I'm excited and honored to have been chosen "Best Jazz Musician" by Chicago Readers' Poll today. In addition, Cicada Music was chosen as a featured band in the Reader's Critic's Best Of! They always have a little fun with the categories, so Cicada Music is now wears the crown "Best Jazz Band Full of Musicians Named Jason". 


I am currently on tour with Joshua Abrams' Natural Information Society on a 5 date tour:

6/9 Ann Arbor, MI - Black Elks Lodge 8:30
6/10 Tornoto CANADA - Array Music Studio 8:30
6/11 Montreal CANADA - La Salla Rosa, Festival Suoni Per II Poppolo w/ Pacha 8:30
6/12 Buffalo, NY - Hallwalls opening for Peter Brotzmann and Joe McPhee
6/13 Detroit, MI - Trinosophes

We are working on some new material, which is an intense endeavor. Sometimes a group will challenge notions of perspicuity and personal methods. As with many of the groups of Abrams', it becomes incredibly important as an improviser to not only inject my personal approach into the music (the reason I'm in the group in the first place), but also to surrender my expectations to the larger vision of his music. Josh challenges many of my ideas about playing drums, about the concept of rhythm, pacing, aesthetics, and everything else that I obsess about. I learn so much from my experiences with him. He's an excellent teacher.

The guimbri is the focal point of this music, which naturally references Moroccan music, and particularly trance music, but as soon as I start throwing out generic genre terms, I feel I am pegging the music into something that this music isn't. Yes, there is a gravitational force to be aware of, but the music we make pulls away from the referential space created by our understanding of Moroccan music.  While chugging away at hypnotic rhythmic and melodic cycles, there is a freedom with this group to expand and contract (sound? density? feeling?) that is fundamentally different from many 'styles' of music I play, and it is much different than Moroccan music as well. The each of us function as a part of the whole, like mixing separate liquids into one. It's exciting and challenging occupying this nebulous, amorphous space somewhere between and try to find solutions to best help the music grow, burgeon and dilate.

Here's a picture from just before Joe McPhee and Peter Brotzmann performed at Hallwalls.