Sunday, July 1, 2012
Jonah Parzen-Johnson is a baritone saxophonist living in Brooklyn, NY. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Jonah was surrounded and inspired by the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and South Side music community. Before graduating from high school Jonah had studied under former AACM chairman Mwata Bowden and AACM member Matana Roberts. Under their tutelage he developed a dedicated focus on the essential role of composition in the life of a musician. Parzen-Johnson moved to New York in 2006. He is a long-time member of Zongo Junction, a Brooklyn based afrobeat ensemble, and a founding member of the collective trio Reed’s Bass Drum. Currently, Jonah can be found performing and workshoping his solo saxophone work, Michiana. If you look hard you might find him performing with the Steve Newcomb Orchestra, Steven Lugerner Dectet, Tiffany Chang’s Free Association, and other friends. Jonah’s debut solo saxophone album, Michiana, was released on Primary Records in June 2012.
This trio has been smouldering over the years and finally caught fire in Jan. 2012. All have been occupants of the Spring Garden Music House in Philadelphia, Evan for several years in the 2000's, Johan currently, and after all Jack bought the place in the 70s, has lived there, and goes there regularly to play sessions and sweep the porch. Jack and Evan kept up their playing even after Evan moved to his current cushy location in Brooklyn, and Jack and Johan met and started playing in 2008, recorded a cd together in 2010 (SGM 17, Audible Shadows), and finally the two joined up with Evan. They toured in the Northeast in May (see schedule) and will do a ten-day tour in the Midwest in September. Their way of doing a tour is to play as a trio but also to join with various improvisers as they go, such as poet Michael Peters in Albany, guitar/electronicist Chris Cooper in Northampton, guitarist Kevin Frenette in Lowell and Boston, object manipulator id m theftible in Newburyport MA, bassist Kit Demos in Portland, and pianist Ron Stabinsky in Allentown. What direction they follow depends on who they play with, what songs listeners request ("please, no requests"), and whatever they talk about in the car that day.