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October 14, 2007 Sunday

Roger Ruzow Presents:Shakin' rays/Smith/Williams
8:00PM - 10:30PM
Price:  7
Start of a new 3 month series of jazz improv, curated by Roger Ruzow.
this month :

Together Again!:
Shakin' Ray Levis , LaDonna Smith, Davey Williams

The SHAKING RAY LEVIS (founded in 1986) is an ongoing collaboration of musicians with a common interest in improvisation. The project was conceived and led by the Chattanooga-based team of DENNIS PALMER and BOB STAGNER. They use synthesizers, MoogerFoogers, samplers, vocals and percussion to achieve their Ole' Timey Avant-Garde sound.


They are the first American group to have recorded for INCUS RECORDS, the record label of British guitarist DEREK BAILEY. Additionally, they have performed and recorded with REVEREND HOWARD FINSTER, MIN TANAKA, DAVID GREENBERGER, FRED FRITH, AMY DENIO, JOHN ZORN, BORBETOMAGUS, TOM CORA, STEVE BERESFORD, J.D. PARRAN, FRANK PAHL, LADONNA SMITH, DAVEY WILLIAMS, GINO ROBAIR, ROGER TURNER, EUGENE CHADBOURNE, TONY OXLEY and Derek Bailey, as well as with many other critically acclaimed artists.

The Shaking Ray Levis have performed internationally on the BBC, at Quebec's International Festival de Musique Actuelle, Newfoundland's Sound Symposium, London's Company Week, and Denver's ReThink Conference. Dennis Palmer has the distinction of being invited to play at Company Week in 1988 and the final one

LaDonna Smith

As Violinist and violist, LaDonna Smith has been on the international new music scene for well over 20 years. She is an active performer, as well as an educator and native of Birmingham, Alabama. By networking with organizers and musicians from other cities, and through her work with the improvisor, she has been responsible for keeping improvised music alive in the South Eastern United States. In1996, she organized the first Birmingham International Improvisation Festival, which featured performers from Sweden, Russia, and Ukraine in concert and workshop, as well as a host of regional and national participants in music, theatre, and dance.

LaDonna has created a style of improvisation on violin and viola that is uniquely her own. Alternating classical and extended techniques, she explores her instrument, painting scenarios and sound pictures as she plays. She has performed at practically every major improvisation festival and many of the New Music Festivals. She has toured Europe on numerous occasions, playing solo and in collaboration with local musicians. Her travels have taken her to the former USSR, Siberia, and Japan. In addition, she and guitarist, Davey Williams, have toured North America and Europe many times as Trans Duo. As musical partners, they maintain their own recording label, TransMuseq, and also co-edit the improvisor, the international journal of free improvisation, printed eleven editions, and now under construction in its revised world- wide-web edition. She was participant in the UCSD 1999 Symposium on Improvisation in LaJolla, CA.

As a teacher, not only has she given many workshops on free improvisation throughout the U.S. and Canada to schoolchildren and college students, but for 15 years, she has taught violin to hundreds of children in Birmingham, Alabama, and is the Director of the Birmingham Suzuki Violin Association. This year, she took 24 students and 14 adults to Japan to participate in the 42nd National Suzuki Concert in Tokyo. The Suzuki Violinists also performed their own concerts in Nagano, and a Sister City International Friendship Concert in Hitachi. She is on the violin faculty of the Central Pennsylvania Suzuki Institute, and there she also teaches "improvisation."

LaDonna Smith has been doing improv for almost 30 years. A virtuoso violinist, teacher, and co-founder of The Improvisor ("the international journal of free improvisation"), she is the image of feminine empowerment, the female criminal in pursuit of the ecstatic, potent, subversive and transcendent. LaDonna has done about as much as any of the improvising pioneers Stateside to raise the bar, to obliterate expectations/preconceptions and, in the end, form new vocabularies in music. Never mind that she did this in a scene dominated by men or that she did it from Tuscaloosa and eventually Birmingham, AL., solo and along side her performing partner Davey Williams. The freakin' odds were stacked not against her, but on top of her. But anyone who has had the singular pleasure of being in her presence will attest to the fact that if anyone might prevail against said odds, it'd be her. She's incredibly pleasant. She always seems to be aware of everything going on around her. But at the same time, sitting across the table from her can imbue you with a sense of power and belonging rarely felt. And even though I have my suspicions she realizes this she never holds it over your head. She just drops the sonic block on you while she plays. Her eye is your storm.

Davey Williams

Davey Williams, guitarist
Biographical Information

Recent Musical Activities (1996-99):

Performances with LaDonna Smith (New York City, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Milwaukee & Birmingham),composers Anne Lebaron (Merkin Concert Hall, New York City & Univ. of Pittsburg) and Gustavo Matamoros (Merkin Concert Hall, NYC & Florida, the Brazil Festival, Miami), Curlew (New York, Boston, Washington & Pittsburg), Jim Staley & Ikue Mori (New York, London, Amsterdam & Switzerland), Phoebe Legere (New York), Phil Gelb & Joe McPhee, and Luc Houtkamp (the Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, the SubTropics Festival, Miami and other cities in Florida), the Say What! trio (Water Rats Club, London), with Marcus Eichenberger (Switzerland), numerous ad hoc improvisational performances including duos and various larger ensembles with Eugene Chadbourne, Ned Mudd (Birmingham/Chattanooga), with Toshi Makihari at the High Wire Gallery (Philadelphia), with Ikue Mori at CBGBs (New York), with Wally Shoup (Seattle/Olympia), solo concerts (Memphis, St. Louis, Birmingham, New Orleans, Seattle). Recordings and concert tour with Curlew, recordings with Oteil Burbrage, Jim Staley/Ikue Mori, Michael Zerang/LaDonna Smith/Fred Lonberg-Holm, Ned Mudd; solo guitar CD, Eugene Chadbourne. See also Davey's discography.

Also On This Day:

regular gallery hours
1:00PM - 6:00PM
Price:  free

 October 2007
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