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Jonah Parzen-Johnson / Joe Westerlund

Ages 18 and up
Thursday, June 27
Doors: 7:30pm Show: 8pm
$12 to $15
Jonah Parzen-Johnson:

Jonah Parzen-Johnson makes music for baritone saxophone & flute that challenges listeners with experimental textures & forms while embracing them with warm approachable melodies. A Chicago native and longtime Brooklyn resident, Jonah has performed solo in more than a dozen countries across four continents. You might find him at Jazz festivals in Berlin, Helsinki & Seattle, concert halls in Istanbul & Bruges, rock clubs in Rotterdam, Montreal & Rome, or Jazz clubs in New York & Chicago. His solo performances are a deeply intimate experience, as he endeavors to share who he is, how he sees our world, and the temporary moments of community that we can all embrace together.

Autechre-esque pings, burbles and boings swirl together in the backs as Parzen-Johnson takes deep, chest rattling sax solos that scale the same ecstatic heights as Mats Gustafson but in a much more disciplined and mantra-like manner. – The Wire Magazine

“Parzen-Johnson’s vaguely alien compositions split the difference between the organic and the synthetic with a far-reaching, expressive sound that carries an indefinable beauty.” – LA Times

“Jonah Parzen-Johnson drifts away from his jazz background toward a less defined terrain that suggests Brian Eno, film soundtracks, and the spaces between.” – The New Yorker Magazine

“As intimate as a whispered confession.” – Mojo Magazine

” Parzen-Johnson is more interested in memory, as a wisp and a venue for solidarity with oneself. It works.” – The New York Times

“A rare specialist in that most challenging of disciplines, the solo recital.” – London Jazz News

“With every melodious note, circular breath and heavy drone, Parzen-Johnson delivers a work of intense beauty.” – New York City Jazz Record

“A meditative invocation of self-realization.” – Jazziz Magazine

Westerlund’s Elegies first stemmed from a spell of general, non-specific grief. Early into lockdowns, Carson co-founded a regular online meditation group, the participants finding new ways to share space and time. One regular always played soft music in the background; clipped, bent, and warped by the software, the sounds seemed to shower the group in spectral magic, incidental music that reassured everyone while reminding them of what they had lost. In turn, Westerlund began to process his own drums and metallophones, vocal hums and distended synths, creating a little chamber ensemble for one of once-familiar, now-disembodied sounds. There is a sweet sadness to the resulting “Transference,” the feeling that comes as you watch a frown slowly transform into a smile. – Grayson Haver-Currin

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