Jessica Pavone String Trio: Jessica Pavone (viola), Aimée Niemann (violin), Abby Swidler (violin and viola). Institute for the Musical Arts, 165 Cape St. (Rt. 112), Goshen, MA. Single tickets ($15) available at www.jazzshares.org and at the door.
This tour celebrates the release of their third album, …Of Late, on Astral Spirits Records.
As an instrumentalist and composer, Jessica Pavone (b.1976, Queens, NY) explores tactile experience in her compositions and performances. Pavone has produced four albums of solo viola music, all of which present improvised pieces that intersect the Jazz tradition as her creative practice encompasses developing a personalized voice on her instrument. These structured yet indeterminate pieces stem from intensive long tone practice and an interest in repetition, song form, and sympathetic vibration. While her earliest training was primarily in classical music at the Hartt School of Music (B.M. Music Ed. ’98) and Brooklyn College (M.M. Music Composition ’07), Pavone has dedicated her career to exploring alternative avenues for creative musical expression. As noted by Steve Smith in the National Sawdust Log, “Jessica Pavone…has made a career of redefining the possibilities for her instrument.” Studying improvisation with Leroy Jenkins from ’00-’05, she began harnessing her unique way of incorporating Jazz practices into her viola playing. Since then, Pavone has performed original music by William Parker, Henry Threadgill, Matana Roberts, Wadada Leo Smith, Aaron Siegel, Tyondai Braxton, Glenn Branca, Matthew Welch, Samantha Boshnack, Elliot Sharp, and Taylor Ho Bynum. From ’05 to ’12, she toured regularly with Anthony Braxton’s Sextet and 12+1tet, appearing on his discography from that time.
In 2017, Pavone created the J. Pavone String Ensemble as an outgrowth of her solo viola language. The ensemble approach focuses on a vision of collective improvisation that prioritizes a collaboratively sewn musical fabric, in contrast to the traditional improvisatory approach that prizes the showmanship of the soloist. The group has performed at; the Graham Foundation in Chicago, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Manhattan, the NYC Winter Jazzfest, Firehouse12 in New Haven, Roulette and ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn, and The Rotunda in Philadelphia. Two studio albums have been released to critical acclaim from The Wire, The New Yorker, Pitchfork, and the San Francisco Classical Voice. Chris Ingalls
from Pop Matters described the music as “too stunning to lump into genres.”
Aimée Niemann is a performer, improviser, and educator. An explorer of new sounds, she is the founding member of Du.0, a “gesamtkünstwerk-chamber-noise” violin duo with Charlotte Munn-Wood. The duo premiered two new works by composers Leah Asher and Scott Wollschleger in the winter or 2020.
Alongside Serbian violinist Marija Kovacevic, Aimée recently released a new record with her duo BUKA called “Spring”, as a four-part set spanning the seasons pre and post pandemic.
As an improviser with a background in dance, Niemann investigates sound through its direct correlation to movement. She works often with dancers and in theaters and composes graphic scores that are used as structures for interdisciplinary invention and the unearthing of new sounds.
Niemann has collaborated with composers Aleksandra Vrebalov, Anthony Coleman, Alvin Lucier, Christian Wolff, Emily Praetorious, Lucia Vitkova, Jessica Pavone, and Paul Elwood. She has co-created installations with Argentinean artist Cecila Biagini and co-produced several pieces with choreographers Nadia Khayrallah, Whitney Janis, and Ichi Go. She has toured internationally and performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, (Le) Poisson Rouge, and Roulette Intermedium.
A passionate teaching artist, she teaches violin at Third Street Music School Settlement and has a vibrant private violin studio. Niemann received a B.M. in Violin Performance from the University of Northern Colorado and an M.M. in Violin Performance from New York University. Originally from the prairies of Colorado, she currently lives in Queens, New York.
Abby Swidler is a composer, violinist, violist, and vocalist whose work appears in many contexts including new music, improvisational music, and song. Abby is a passionate collaborator, frequently performing with ruby, a song collaboration with Kim Mayo; Xanthoria Quartet a string quartet that performs new and old works; Italian film-score band, Tredici Bacci; and The Jessica Pavone String Ensemble, among other projects across genre lines.
As a composer and performer, Abby has collaborated with dance, film, theater, and performing ensembles; working with artists like Lady Lamb, Carla Kihlstedt, Mirah, Kishi Bashi, Jherek Bischoff, Angel Olsen, Bent Knee, The California Guitar Trio, Palaver Strings, Shattered Glass, Shizuka Viola Duo, Dance Visions INC., and Giselle Ty. She has played on over 30 studio albums.
Abby received a B.M. in Violin Performance from Eastman School of Music and an M.M. in Contemporary Improvisation from The New England Conservatory. Originally from Missoula, MT, they currently live in Brooklyn, NY.