Ken Vandermark : Raw and Refined


Making a Tour Happen

AAJ: It sound like it takes a festival invitation to make a tour happen.

KV: Yeah that’s very true, I mean initially when the MacArthur money was there, I could bring the group into Chicago and we could rehearse and do some concerts with small groups and the large group, and do some recording. That was the way the thing started but in the future it’s really going to be necessary to find ways to interest presenters who have some serious funding. I mean, the group runs around 11 or 12 people and they’re scattered in Europe and in Chicago so it takes quite a bit of money just to get the travel organized. And on top of that you have the fees for the artists, for the rehearsal time and for the performance time—and recordings if that can work out—so there’s no question that it takes a presenter with funding to do that and that usually means festivals.

This means work in the United States is quite limited because the festivals that present improvised music tend to be fairly conservative in their interests musical interests. The festival work I’ve done in North America has been in Canada, it’s either been in Vancouver or in Victoriaville outside Montreal, but the festivals in the United States so far haven’t really seemed interested in the kind of work I do. Which means the odds are good that the Territory Band won’t have the opportunity to perform outside of Chicago anytime in the near future.

AAJ: That’s a sad state of affairs, but I’m just glad you can keep the band going.

KV: [laughs] Yeah, at this point that’s what I’m shooting for! So as long as I can do that, maybe there will be a change in the future where there will be more of a chance for the group to play in the U.S.

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