Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Lindsey Goodman’s returning to heights unseen

If you’ve been around the Pittsburgh new music scene you’ve probably heard Lindsey Goodman’s amazing artistry. And now you have the opportunity to help bring that artistry to a worldwide audience by supporting her upcoming PARMA recording release returning to heights unseen. Lindsey describes her project as “a Pittsburgh project through-and-through.” It will include works by David Stock, Roger Dannenberg, and Roger Zahab that she recorded right here in Pittsburgh at Tuff Sound Recording. You may have caught the launch of her indiegogo campaign with an album preview event at Pearl Arts Studios a couple weeks ago. And Lindsey will cap off her effort with a release concert presented by Music on the Edge at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium this coming May.

Did I mention the Indiegogo campaign? There’s an Indiegogo campaign! Take a moment and support this crazy-good project today!

September 26, 2017 at 9:45 pm Comments (0)

Nels Cline / Gerald Cleaver / Larry Ochs Trio Dec 11 @ Spirit


Mon Dec 11 7:30 pm doors $20 adv/$25 door  21+ show
Spirit  242 51st St Lawrenceville 412-586-4441

an evening with bicoastal avantjazz / free-improv supertrio
featuring members of Wilco and Rova Sax Quartet

Tickets on sale Oct 1 at: Juke Records (Bloomfield), Dave’s Music Mine (South Side), Caliban Books (Oakland), Acoustic Music Works (Squirrel Hill) and online at Brown Paper Tickets. http://clinecleaverochspittsburgh.brownpapertickets.com/
Service charges may apply.

Guitarist Nels Cline (Wilco), drummer Gerald Cleaver, and saxophonist Larry Ochs (Rova) are three experimental icons, individually and collectively drawing upon the outer limits of free jazz, structured improvisation and bicoastal noise punk.

The Trio began as a duo of Ochs and Cleaver, premiering at The Stone in New York in September 2014. Ochs then vowed to play at least one concert a year with Mr. Cleaver. Cline and Ochs, both living in California, had known each other for decades, and Cline was featured since 2003 in Rova’s Electric Ascension bands. The trio was born in Brooklyn in 2015, since then performing only 6 concerts in the northeast USA, including expansion groups with Marshall Allen (Sun Ra), Michael Formanek, Hank Roberts and Ches Smith. The three look forward to performing annually in the USA when they’re all available.

“The guitarist Nels Cline, the saxophonist Larry Ochs and the drummer Gerald Cleaver share a feeling for exploratory narrative and bristling texture.” (NY Times, May 2015)

Jazzmaster assassin NELS CLINE might be as close as the modern avant-garde gets to a household name. Before joining indie rock institution Wilco in 2004, Cline divided his energy between improvised contexts alongside Julius Hemphill, Vinny Golia, and brother Alex, and more song-oriented settings like Carla Bozulich’s alt-country outfit Geraldine Fibbers and Mike Watt’s Crew of the Flying Saucer. Cline continues to occupy the narrow space between pure sound and song, as exemplified by his longstanding Singers trio with drummer Scott Amendola and bassist Trevor Dunn, and his recent duo with guitar prodigy Julian Lage.

In his own words, Michigan-bred, New York-based GERALD CLEAVER’s multifaceted approach to the drum set balances “static sound and extreme dynamics, melodicism within heavy texture, deep-rooted groove, unchained abandon, and the power and revelation of recurring form.” Cleaver made a name for himself through enduring partnerships with Vision Fest regulars like Roscoe Mitchell and Charles Gayle, but lately critics have been abuzz about his new musique concrète-cum-free rock quintet Black Host with Darius Jones, Cooper-Moore, Brandon Seabrook, and Pascal Niggenkemper. Pitchfork’s Hank Shteamer described 2013’s Life in the Sugar Candle Mines as, “a well-tended hot-house: feverish and bracingly weird, yet also purposeful and shrewdly strategic.”

LARRY OCHS is best known as a founder of the Rova Sax Quartet, a San Francisco institution that focused right from the start on the application of improvisational strategies within the context of contemporary compositions, beginning in the late 1970s and continuing right up to the present day: 40 years old in 2018. Equally inspired by modernist 20th century composition and the more worldly, abrasive strands of 60s free jazz – as well as by fellow musical pioneers around the globe – Rova and Ochs became widely celebrated for the lengths they would go to stretch the performance parameters of notated music through early collaborations with Henry Kaiser, Anthony Braxton, and John Zorn. Ochs’ connection with Cline began in the late 1990’s and culminated with the Celestial Septet, a band comprised of both Rova and the Nels Cline Singers, with a fantastic CD release including a long, ecstatic Ochs composition, as well as tours from 2009 – 2011. Ochs and Cleaver have performed off and on as a duo since 2013; a duo CD release (coming in 2018) – a beautiful , haunting set of music called “Songs of the Wild Cave” – will document their 2016 live recording made inside a secret cave in the Dordogne area of France; a cave that contains upwards of 150 Pleistocene-era paintings. It’s a unique recording in which the cave itself seriously influenced the music, becoming essentially the third member of a trio.​ Ochs’ many bands and recordings are described at http://www.ochs.cc/

September 24, 2017 at 5:59 pm Comments (0)

Our 42nd Season starts July 7th!




*Get your tickets here: https://www.showclix.com/events/16984

*All PNME events are located on the mainstage at City Theatre – 1300 Bingham Street

Never been to PNME? “First Limer” your ticket is free! Show up an hour before the concert starts and check in at the “First Limer” line. Don’t forget to BYO bottle of wine and tell us after the show what you thought of your first PNME experience!

July 7 & 8 @ 8pm – Songs of New and Old 

Back by popular demand, we bring two of our greatest American song cycles together in one evening. PNME’s co-commission In at the Eye by Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts is paired with Mr. Tambourine Man, by Pulitzer and Oscar winning composer John Corigliano. So… there’s poetry by William Butler Yeats and Bob Dylan, and Timothy Jones and Lindsay Kesselman are both singing on the same night…? Yes please! Sign me up!

July 12 @ 7:30pm – On the Spot

Performing is one thing, composing is another, but doing both simultaneously at a high level requires inspiration and a skill level to which few can aspire – it’s the art of free improvisation, and we have found just such a creative force in Swedish pianist Oscar Micaelsson. Oscar’s musical voice reaches into you, it stirs you. In tune with the transient vibrations of a room and the audience in it, Oscar will weave a one night only tapestry of imagination around you that will leave you astounded. The audience will even help create some of the works on the spot by generating the material from which… his magic begins.

July 14 & 15 @ 8pm – The Moments that Make Us…

Christopher Cerrone’s powerful work Memory Palace returns in the sensitive hands of our very own Ian Rosenbaum. The work paints an evocative portrait of a formative period in a man’s life. It is paired with Pittsburgh composition legend Mathew Rosenblum’s haunting Falling – a sound portrait inspired by the imagined inner monologue of a 29 year old stewardess who fell to hear death when she was swept through an emergency door that suddenly sprang open. Inspired by James Dickey’s poem Falling, the evening is centered on the moments in time that shape who we are, have been, and might become.

July 19 @ 7:30pm – Got Reeds?

Our Wednesday showcase series turns the Limelight onto very own Eric Jacobs — a master of all things clarinet. The multi-talented Jacobs not only plays with a sensitivity and connection rarely experienced, but he sings! The concert includes two world premieres written for him by Andrew Tholl and Gabriella Smith and established works by Anna Clyne and David Lang. Come and experience the artistry of PNME’s newest addition to the lime green dream team!

July 21 & 22 @ 8pm – Eyes and Ears

PNME has partnered with the American Composer’s Forum in a competition to commission and premiere three new works to be written for us for premiere during our 2018 summer season. Master of all styles David Biedenbender, up and coming composer Jung Yoon Wie, and legendary jazz great Rufus Reid were chosen as winners from a pool of 370 composers. As a teaser for next season, we are featuring a short work by each of these three composers as well as Andrew Garner’s haunting Glasz and a newly commissioned world premiere by Thomas Osborne written for our very own Timothy Jones. We have also joined with local Pittsburgh visual artists who will present works onstage with us to create an evening stimulating the heart through both the eyes and the ears. Yes, all the winning composers will be present. Yes – we are talking visual arts onstage with us. Yes – Rufus Reid is here – and PERFORMING WITH PNME tonight! What else can you say? “Only at PNME…!”

July 26 @ 7:30pm- On an Overgrown Path

For our final Wednesday solo showcase this season, master pianist Daniel Pesca brings us a personal, unforgettable journey. Poetic, exploratory, searching, and luminous, the evening shines a light not only into the souls of these composers, but into Pesca himself. Using Leoš Janáček’s tour de force work On an Overgrown Path as the point of departure, the evening alternates between Janacek’s descriptive miniatures and more recent works to connect themes of nature, growth, and renewal.

July 28 & 29 @ 8pm – Sounds, Signposts, and Memories

After the teaser of Cerrone’s masterful Memory Palace on Week 2, we knew you would want more. Tonight we bring Chris to Pittsburgh for a showcase focusing entirely on his work. Cerrone’s unique voice is personal, haunting, lyrical, unafraid, and deeply connected to our modern world. He seems to conjure vibrations that bring hundreds of people in a room together for a single, intimate, and transformative moment. Don’t worry, you’ll be released back into the real world at the end, and you’ll be the better for it.


May 25, 2017 at 1:36 pm Comments (0)

David Murray & Kahil El-Zabar June 4 @ James Street

davidmurraykahilelzabarWe had so much fun at the December Ritual Trio concert that Murray & El-Zabar are coming back for a special duo outing.

sign up to the Facebook event:

The Consortium presents an evening with progressive jazz legends
DAVID MURRAY and KAHIL EL ZABAR (saxophone & percussion)

Sun June 4 8:00 pm $25 advance/$30 door all ages welcome
James Street Gastropub, 422 Foreland St., North Side 412-904-3335

Advance tickets on sale starting May 4 at:
Juke Records (Bloomfield), Acoustic Music Works (Squirrel Hill), Dave’s Music Mine (South Side) and Caliban Books (Oakland). Tickets available online at: http://davidmurraykahilelzabar.brownpapertickets.com/

A founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet, David Murray is an American jazz musician who mainly plays tenor saxophone and bass clarinet. He was initially influenced by free jazz musicians such as Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp and evolved a more diverse style in his playing and compositions. Murray set himself apart from most tenor players of his generation by not taking John Coltrane as his model. He has recorded prolifically for many record labels since the mid-1970s. He was named Village Voice Musician of the Decade, and was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Grammy, and the Danish Jazzpar Prize. He has visited Pittsburgh performing with the World Saxophone Quartet courtesy of City of Asylum, as well as with the Ritual Trio featuring El-Zabar and Harrison Bankhead.

Kahil El’Zabar is one of Chicago’s jazz treasures. A member of the AACM, music holds no boundaries for El’Zabar, who has not only played alongside a myriad of jazz greats, but was in the bands of Stevie Wonder, Cannonball Adderley, Dizzy Gillespie, and Nina Simone (who he also designed clothes for), as well as recording with rock bands like Sonia Dada and Poi Dog Pondering. He was also chosen to do the arranging for the stage performances of The Lion King, in addition to leading his own longstanding Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and Ritual Trio. The son of a drummer, El’Zabar took to music at an early age, and was playing with members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago by his teens. He started the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble upon his return from Africa in 1973, and while the lineup has changed over time, they are still an active group. He has also released a great many albums under his own name, including a long-running relationship with Chicago’s great Delmark label. Kahil El’Zabar is not just a master percussionist- his efforts as a musician, educator, and community leader led to being named “Chicagoan of the year” in 2004 by the Chicago Tribune.

May 5, 2017 at 9:31 am Comments (0)

The Necks @ First Unitarian Church Mar 3

Fri Mar 3 7:30 pm all ages welcome $16 advance/$20 door
First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Ave., Shadyside
(note: please do not call the church. Info line is 412-682-0591)

Legendary improvisational trio from Australia since 1987!
THE NECKS http://www.thenecks.com/
[Tony Buck + Chris Abrahams + Lloyd Swanton]

Tickets: Juke Records (Bloomfield), Acoustic Music Works (Squirrel Hill), Caliban Books (Oakland), and Dave’s Music Mine (South Side) Online at Brown Paper Tickets:
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/225713567888168/

The Necks are one of the great cult bands of Australia.

Chris Abrahams (piano), Tony Buck (drums), and Lloyd Swanton (bass) conjure a chemistry together that defies description in orthodox terms.

Featuring lengthy pieces which slowly unravel in the most mesmerising fashion, frequently underpinned by an insistent deep groove, the eighteen albums by The Necks stand up to re-listening time and time again.

The deceptive simplicity of their music throws forth new charms on each hearing. Not entirely avant-garde, nor minimalist, nor ambient, nor jazz, the music of The Necks is possibly unique in the world today.

Pianist Chris Abrahams
Chris became very active in the Sydney jazz scene in the early eighties. In 1985 Chris became a founding member of the Sydney indie rock band The Sparklers, working regularly with singer/songwriter Melanie Oxley and producing albums, throughout the nineties. There are five releases with her: Resisting Calm (1990), Welcome to Violet (1992), Coal (1994), Jerusalem Bay (1998) and Blood Oranges (2003). He has released numerous solo piano albums, and collaborated, in both recording and performance, with contemporary improvising musicians including Burkhard Beins, Mike Cooper and Anthony Pateras. He performs regularly in the improvising music scenes both in Australia and Europe.

Drummer Tony Buck

Regarded as one of Australia’s most creative and adventurous exports, with vast experience across the globe. Early on, he became involved in the jazz scene in Australia, touring with visiting international artists Clifford Jordan, Mickey Tucker, Branford Marsalis and Ernie Watts. Following time in Japan forming PERIL with Otomo Yoshihide and Kato Hideki, Tony moved to Europe and participated in the development of new “virtual” MIDI controllers at STEIM in Amsterdam. Tony has played, toured or recorded with Jon Rose, Nicolas Collins, Tenko, John Zorn, Tom Cora, Phil Minton, Haino, The Machine for Making Sense, Ne Zhdali, The EX, Peter Brotzmann, Hans Reichel, Little Red Spiders, Subrito Roy Chowdury, Kletka Red, Han Bennink, Shelley Hirsch, Wayne Horvitz, Palinckx, and Ground Zero.

Bassist Lloyd Swanton

Described by Billboard as “an outstanding and imaginative Australian bassist and composer”, Lloyd Swanton released eight albums with his long-running group, The Catholics. Three albums received ARIA Award nominations, and Simple was nominated for the German Deutsche Schallplattenkritik Award. His 12-part suite Ambon, based on his uncle Stuart’s secret diary kept whilst a prisoner in World War II, premiered in 2015 and is out on double CD. Overseas exposure with numerous groups includes countless performances in nearly 40 countries. For 14 years, Lloyd Swanton hosted Mixed Marriage, a very popular radio program which examined crossings of jazz with other musical styles, on Eastside Radio in Sydney.

January 19, 2017 at 3:14 pm Comments (0)

All Star Ritual Trio: David Murray, Harrison Bankhead, Kahil El Zabar

Sun Dec 11 7:30 pm $25 advance/$30 door
James Street Gastropub (Ballroom), 422 Foreland, North Side

DAVID MURRAY http://davidmurraymusic.com/
HARRISON BANKHEAD https://harrisonbankhead.bandcamp.com/
KAHIL EL ZABAR http://www.kahilelzabar.net/

Tickets at Juke Records (Bloomfield), Stedeford’s (North Side), Acoustic Music Works (Squirrel Hill), Caliban Books (Oakland)
and Dave’s Music Mine (South Side). Available online at

Jazz legends join together for the first time in two decades!

A founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet, David Murray is an American jazz musician who mainly plays tenor saxophone and bass clarinet mainly. He was initially influenced by free jazz musicians such as Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp and evolved a more diverse style in his playing and compositions. Murray set himself apart from most tenor players of his generation by not taking John Coltrane as his model. He has recorded prolifically for many record labels since the mid-1970s. He was named Village Voice Musician of the Decade, and was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Grammy, and the Danish Jazzpar Prize. He was recently in Pittsburgh performing with the World Saxophone Quartet courtesy of City of Asylum.

Harrison Bankhead is an American jazz musician who plays double bass and cello. He is one of the long-standing members of the AACM and worked in Chicago jazz scene with Muhal Richard Abrams , Fred Anderson , Hamid Drake , Von Freeman , Oliver Lake , Nicole Mitchell , Roscoe Mitchell and Dewey Redman. He was in Pittsburgh last year performing with Transatlantic avantjazz supergroup The Turbine.

Kahil El’Zabar is a jazz multi-instrumentalist (mainly a percussionist) and composer. He regularly records for Delmark Records. He joined the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the early 1970s, and became its chairman in 1975. During the 1970s, he formed the musical groups Ritual Trio and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, both of which remain active. Musicians with whom he has collaborated include Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Cannonball Adderley, and Paul Simon. He performs annually in Pittsburgh with the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, usually around February.ritualtrio

November 11, 2016 at 1:26 am Comments (0)

Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble Opens 2016 Season

You probably already know all about this if you follow the new music scene in Pittsburgh, but yes! Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble opens its 2016 season tonight (July 8)! Here’s the full schedule.

I’ve been traveling so haven’t had as much time for blogging, so I’ll just let the professionals do the work on this. Here’s Liz Bloom’s preview in the P-G. And there’s this from Mark Kanny at the Trib.

July 8, 2016 at 9:55 am Comments (0)

Long Song Rescheduled for Sunday, June 26

Long song 3

The Long Song was originally schedule to take place during the main part of the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music but had to be canceled due to rain. Now it’s rescheduled for Sunday, June 26 (that’s tomorrow at the time of this posting).


A Song That Stretches Over One Mile
For 21 (or more) Performers
Penn Avenue between Highland Avenue and Main Street

Sunday June 26
4pm – 6pm
4:15pm tour leaves from Highland and Penn, led by Magicorgans

//Raindate: Sunday June 31//

The Long Song is a new, fresh, collaborative composition. The Long Song is many things: song, shout, choreography, street theater, a long walk and a scene in a film – all rolled into one.


Sean Beauford
Anqwenique Wingfield
Susan Spangler
Jil Stifel
Jean-Paul Weaver
Zoe Sorrel
Michael David Battle
Hyla Willis
Celeste Neuhaus
Two artists from the BOOM roster
Anthony Williams
Roberta Guido
Scott Andrew
Ben Barson
Bitter Whiskers – Tessa Barber, Emily Fear, James Todd
Magic Organs – DS Kinsel and Julie Mallis
Oreen Cohen
David Bennett
KJ Norris
Eric Weidonhof

This work will premiere for the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music, a monthlong celebration in May 2016 of new music throughout the city. Original date was set for May but got rained out, so this is the raindate event. Support for this work comes from an Awesome Pittsburgh grant and The Heinz Endowment and The Pittsburgh Foundation. This work is being made in partnership with Boom Concepts, a creative hub and a community organization created for the expansion of activity for artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs in this city.

More than 21 performers will perfom along the Penn Avenue corridor from Highland Avenue to Main Street. Performers are free to interpret the score (lyrics) as they desire. The result will be an unrehearsed, collaborative, brand new work that can take many variations and forms. It will go the full two hours.

The Long Song can be experienced by beginning at Highland and Penn and walking the length of the mile, or in sections, from the end to the beginning, or walking backwards and jumping rope. It will be experienced by everyone differently.

June 25, 2016 at 1:52 pm Comments (0)

Ueno Closeup in The Glassblock

Do most definitely check out David Bernabo’s video feature of Ken Ueno in The Glassblock.

May 23, 2016 at 2:14 pm Comments (0)

Firebird Flashmob at Market Square Today!

Musicians gather one by one from 2 harps and 1 bass to a full symphony orchestra, in the scintillating buildup and finale at the end of Stravinsky’s 1910 masterpiece. Market Square, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 11 at 1pm EST.

If you can’t make it to Market Square today, PFNM will be streaming the flashmob of Stravinsky’s Firebird on the PFNM Facebook page, at 1pm.

The flashmob is part of the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music, which launched last week with the premiere of Amy Williams’ Cineshape (featuring the composer herself, the JACK Quartet, Lindsey Goodman, Scott Christian, and short films by Aaron Henderson).

May 11, 2016 at 10:23 am Comments (0)

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