In conclusion: Summer tour dates, Astral Spirits festival, DownBeat mag & new collaborations…

Tyler Damon portrait 01Photo by Ryan O’Connor at the Hungry Brain, Chicago

Last evening I wrapped up the last of three duo dates w/ Chicago percussionist Skyler Rowe, a first-time outing for us and also my first public venture into duo percussion improvisations. Our chemistry was evident from note one, in both musical and personal terms, and I could not have hoped for a better time. It remains affirming to successfully engage with players in a way that yields results both fresh and familiar and to also recognize the potential for outward expansion into the future. Yeah, man. This was a strong theme over the past weekend…

In addition to the new duo work with Skyler, I also engaged in two other first-time collaborations over the weekend; firstly, a trio w/ Tashi Dorji & percussionist Thom Nguyen (who often perform en duo form as Manas) who debuted Friday evening at the Spot Tavern in Lafayette (and again in Chicago on Saturday), as well as a quartet w/ Dave Rempis (reeds), Ingebrigt Håker-Flaten (bass) and Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone) at the Astral Spirits Festival hosted by the Hungry Brain in Chicago. Both permutations proved to be fantastic combinations, which Bill Meyer graciously recognized in DownBeat in his review of the AS fest. I’ve finally snuck in the side-door to capital J Jazz…

On Manas trio:

“While each drummer has recorded and toured previously with Dorji, they were new to each other, but there was nothing tentative about the way their playing melded into a wall of high-volume sound. Dorji alternately added to it with layers of harmonics and loops or chipped away at its surface with short, flinty phrases.”

On Rempis/Håker-Flaten/Adasiewicz/Damon:

“Håker-Flaten, Rempis and Adasiewicz have refined their duo chemistries in a host of bands over the years, so their rapport was not so much a surprise as an exhilarating confirmation of possibilities. Damon not only fit right in to this web of affiliations, but he projected a complementary density of attack and contrasting tones from his trap kit (…) His performance was easily one of the festival’s high points.”

See the full article HERE. Many thanks to Bill Meyer for his kind words…

Lastly, I owe a massive (and overdue) ‘thank you’ to everyone involved in the incredibly successful June outing with Tashi Dorji & Mette Rasmussen. It was likely the greatest tour I’ve ever been a part of and it was an incredible privilege to share time and music with Tashi & Mette and, if only for a day, with Muya Kurdi & Daniel Carter. So, anyway…thank you!

I’ve added a few late Summer/early fall dates to the LIVE page, including appearances with Open Sex and a duo with Sacramento’s Ross Hammond. Check ’em out, bye for now…


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