MSP/piano w Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra @Berkeley Arts Festival (Wed 13 Jun, 9pm) + Nathan Clevenger (8pm)

After a great recent show at CNMAT, Aaron Bennett’s phenomenal ensemble Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra returns! — Appearing at:

Berkeley Arts Festival (2133 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA) at 9pm on Wed 13 June.

I am again honored to be adding MSP and piano into the mix.

If you’ve already heard the first album released by Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra (cover below) you know exactly what I’m talking about, and you’re already coming to this great show. If not, run, don’t walk, to get a copy at and hear what the fuss is about.

Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra (cover art: Nancy Bennett)

Among Aaron’s many stellar contributions to the Bay Area improv and new music scenes (like sax trio arrangements of Bollywood standards!)  are fantastic “breathing chart” compositions for large improvising groups that deliver heightened coherence and adventure at the same time. They stand as Himalayas of group improv music. And Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra is the Mt. Everest.
Vapor Trails of Structure in Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Improv

To quote Aaron: “The members of this ensemble utilize the electro-magnetic field of their collective mind to attain a unitive transcendent state of sonic consciousness and in turn, create sublime and/or unusually expanded sonic experiences for their listeners.”

‘Nuff said…

Aaron Bennett in Space

Bio note: Saxist/composer Aaron Bennett has been bending space in the Bay Area jazz and improvised music communities for more than 15 years. Beyond his studies in composition and performance of western music at California Institute of the Arts, Aaron has also studied and played the music of West Africa, Indonesia, India, and Traditional Japanese 雅楽 (Gagaku) music. He has performed throughout the United States and abroad including performances with Wadada Leo SmithPeter KowaldJohn ButcherDonald RobinsonMarco EneidiGianni GebbiaWeasel WalterAdam LaneLarry OchsSteve AdamsJohn RaskinVictoria WilliamsAphrodesiaLagos-RootsThe Rova Saxophone Quartet and many others.

Aaron Bennett in Time

He leads his own groups Go-Go-FightmasterElectro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra and performs in the Oakland Active OrchestraLisa Mezzacappa’s Bait & SwitchVijay Anderson Quartet, and Guerilla Hi-Fi. Aaron has composed for large ensembles, chamber groups, plays, films, dance performances, wind quintet, saxophone quartets and trios as well as pieces for solo instruments.

In addition to Aaron Bennett (sax & compositions), the line-up will also include:

Darren Johnston – trumpet

Darren Johnston

Rob Ewing – trombone

Rob Ewing

Dina Maccabee – violin

Dina Maccabee

Bob Marsh – cello (and spiritual guidance counselor)

Jeff Hobbs (L) & Bob Marsh (R), performing in OPEYE Orchestra, @ Tuva Space

Eli Crews – bass

Joe Lasqo – piano & MSP

Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo:,

Preceding us in Set 1 (8pm): Nathan Clevenger

Nathan Clevenger

Composer/guitarist Nathan Clevenger was born in Oakland, and started the first edition of his Nathan Clevenger Group while living in Brooklyn, with successive editions in the Bay Area since 2003 appearing at venues such as the Revolution Cafe, The Make Out Room, Cafe Royale, the Jazz House, the Ivy Room, and Cafe Van Kleef.

In 2010, the Nathan Clevenger Group released their debut album, The Evening Earth, on Evander Music.

The Evening Earth - the debut album from Nathan Clevenger Group

The current edition of the band features Nathan Clevenger (guitar), Aaron Novik (clarinets), Kasey Knudsen (saxophones), Sylvain Carton (reeds), Sam Bevan (bass), and either Jon Arkin or Eric Garland (drums).

Besides many gigs with the musicians in his Group, Nathan has worked with Bay Area jazz luminaries including Lisa Mezzacappa, Patrick Cress, Darren Johnston, Aram Shelton, Cornelius Boots, and Eric Perney, among others.

Nathan was a member of composer/clarinetist Aaron Novik’s Cutting Guard and the large ensemble that performed and recorded Novik’s extended work The Samuel Suite (released on the Evander label in 2008).

He has also composed & performed original music for theater and played guitar, keyboards, bass, vibraphone and drums on the occasional rock session. He has studied guitar and theory with Morris Acevedo and John Schott.

The press on Nathan:

“A fascinating composer. Long-form, dreamy, sectional without being rigid, and bluesy — albeit in a non-traditional way.” – Rachel Swan,  East Bay Express

“Clevenger’s writing takes a lot from the swing era, but it’s packed with odd time signatures, twisty compositions, and passages of improvisation that go well beyond the old concept of a solo. You don’t get the breakneck tempos of bebop, but neither is the music frozen in the ’40s; the writing is fresh, and the musicians are given free rein to turn things upside-down. Peppy, often pretty, and just a little weird.” – Craig Matsumoto, Memory Select

Nathan on Nathan:

“I am preoccupied with close harmony and a tangled style of counterpoint and I enjoy pushing what one might call tight, precise Chamber Jazz harmonic/melodic elements through a volatile jazz ensemble.”

Join us for a fantastic and unique evening at one of the Bay Area’s longest running creative music series, now in an especially vibrant phase at its current University Ave. location.


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