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!

May’s Performance
Tomeka Reid

Described as a “New Jazz Power Source” by the New York Times, cellist and composer, and MacArthur Genius Grantee Tomeka Reid has emerged as one of the most original, versatile, and curious musicians in Chicago’s bustling jazz and improvised music community over the last decade. Her distinctive melodic sensibility, always rooted in a strong sense of groove, has been featured in many distinguished ensembles over the years. Reid released her debut recording as a bandleader, Tomeka Reid Quartet, in 2015 featuring herself (cello), Jason Roebke (bass), fellow MacArthur Genius grantee Mary Halvorson (guitar), and Tomas Fujiwara (drums). The album they released provided a vibrant showcase for the cellist’s improvisational acumen, as well as for her dynamic arrangements and compositional ability. For more information, please visit her website.

Melanie Dyer

“An outstanding modern violist.” – The Strad

Melanie Dyer is a violist who moves across free jazz, jazz, orchestral, and experimental music. She has studied with William Lincer, Lee Yeingst, John Jake Kella and Naomi Fellows. Recently she performed and recorded with William Parker, Henry Grimes, Tomeka Reid, Heroes Are Gang Leaders, New Muse 4tet, Women with an Axe to Grind, and other luminous musicians in the United States, Europe, and South Africa.

She founded WeFreeStrings, a string/rhythm collective rooted in creative improvisation, and plays viola in Gwen Laster’s New Muse 4tet.

To Learn More About Melanie Dyer, please visit her website.

Joe Morris

“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: