Improvisations Now at Real Art Ways

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Improvisations Now


An experience of music imagined and created in real time. This series runs from September 2023-May 2024. Check out the full schedule here!

March’s Performance:
Sam Newsome – Soprano Saxophone

“Newsome expands the sound of a single soprano into a one-man band.” – All About Jazz 

Sam Newsome is a saxophonist, music professor, and accomplished writer. In 2023, his artistic endeavors manifested in two duo recordings: Soprano-Logues, a collaborative effort with saxophonist Dave Liebman, and Cosmic Unconsciousness Unplugged, where he joined forces with pianist Jean-Michel Pilc. In 2022, Newsome received the prestigious Bronx BRIO Award for Instrumental Music and secured the title of Soprano Saxophonist of the Year in the 14th Annual International Critics Polls. His accolades extend to the 2020 Instant Award in Improvised Music, the 2018 Alpert/Ragdale Prize in Music Composition, the 2016 NYFA Fellowship for Music Composition, and he’s been a consistent nominee for Soprano Saxophonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association over the past five years.

Newsome’s avant-garde approach, particularly in the realm of prepared saxophone, has positioned him as a sought-after player in New York’s improvised music scene. His innovative voice has resonated in collaborations with notable artists such as Elliot Sharpe, William Parker, Fay Victor, Daniel Carter, Joe Morris, and Dave Liebman. Through his diverse talents and contributions, Sam Newsome continues to shape and enrich the landscape of contemporary jazz. For more information, please visit his website here.

Taylor Ho Bynum – Cornet, Brass

Taylor Ho Bynum is a musician, teacher, and writer, with a background including work in composition, performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, production, organizing, and advocacy. Bynum plays with friends in collective ensembles like his duo with Tomas Fujiwara, Illegal Crowns (with Fujiwara, Benoit Delbecq, and Mary Halvorson), and Geometry (with Kyoko Kitamura, Tomeka Reid, and Joe Morris), and as a sideperson in Tomas Fujiwara’s Triple Double and Shizuko, Jim Hobbs & the Fully Celebrated Orchestra, and Bill Lowe’s Signifyin’ Natives.

Bynum has worked for two decades with Anthony Braxton. This partnership is recognized as one of the most generative partnerships of that legendary composer’s career, with projects ranging from duos to orchestras and everything in between. During Bynum’s stewardship of the Tri-Centric Foundation (which he served as executive director from 2010-2018), he produced many major Braxton projects, including two massive Trillium operas, two immersive Sonic Genome performances, and multiple festivals, box sets and albums. Bynum also worked closely with such departed masters as Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor, with other collaborative credits including The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Nels Cline, Emily Coates, Bill Cole, Kris Davis, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Stephen Haynes, John Hebert, Fred Ho, Jason Kao Hwang, Titus Kaphar, Ingrid Laubrock, Living by Lanterns, Nicole Mitchell, Joe Morris, Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng, Mali Obomsawin, William Parker, Matana Roberts, Eliott Sharp, Wadada Leo Smith, Tyshawn Sorey, Yo La Tengo, and Zemog El Gallo Bueno. For more information, please visit his website here.

Francisco Jose Mela – Drums

“…Mela’s drumming is expressive and rudimentary perfect, laying down an expansive palette, while not crowding his fellow accompanists.” – All About Jazz

“Mela also has one of the most mercurial and quickest-thinking brains in music and can be both powerful and lucid, turning on a dime from an almost other-worldly, hallucinatory voice to a musician with a painterly, patrician demeanor.” –

Francisco Jose Mela is a Cuban drummer and percussionist who has performed with a wide array of prominent international Latin and jazz artists including Kenny Barron, Gary Bartz, JoAnne Brackeen, Jane Bunnett, Regina Carter, Anat Cohen, Paquito D’Rivera, George Garzone, Larry Grenadier, Stefon Harris, Lionel Loueke, Joe Lovano, Jason Moran, John Patitucci, John Scofield, Esperanza Spalding, Mark Turner, McCoy Tyner, Chucho Valdés, Kenny Werner, and many others.

In 2005, Mela joined the quartet of saxophonist Joe Lovano. Of particular note was the group’s 2008 album on Blue Note entitled Folk Art. Later that year, Mela was approached by McCoy Tyner to join his trio. Mela was also named the Twin Cities Jazz Festival’s first artistic director in 2014, Before appointment, he served as artistic director for the Xalapa Jazz Festival in Veracruz, Mexico (2010-2013). In late 2016, Mela was part of an inaugural ensemble that joined Afro-Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés and saxophonist Joe Lovano for an international tour throughout Europe and North America. He also leads his own group, The Crash Trio.

Joe Morris – Bass

“The preeminent free music guitarist of his generation.” – Downbeat Magazine

“One of the most profound improvisers at work in the U.S.” – WIRE Magazine

“The guitar revolutionary to pay attention to.” – The Boston Phoenix

Joe Morris born in New Haven Connecticut in 1955. He began playing guitar at the age of 14 first playing rock music, progressing to blues, then to jazz, free jazz and free improvisation. He released his first record Wraparound (riti) in 1983. He has composed over 200 original pieces of music. Joe Morris and Real Art Ways have a longstanding creative relationship. Joe has performed multiple times since the 1980’s and has organized concert series of improvisational music for several years.

To learn more about Joe Morris: