New Orchestra Workshop Society presents

“And NOW On Monday Nights....”

Jazz Projections at The Cellar

January to June, 2007

The Jazz Cellar, 3611 West Broadway, Vancouver

Music starts at 8:30 Cover charge $5.00

Check out the photo gallery for this series of great shows!


01/08 Bruce Freedman Trio / Turbidity

01/15 Field / Benzene

01/22 François Houle solo / Jeff Younger’s Sandbox

01/29 Coat Cooke Ensemble


02/05 Gord Grdina’s Box Cutter / Sketches

02/12 Attention Shoppers / in magnolia

02/19 edgeffect / cleftpallet


Lisa Miller - piano

François Houle - clarinet

Jeremy Berkman - trombone

Stefan Smulovitz - laptop

Gordon Fitzell (Winnepeg) - guitar

edgeffect: the juxtaposition of contrasting environments, encouraging rampant growth of opportunistic species.


Using strategies of free improvisation combined with strategies taken from a branch of contemporary writing known as “procedural poetics,” Wilcke, Chokroun, Reimer, and Williams re-compose the work of contemporary and Modernist poets into a state wherein sense and sound cannot be told apart. The quartet’s combined “first readings” prompts the listener to consider poetry not as a static, finished, and precious form of page-based writing but rather as a framework for active, lingo-musical improvisation. Operating in the background is the group’s desire to up the ante on typical poetry/music and “spoken word” practices by combining years of experience in free improvisation with an acute sense of and irreverence for literary history; i.e. they’re going to rip, rig, and panic.

Jonathon Wilcke: alto saxophone, clarinet, voice

Dave Chokroun: bass, voice

Nikki Reimer: voice

Darren Williams: tenor saxophone, voice

02/26 Coat Cooke presents The Fiddlers

JP Carter - trumpet and electronics

Chad MacQuarrie - electric guitar

Tommy Babin - electric bass

Skye Brooks - drums

Coat Cooke - saxophones

This month Coat Cooke presents his exciting new electric group The Fiddlers, delving into harmolodic pieces and improvisations. A rollicking time is sure to be had by all.


03/05 LSB 21 / The Microscopic

LSB 21

Joel Lower - violin

Russell Sholberg - bass

Shanto Bhattacharya - cello

Finally, a string trio for the 21st century. LSB 21 compose most of their own material as well as playing pieces written for them by others. Some unique arrangements of Ornette, Monk, and Dolphy round out their repertoire along with generous amounts of open improv. Free-bop fugues, folky atonal swing, abstract funk, and the Fibonacci series are just some of the places this trio gets to in their music.

The Microscopic

Meredith Bates - violin

Aaron Joyce - weissenborn

Alvaro Rojas - electric guitar

Neelamjit Dhillon – tabla

Formed in the spring of 2005 the talented Vancouver-based ensemble, The Microscopic seamlessly blends elements of jazz, chamber music and Indian ragas into a captivating musical tapestry. Melodic lines are interwoven with luxurious harmonies and challenging time signatures result in a creative alchemy that defies explanation. Every Microscopic show evolves into a beautiful mosaic of original compositions and spontaneous improvisations.

03/12 - The Cellar is closed

03/19 Saul Berson / Smulovitz/Houle

Saul Berson Trio

Saul Berson - alto sax

Gord Grdina - guitar

Paul Blaney - bass

Saxophonist Saul Berson’s trio creates an eclectic mix of music incorporating Middle-eastern overtones with a pinch of Piazzolla thrown in for good measure! The group follows an original path that encompasses a broad range of styles. It’s music that “...creates an intense set of Arabian rhythms a delirious mess of tango and klezmer” (Cadence). The music “throbs with vitality” (Coda).


Stefan Smulovitz - laptop/viola

Viviane Houle - voice

Experience a seamless combination of the infinite possibilities of voice and computer in an exploration of beauty and chaos. Together, these two musicians weave through a terrain of free improvisation, improvised songs and unearthly soundscapes to immerse their audience in another world, creating unforgettable performances.

03/26 Coat Cooke presents Bug’s Black Blood

This is a new large ensemble playing improvisations and a variety of compositions for Creative Orchestra. Musicians include: Ben Wilson (drums), Steve Bagnell (sop/alto sax, alto clarinet), Michael Alleyne (bass), Gordon Bertram (tenor sax), Shane Krause (baritone sax), Joe Rzemeniak (trumpet), Blythe Polreis (trombone), Dave Todd (trumpet), Craig Townsend (guitar), and Carol Sawyer (voice).


04/02 Bari Blizzard / Sikula/Babin/Brooks

Bari Blizzard

Steve Bagnell – baritone and bass sax

Chad Makela – baritone sax

Coat Cooke – baritone sax

Chris Kelly – baritone sax

Inspired by the Hammiet Bluiett Baritone Sax Quartet, this foursome takes the concept even further, exploring the full range of the big horn. The group divides its energies between original compositions, deconstructing iconic standards and flat-out improv.


Dave Sikula – guitar

Tommy Babin – bass

Skye Brooks - drums

This trio was formed in 2006 by guitarist David Sikula on the specific premise of implementing simple composed themes as a basis for evocative, "chamber-like" group improvisation. This aesthetic has since carried over into the group's approach to free improvisation as well, with a focus on giving the music a 'compositional' quality whether composed or improvised.

04/09 The Cellar is closed for the Easter holiday

04/16 The Cellar is closed for a private function.

04/23 Ben Wilson Quintet / Nada

Ben Wilson Quintet

Meredith Bates - violin

Brad Muirhead - trombone

Jared Burrows - guitar

Dave Chokroun - bass

Ben Wilson - drums

This new ensemble of forceful musicians performs Wilson's original compositions as well as arrangements of contemporary jazz composers such as Tim Berne and Dave Douglas. The instrumentation begets a dynamic sonic palette for vigorous improvisations, angular melodic textures, and introspective writing often evoking a chamber music-like sensibility.


Dave Chokroun - bass

Alfons Fear - trumpet

Rachael Wadham - piano, saw, toys, suitcase

Nada plays improvised music influenced by (free) jazz and (post-) minimal composition, blending the legacies of Erik Satie, Morton Feldman, Miles Davis, Cecil Taylor, and the AACM with sensitivity and sardonic wit. Nada's live shows have been praised for the nearly-telepathic rapport between the musicians, shifting between frantic energy playing, obsessive repetition, extraordinary lyricism, and seamless transitions from open-form composition to collective improvisation. It's live at

04/30 Coat Cooke presents The Fiddlers

Chad MacQuarrie - electric guitar

Tommy Babin - electric bass

Coat Cooke - saxophones

Skye Brooks - drums

JP Carter - trumpet and electronics

Coat Cooke presents his exciting new electric group The Fiddlers, delving into harmolodic pieces and improvisations. A rollicking time is sure to be had by all.


05/07 carsick / Tyson Naylor Quartet


JP Carter - trumpet, cornet

Dave Sikula - guitar

Carsick, a duo based out of Vancouver, involves JP Carter and Dave Sikula of the critically acclaimed quartet Inhabitants. The Calgary Sun calls their music “dense & mind-bending like a jazz revolution waiting to happen.” Carsick's self-titled debut (released in 2006 on Drip Audio) was made with only a Cornet, a guitar and a floor full of pedals. It was recorded live by award-winning producer/musician Jesse Zubot at the Jack Shadbolt Centre in Burnaby, BC. The music of Carsick makes use of subtle melodic material, free improvisation and noise to create soundscapes both epic and minimal, dark and beautiful. The duo reaches some truly amazing sonic peaks with just two instruments at their disposal. Their work could please fans of ambient stalwarts Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, & Daniel Lanois just as easily as it could fans of Miles Davis, Tortoise or Sigur Ros. JP Carter and Dave Sikula have worked with artists as diverse as Dave Douglas, Bill Laswell, Wayne Horvitz, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Peggy Lee and Brad Turner. At the 2005 Vancouver Int’l Jazz festival their band, Inhabitants, won the CBC’s Galaxie Rising Star Award.

Tyson Naylor Quartet

Tyson Naylor – piano

Nathan Gage – bass

Kenton Loewen – drums

Gord Grdina - guitar

The group plays a mix of composed and improvised music. Influences range from Thelonious Monk to Wayne Horvitz and Misha Mengelberg

05/14 ion Zoo / Rzemeniak/Babin/Lower

ion zoo

Carol Sawyer – voice

Lisa Miller – piano

Clyde Reed – bass

Steve Bagnell – winds, percussion

Look for the upcoming release of this group’s first cd, a live recording at The Cellar made on February 11, 2006. With every performance, ion Zoo breaks new ground, creating compelling spontaneous compositions and thrilling improvisations.


Joe Rzemeniak – trumpet

Tommy Babin – bass

Joel Lower – drums

Pulling unearthly sounds, interwoven streams and elusive melodies out of thin air, this new improvising trio has clicked from their first time together.

05/28 Coat Cooke presents The Fiddlers

JP Carter - trumpet and electronics

Chad MacQuarrie - electric guitar

Tommy Babin - electric bass

Skye Brooks - drums

Coat Cooke - saxophones

This month Coat Cooke presents his exciting new electric group The Fiddlers, delving into harmolodic pieces and improvisations. A rollicking time is sure to be had by all.


06/04 The Inhabitants / Slapstick

The Inhabitants

JP Carter – trumpet

Dave Sikula – guitar

Pete Schmitt – electric bass

Skye Brooks - drums

This intrumental four-piece emerged from the Vancouver underground to release their self-titled debut in 2005 (Drip Audio) to critical acclaim. The Inhabitants music was described by Down Beat magazine as "an aural introduction to a dream", while Coda called it simply "a sonic treat". Later that year, the group recieved the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award at the 2005 Vancouver International Jazz Festival. This past year (June 2006) the Inhabitants performed at the prestigous Moers Festival in Germany. That festival's program described the quartet as "the most exciting new band in Canada". The Inhabitants draw inspiration from great innovators like Ornette Coleman, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis and Neil Young to create their unique sound, while the vibrant music scene in Vancouver keeps them busy in bands like the Tony Wilson Sextet, Fond of Tigers, the Veda Hille Band, Great Aunt Ida, Carsick, the Pissed Off Wild and the Aeroplane Trio.


Tommy Babin - bass

Skye Brooks – drums

JP Carter – trumpet

Paul Pigat - guitar

A freewheeling ride through a place with the world's most efficient car factory (yet only 3 miles of roads so the cars need to be stacked up), a functioning time machine (invented by a dog with a penchant for puns), and a police force that always gets their man (usually not the one that were looking for, though). Here's something we hope you'll REALLY like - the music of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show performed improbably by Slapstick.

06/11 Sukha Trio / Robots on Fire

Sukha Trio

Jared Burrows - guitar

Colin MacDonald - alto and soprano saxophones

Clyde Reed - bass

Sukha Trio brings together diverse musical backgrounds in an improvising chamber ensemble with a focus on texture, form, and a refined timbral aesthetic. The group has been together for 5 years with Clyde Reed - bass, Colin MacDonald - alto and soprano saxophones and Jared Burrows - guitar. The trio searches to find a music which balances disciplined listening and free expression, melody and texture, form and abstraction. The intensity of listening present in this group's work brings about a cohesiveness and organic unity rarely found - a music much more than the sum of the parts.

The trio has been very active on the Vancouver scene, performing a series of concerts in Vancouver Public Library branches, funded by a grant from the Canadian Music Centre as well as at Douglas College Noon Series, and Rime. They have a CD recording, Sukha, on the Third Rail Music label.

Robots on Fire

Dave Chokroun - double bass

Jonathon Wilcke - alto saxophone

Darren Williams - tenor saxophones

Ben Wilson – drums

Robots on Fire is about taking musical traditions, blowing them up, and playing the pieces - including the tradition of taking the tradition, blowing it up, and playing the pieces. Founded by saxophonist Darren Williams and bassist Dave Chokroun in 2002, the Robots mash up furious free improvisations in the style of Peter Brötzmann and Albert Ayler with a penchant for folk music, protest songs, free jazz “classics,” and hits of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. In 2006 Robots on Fire (now based in Vancouver) debuted a new line-up with alto saxophonist Jonathon Wilcke and drummer Ben Wilson. With regular shows at the 1067 and the Cobalt’s “Fake Jazz Wednesdays,” Robots on Fire are developing a cult following among Vancouver’s noise / improv / free jazz audiences.

06/18 Coat Cooke presents The Fiddlers

JP Carter - trumpet and electronics

Chad MacQuarrie - electric guitar

Tommy Babin - electric bass

Skye Brooks - drums

Coat Cooke - saxophones

This month Coat Cooke presents his exciting new electric group The Fiddlers, delving into harmolodic pieces and improvisations. A rollicking time is sure to be had by all.

About New Orchestra Workshop Society

With a long history of innovation on the West Coast music scene, the New Orchestra Workshop has started to make waves internationally. Their activities include commissioning new works, presenting improvised music in concerts, recording, and touring Canada and beyond under the direction of Coat Cooke. The New Orchestra Workshop provides key opportunities for musicians to gain musical experience and exposure to an improvisational community of creative artists and audiences.

New Orchestra Workshop is committed to and has been successful over the years in developing a growing, sophisticated audience looking for new and exciting musical experiences. The West Coast musical idiom is being shaped as a response to, and a reflection of our audience's decree for innovation in music. West Coast Sound is eclectic - a product of what we see, think and produce in the early 21st century.

About The Series

This new series on Monday nights brings together musicians from Vancouver's internationally renowned NOW Orchestra with some of the most exciting up-and-comers in improvised music.

New Orchestra Workshop is generously supported by the Canada Council,BC Arts Council, City of Vancouver, Vancouver Foundation, The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, The Hamber Foundation, The Province of BC Spirit of BC Arts Fund, The BC Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch and The Western Front.