7/11 | Jonah Parzen-Johnson + BC Grimm @ A+LL

Pre-order the new album!

Tues, 7/11 | 8p $8adv/10do @ Arts + Literature Laboratory

2021 Winnebago St, Madison, WI 53704

JONAH PARZEN-JOHNSON (Brooklyn, NY)

BC GRIMM (Madison, WI)

Brooklyn based saxophonist and composer Jonah Parzen-Johnson performs at Arts + Literature Laboratory on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, with Madison multi-instrumentalist Brian Grimm opening. Tickets are $8 in advance online at http://parzenjohnson.bpt.me/ or $10 at the door. Online sales end one hour before the show.

Jonah plays lofi experimental folk music for solo baritone saxophone and analog synthesizer. Imagine the raw energy of an Appalachian choir, balanced by a fearlessly exposed saxophone voice, resting on a strikingly unique combination of analog synthesizer components sitting on the floor in front of him. It all breathes together, as Jonah uses his feet to weave square and sawtooth waves into a surging base for folk inspired saxophone melodies, overblown multi phonics, vocalizations, and patiently developed circular breathing passages. Every element is performed and recorded at the same time, by one person, without any looping, overdubbing or recorded samples. “I want to make music that has texture, and depth, but most of all I want it to be direct and grounded. Touring and playing solo is all about being connected to the folks listening. I want you to feel like I’m looking you in the eye while I’m playing.”

Click for Tix!


In BC Grimm’s solo set, you may hear dances of the unaccompanied Bach cello suites; ever popular melodies of the Erhu Chinese fiddle adapted for cello; as well as original compositions from his dance/theatre scores & solo albums. Cellist & composer Brian Grimm grew up surrounded by Chinese string instruments of every sort. After initiating lessons in with virtuosos Yang Wei (pipa) & Daxun Zhang (bass) of the Silkroad Ensemble, Brian was lucky to continue his Chinese music studies on guqin (zither), pipa (lute), gaohu (fiddle) & daruan (bass lute) in Hong Kong with members of the 香港中樂團 Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra & Wuji Ensemble 無極樂團. Over the last 15 years Grimm has developed a deep language of Free Improvisation & Composition with groups such as The Brothers Grimm, Lovely Socialite, and Brennan Connors & Stray Passage.

BCG @ Milwaukee Release of “Orbis Obscura”


6/13 | Jonah Parzen-Johnson / Tar Pet / Lovely Socialite @ Bright Red Studios

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We had a wonderful show last night @ Bright Red Studios!  Thanks to all who came out!

Lovely Socialite explored a quartet free-improv set with Pat on cello, Abe on vibes, Mike on assorted home-made percussion and drum set, & BCG on gaohu, pipa, bass & cajon.  So much open, quiet space.  We were able to explore individual solo moments all around, as well as every duo pairing within the larger quartet.  Very rewarding, as most Socialite sextet improvs exist in a wall-of-sound-madness!  I was grateful to explore sparcer orchestrations for such an open ear’d audience. (new album due out by early fall!)

Taralie of Spires That In The Sunset Rise, known as Tar Pet when solo – gave us a really deep set.  My favorite two pieces were in the middle.  One was a layering of melodic cello drones that bubbled forth minute changes, all playing against one another to create a long landscape.  Once the scene was set, she switched to sax and blew an elegy to Ornette Coleman, who passed away this week.  I think we all knew what it was about, because Taralie was so excellent and clear in her delivery of the meditation.  What a way to send-up Ornette! [peace, respect]

…oh yeah, DISTORTED CELLO DRONES!!!.  < that’s all I need to say on the one that followed.

The touring musician of the night, Jonah Parzen-Johnson (Brooklyn, NYC), treated us to his carefully crafted ‘bari-sax + electronics’ compositions.  Inbetween pieces, he would share introspections and wonderments de jour.  Anything his soul was searching at the moment.  A lot of it about how we interact with each other, but all of it posed in the form of (yet) unanswered questions.  Much appreciation for the insight into his being and process.  Jonah is on tour for his new album “Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow”, which you should buy right now!  He’s halfway through a 5 week tour, help support his final leg with a purchase of his well developed music!