Tomeka Reid

The Tomeka Reid Stringtet

featuring a Hop Resident Artist and Roth Visiting Scholar
April 11, 2024

This event occurred as part of the 23/24 Hop Presents season. This is an archived view.

The trailblazing musician and her newly-formed ensemble create new avenues for international jazz and improvised music.

23/24 Hop Presents

Hailed as a "New Jazz Power Source," (The New York Times) Chicago-based cellist and composer Tomeka Reid has emerged as one of the most original and versatile musicians in the international jazz and improvised music community over the last decade.

In her most ambitious project to date, and her first since being announced as a 2022 MacArthur Fellow, she will debut the Tomeka Reid Stringtet—a 16-member improvising chamber orchestra that brings together the musical communities of New York City, Chicago and beyond. The ensemble will be conducted by Taylor Ho Bynum, Director of the Coast Jazz Orchestra at Dartmouth.

Reid is a 23/24 Roth Visiting Scholar and will be in residence at the Hop throughout the year. Supported with funds provided through the generosity of Dartmouth Trustee Steven Roth '62, Tuck '63, his wife, Daryl, and their family the Roth Visiting Scholar Award is intended to bring exceptional leaders across a variety of disciplines to Hanover to inspire students and broaden the range of intellectual inquiry on campus. Thanks to this award, Tomeka will enrich the Dartmouth community through the sharing and development of her work in collaboration with students and faculty.  

Commissioned by the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth. Funded in part by the Class of 1961 Legacy: The American Tradition in Performance Fund, the Bob Gatzert 1951 Jazz Series Fund for the Hopkins Center, the David H. Hilton 1951 Fund No. 2, a gift from Amy and Henry Nachman. Photo: Michael Jackson

This performance, originally scheduled to be held at the Hanover Inn Ballroom, has been moved to Our Savior Lutheran Church in Hanover.

Cellist and composer Tomeka Reid has emerged as one of the most original, versatile, and curious musicians in Chicago's bustling jazz and improvised music community. A 2022 MacArthur and Herb Alpert awardee, 2021 USA Fellow, 2019 Foundation of the Arts and 2016 3Arts recipient, Reid received her doctorate in music from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2017. From 2019-2021 Tomeka Reid received a teaching appointment at Mills College as the Darius Milhaud chair in composition.

Taylor Ho Bynum is a musician, teacher, and writer, with a background including work in composition, performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, production, organizing and advocacy. His expressionistic playing on cornet and other brass instruments, his expansive vision as composer and conductor, and his idiosyncratic improvisational approach have been documented on over 20 recordings as a bandleader and over 100 as a sideperson. His past endeavors include his Acoustic Bicycle Tours (where he traveled to concerts solely by bike across thousands of miles) and his stewardship of Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation (which he served as executive director from 2010-2018, producing and performing on many major Braxton projects, including two operas and multiple festivals). Bynum has worked with other legendary figures such as Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor and currently enjoys playing 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 groups led by Fujiwara, Reid, Jim Hobbs, Bill Lowe and William Parker, among others. His writings on music have been published in The New Yorker, The Baffler, Point of Departure and Sound American.

Now residing in Philadelphia, multidisciplinary artist Mikel Patrick Avery had been actively working out of Chicago and New Orleans for the past 17 years. Established as a jazz drummer, he is commonly recognized for his orchestral and melodic drumming style that often involves unconventional "non-musical" objects. Avery is also a dedicated filmmaker, composer, photographer, designer and educator, whose body of work invariably draws upon ideas of 'unstructured play' commonly applied to learning environments found in early education.In recent years, Avery has become an integral voice in varying ensembles as well as leading several of his own projects, including 1/2 Size Piano Trio, Wazella, Sore Thumb, PARADE and MPA 'PLAY'. Mikel has had the privilege to perform and exhibit either his own work or in accompaniment to others at a variety of venues and cultural institutions around the world. Most notably at The Art Institute of Chicago, New Museum NYC, Art Basel (Switzerland), Hyde Park Jazz Festival, The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Documenta, Drunk Lunch Gallery, Pitchfork Music Festival, Oto (London), & White Cube (London).

Violinist Sam Bardfeld is a member of The Jazz Passengers and a frequent collaborator of Bruce Springsteen. He has worked as a sideman with a long list of jazz, pop, folk and experimental acts including Elvis Costello, John Zorn, Calexico, Anthony Braxton, Henry Butler, Kris Davis, Savion Glover, Debbie Harry, John Cale, Steven Bernstein, Ingrid Laubrock, Roy Nathanson, The String Trio of NY, The Red Clay Ramblers, Nancy Sinatra, Willie Colon, Dar Williams, Johnny Pacheco and The Soldier String Quartet, among others. Bardfeld's latest recording, The Great Enthusiasms (BJUR, 2017), earned acclaim from top critics including Nate Chinen who called it "brilliantly odd and altogether lovely" (WBGO) and Bill Milkowski, who said he "combines a touch of Stuff Smith's playfulness with a Charles Ives aesthetic – 4 Stars!" (DownBeat). His book, Latin Violin (Hal Leonard, 2002), is considered the authoritative work on the Afro-Cuban violin tradition. Bardfeld has also toured Europe multiple times with his own group. Some recent projects include performances in Chicago and Berlin with a string quartet with cellist Tomeka Reid devoted to the music of the late, great saxophonist Julius Hemphill; and a collaborative trio with legendary drummer Barry Altschul and bassist Joe Fonda.

Sarah Bernstein is a New York-based violinist/composer whose work blurs the lines between innovative jazz, new chamber music, experimental pop and noise music. Over the course of 10 albums as a leader and countless collaborations, she has garnered international acclaim for her multi-disciplinary performances and distinctive recordings. She leads the improvising string ensemble VEER Quartet, the avant-jazz Sarah Bernstein Quartet, the poetic minimalist duo Unearthish, and performs solo with heavily-processed voice/violin as Exolinger. Ongoing collaborations include her noise-electronic duo with drummer Kid Millions and the experimental synth-pop band Day So Far. She has placed in the DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll annually since 2015, winning "Rising Star Violinist" in 2020. She is originally from San Francisco, California.

Silvia Bolognesi is a double bass player, composer and arranger. She graduated in double bass at the R. Franci Institute of Siena with Maestro Andrea Granai, perfecting with Maestro Alberto Bocini. She approached jazz studying at the Siena Jazz Academy with Paolino dalla Porta, Furio di Castri and Ferruccio Spinetti. The most significant encounters in her musical training are those with William Parker, Muhal Richard Abrams, Lawrence "Butch" Morris, Roscoe Mitchell and Antony Braxton. Silvia won the "Top Jazz 2010" by "Musica Jazz" as best new talent and the "In Sound" trophy for the double bass category in the same year. She leads several bands: Open Combo, Almond Tree, Xilo Ensemble, Ju-Ju Sounds, Fonterossa Open Orchestra, Young Shouts, Beast Friends. Since 2009 she is part of the international string trio Hear In Now with Tomeka Reid on cello and Mazz Swift on violin and vocals; with this trio they completed Roscoe Mitchell's sextet in his Homage to John Coltrane in 2017. She is part of the "Art Ensemble of Chicago 50th Anniversary" special project and a member of the Roscoe Mitchell Quintet. In 2010 she founded her own label, Fonterossa Records. She's the curator and conductor of Fonterossa Open Orchestra, a creative orchestra based in Pisa since 2017. She teaches double bass and combo class at the Siena Jazz Academy and she's jazz double bass teacher at Conservatorio Statale di Palermo. More info on:

Melanie Dyer studied viola/symphonic repertoire with William Lincer, Lee Yeingst, John Jake Kella and Naomi Fellows and studied viola performance at the University of Denver's LaMont School of Music. She has performed with many notable musicians in Europe and the USA. Dyer founded WeFreeStrings, an improvising string/rhythm collective in 2011. From 2004-2013, she co-produced/hosted a series of music performances, rehearsals, dialogues, recordings, lectures, one-act plays and films by artists/activists including Toaksin Ghosthorse, a performance of Robbie McCauley's Sally's Rape, and Israeli refusniks. Her events brought cultural luminaries, artists, eco-socialists, grassroots activists, working and under-employed people together. Selected Discography includes WeFreeStrings Love In The Form Of Sacred Outrage (ESP-disk, 2022), LeAutoRoiOgraphy: Heroes Are Gang Leaders (2022); The Music of William Parker: Migration of Silence Into & Out of the Tone World (2021), Blue Lotus: New Muse 4tet (2021), Dogon A.D. Revisited, Salim Washington (2018).  Selected Awards: Chamber Music America, Jazz Road/South Arts, New Music USA, Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Herb Alpert Ragdale Prize. 

Described as "a ubiquitous presence in the New York scene…an artist whose urbane writing is equal to his impressively nuanced drumming," (Point of Departure) Brooklyn-based Tomas Fujiwara is an active player in some of the most exciting music of the current generation. He leads the bands Triple Double, 7 Poets Trio and the Tomas Fujiwara Percussion Quartet; is a member of the collective trio Thumbscrew (with Mary Halvorson and Michael Formanek); has a collaborative duo with Taylor Ho Bynum; and engages in a diversity of creative work with Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Mary Halvorson, Tomeka Reid, Matana Roberts, Taylor Ho Bynum, Amir ElSaffar, Benoit Delbecq and many others. In 2021, he won the DownBeat Critics Poll for Rising Star Drummer, and premiered two suites of new music as part of his Roulette Residency: You Don't Have to Try (with Meshell Ndegeocello) and Shizuko. His most recent work is Dream Up, a suite for percussion quartet, commissioned by NYSCA and Roulette Intermedium. Tomas Fujiwara's 7 Poets Trio (with Patricia Brennan and Tomeka Reid) will release its second album in September 2023 on Out Of Your Head Records. "Drummer Tomas Fujiwara works with rhythm as a pliable substance, solid but ever-shifting. His style is forward-driving but rarely blunt or aggressive, and never random. He has a way of spreading out the center of a pulse while setting up a rigorous scaffolding of restraint…A conception of the drum set as a full-canvas instrument, almost orchestral in its scope." (New York Times

Stephanie Griffin is an innovative composer and violist with an eclectic musical vision. Born in Canada and based in New York City, her musical adventures have taken her to Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, England, Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Mongolia. Stephanie founded the Momenta Quartet in 2004, and is a member of the Argento Chamber Ensemble and Continuum; principal violist of the Princeton Symphony; and viola faculty at Hunter College. She was a 2019 Composition Fellow at the Instituto Sacatar in Brazil, and has received prestigious composition fellowships and commissions from the Jerome Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the Bronx Council on the Arts. As an improviser, she has performed with Henry Threadgill, Wadada Leo Smith, Butch Morris and Adam Rudolph, among others, and was a 2014 Fellow and 2021 Alumna-in-Residence at Music Omi. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School where she studied with Samuel Rhodes, and has recorded for Tzadik, Innova, Naxos, Aeon, New World and Albany records. Since August 2020, she has served as the Executive Director of ACMP, a nonprofit organization providing grants and services for amateur chamber music worldwide.

Christopher Hoffman is a cellist, composer, producer and filmmaker. He has worked with Henry Threadgill, Martin Scorsese, Anat Cohen, Yoko Ono, Anna Webber, Butch Morris, Michael Pitt, Kenny Warren & Tony Malaby among many others.

Adam Hopkins is one of the few talents with the vision to make jazz directed at the current and future generations, not the past ones." (Something Else Reviews) Hopkins is a bassist and composer born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, relocated to Brooklyn, New York in 2011, and moved to Richmond in early 2019. He has extensive experience performing jazz and improvised music and has played with professional orchestras in Maryland, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and the DC metro area. His debut album Crickets has received international acclaim from a variety of sources, most notably ranking as the #2 Debut Album in the 2018 NPR Jazz Critics Poll. Adam was also named the #2 Newcomer Musician for 2018 in the International Critics Poll organized by El Intruso. Crickets was the first release on Hopkins' Out Of Your Head Records, an artist-run record label dedicated to creative music and visual art in limited runs. He has toured as a member of John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet, been a side person with Henry Threadgill, and has recorded and/or performed regularly with Webber/Morris Big Band, Tomeka Reid, Kate Gentile Mannequins, Scott Clark's Dawn & Dusk, Anna Webber's Rectangles, Christopher Hoffman Trio, Ideal Bread, among others. Adam has studied double bass with many great performers and teachers of the instrument, including Michael Formanek, Jeffrey Weisner, Jack Budrow, Rodney Whitaker, Sam Cross and additional studies with Drew Gress and Gary Thomas.

Jason Kao Hwang (violin/viola) explores the vibrations and language of his history. His most recent releases, Uncharted Faith, Conjure and the Human Rites Trio have received critical acclaim. In 2020, the El Intruso International Critics Poll voted him #1 for Violin/Viola.  The 2012 Downbeat Jazz Critics' Poll voted Mr. Hwang as Rising Star for Violin. Mr. Hwang is the recipient of a 2023 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He has also received support from NEA, Rockefeller Foundation, US Artists International and others. He has worked with William Parker, Butch Morris, Reggie Workman, Joelle Leandre, Mathew Shipp, 75 Dollar Bill, Karl Berger, Pauline Oliveros, Taylor Ho Bynum and many others.

yuniya edi kwon is a violinist, vocalist, poet and interdisciplinary performance artist based in Lenapehoking, or New York City. Her practice connects composition, improvisation, movement and ceremony to explore transformation and transgression, ritual practice as a tool to queer space & lineage, and the use of mythology to connect, obscure and reveal. As a composer-performer and improviser, she is inspired by Korean folk timbres & inflections, textures & movement from natural environments, and American experimentalism as shaped by the AACM. In addition to an evolving, interdisciplinary solo practice, she performs and collaborates with artists of diverse disciplines, including The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Senga Nengudi, Holland Andrews, Tomeka Reid, International Contemporary Ensemble, Kenneth Tam, Isabel Crespo Pardo, Moor Mother, and Degenerate Art Ensemble. In 2023, yuniya founded SUN HAN GUILD, a sound and performance collective with composer-improvisers Laura Cocks, Jessie Cox, DoYeon Kim and Lester St. Louis. She is a recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Robert Rauschenberg Award in Music/Sound, an Arts Fellow at Princeton University's Lewis Center for the Arts, a Johnson Fellow at Americans for the Arts and a United States Artists Ford Fellow.

Obsessed with making noises since infancy Fred Lonberg-Holm is a musician / free improviser currently living in Kingston, New York. Primarily a cellist, he has also recorded and performed on tenor guitar and trumpet. Recent collaborators include Jessica Ackerley, Farida Amadou, Michael Bisio, Ben Bennett, Jaimie Branch, Peter Brotzmann, Simon Camatta, John Edwards, Sandy Ewen, Helena Espvall, Frode Gjerstad, Kirk Knuffke, Mat Maneri, Joe McPhee, Miguel Mira, Abdul Moimeme, Paal Nilssen-Love, Dave Rempis and Ben Vida to name a few.

While mostly focusing on free improvising in "ad-hoc" situations, current ongoing projects include Ballister, Survival Unit III, Camatta/Lonberg-Holm, The Flying Cellos, the Lightbox Orchestra, Party Knullers and Stirrup. Past ensembles of note include the Peter Brotzmann Chicago 10tet, Vandermark 5, Anthony Coleman's Selfhaters, Terminal 4 and the Valentine Trio.

A transplant from the Los Angeles music scene, guitarist/violinist Peter Maunu has toured, performed and recorded with a long list of diverse musicians including Charles Lloyd, Jean-Luc Ponty, Bobby McFerrin, Tony Williams, Billy Cobham, Charlie Haden, Archie Shepp and Grace Slick. As the guitarist on the Arsenio Hall Show, he performed nightly with legends like Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Ringo Starr, Madonna, Ray Charles, NWA, Public Enemy and many more. Additionally, Peter contributed to the soundtracks of film scores including Crash, Bobby, Food Inc., and tv shows Chicago Hope, Arrested Development and CSI New York. Since relocating to Chicago, he has performed and recorded with improvisers Jack Wright, Gerrit Hatcher, Julian Kirshner, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Zoots Houston, Dave Rempis, Tim Daisy, Michael Zerang, Mars Williams, Jim Baker, Carol Genetti, Tomeka Reid, Katherine Young, Jason Roebke, Avreeyal Ra, Ed Wilkerson Jr., dancer Ayako Kato and many others. In addition, he founded, co-curates and performs at Splice Series, a bimonthly improvisation series at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago. 

Mazz Swift is a composer, conductor, bandleader, educator, singer and Juilliard-trained violinist, weaving classic African American musics, electronica and mindfulness into their music. Improvisation is a throughline in their practice across genres and instrumental configurations and can be found in most of their works. They are a 2019 Jerome Hill Fellow and 2021 United States Artist Fellow. Works include commissions by the Los Angeles Philharmonic (2020), the International Contemporary Ensemble (2023),  the Silkroad Ensemble (2021, 2022, 2023) and the Kronos Quartet (2022 & 2024).

Richard Move
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