In Concert: The CNMAT Users Group

Featured performers include:

The ensemble will be performing several structured improvisations; solo, duo, trio and as a quartet.

MARIÉ ABE first started tickling the ivories at the age of three, and studied classical piano performance throughout her teens in Tokyo, Japan, Siena, Italy and Düsseldorf, Germany. In college, she started to explore contemporary piano repertoire with Marcantonio Barone, and also took up composition seriously and studied with Gerald Levinson.

The turning point came to her in the summer of 2003, when she picked up a shiny white accordion. With the accordion on her back, a suitcase in her left hand, and an ice cream cone in her right hand, she traveled throughout Europe to absorb and play as much various accordion musics as possible. Since then, Marié has studied Balkan Roma (gypsy) repertoire with Dan Cantrell and technique with Shibasaki Waka and Henri Ducharme. Eager to depart from her classical piano training, Marié recently started to explore the world of improvisation under the mentorship of Myra Melford with whom she studies composition, arrangement and jazz harmony.

Currently, Marié performs with the indie rock band the Lark, Balkan/Sephardic Trio Al-Ferrabe, acoustic free-improv trio Smirkers, Japonize Elephants and Four Flea Circus.

HEATHER FRASCH, a native of Philadelphia, just returned to the United States to pursue her doctorate in composition from UC Berkeley, from France where she lived as an expatriate for the past seven years. She received her Medaille d‚Argent in composition and electro-acoustic music from the Conservatoire Nationale de Region de Lyon where she studied with Professor Christophe Maudot and Stephane Borrell. Before her sejourn in Lyon, she lived in Paris where she took private lessons with Betsy Jolas and Yoshishia Taira. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in flute performance from Temple University. Ensembles locate in France, Holland and the US has performed her music. She has received commissions from the New Piano Quartet, based in Boston, and Fiati Complesso, based in Utrecht, Holland.

LISA MEZZACAPPA is an Oakland-based doublebassist and improviser. She has studied with Michael Formanek, Henry Threadgill, Ralph Alessi and Steve Coleman, and has performed and workshopped with the Sun Ra Arkestra, Meredith Monk, Bob Moses, Myra Melford, Art Baron, Terry Riley, David Murray, Jerry Bergonzi and Clark Terry, among others. Lisa has performed extensively in Bay Area and New York City music venues and performance spaces, and has played festivals and theaters throughout the United States, including Milwaukee Summerfest, the Earshot Jazz Festival, and the Montreal Jazz Festival, Canada. She has also toured in Japan, and performs in Italy this summer. She was artist-in-residence at the Banff International Jazz Workshop (2000), and holds an MA in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley (2003). This spring, she is artist-in-residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA.

Current and recent projects and collaborations include duo B., a drums and bass duo with Jason Levis; the new music groups Walnut Chamber Ensemble and Heftpistole; the trombone reggae band Joseph's Bones; the structured-improvisation ensemble Model Band; Aaron Novik's minimalist psychedelia project Kipple and his chamber pop band Floating World; the improvising bass quartet the Transbass Ensemble; Jeff Ray's electro-folk project Extraordinary Forest; the improv trio Ghostcandle Derby; the Balkan-jazz fusion group Four Flea Circus; Micha Patri's Wailing Junk Symphony for the Most High; and performances with jazz-pop singer Pyeng Threadgill and sixties folk-pop sensation Donovan.

In addition to her work as a performer, Lisa also works as a music educator and independent music curator in the San Francisco Bay Area.

JASON LEVIS has been playing drums since 1995. As a composer, arranger and bandleader, he works with a full roster of bands packed with Bay Area improvisational talent, including duo B, a drums and bass duo with Lisa Mezzacappa, the angular chamber jazz ensemble Heftpistole; the texturally-driven new music group the Walnut Chamber Ensemble; the nine piece instrumental reggae band Joseph's Bones; and the original jazz groups Blowout and Married Couple.

In addition to his many projects as bandleader, Jason also performs with Bay Area singer/songwriter Sean Hayes, the klezmer group the Maccabeats (sometimes known as the Yiddiots), Bill Noertker's Moxie, sixties pop star Donovan, the Larks and the quartet Four Flea Circus.

Levis has studied composition with pianist/composer Art Lande, improviser/composers Henry Threadgill and Myra Melford, and contemporary music composers Cindy Cox, Edwin Dugger and Jorge Liderman. He earned a BA in music from Naropa University, Boulder, CO where he wrote his thesis on the connection between improvisation and meditation and held the high honor of speaking on behalf of his graduating class of 1999 at graduation. He is currently a PhD student in composition at the University of California, Berkeley studying with Edmund Campion researching new forms of structured improvisation in composition.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006, 3:00am to 5:00am