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Edgefest 2019: OUT West

KCH 23rd annual Edgefest explores the rich contributions of West Coast artists/composers in the development of avant jazz & new music.


Kerrytown Concert House presents the 23rd annual 4-day avant-garde jazz and creative new music festival Edgefest. A roster of distinguished ground-breaking composer/performers with their ensembles and collaborators will illuminate their various innovative roles in the avant/jazz world.

Ann Arbor/Detroit area improvisers will be integrated into the festival, often collaborating with visiting artists. Edgefest presents cutting-edge and category-defying music, often ignored in the commercial marketplace. Diverse audiences from the region and beyond are exposed to this art form, expanding their musical, cultural, and worldviews of art music through a series of free and ticketed public concerts in downtown Ann Arbor with related educational activities. Participating Michigan artists meet and collaborate with international artists, enhancing their own career opportunities.

Edgefest creates a community spirit; bringing artists, audiences, and the neighborhood to a shared experience; not merely paying lip-service to the idea of local engagement, but making it the lifeblood of the festival with in-depth school workshops and an improvised music parade; offering the next generation fun and accessible introductions to uncompromising creativity.

Ticketed concerts take place primarily at Kerrytown Concert House, but a few events are also held at a nearby jazz club as well as a church. Concerts are digitally recorded. Two concerts are broadcast live by PR station WCBN.

Events include:

14 ticketed concerts, including Midwest premieres of new works for large chamber ensemble composed and led by pianist Myra Melford and reed man Vinny Golia in collaboration with University of Michigan Creative Arts Orchestra and area improvisers.

Vinny Golia and Bobby Bradford workshop with Community High School jazz students at KCH.

Myra Melford conducts open rehearsals for the performance of her large ensemble composition.

William Hooker and UMich faculty/CAO leader Mark Kirschenmann lead 6 middle school residency activities in area Middle schools (one under-funded school); enhancing the students’ musical education by introducing improvisation and performance outside of the usual curriculum.

Rova Saxophone Quartet members (including Larry Ochs) lead discussion that illuminates the long history of creative music in the Bay Area and of Rova itself.

Free “fringe” concerts in non-traditional venues: Edgefest and area artists collaborate, performing in cafés and record stores in the downtown area. The Fringe includes the Edgefest Parade on Saturday with picnic following, led by William Hooker.

At KCH, one cannot avoid “meeting the composer!” One is never more than 8 rows from composer/performers as they speak/perform. Post-receptions encourage more interaction. KCH is in its 33rd season as a year-round presenter. Edgefest has received many awards including the ASCAP/CMA award for adventurous programming. Funding from NEA (10 years) and Chamber Music America, along with contributions from individuals and support from NEW MUSIC USA make possible the continued success and vitality of this unique festival.

Project Media

William Hooker & William Parker (w/ Bob Holman) – Justice is Compassion / Arts for Art – Jan 3 2018
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William Parker, bass
William Hooker, drums/narration
Bob Holman – poems

Evolving Music – ‘Justice is Compassion / Action is Power’
concert series presented by Arts for Art

Lisa Mezzacappa Six – Solar Storms (live at the CJC)
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Features: Lisa Mezzacappa

A suite of music for sextet inspired by Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics stories.

Music by Lisa Mezzacappa

Aaron Bennett, tenor saxophone
John Finkbeiner, electric guitar
Mark Clifford, vibraphone
Tim Perkis, electronics
Lisa Mezzacappa, acoustic bass
Jordan Glenn, drums

Recorded live at the CA Jazz Conservatory, 11.2.18.

Rova at Timucua: The Enumeration for Glenn Spearman
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Features: Larry Ochs

Rova Saxophone Quartet Live at Timucua March 2018
Presented by the Civic Minded Five and the Timucua Arts Foundation.

The Enumeration was composed by Steve Adams and dedicated to Glenn Spearman.

Rova is
Jon Raskin – baritone sax
Larry Ochs – tenor sax
Steve Adams – alto sax
Bruce Ackley – soprano sax

Start and End Dates



Ann Arbor, Michigan

Project Created By

Ann Arbor, Michigan
Mission Statement: Kerrytown Concert House exists to support the artistic community; artists, music teachers, audience members. “Kerrytown has filled an important niche in Ann Arbor’s musical culture . . . the House has proved so invaluable that one wonders how Ann Arbor ever survived without it…a musical Mecca…” – Ann Arbor News Founded in June 1984…

In Collaboration With

Los Angeles, California
New York, New York
Berkeley, California


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