Email Us Site Design by Knees and Toes


The First Annual Rhythm in the Kitchen Festival
presented by William Hooker and Bob Kalin
and the Hell's Kitchen Cultural Center, Inc.

ARTISTS' BIOGRAPHIES

ABDOULAYE ALHASSANE (guitar, molo, komsa, gurmi, voice)
A master musician from Niger and Mali, Alhassane performs in the Songhai tradition on African and Western string instruments. As a professor of music in Niger, he organized and directed Mamar Kassey, an internationally acclaimed tour of musicians, singers and dancers. His profound knowledge of rare traditional rhythms informs his vibrant music. He also established an artist's rights society in Niger (à la ASCAP) to protect his country's musical treasures. His recordings include Denke Denke and Alatoumi.

LOUIE BELOGENIS (tenor saxophone)
Belogenis has played with a host of innovative musicians, including Rashied Ali, John Zorn, Sunny Murray, Ikue Mori, Borah Bergman and Sylvie Courvoisier. Currently Belogenis is playing with Unbroken, a trio with bassist Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz and drummer Kenny Wolleson, which has just released its self-titled debut CD. Kurt Gottschalk of the Squid's Ear Web site writes: "Louie Belogenis is the rare player who really deserves the 'post-Trane' epithet. Not Trane redux, but bringing the school of hard notes into contemporary contexts ...."

ROY CAMPBELL, JR. (trumpet)
Gary Giddins of The Village Voice calls Roy Campbell, Jr. "an inventive trumpeter whose playing has a stream-of consciousness logic and an unassumingly rich and confident sound." As New York's preeminent trumpeter in creative music, he has inspired many ensembles, and has led or co-led many of downtown's most important bands over the last 30 years, including Other Dimensions in Music, the Pyramid Trio and Spectrum. Campbell's reputation as a bandleader par excellence continues with TAZZ, a group first formed in the mid-90s.

SYLVIE COURVOISIER (piano)
A Swiss native, Courvoisier started playing piano at age six, and later studied jazz and classical music. From her first record release in 1994, Sylvie has led concerts on stages across Europe and North America, and has composed pieces for radio, dance and theater. She performs and records with such artists as John Zorn, Yusef Lateef and Dave Douglas among others. Courvoisier moved to Brooklyn in 1998, and has since toured widely with her husband, noted violinist Mark Feldman. Her work has been praised by the Library of Congress, and her latest release is ABATON (ECM Records). For more information: www.sylviecourvoisier.com

LISLE ELLIS (bass, electronics)
A composer and improviser, Lisle Ellis's oeuvre spans 3 decades and 2 countries, and has brought him international recognition as an composer/ improviser/artist. His unique work reflects his multifaceted interests in music, visual art, technology and community. He is currently developing an electro-acoustic architecture he calls string-circuitry-confluence, and is also working with his long standing trio, What We Live. Among his over 40 recordings is the five-star Ornette Coleman Songbook (Hat Art). Ellis was also the 1986 winner and first recipient of Canada’s prestigious Frederick Stone Award for Music.

ELLERY ESKELIN* (tenor saxophone)
Born into a musical family in Baltimore, Eskelin has lived in New York for over 20 years. He is recognized as "a major player in today's creative music," and is perhaps best known for his group with Andrea Parkins and Jim Black which Down Beat magazine called "…one of the finest units in progressive jazz." Eskelin has released over 20 recordings as a leader and has been named in "Best of the Year" critics' polls by The New York Times, The Village Voice and major U.S. and international jazz magazines. For more information: home.earthlink.net/~eskelin/

KALI. Z. FASTEAU (soprano sax, nai flute, piano, drums, mizmar, kaval, sanza, voice)
Kali. Z. spent her childhood in Paris and New York playing piano, cello and flute. After receiving degrees in music, she traveled for 14 years, living in 16 countries ranging from Nepal to Senegal to the U.S. She has appeared at many music festivals, and has collaborated and recorded with musicians like Archie Shepp, Rashied Ali and William Parker among others. She has played her original work at Lincoln Center, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, the Museum Theatre in Madras, India, and other important venues. Her recordings include Making Waves, Oneness and Vivid. For more information: www.kalimuse.com

FRANÇOIS GRILLOT* (bass)
Beginning his music studies at age eight, Grillot eventually learned to play the trumpet, guitar and electric bass. After touring with his first recording, Edition Spéciale (RCA), he moved to NYC from his home in Burgundy, France. Grillot studied at City College and learned to play the doublebass. He moved into the improvisation scene in 2001, playing and recording with such musicians as Daniel Carter, Matt Maneri, and Roy Campbell, Jr. among many others. His new quartet with Belogenis, Levin and Krall takes his sense of improvisation into undiscovered places. Florence Wetzel of All About Jazz says that he "cooks to the boiling point."

TOM HAMILTON* (electric sound artist, synth)
Beginning in the late 1960s era of analog synthesis, Hamilton has created electronic music for over 4 decades. His ongoing series of concerts, installations and recor-dings contrasts structure with improvisation and textural electronics with acoustic instruments. The recipient of many awards, he is also a 2005 Fellow of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy. In addition to perfor-ming and recording with other musicians, Hamilton has collaborated with visual artists like filmmaker Fred Worden and photographer Ernst Haas.

WILLIAM HOOKER* (drums)
Composer, drummer, poet, William Hooker has released over 20 critically acclaimed CDs. As a composer, he has received commissions from Meet the Composer, the NY State Council on the Arts, Real Art Ways and others, and has led many creat-ive ensembles with musicians from highly diverse backgrounds, including Thurston Moore, David Murray, David S. Ware, William Parker, DJ Spooky and Lee Ranaldo. Hooker often reads his poetry during perfor-mances as part of the musical compositions. He has performed at the Jimi Hendrix Tribute Tour, Lincoln Center, the JVC Jazz Festival, Columbia University and many other stages both here and abroad. For more information: www.williamhooker.com

JASON KAO HWANG (violin)
"What's striking about [his] music, a stirring blend of Stephane Grapelli's violin improvisations and Morton Feldman's microtonal compositions, is that it makes traditional instruments sound contemporary." (The New York Times). As a composer, Hwang's works span jazz, classical, "new" and world music, like his new CD Edge (Asian Improv) and The Floating Box, A Story in Chinatown (New World), named a 2005 top ten opera recording by Opera News. As a violinist, he has worked with Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill and Tatsu Aoki among others. He currently plays with The Gift, Trio Tarana and Malcheck Muzikum. For more information: www.jasonkaohwang.com

VICTOR JONES (drums)
Although he played the trumpet as a young boy in NJ, Jones fell in love with the drums after seeing The Beatles on television. Lou Donaldson discovered his talent in 1975, and Jones has since worked with many music greats like Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Chaka Khan and, most recently, singer Jimmy Scott. Among his recordings are The Victor Jones R&B Bop Band's Visible Sound Groove (New Frontier) and Culturversy. He is also considered a pioneer in Acid Jazz (a unique blend of jazz, funk and hip-hop). "I always try to stay in touch with new trends in music. Jazz runs the risk of losing its creative edge by focusing on artists who are reproducing music that was perfected before they were born," he says.

NEAL KIRKWOOD*(piano)
With a master's degree in composition from the Mannes College of Music, Neal Kirkwood is a composer and pianist, bandleader and arranger for the Neal Kirkwood Octet, the Chromatic Persuaders and the Discovery Orchestra. He has been awarded numerous commissions, including a New York State Council on the Arts commission for The Future of Futurism for jazz orchestra, and composed many scores for theater and dance productions. In addition to his four CDs as bandleader, he has also recorded a solo piano CD, Time's Circle (Present Eye Music).

BORIS KOZLOV (bass)
A Moscow native, Kozlov began playing piano early and quickly moved on to the tuba, trumpet and electric bass before graduating college in 1987 with a Diploma of Honor in the acoustic bass. Before moving to the US, he toured the world extensively with various jazz groups, including his own. The winner of many awards for his playing, Kozlov has performed and recorded with musicians like Ravi Coltrane, Victor Jones and Frank Lacy. Since 1995 he has been a key member of the NY recording scene working particularly with the Mingus Big Band, which he joined in 1998. Sue Mingus says of his arrangement of Cell Block F on the I Am Three album: "...[it is] a piece that I myself never particularly liked. I heard it in a whole new context."

JACKSON KRALL (drums)
Krall has performed and recorded with Cecil Taylor since the mid- 1990s, and the New York Press says he "balances [Taylor's] resounding piano... and doesn't try to anticipate or emulate the pianist's idiosyncratic phrasing…so much as respond with equal spontaneity and gravitas." Other key musical relationships have been with composers Alan Silva and Bill Dixon. In the past 30 years, Krall has also created drums and bells for some of the world’s greatest musicians. In addition, his percussive sound sculptures have been shown in art paces throughout NYC. He has collaborated with dancers like Elaine Shipman, and performed most recently on Dom Minasi's Vampire's Revenge (CDM Records).

DANIEL LEVIN (cello)
From age six, Daniel Levin began playing thecello, and later studied classical music at premier institutions including the New England Conservatory of Music. Starting in 1963, he moved into composing and improvising, and has since worked with major musicians in the creative music world like Borah Bergman, Billy Bang and Tim Berne among others. In addition to recordings like Don’t Go It Alone (Rita Records), he has performed at the Vision Festival, the New Orleans Jazz Festival and the JVC Jazz Festival. All About Jazz magazine says "he deserves to have his name added to the short list of cellists making a mark in improvisational music."

EDY MARTINEZ (piano)
Before settling in NYC in 1964, Edy Martinez lived and performed in the Netherlands Antilles, New Orleans and Miami. Soon after arriving he became piano chair and arranger for Ray Barretto, a strong musical partnership which lasted through several albums. As a composer, Martinez wrote such works as Rareza En Guajira, and arranged many songs including Las Estrellas de Fania, the Fania All Stars Band theme. Barretto's album The Other Road, named for Martinez's composition, was hailed as "the music of the future" by Downbeat magazine and rated five stars. In addition to his collaboration with Barretto, Martinez has worked with such musical giants as Tito Puente, Paquito d'Rivera, Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Mingus.

SEAN MEEHAN* (percussion)
Wire magazine says "Meehan is one of the best, though least documented percussionists around... a king of small gestures and smears." He became musically active in the improvisational music scene of the late 1980s, and his recordings document collaborations with musicians like Mamoru Fujieda and Edwin Torres. His most recent release is Sectors (for Constant) (SoS Editions).

DON PATE (bass)
A Chicago native, Don Pate is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music. He has performed with such musical luminaries as Sonny Rollins, Roy Haynes, Yusef Lateef, Jeff "Tain" Watts and Paul Shaffer (of The Letterman Show). Most recently he has recorded on Anami Records with guitar genius Tisziji Munoz.

SONNY SIMMONS* (alto saxophone, English horn)
Born in Louisiana, Sonny Simmons began his musical education in Oakland, CA, playing the English horn and then learned the alto sax. He first performed with blues, R&B and bebop musicians, but then became deeply influenced by Charlie Parker and formed his own sound. In 1961 he worked with Charles Mingus, and in 1962 formed a group with flutist Prince Lasha that released The Cry!, a recording that Amazon.com calls "a prize item of the free-jazz movement." Simmons then moved to NYC, recording with jazz giants Elvin Jones and Eric Dolphy, but moved back to the Bay Area in 1965 where he married the powerful trumpeter Barbara Donald. Their musical collaboration led to many inspired performances and recordings. By the mid-1970s, Simmons divorced and dropped out of the music scene. After years of playing on the street, he reemerged in peak form in 1994 with Ancient Ritual (Qwest), which earned him long overdue recognition and launched his second career. He has since recorded more for the labels Qwest and CIMP, and has most recently played with his new group, The Cosmosamatics. Jazz Times says that "Simmons' tone is still that unmistakable, riveting cry in the wilderness." For more information: www.sonnysimmons.org

BRIAN SMITH* (bass)
Since moving from Chicago to NYC in 1976, Brian Smith has composed music for the Dance Theater of Harlem, the Ebony Ensemble and the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance. His works have been performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Chamber Players and Orchestra among others. He has received many important awards both as composer and musician from organizations like the Fulbright Foundation, the American Academy of Arts & Letters and the National Endowment for the Arts. His musical collaborators have included Anthony Braxton, Muhal Richard Abrams and Lionel Hampton. Along with composing and teaching, Smith co- founded the Mid-Town Community Youth Ensemble in 1995 for children ages 8 to 17.

GEORGE STATHOS (clarinet)
George Stathos originally from Athens, Greece, has performed on David Sanborn's Late Night Music (NBC) and at the famous avant-garde La Mama Experimental Theater. Stathos has played on all six of Scott Wilson's CDs: Efendi, An American in Istanbul, Middle East Music Minus Doumbek and Percussion, Casbah Dreams, Live at Le Figaro and Belly Dance Nights.

JACK WALRATH* (trumpet)
Walrath began playing trumpet in 1955 at age nine living in Edgar, Montana (pop. 100). A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Walrath has worked with such musical luminaries as Charles Mingus, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones and Elvis Costello among many others. He has appeared on TV, in films and on radio since 1965, and composed the soundtrack to the NBC hit show Homicide: Life On The Street. With over 25 recordings as a bandleader, he received a Grammy nomination for Master of Suspense (Blue Note). A writer of liner notes, a reviewer of music biographies, a master teacher at music clinics in the US and abroad, he is also the recipient of many grants, including one from the National Endowment for the Arts.

LENI COHEN WILSON*(doumbek)
Leni Cohen Wilson has played the doumbek (a Middle Eastern drum) with her husband Scott Wilson's band throughout New York and in Istanbul, Turkey. She has also appeared on Scott Wilson's last 3 CDs: Casbah Dreams, Live at Le Figaro and Belly Dance Nights.

SCOTT WILSON* (baglama-hydra) A unique triple-necked instrument, the baglama-hydra was invented and built by Scott Wilson. Combining the Turkish saz, the Greek bouzouki and the Arabic oud, it allows him to play all three instruments at the same time. The son of the famous Middle Eastern dancer Serena, Scott was born in NYC but grew up immersed in the music of Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Armenia and Israel. He has performed internationally and plays every Sunday night at the Greenwich Village landmark Café Figaro. Wilson's CDs, including Efendi and Casbah Dreams, can be found at www.CDbaby.com/cd/efendi. MICHAEL WIMBERLY (djembe, drums)
Michael Wimberly has performed extensively with the Harlem Festival Orchestra and the International House Orchestra; for such plays as The Lion King, The Wiz, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf and with such varied musicians as Steve Coleman, Teramasa Hino, David Murray, Charles Gayle, Reggie Workman, Oluyemi Thomas and Positive Knowledge, Roy Campbell & Exuberance, Kali. Z. Fasteau, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Henry Yarbrough, DJ Logic, Jean Paul Bourelly, D’Angelo, Alyson Williams, Angie Stone, Paul Winter's Consort, Mamma Tongue and George Clinton and the Parliament Funkedelics.

ELISE WOOD* (flute)
This Philadelphia-born musician has collaborated with such important figures as David Murray, Archie Shepp, Butch Morris and, most frequently with her partner of two decades, John Hicks, with whom she has just created HiWood Records. Touring extensively, she was most recently in Taiwan where she became the first woman jazz flutist to appear there. She is featured in documentary films like Femmes du Jazz, and is considered on the cutting edge of creative American jazz. She also worked many times with Latin jazz giant Tito Puente, Dominican El Canario and the Colombian band Grupo Niche. Woods studied under master flutist Mauricio Smith, and was a featured performer in the great Village Gate concert series "Salsa Meets Jazz."

UMUT YASMUT (kanun)
Visiting NYC from Istanbul, Turkey, Umut Yasmut is a well-known player of the kanun, a Turkish zither. A popular performer in nightclubs and many other venues across Turkey, Yasmut also appears on Scott Wilson's CDs Live at Le Figaro and Bellydance Nights.

* Hell's Kitchen resident

For information about the festival, contact info@hkculturalcenter.org