Ken Thomson and JACK Quartet: THAW Release Party;SUN;12/15/2013;7:30 PM EST

Ken Thomson

Ken Thomson is a Brooklyn-based clarinetist, saxophonist, and composer. In demand as a composer and freelancer in many settings, he moves quickly between genres and scenes, bringing a fiery intensity and emotional commitment to every musical situation; Time Out NYcalled him “the hardest-working saxophonist in new-music show business.”

He plays clarinet for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, one of the world's preeminent new music ensembles. He leads the Asphalt Orchestra - a 12-piece next-generation virtuoso marching band, called “cooly brilliant, infectious... top notch players” by The New York Times. He plays saxophone and is one of the 3 composers in the punk/jazz band Gutbucket, with whom he has toured internationally to nineteen countries and 32 states over fourteen years, and released CDs for Knitting Factory, Enja, NRW, Cantaloupe and Cuneiform Records. He is on faculty at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival.

He latest project of exclusively his music, called Slow/Fast, released its debut CD "It Would Be Easier If" internationally on Intuition Records in 2010, garnering a feature review in The New York Times highlighting the “intricately wrought and incident-steeped” compositions and “gutsy precision of the playing.” A followup disc, Settle, will be released in 2014.

As a composer, he has been commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can, the True/False Film Festival, and others, and has received awards from New Music USA, ASCAP and Meet the Composer. The San Francisco Weekly writes about his music, “Thomson’s original compositions are as complex as a beehive, filled with amber-hued nooks and crannies that bear traces of jazz, world music, and classical, without succumbing to any of them.”

JACK Quartet

The JACK Quartet electrifies audiences worldwide with "explosive virtuosity" (Boston Globe) and "viscerally exciting performances" (New York Times). David Patrick Stearns (Philadelphia Inquirer) proclaimed their performance as being "among the most stimulating new-music concerts of my experience." The Washington Postcommented, "The string quartet may be a 250-year-old contraption, but young, brilliant groups like the JACK Quartet are keeping it thrillingly vital." Alex Ross (New Yorker) hailed their performance of Iannis Xenakis' complete string quartets as being "exceptional" and "beautifully harsh," and Mark Swed (Los Angeles Times) called their sold-out performances of Georg Friedrich Haas' String Quartet No. 3 In iij. Noct."mind-blowingly good."

The recipient of New Music USA's 2013 Trailblazer Award, the quartet has performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall (USA), Lincoln Center (USA), Wigmore Hall (United Kingdom), Suntory Hall (Japan), Salle Pleyel (France), Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Netherlands), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Bali Arts Festival (Indonesia), Reykjavik Arts Festival (Iceland), Festival Internacional Cervatino (Mexico), Kölner Philharmonie (Germany), Donaueschinger Musiktage (Germany), Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik (Germany), and Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Germany).

Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland, JACK is focused on the commissioning and performance of new works, leading them to work closely with composers Derek Bermel, Chaya Czernowin, James Dillon, Brian Ferneyhough, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Vijay Iyer, György Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, Steve Mackey, Matthias Pintscher, Steve Reich, Wolfgang Rihm, Salvatore Sciarrino, and John Zorn Upcoming and recent premieres include works by Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Toby Twining, Georg Friedrich Haas, Simon Holt, Kevin Ernste, and Simon Bainbridge.

Claire Chase


Flutist Claire Chase is a soloist, collaborative artist, arts entrepreneur and cultural activist. Over the past decade she has given the world premieres of over 100 new works for flute, many of them tailor-made for her. Described as a “the young star of the modern flute” by The New Yorker, “indefatigable” by TimeOut New York, and a “virtuoso of amazing dexterity and sensitivity” by the Chicago Tribune, Chase has given critically acclaimed recitals recently at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall. Highlights of the current season include solo performances in New York, Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna, Paris, Sao Paolo, Guangzhou and London. She has released two critically acclaimed solo albums on New Focus Recordings – Aliento (2010) and Terrestre (2012) – and released her third, Density, in October 2013.

Chase co-founded the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in 2001 and serves as the organization’s Artistic Director and CEO in addition to playing over fifty concerts a year as an ensemble member. ICE has premiered more than 600 works since its inception, and has pioneered a new artist-driven organizational model that earned the company a Trailblazer Award from the American Music Center in 2010 and Musical America's Ensemble of the Year Award in 2013. Read more at and

$15.00 - $25.00


JACK Quartet (string quartet) and Ken Thomson (bass clarinet) perform the New York premiere of the entirety of Ken Thomson's disc "Thaw," just released on Cantaloupe Music. Called "really moving… musicians really digging in," by Steve Reich and "extreme composing," by David Lang, this visceral music demands to be heard live.

Who’s Going


Upcoming Events

  • Sorry, there are currently no upcoming events.