October 25 – IMOO #128: Rakestar Arkestra


Rakestar Arkestra returns to Raw Sugar,
playing music of the fairy godfather of space-jazz, Sun Ra.

Don Cummings, Hammond organ
Jamie Gullikson, drums
Mike Essoudry, drums
Scott Warren, spirits
Ra-b Frayne, tenor sax
(David) Broscoe, alto, bari sax
Linsey Wellman, alto sax
John Sobol, tenor, bari sax, poetic outbursts
Rory Magill, xylophone


September 27 – IMOO #127: In the Sea with Tristan Honsinger

In the Sea 2015

In the Sea with Tristan Honsinger

Tristan Honsinger – cello
Nicolas Caloia – bass
Josh Zubot – violin

Tristan Honsinger started improvising in Montreal more than forty years ago, prior to his decisive move to Europe, where he’s been at the centre of improvised music activity ever since. So this group represents an oblique sort of homecoming, as well as an introduction to some of this city’s finest players today, some born after his departure in the seventies. Their rapport is obvious, the results a satisfying mixture of musical empathy and creative conflict. Tristan plays with characteristic daring from his reserves of readymade tune fragments and shards of poetry and into the protean unknown that is the foundation for the best group improvising. Josh Zubot, and Nicolas Caloia don’t merely follow him there, but provoke him – and each other – in ways that are, by turns, subtle, assertive, and irreverent. A superb encounter.

Honsinger is a particularly interesting artist because he has worked with so many first generation improvising artists and has an intimate knowledge of the regional differences in approach. For example, Honsinger has played extensively with Derek Bailey and Evan Parker in the UK; Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink in Holland; Peter Brotzman and Peter Kowald in Germany; and Cecil Taylor in the USA. He has also spent considerable time in Italy and Japan.

https://vimeo.com/97427007 https://vimeo.com/2260401 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awBGXyIHMwo

Tatsuya Nakatani w/s/g Mark Molnar @ Raw Sugar August 31st 7PM to 11

Tatsuya Nakatani is a creative artist / percussionist originally from Osaka, Japan who has released over sixty recordings in North America and Europe. Residing in the USA since 1994 he has performed countless solo percussion concerts and has collaborated with hundreds of artists in international music festivals, university concert halls, art museums and galleries. His latest project is the Nakatani Gong Orchestra, which builds community ensembles performing on multiple bowed gongs under his direction, as recently presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Nakatani’s constant touring fosters the raw and fresh quality in his music, which can only survive through an open willingness to share energy, culture, music and self on a global human scale. His master classes and workshops at schools and universities, emphasize his unique musical approach and philosophy in creating visceral, non-linear music.

He has created his own instrumentation, effectively inventing many instruments and extended techniques. He utilizes drums, gongs, cymbals, singing bowls, metal objects, bells, and various sticks and bows to create an intense, intuitively primitive, expressive music of unusually strong spirit that defies category or genre. His music is based in improvised/ experimental music, jazz, free jazz, rock, and noise, yet retains the sense of space and beauty found in traditional Japanese folk music.

Mark Molnar is an Ottawa based instrumentalist that has played strings and electronics with Kingdom Shore, ¼ Tonne Spike Pitcher, in duos with Eric Craven, Craig Pedersen, and James Annett, and erhu and rebab in Gamelan Semara Winangun. He is the founder of Black Bough Records, the co-organizer and co-curator of the Pleasure Through Sound Festival and Music Series with Nathan Medema and Ross Birdwise, and has been a founding member of the Ottawa/Hull music association SulPont. He has written music for the Quasar Saxaphone Quartet (Montreal) and the Thin Edge Music Collective (Toronto).

IMOO #123: Sunday June 21 @ Black Squirrel Books | Nonoko Yoshida Solo and Trio


nonokoNonoko Yoshida was born in 1987 in Hokkaido, Japan. She studied classical piano from the age of three, and began playing the saxophone as her main instrument at age 10. In 2006, she moved to New York where she experienced a life-changing encounter with the Downtown Music Scene. Since then, she has been learning music in streets from the underground musicians themselves, attending concerts, rehearsals, recording and mastering sessions and seeing the mechanics of making music first hand. Her band project SSSS (Super Seaweed Sex Scandal) played at Moers Festival in Germany in 2010 and had their first Europe tour. Her latest band project Pet Bottle Ningen has toured in Japan four times and released two albums from Tzadik Label. Her most recent collaboration includes Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits, and Ron Anderson’s PAK with Yoshida Tatsuya.

Full Tour Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1480870502204864/

Sample video for Solo Works


For her second set Nonoko will be joined by Linsey Wellman (sax/reeds) and David Jackson (Guitar/Electronics)

IMOO #121: Sunday, May 17 – Kathryn Ladano

kathryn ladanoAs part of her cross-country tour, bass clarinetist Kathryn Ladano presents a concert focusing on her recent work in solo improvisation. This performance will feature unaccompanied pieces, often focusing on extended techniques that explore the limits of Ladano’s instrument, as well as exploration with electronics.

Kathryn Ladano is one of Canada’s premiere bass clarinetists. She is a specialist of contemporary music and free improvisation and has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across Canada and abroad. Being heavily involved in both educational and creative work, Kathryn is currently the Artistic Director of NUMUS concerts, the co- Director of ICE (Improvisation Concerts Ensemble) and Improvisation Studio instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University, and the Music Director of Cold Mountain Internal Arts. Kathryn has been a guest speaker and performers at various conferences such as the 2013 Summit on Improvisation Pedagogy and Community Impact in Guelph, the 2014 McGill University Music Graduate Symposium, and the 2014 International Society for Improvised Music Conference in New York City. Kathryn is currently pursuing her PhD at York University under the supervision of Casey Sokol and her research interests include improvisation pedagogy and the use of free improvisation as therapy for musicians with various anxieties.


IMOO #120: Sunday, May 3 – The Deconstructed Accordion Conspiracy

accordion conspiracy

***NOTE: SPECIAL LOCATION – Black Squirrel Books (1073 Bank Street – near Sunnyside)***

Bernard Stepien – David Broscoe – Scott Warren

This will be a two-part concert:

1st set: Bernard Stepien Accordion Solo inspired by this year’s exceptional winter

2nd set: Accordion Conspiracy: Stepien/Broscoe/Warren vs the Eindhoven in Dialoog

Accordion Solo:  Accordion happened to be Bernard Stepien’s first instrument, initially in a classical and folkloric music context. Back in the ‘60s, Stepien heard Ornette Coleman and started to play accordion in his then proto-harmolodic style. Stepien’s accordion, a Hohner Morino model from the late ‘50s, has a keyboard on the left hand that is identical to the one for the right hand but with smaller more compact buttons. This feature enables to play harmonies in a similar way as on a piano. But these harmonies are not the traditional ones. Instead and thanks to the fact that Stepien had the immense privilege to study with the great master Cecil Taylor in 2001 in New York City, the harmonies are more of an in-depth exploration of sounds rather than chords but giving this overall sinuous sense of harmony, like harmonies without traditional harmonies? Another key influence was from Texas saxophonist Billy Robinson that showed him how to produce unusual harmonies by superposing seemingly unrelated traditional chords but with a strong rationale. The accordion itself is making a strong come-back these days. It can be found way out of the traditional folk music context. Maybe this is because its sound is intriguing and its capabilities intriguingly ambiguous. It is a piano without notes decay or an organ with controlled notes decay capabilities and moreover, it never runs out of breath…

Accordion Conspiracy vs Eindhoven in Dialoog:  Accordion Conspiracy is an extension of Bernard Stepien and David Broscoe late ‘90s pure saxophones project then called Breaths. Saxophonist David Broscoe is a master in multi-phonics. Drummer, percussionist and samplerist Scott Warren has been associated both with Bernard Stepien and David Broscoe either in the Bernard Stepien’s A Very Ayler Christmas project and the Rake-Star Arkestra, both devoted to the exploration of unusual musical fusions. Warren has been exploring the natural rhythms of casual sounds for a long time, amassing a sizeable collection of found objects along the way and attracted by the music found in spoken words. The Eindhoven in Dialoog project is a well-structured social capital project of the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands that consists in bringing together plain ordinary citizens in round tables discussions in a structured way that includes training.


The strategy will consist in simultaneously contributing and extracting sounds and rhythms to and from these recorded conversations.