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October 04, 2001 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-04

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- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 4, 2001



Music bash 'Edgefest' fires up mix of
creative jazz and improvised music


By Denis Naranjo
Daily Arts Writer
Four years ago Ann Arbor's Kerry-
town district broke the mold giving

Thursday through

birth to chal-
lenging artistry
with Edgefest, a
three-day music
bash searching
for everything
avant-garde and
beyond. Advanc-
ing to year five,
the gusto and
charm in presen-
tation has

Saturday, definitely mark this week a
primetime opportunity to zero in on
musical escape.
Actually the music trip means
exploring artistic heights, namely,
those driven to an edge. And it's not
just a local phenomenon anymore.
Edgefest can boast signature, mar-
quis nameplate having garnered
coast-to-coast attention. Even inter-
national interest swings back to Ann
Arbor when Edgefest fires up a
heady mix of creative jazz and
improvised music.
For sheer variety, there's a healthy
assortment of headliners from Ann
Arbor (Ed Sarath, Gerald Cleaver,
Pete Siers), Chicago (8 Bold Souls,
Rob Mazurek), New York (Matthew
Shipp, Mark Helias), Germany (Kon

Pack) and Canada (Les Projection-
nistes, Barking Sphinx Ensemble).
Concertgoers can even hit a walking
tour of venues - festival host pre-
senter Kerrytown Concert House,
Workbench Furniture and the Firefly
Club near Main Street - courtesy of
a one-price, all-festival "Edgepass."
Whatever the select ticket, creativity
abounds with an impressive array of
Edgefest does shower up .special
brews of jazz blends, but exploration
and experimentation oftentimes dri-
ves the moment. Experienced and
novice jazz followers can expect to
hear absorbing primetime measures,
continuous inside-looking-out
imagery infused with stark harmony,
melody and rhythm.

"Edgefest is about music that tends
to blur boundaries and not fall into
easily defined stylistic boxes," said
Dave Lynch, Edgefest's festival direc-
tor. "Artists move in whatever direc-
tions they desire - jazz, rock, folk,
electronics, avant-garde abstraction.
As a listener, it's exciting to not know
what might be coming at you from
around the bend."
"In some respects, Edgefest is
known in places like New York, Mon-
treal, Chicago, Vancouver and even
in Europe, perhaps more than it is
known here," he said. That's why
each autumn Lynch relishes getting a
chance to reacquaint local college
music fans about his artistic jewel, all
on the cutting edge of music.
Like the music, the community of

ripened appreciably. Today through

U U - __________________

Surrounded by
corruption, can one
woman remain good
or will she become
ruthless to survive?

Matthew Shipp will perform at "Edgefest"v
Edgefest is close-knit. Lynch says he
doesn't have to twist arms anymore
when it comes to volunteers, recruit-
ing artists from Montreal and Van-
couver, or getting local media to
support Edgefest. Rave performances
from years past have left indelible
In 1997, Kerrytown Concert House
incepted a "Jazz at the Edge" series.
There, shows by Chicago's Roscoe
Mitchell Trio, New York's Tim
Berne's Bloodcount and the Myra
Melford Trio netted excitable
applause. Convenient same-day tour
schedules of Dave Douglas' Tiny Bell
Trio, the Rova Saxophone. Quartet
and the Charlie Kohlhase Quintet
transformed a quick, one-day festival
into a primetime splash. Tossing in
musical complement, regional avant
ensembles were booked and the
"Edgefest" brand cultivated a regally
warm, beyond-jazz type notoriety.
Once the incendiary boundaries
were pushed, Lynch said, Kerrytown
had easily cemented its place for cre-
ative music. "Edgefest has steadily
grown, and we've gradually taken a

Courtesy of Edgefest
with his trio this weekend.
more proactive stance relative to fes-
tival programming," said Lynch.
"We've also been able to design a
festival by inviting artists here for
world premieres."
Hence, forget the moniker of head-
liners and subordinate players. Edge-
fest transcends that notion, providing
all audiences a listening post into
high-end displays of creative expres-
sion. With every artist a headliner,
time signatures and instrumentation
flanks dense texture with variable
dynamics, sonic angularity darts and
dances with rhythmic permutations.
Edgefest, Lynch says, conjures up
a musical travelogue that proudly
represents Ann Arbor. Reflecting on
this year's festival poster, a painting
by local artist Nancy Wolfe, he
added, "Edgefest is a place for music
discovery and the musicians are the

c Goo d' on of Slcchwan
By Bertolt Brecht " Directed by Malcolm Tulip
October 4 - 6 & 11 - 13 at 8pm - October 7 & 14 at 2pm
Trueblood Theatre
General Admission $15 - Students $7 with ID
League Ticket Office - 734-764-2538
UM School of Music + Department of Theatre and Drama



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Mark Hellas plays smooth jazz.
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