New York City based Ensemble Helacious presents a special performance on Tuesday, April 16 at 4 p.m. in Room 7 in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. The concert is free and open to the public; seating is by general admission.
Ensemble Helacious explores multiple structural traditions realized by three musicians performing on woodwinds, brasses and percussion. Their music utilizes notated materials with improvisation and electronic sound processing.
About the performers:
JD Parran’s most recent release is Window Spirits Solo. He has performed at New York’s Vision Festival with Amiri Baraka, in a collaboration with Joseph Jarman and Douglas Ewart. Mr. Parran has premiered and recorded You Have the Right to Remain Silent, Concerto for Clarinet by Anthony Davis and recorded (Beautiful Day) and performed with Andrew Hill. His project JD Parran & Spirit Stage TOO is a long-time collaboration with Stephen Haynes. He participated in Music and Musicians in the Black Artists' Group of St. Louis at Washington University (St. Louis), performed at the Skopje Jazz Festival (Macedonia) with Cecil Taylor and soundVision Orchestra, and in Henry Threadgill’s commissioned work Peroxide at the Miller Theater (NYC). Mr. Parran’s recent projects include Ensemble Helacious (Peter Zummo and Kevin Norton) and collaborations with William Hooker, Earl Howard, Wadada Leo Smith and others. He teaches at BMCC CUNY and Greenwich House Music School in New York.
An exponent of the American contemporary-classical tradition as well as more vernacular genres, trombonist Peter Zummo pursues the evolving boundary of music making and brass culture and in so doing creates compositions for interactive ensemble. His musical pieces and his solo and ensemble performances - in his own works and in those of theater, dance, poetry, film, television, and new-media artists - evoke the influences and methodologies of the minimalist, rock, jazz, and world music styles. His work is informed by four decades of realizing the work of other composers and bandleaders, and is currently performing with the David Behrman Ensemble; the Go: Organic Orchestra; Michael Schumacher; Heroes of Toolik; Bear 54; the Deep Listening Band; Ensemble Helacious; Ben Neill; and Mitra Sumara. Mr. Zummo received a Bessie award for Trisha Brown’s Lateral Pass and has had numerous other commissions by choreographers including David Dorfman, Risa Jarsolow, Irene Hultman, Debra Wanner, and Stephanie Woodard. He is Senior Faculty Advisor with the New York Arts Program, a program of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, and artistic director of The Loris Bend Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit presenter of music, dance, and media. Mr. Zummo holds BA and MA degrees from Wesleyan University.
Kevin Norton was born in Brooklyn and raised in Staten Island, NY. The composer/percussionist came to jazz in an unlikely setting but befriended drummer and fellow record collector Kenny Washington as a teenager. Studies at Hunter College introduced him to Milt Hinton and after a short period, with whom he performed and recorded (The Judge's Decision). Mr. Norton has written several multi-movement pieces sometimes based on extra-musical subject matter. For Guy Debord (in nine events) is a piece for quintet and woodwind soloist (originally Anthony Braxton) based on the texts of the radical French philosopher whose thought proved central to the riots of Paris, 1968. Change Dance (Troubled Energy) draws it's inspiration from another radical political activist, Kathy Change (born Kathleen Chang). Mr. Norton's 2006 work Water and Fire Suite was commissioned by Meet The Composer, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Helen F. Whitaker Fund, and the Target Foundation. Mr. Norton has led and/or co-led about 20 critically acclaimed recordings, many of them making year-end "Best of" lists. He has served on the faculty of several schools including the University of Maryland and is currently on the faculty of William Paterson University and earned a Masters Degree in Music from Manhattan School of Music.