If you believe yourself to have even a vague interest in improvisational music and can admit that the University music scene is for all intents and purposes an absent presence in your life, then my friend, lean in close.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the University’s Creative Arts Orchestra, one straw in the haystack of student bands that float in the periphery of our vision. We easily digest these groups into immutable categories. There’s the time-tested monotony of a cappella, the slip-shod metal, hard rock; there’s master recitals at Hill Auditorium, experimental this-or-thats at the Half-Ass; and, of course, the list goes on.
These scenes aside, jazz has been – alongside folk – Ann Arbor’s gem. Red Hot Lovers on East University Avenue houses several Ann Arbor Jazz Festival posters whose band lists will still your heart: Ray Charles, Charles Mingus, B.B. King, Sun Ra and his Arkestra, Pharoah Sanders, the Ornette Coleman Quartet, Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Discipline Arkestra, Miles Davis – good God, why wasn’t I around then? Why weren’t you?
Most of these cats aren’t around anymore. That’s OK – sort of. But there still is a solid amount of improvisation-based music in this town-fronting-as-a-city.
This Thursday at Canterbury House, the student chapter of the International Society of Improvised Music will kick off a performance 6 p.m. It will end the next day at 6 p.m.
Say it with me: 24 hours of music.
“It’s absolutely free, and you can come for as long as you want,” School of Music junior Matt Endhal, one of the event’s organizers, said. Maybe it should be restated that you should come for as long as you are able.
“We’re trying to put on this show to increase awareness of the student chapter of ISIM around the University,” Endahl said.
ISIM chapters can be found in San Diego, New York City and quite a few places in between. India, Poland and England have their own chapters as well.
At the heart of this is Ed Sarath. Sarath is a professor in the Department of Jazz and Improvisation Studies and the director of the Program in Creativity and Consciousness Studies. He is the founder of both the ISIM itself and the University’s Creative Arts Orchestra, a student-based free improvisation group.
Speaking on the 24-hour mind fuck, Endahl said: “If you are going to stop by, stop by with an open mind.”
There will be a tuba soloist, a jazz quartet and an electronica band. “We don’t have a narrow focus,” Endahl said.
There’s something for you here. In the middle of papers, exams and getting stoned, find some time to stop by 721 E. Huron St. Don’t blow this opportunity to check out a ridiculous string of student musicians for one, two or 24 hours.
International Society of Improvised Music’s 24 Hour Jam Session
Thursday at 6 p.m.
At Canterbury House