Tickets at the door: $20/$10 for students
Ches Smith is an American musician whose primary instruments are drums, percussion, and vibraphone. He writes and performs music in a wide variety of contexts, including solo percussion, experimental rock bands, and small and large jazz ensembles. The Ches Smith Trio improvises and plays compositions as well, with an emphasis on rhythm. The group explores the timbral aspects and collective interplay between the artists and their instruments. “The best thing I caught all weekend,” said critic Peter Margasak of the 2014 New York Winter Jazzfest, “was a superb trio led by drummer Ches Smith with pianist Craig Taborn and violist Mat Maneri, which expertly infused seductively narcotic writing with a mixture of brooding melody and rich texture.” Since their debut, the trio has become a priority project for all participants, and in June 2015, Smith, Taborn and Maneri recorded The Bell at Avatar Studios with Manfred Eicher as producer.
Ches Smith Trio
Friday, April 20, 2018 · 7:30PM
Bread & Salt
1955 Julian Avenue
San Diego, CA 92113
Percussionist, drummer, and composer Ches Smith is a forward-thinking, genre-bending musician with a bent toward experimental and avant-garde improvisation. Born in San Diego, Smith grew up in the Sacramento area, where he became interested in music in his teens, playing with a variety of punk, metal, and avant-garde jazz groups. After high school, he attended the University of Oregon, where he studied philosophy before relocating to San Francisco in the mid-90s. Once in the Bay Area, Smith spent several years playing in bands and studying privately with percussionist Peter Magadini before enrolling in the graduate program at Mills College in Oakland. While at Mills, he studied percussion, improvisation, and composition under the tutelage of such luminaries as William Winant, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros, and Alvin Curran. It was during this period that Smith got his first big break, subbing for Winant as the touring drummer for Mr. Bungle, an association that also led to his joining Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn's Trio-Convulsant. Since leaving Mills, Smith has developed into an in-demand collaborator and sideman, splitting his time between performances with noise rock acts like Xiu Xiu and Secret Chiefs 3 as well as playing with cutting-edge musicians like Ben Goldberg, Annie Gosfield, Tim Berne, John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, John Tchicai, and others.
As a solo artist, Smith made his debut with Congs for Brums in 2006, followed by Finally Out of My Hands with his group These Arches in 2010. Two years later, he delivered the solo percussion and electronics album Psycho Predictions, played on Berne's Snakeoil for ECM (his third date with this band) and Darius Jones' Book of Mae'Bul: Another Kind of Sunrise from AUM Fidelity.
2013 proved a prolific year for Smith as a sideman. He played on recordings by Marc Ribot, Mary Halvorson, Matt Mitchell and Berne, as well as Secret Chiefs 3's Book of Souls: Folio A. This band issued Ishraqiyun the following year as well as Ches Smith's These Arches' release, International Hookah.
2015 found the drummer working again on recordings by and with Berne, Jones and Halvorson.
Smith made his label debut as a leader on ECM with the Ches Smith Trio. His collaborators were pianist Craig Taborn and violist Mat Maneri.
American pianist, organist, keyboardist and composer Craig Taborn works solo and in bands, mostly playing various forms of jazz. Taborn was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His parents gifted him a Moog synthesizer at the age of twelve, about the same time he started playing the piano. He was influenced at an early stage by a wide range of music, including by the freedom expressed in recordings of free jazz and contemporary classical music. In his own words, he is "not a classically trained pianist at all.” Taborn initially playing rock, progressive rock, and jazz fusion, before becoming more interested in jazz.
While attending the University of Michigan, Taborn toured and recorded with jazz saxophonist James Carter. Taborn went on to play with numerous other musicians in electronic and acoustic settings, while also building a reputation as a solo pianist. He has a range of styles, and often adapts his playing to the nature of the instrument and the sounds that he can make it produce. His improvising, particularly for solo piano, often adopts a modular approach, in which he begins with small units of melody and rhythm and then develops them into larger forms and structures.
In 2011, Down Beat magazine chose Taborn as winner of the electric keyboard category, as well as rising star in both the piano and organ categories. By mid-2017, Taborn had released nine albums as leader or co-leader, and had appeared on more than ninety as a sideman.
Mat Maneri is an American composer, violin, and viola player. He is the son of the saxophonist Joe Maneri. Maneri started studying violin at the age of five. He received a full scholarship as the principal violinist at Walnut Hill High School and New England Conservatory of Music, before going on to pursue a professional career in jazz music. Maneri has recorded with Cecil Taylor, Matthew Shipp, Joe Morris, Joe Maneri, Gerald Cleaver, Tim Berne, Borah Bergman, Mark Dresser, William Parker, Michael Formanek, John Lockwood, as well as with his own trio, quartet, and quintet. He has also played on various band releases: Club d'Elf, Decoupage, Brewed by Noon, Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, and Buffalo Collision.
Maneri started releasing records as a leader in 1996 and has performed and recorded worldwide. He has worked with Ed Schuller, John Medeski, Roy Campbell, Paul Motian, Robin Williamson, Drew Gress, Tony Malaby, Ben Monder, Barre Phillips, Joëlle Léandre, Marilyn Crispell, Craig Taborn, Ethan Iverson, David King and many others. Maneri has taught privately and at the New School, a university in New York.