Music Program

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Co-sponsored/co-presented by:
This concert was supported by a grant from the New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

Conference Call


Presented at:

Gebhard Ullmann (tenor sax, bass clarinet)
Michael Jefry Stevens (piano)
Joe Fonda (contrabass)
George Schuller (drums)

This quartet was formed in 1998 and features original music from each member of the group utilizing the distinctive improvisational and textural talents of each of the four members: Gebhard Ullmann's extensive woodwind pallette (bass clarinet, bass flute, tenor and soprano sax); the textural and timbral virtuosity of drummer George Schuller; the organic and highly creative piano/bass interplay between Joe Fonda and Michael Jefry Stevens. All these ingredients create a highly creative and unique variety of musical flavors.

Bassist/composer Joe Fonda has developed an extensive international reputation over the last several years recording and touring with the world-reknowned Anthony Braxton including performances at some of the world's most prestigious jazz festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Istanbul International Jazz Festival. He is also featured bassist on numerous recordings with Mr. Braxton including the famed Charlie Parker Project Recordings as well as the piano quartet recordings with Braxton on piano. Mr. Fonda has performed with such notable musicians as Ken McIntyre, Charlie Persip, Lou Donaldson, Perry Robinson, Kenny Barron, Leo Smith, Curtis Fuller, Chico Hamilton and others. He recently recorded his first solo bass CD and has released numerous CDs on the Konnex jazz label, Leo Records and Music and Arts label.

Pianist/Composer Michael Jefry Stevens performs extensively in Europe and North America. He was the Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow for 2000-2001 at the MacDowell Artist Colony and recently received 2nd prize in the prestigious Monaco International Jazz Composition Contest. Michael currently co-leads several working musical ensembles including The Fonda/Stevens Group, the Conference Call Quartet, the Stevens/Siegel/Ferguson Trio, and the Memphis Jazz Composer's Workshop Big Band. He has released over 40 cds which feature his original music including most recently Spirals: The Berlin Concert on 482 Music and Play on Drimala Records. Artists he has performed and/or recorded with include Dave Douglas, Mark Feldman, Han Bennink, Charles Moffett, Cecil Bridgewater, Valery Ponomarev, Gerry Hemingway, Miles Griffith, Leo Smith, Thomas Chapin, Gebhard Ullmann, Herb Robertson,, Matt Wilson, Dominic Duval and Dave Liebman.

Saxophonist, bass clarinetist and composer Gebhard Ullmann has recorded more than 30 CDs as a leader/co-leader for labels such as Soul Note, Leo Records, Between the Lines, 482 Music, Songlines Recordings and Intuition Records. He is considered one of the leading personalities in today's international jazz scene and has received several awards for his work including the Julius Hemphill Composition Award (1999), and the nomination “best jazz CD of the year” by the German Schallplattenkritik for his CD Tá Lam in 1996. He has toured extensively with his music and performed on most of the world's most prestigious jazz festivals. Musicians he has performed or recorded with include Paul Bley, Ellery Eskelin, Willem Breuker, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Barry Altschul, Keith Tippett, Glen Moore, Trilok Gurtu, EnricoRava, Michael Moore, Art Lande and Hamid Drake.

George Schuller has released several albums as a leader including the latest entitled Round'bout Now (Dec. 2003) featuring Ingrid Jensen and Donny McCaslin and JigSaw with Mark Feldman and Tony Malaby. Schuller also leads the Schulldogs which includes his brother, bassist Ed Schuller along with Herb Robertson and Rich Perry. Schuller appears on Joe Lovano's Rush Hour (Blue Note) and has also recorded and/or produced CD's with Orange Then Blue, Ran Blake, Tom Varner, Luciana Souza, Mike Musillami Trio, Ballin' The Jack, Mili Bermejo, Miles Donahue and Gunther Schuller. Since graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1982, he has performed with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Lee Konitz, Jaki Byard, Dave Douglas, George Adams, Fred Hersch, and Tim Berne.

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September, 2006 - 2006