Stanley Jason Zappa has put together a mini tour of remote inland communities in the vast province of British Columbia, Canada.
Adventurous music undertakes a real adventure beginning on June 11th in Okanagan Wine Country and ending up in the inland metropolis of Prince George for The 2nd Annual Casse Tete festival of Experimental and Improvised Music on the 13th.
Joining him on this trek will be the intrepid Catherine Sikora on a break from the compression of New York City and dauntless Nick Skrowaczewski sallying forth from Minneapolis.
Saxophonist Catherine Sikora is an improviser and composer originally from West Cork, Ireland and now based in the New York City area. Initially self-taught, Sikora obtained a degree in Jazz Performance in England, and then moved to New York City to study with master improvisers and unlearn most of what she learned in college.
She stopped performing entirely for four years to concentrate on rebuilding her approach from the ground up. Since resuming performance she has become a busy and distinctive voice in New York’s downtown scene, performing with a wide variety of musicians including Han- earl Park, Vinnie Golia, Ziv Ravits, Ben Chase and Dr. Franziska Schroeder. In addition, she and her husband, Eric Mingus, have a long standing ensemble called Clockwork Mercury.
Son of conductor and composer Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, drummer Nick Skrowaczewski has experienced the full spectrum of orchestral literature, from the first beginnings of tonality to the furthest reaches of Avant-Garde. This remarkable immersion in orchestral literature is evident in his compositional approach to the drum set and improvisation.
Skrowaczewski (along with Zappa) studied music at Bennington College with Bill Dixon and Milford Graves, gaining a deep insight into the drum traditions of other cultures. Skrowaczewski also studied Afro-cuban percussion at the Harbor School in Spanish Harlem and currently performs in the Sumunar Gamelan ensemble in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Raised a music lover in the fertile environment of Northern New Jersey, Zappa started out playing guitar under the influence of his Uncle Frank, before moving on to the acoustic bass. While at Bennington College (where he met Nick Skrowaczewski) he took up the saxophone.
At Bennington, he studied with Bill Dixon and Milford Graves; a seminal experience in Zappa's development as a musician. After that, an unofficial masters degree was earned the hard way, living in New York performing with many of the leading voices of the day.
Now in the Okanagan, Zappa hones his his craft of woodwind performance as he ponders music's logical and social underpinnings. For the last seven years he has been playing in No Boundaries" a modern classical duo with nonagenarian pianist Agnes Sutherland.
Skrowaczewski and Zappa provided the inaugural release for Bill Dixon's record label Archive Edition, a cd entitled Visions". Since then, they have performed in Cambridge, MA with the Citizens' Orchestra, in Manhattan at Columbia University's radio station WKCR, at the 21st Annual Zappanale in Bad Doberan, Germany and most recently released a duo recording/DVD entitled The Upside-Down Halloween Sessions.
Sikora, Skrowaczewski and Zappa have studied, performed with and draw considerable inspiration from the seminal figures of Free Jazz and contemporary Post Jazz. With this tour the trio hope to introduce Music lovers of the BC Interior to a their unique approach to performance and sound.
The Tour begins at The Elite in Penticton at 9PM on June 11th.
A 7pm performance in the wine cellar of the Quinta Ferreira Winery in Oliver will follow on June 12th.
A long traverse of wide open road leads to The Exploration Place for The 2nd Annual Casse Tete festival of Experimental and Improvised Music from June 13th to the 15th.