Edition Redux is the most recent of Ken Vandermark's ensembles, an addition to an ongoing series of bands that have been internationally and critically acclaimed, which include The Vandermark 5, FME, The Resonance Ensemble, The Territory Band, Made To Break, and Marker. In addition to Vandermark, who plays saxophones and clarinet with the group, this quartet is comprised of Erez Dessel (keyboards), Lily Finnegan (drums), and Beth McDonald (tuba/electronics), who represent the next wave of Chicago’s creative music scene.
The Sudden Sound Concert Series presented by Krannert Art Museum and Improvisers Exchange features leading artists in avant-garde jazz and music improvisation. It is curated by Jason Finkelman, director of Global Arts Performance Initiatives at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
The music of Edition Redux includes the range of Vandermark's interests and influences, incorporating the experimental jazz of the AACM; the different schools of improvised music based in England, Netherlands, and Germany; post-punk, Tropicalia, dub, and funk. The band presented its music for the first time during a U.S. tour in April of 2023, and recorded its initial album at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago immediately following that series of concerts. This recording will be released to coincide with a trip to Europe for a series of performances by the ensemble in October of the same year.
April 17, 2023, Edition Redux performance in Washington, D.C.:
About the Artists
Ken Vandermark: (USA 1964) is an improvising musician and composer who plays tenor and baritone saxophone, Bb and bass clarinet. He moved to Chicago from Boston in 1989, and has worked from the early 1990s onward, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in an array of contexts with many internationally renowned musicians (such as Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Sylvie Courvoisier, Tim Daisy, Kris Davis, Dieb 13, Hamid Drake, Terrie Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Elisabeth Harnik, Steve Heather, Didi Kern, Kent Kessler, Christof Kurzmann, Paul Lytton, Joe McPhee, Andy Moor, Jason Moran, Ikue Mori, Joe Morris, Paal Nilssen-Love, Eddie Prevóst, Mette Rasmussen, Tom Rainey, Eric Revis, Jasper Stadhouders, Chad Taylor, John Tilbury, Mars Williams, and Nate Wooley).
His current group activity includes the bands Bent Atlas, Lean Left, The DKV Trio, DEK, his large ensemble Entr'acte, the ongoing Momentum projects; duos with Terrie Ex, Christof Kurzmann, Damon Locks, Paal Nilssen-Love, Mars Williams, and Nate Wooley; and work as a solo performer. Ken co-founded Catalytic Sound in 2012, an organization dedicated to the economic sustainability of creative improvising musicians, and since then has been its director. In 2014 he began Audiographic Records, an independent music label. Since June of 2015 Ken has been co-curator of Option, a music and interview series held at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. Half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, Latin America, and Japan; his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed at home and abroad. Ken's activity as a writer includes liner notes for a variety of recordings; and contributions to the eighth edition of John Zorn's Arcana: musicians on music, the music journal Sound American, the Spanish language periodical, "El Estado Mental," and "Catalytic Quarterly." In 1999 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in music.
Erez Dessel: is an improviser, pianist, composer, and educator. After winning multiple Downbeat Student Music Awards, Dessel moved to Boston to study at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC), where he worked with a host of jazz luminaries, including Billy Hart, Ethan Iverson, and Jason Moran. While in Boston he performed regularly, including at the Celebrity Series festival Jazz Along the Charles, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Wally’s Jazz Club. As an educator, he led his quartet to perform and teach in over 50 workshops in the Boston area and was also selected to bring his group to the Virginia Arts Festival to lead a week of masterclasses in public schools and community spaces. After graduating from NEC in 2020, Dessel moved to Savannah, GA to accept the position of music director at the Savannah Music Festival Jazz Academy, Savannah’s first and only free after-school youth jazz program. While in Georgia he performed regularly around the South in arts spaces in Atlanta, Columbia SC, and Asheville NC, as well as debuting his hour-long solo improvisation and multimedia piece "Residue" at the Savannah Cultural Arts Center. He currently lives in Chicago, where he's been lucky enough to play with a host of improvising musicians at venues indulging the Hungry Brain and Elastic Arts. Dessel’s music is centered around exploring improvisation, graphic notation, and polyrhythmic structures. He frequently works with cassette tapes and is currently developing ways to paint with the piano using charcoal, pastel, paper, and linen.
Lily Finnegan: Lily Glick Finnegan is a Chicago born and based drummer, composer and improviser. In 2021 she earned a Master of Music from Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts. She received a full scholarship to participate in the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, a 20-person international cadre of musicians led by Danilo Perez. At Berklee she was also part of the Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. Here she was mentored by Terri Lyne Carrington, Kris Davis, and Linda May Han Oh. She’s worked on projects with Carrington including Music for Abolition as part of the Visualizing Abolition Exhibit at University of California Santa Cruz. Her thesis project was entitled “Music and Abolition: Creating a World Without Policing- Music’s Role in Imagination, Experimentation, and Collectivity”. Prior, she completed a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2020, majoring in sociology and music. This fueled her interest in studying the confluence between power structures, history, and social movements with music.
In 2022 Lily returned to Chicago. New projects in this city have included the Ken Vandermark Quintet, Sarah Clausen Trio, Shoulderbird, and her own self led trio. She has collaborated with artists and bands including Kris Davis, Ben Lamar Gay, Ken Vandermark, Jason Stein, Dave Rempis, Katinka Kleijn, Deodorant, Shoulderbird, Lea Delaria, Christof Kurzmann, Hanah Jon Taylor, and Katie Ernst. Currently she is the record store manager of Catalytic Sound, an experimental music cooperative.
Beth McDonald: is a classically trained tuba player gone awry. She performs mainly as an improviser, using the tuba acoustically and with electronic effects pedals. Densing (2021), her most recent album, uses tuba and electronics in conjunction with natural acoustic resonance to build up unpredictable new layers of sound. The CD version of the album was packaged in handmade felted wool, which was created through an analogous physical process of layering. Beth's next solo album, a continuation and expansion of the Densing project, will be released in mid-2023.
While the pandemic put many of her musical projects on pause, collaboration is an integral part of Beth's musical practice – working with musicians as well as with artists and performers in other mediums. Some notable past collaborators include Becky Grajeda, Ethan T. Parcell, Sasha de Koninck, Eli Wallace, Isaac Turner, Franki Hand, Matt Samolis, Ben Zucker, Nathanael Lee Jones, and Mark Booth.
In a previous musical life, Beth toured as a contemporary classical musician, chamber musician, and soloist. She also participated in orchestral academies at the Lucerne Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and was on staff at the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice. Beth holds degrees from New England Conservatory, Northeastern Illinois University, and the University of Kentucky.