My New Book!! – Free Jazz, Harmolodics and Ornette Coleman – Routledge


OUT THIS FALL ON ROUTLEDGE!!!!!!!!!! Book Parties in the fall: Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and New York (City)

(my tribute tune to Ornette: “Or Nutty: – on my “Jazz Piano Concerto with Graphic Scores” – out on ENVOI Records)


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Ulysses Grant: a Fluxkit Opera – In INDIANAPOLIS

Performing at the Indianapolis Fringe Festival:

Trombone Battle

show is under an hour….Concert Dates: August 13 (6p), 15 (6p), 16 (1:30p), 17 (9p), 21 (9pm) 22 (10:30pm)


Featuring Civil War songs, with texts by Grant and Gertrude Stein, this opera has action, design, and music, which are determined by playing a game designed by the composer. The result is musical theater featuring everything from Tango to Punk Rock. Bonus! – the audience helps re-enact civil war battles!

This opera is a result of the cast members playing a board game that decides text (either by U.S. Grant or Gertrude Stein), music (selected from Civil War Songs), Civil War Battles (fought with the audience) and “Grantecdotes” (anecdotes about U.S Grant aimed to surprise the viewer).

The game board is here: US Grant Game Board-2


The cast played the game in February, rehearsed in May (and August), and consists of professionals from New York to the West Coast. It’s a shockingly emotional piece, that wrestles with the horrors of the most seminal American war in a fresh way.  It also sheds a new light on a sincerely misunderstood president – one who served valiantly in the Mexican War as well as the Civil War, and in his two terms of presidency dealt with ostensibly the most torn-up mess this country has ever endured. The opera swings from ridiculous (U.S. Grant himself singing opera as “Ophelia”) to the extremely sincere (the last song of the piece is “Dixie”, set to a deeply thoughtful elegy from Gertrude Stein).  Nor does it pull any punches – Civil War statistics are displayed, descriptions of battle strategies are sung, and 8 Civil War battles are re-enacted as Generals Lee and Grant enlist audience members to join the fray.  Prepare to be moved, yes, to learn, sure, and definitely….to be entertained.  Audiences in New York, Washington, DC and Michigan have laughed, cried, and yes, fought their way through this work, which the composer describes as “possibly my weirdest piece, and my most accessible, all at the same time!”

January Concerts GALORE! What a month!

Naked Dance Record Release Party “Dark Matters”

– Jeremy Edwards (drums), Andrew Bishop (clarinets) and Stephen Rush (ahem) release VINYL and DVD of their Dark Matters Project involving music and visualization of Dark Energy!  Collaborators? YES! Jim Cogswell (visuals), Greg Tarlé, Brian Nord and Jason Eaton (physics researchers)  – 6 new pieces of music all designed to make you cry and see beauty!! They often swing too. Yes records/

January 23/Kerrytown Concert/8pm  Call ahead for tix if you like- there is VIP seating but mostly 10/5$

had enough?


Interior Castle (Symphony #2)

will be premiered by Ken Kiesler conducting the Grammy-Award winning University Symphony Orchestra in Hill Auditorium.  My homage to St. Theresa of Avila, the piece will be accompanied by beautiful and/or disturbing paintings by Vince Castagnacci – Penny Stamps Art School emeritus professor.

January 27/8pm/Hill Auditorium/free