Tuesday May 10th  at the Red Room.

Doors will open at 8:30, music begins at 9pm.


all monies go to the performers.

As an instrumentalist and a composer, Jessica Pavone’s creative practice encompasses and moves beyond developing a personalized voice on my instrument. Since 2012, she has established an individual body of material for solo viola, concentrating on the tactile elements of performance. These structured yet indeterminate pieces stem from intensive long tone practice and an interest in repetition, song form, and sympathetic vibration, resulting in four studio albums.

Providing the groundwork for her compositional language, in 2017, she created the J. Pavone String Ensemble (then 2 violins and 2 violas) as an outgrowth. The foundation of her recent ensemble compositions is research on the effects of sonic vibration on human physiology and emotional health. Sustained pitches and clusters of ensemble sounds generate specific physical and cognitive benefits intended to impact the audience physically and mentally, existing within and beyond music’s canonical role. The compositional techniques borrow from and elaborate on traditional music notation. Pavone experiments with improvisatory techniques, alternating between metered and time-based scores and improvised and notated instructions.

The ensemble approach focuses on a vision of collective improvisation that prioritizes a collaboratively sewn musical fabric, in contrast to the traditional improvisatory method that prizes the individuality and uniqueness of the soloist. The rehearsal method, influenced by her solo work, attends to how the body plays a role in sound and intention. The group has performed at the Graham Foundation in Chicago; the NYC Winter Jazzfest; Firehouse12 in New Haven; Roulette and ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn; and The Rotunda in Philadelphia.

In 2019, the string ensemble’s debut album, Brick and Mortar, was hailed by the Chicago Reader’s Peter Margasak as “the most assured, bracing work of Pavone’s career.” Astral Spirits Records released their second, Lost and Found, in 2020 to critical acclaim from publications such as; The Wire, The New Yorker, NYC Jazz Record, NPR, Jazzwise, and was named a “Best Contemporary Albums of 2020” by Bandcamp Daily. Chris Ingalls from Pop Matters described their music as “too stunning to lump into genres.”

This tour celebrates the release of their third album, …Of Late, on Astral Spirits Records and features a new lineup consisting of Pavone on viola, with Aimée Niemann on violin and Abby Swidler playing both violin and viola.

Individual Bios:
As an instrumentalist and composer, Jessica Pavone (b.1976, Queens, NY) explores tactile experience in her compositions and performances. Pavone has produced four albums of solo viola music, all of which present improvised pieces that intersect the Jazz tradition as her creative practice encompasses developing a personalized voice on her instrument. These structured yet indeterminate pieces stem from intensive long tone practice and an interest in repetition, song form, and sympathetic vibration. While her earliest training
was primarily in classical music at the Hartt School of Music (B.M. Music Ed. ’98) and Brooklyn College (M.M. Music Composition ’07), Pavone has dedicated her career to exploring alternative avenues for creative musical expression. As noted by Steve Smith in the National Sawdust Log, “Jessica Pavone…has made a career of redefining the possibilities for her instrument.” Studying improvisation with Leroy Jenkins from ’00-’05, she began harnessing her unique way of incorporating Jazz practices into her viola playing. Since then, Pavone has performed original music by William Parker, Henry Threadgill, Matana Roberts, Wadada Leo Smith, Aaron Siegel, Tyondai Braxton, Glenn Branca, Matthew Welch, Samantha Boshnack, Elliot Sharp, and Taylor Ho Bynum. From ’05 to ’12, she toured regularly with Anthony Braxton’s Sextet and 12+1tet, appearing on his discography from that time. In 2017, Pavone created the J. Pavone String Ensemble as an outgrowth of her solo viola language. The ensemble approach focuses on a vision of collective improvisation that prioritizes a collaboratively sewn musical fabric, in contrast to the traditional improvisatory approach that prizes the showmanship of the soloist. The group has performed at; the Graham Foundation in Chicago, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Manhattan, the NYC Winter Jazzfest, Firehouse12 in New Haven, Roulette and ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn, and The Rotunda in Philadelphia. Two studio albums have been released to critical acclaim from The Wire, The New Yorker, Pitchfork, and the San Francisco Classical Voice. Chris Ingalls from Pop Matters described the music as “too stunning to lump into genres.”

Pavone has been awarded residencies and fellowships at the Ragdale Foundation (2022), the Ucross Foundation (2020), Soaring Gardens (2020), Arts Letters & Numbers (2019), and Mise-En_Place (2018). Her work has benefited from grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2021), New York Foundation for the Arts (2021), Queens Council on the Arts (2020), New Music USA (2015), the Tri-Centric Foundation (2015), Experiments in Opera (2013), the Jerome Foundation (2011), and MATA Interval (2007). She has had world premieres at prominent NYC venues, including the Noguchi Museum, Abrons Art Center, the Museum of Art and Design, and The Kitchen. Pavone’s albums have been produced by Tzadik, Taiga Records, Thirsty Ear, Astral Spirits, Relative Pitch, and she has released four collaborative duo recordings with 2019 MacArthur fellow, guitarist Mary Halvorson. In 2011, Pavone was featured in NPR’s “The Mix: 100 Composers Under 40.” Brad Cohen of Jazz Times described her as “a freethinker who can’t be pigeonholed,” and the New York Times wrote that her music is “distinct and beguiling…its core is steely, and its execution clear.”

Aimée Niemann is a performer, improviser, and educator. An explorer of new sounds, she is the founding member of Du.0, a “gesamtkünstwerk-chamber-noise” violin duo with Charlotte Munn-Wood. The duo premiered two new works by composers Leah Asher and Scott Wollschleger in the winter or 2020. Alongside Serbian violinist Marija Kovacevic, Aimée recently released a new record with her duo BUKA called “Spring”, as a four-part set spanning the seasons pre and post pandemic. As an improviser with a background in dance, Niemann investigates sound through its direct correlation to movement. She works often with dancers and in theaters and composes graphic scores that are used as structures for interdisciplinary invention and the unearthing of new sounds. Niemann has collaborated with composers Aleksandra Vrebalov, Anthony Coleman, Alvin Lucier, Christian Wolff, Emily Praetorious, Lucia Vitkova, Jessica Pavone, and Paul Elwood. She has co-created installations with Argentinean artist Cecila Biagini and co-produced several pieces with choreographers Nadia Khayrallah, Whitney Janis, and Ichi Go. She has toured internationally and performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, (Le) Poisson Rouge, and Roulette Intermedium. A passionate teaching artist, she teaches violin at Third Street Music School Settlement and has a vibrant private violin studio. Niemann received a B.M. in Violin Performance from the University of Northern Colorado and an M.M. in Violin Performance from New York University. Originally from the prairies of Colorado, she currently lives in Queens, New York.

Abby Swidler is a composer, violinist, violist, and vocalist whose work appears in many contexts including new music, improvisational music, and song. Abby is a passionate collaborator, frequently performing with ruby, a song collaboration with Kim Mayo; Xanthoria Quartet a string quartet that performs new and old works; Italian film-score band, Tredici Bacci; and The Jessica Pavone String Ensemble, among other projects across genre lines.

As a composer and performer, Abby has collaborated with dance, film, theater, and performing ensembles; working with artists like Lady Lamb, Carla Kihlstedt, Mirah, Kishi Bashi, Jherek Bischoff, Angel Olsen, Bent Knee, The California Guitar Trio, Palaver Strings, Shattered Glass, Shizuka Viola Duo, Dance Visions INC., and Giselle Ty. She has played on over 30 studio albums.
Abby received a B.M. in Violin Performance from Eastman School of Music and an M.M. in Contemporary Improvisation from The New England Conservatory. Originally from Missoula, MT, they currently live in Brooklyn, NY.

Please join us!

Event location:

425 E 31st St, Baltimore, MD 21218

The Red Room is a volunteer-run space in Baltimore dedicated to mind-expanding experimental culture, headquartered at Normals Books and Records.