers R.A.P. Ferreira and Serengeti. Devin can be heard on over 50 albums of genre bending, original music for which he is an advocate for. Devin currently composes music for his newest group, The Devin Drobka Trio, which draws upon his love of contemporary classical music and minimalism and his multi horn group, Bell Dance Songs, which is a response to his love of Albert Ayler, Paul Motian, and Ornette Coleman. Devin’s music has been described as “sounding like nothing else in midwestern jazz” and “gorgerous, innovative.”
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