Edgefest 2023

This year’s Edgefest is the 27th and promises to be another hit as it features some of the best avant garde artists from near and far. The four-day lineup includes a tribute to the late Barbara Kramer on opening night, Wednesday, October 18. Kramer was a community activist in many areas including SEMJA where she was a Board member. The musical tribute will be given by her son, drummer Jesse Kramer, and tenorist Tim Haldeman. Opening night also features former Ann Arborite bassist James Ilgenfritz and his ensemble, including fellow bassist and Detroiter Marion Hayden. Pianist Mara Rosenbloom returns to the fest with a trio and Detroiter reedist Rafael Leafer leads his Teiku ensemble.

Thursday features drummer Michael TA Thompson’s Quintet, which includes voice artist Deanna Relyea and reed man Piotr Michalowski and another Edgefest veteran, the powerful bassist Ken Filiano from Brooklyn. Filiano is also part of the Human Rites Trio, with terrific violist Jason Kao Hwang, on Friday.

Friday night’s main attraction will probably be British pianist Alexander Hawkins, who impressed everyone in his Edgefest Premiere last year. This year he is joined by the always exciting saxman Joe McPhee and cellist Tomeka Reid.

Saturday starts — as usual — with a parade through the Kerrytown Market anchored by Scarlett Middle School students and their band director Caroline Fitzgerald. As always, the parade is open to community members who are encouraged to bring their own instruments to Kerrytown Concert House for the start of the parade. Tenorist Ken Vandermark is the major voice from the Chicago scene participating this year. In a much-anticipated performance he is paired with fellow tenorist and Chicagoan Ed Wilkerson on Friday night and with Detroit’s up-and-coming Kaleigh Wilder on Saturday.

The festival will close with a grand finale on Saturday night at Bethlehem Church featuring saxophonist Tim Berne’s “Oceans And” featuring cellist Hank Roberts and accordionist Aurora Nealand. Detroit pianist Michael Malis has composed “In Search of Softer Selves” for this occasion, written for an all-star Detroit ensemble featuring tenorists Wendell Harrison, Marcus Elliot, and Kaleigh Wilder plus brass.

Visit the Kerrytown Concert House website for more information.

Wednesday, October 18

Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor

7:00 Tim Haldeman, saxophone; Jesse Kramer, drums
A tribute to the late Barbara Kramer
8:00 James Ilgenfritz Ensemble
Marion Hayden, bass; Stephen Rush, synthesizer/piano; Marc Hannaford, synthesizer/piano; James Ilgenfritz bass; JoVia Armstrong, percussion; Ian Antonio, percussion
9:00 Teiku
Rafael Leafar, reeds; Peter Formanek, saxophone; Jonathan Barahal Taylor, drums/percussion; Josh Harlow, piano; Jaribu Shahid, bass
10:00 Mara Rosenbloom Trio
Gabby Fluke-Mogul, violin; Tcheser Holmes, drums; Mara Rosenbloom, piano

Thursday, October 19

Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor

7:00 Andrew Bishop, reeds
8:00 Michael TA Thompson Quintet
Mara Rosenbloom, piano; Deanna Relyea, voice; Piotr Michalowski, reeds; Ken Filiano, bass; Michael TA Thompson drums
9:00 Rempis/Reid/Abrams
Dave Rempis, saxophones; Josh Abrams, bass; Tomeka Reid, cello
10:00 Northwoods Improvisers Sextet
Mike Johnston, bass and Native American flutes; Nick Ashton, bass; Jack O’Brien, cello; Dominic Bierenga, winds; Donovan Boxey, winds; Mike Khoury, violin

Friday, October 20

Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor

7:00 James Brandon Lewis, saxophones; Chad Taylor, drums
8:00 Human Rites Trio
Jason Kao Hwang, viola/composer; Ken Filiano, bass; Andrew Drury, drums
9:00 Alexander Hawkins, piano; Joe McPhee, reeds; Tomeka Reid, cello
10:00 Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet
Edward Wilkerson, reeds; Ken Vandermark, reeds; Jim Baker, piano; Luke Stewart, bass; Avreeayl Ra, drums

Saturday, October 21

Noon Edgefest Parade and Picnic
with middle school students, Edgefest artists, and community members

Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor

2:00 wilder/hall quartet
Kaleigh Wilder, reeds; Ken Vandermark, reeds; Ben Hall, drums; Jaribu Shahid, bass
3:00 Satoshi Takeishi, percussion; Shoko Nagai, piano/accordion
4:00 Hemphill Stringtet
Sam Bardfeld, violin; Curtis Stewart, violin; Tomeka Reid, cello/leader/composer; Stephanie Griffin, viola

Grand Finale Evening at Bethlehem United Church of Christ, Ann Arbor


Forest Percussion Ensemble
Michael Wimberly; Andrew Drury; Gustavo Aguilar; Lesley Mok; Leah Bowden

Oceans And
Tim Berne, saxophone; Hank Roberts, cello; Aurora Nealand, accordion/clarinet/voice

Michael Malis Ensemble: In Search of Softer Selves
Wendell Harrison, reeds; Marcus Elliot, reeds; Kaleigh Wilder, saxophone; Allen Dennard, trumpet; Vincent Chandler, trombone; Zekkereya El-magharbel, trombone; Michael Malis, piano/composer; Jaribu Shahid, bass; Marion Hayden, bass; Jonathan Barahal Taylor, drums