Made to Break Biography

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MADE TO BREAK is improviser/composer Ken Vandermark’s newest ensemble and his most radical. Combining elements of his interest and experience with the music of Ethiopia and the Ex, alongside the New Music ideas of John Cage and Morton Feldman, and mixing these with his perspective toward jazz and improvised music history, he has devised a compositional framework for the band that can be restructured for every performance and which deals with melody, sound, and rhythm in a completely unique way. This creative system gives the music of MADE TO BREAK an almost unprecedented flexibility and immediacy. The instrumentation of the quartet (drums, electric bass, electronics, and reeds) has given Vandermark an amazing palette of sounds to explore with each composition, but it is the individuals involved (with Tim Daisy, Devin Hoff, Christof Kurzmann), and their diverse approaches to improvisation, that give the ensemble such a dynamic and spontaneous energy.

MADE TO BREAK developed its preliminary work in June of 2011 for the 3rd Okka Festival, and toured Europe in November of that year, to prepare to record their first albums in Lisbon. The band then returned to Europe from February 28th until March 10th, 2013, to play a series of concerts featuring music from those recordings (on lp, “Lacerba,” and cd, “Provoke”), which were issued by Clean Feed. In addition, the group worked on new material during these performances, which they recorded in Vienna at the conclusion of that trip and will be released by Trost in January of 2014, on an album called “Cherchez La Femme.” Though a relatively new band, MADE TO BREAK has already been featured at 5 international festivals of improvised music in since June of 2011:

*Okka Fest in Milwaukee, June 11, 2011
*Voll-Damm International Festival of Jazz in Barcelona, November 20, 2011
*L’Arme! Festival in Berlin, July 19, 2012
*Konfrontationen Festival in Nickelsdorf, July 20, 2012
*Chicago Jazz Festival, September 2, 2012

This radical and groove-based ensemble has repeatedly amazed audiences wherever and whenever they perform.

Soundcloud audio track: “Further (For John Cage),” a cut off of the MTB cd, Provoke.

THE MUSICIANS:

Tim Daisy (percussion) has been an active member of Chicago’ s creative music scene since moving there in 1997. He has performed, composed, recorded, and toured with many of the city’s celebrated musicians and ensembles, including the Engines, KLANG, the Rempis Percussion Quartet, the Resonance Ensemble, and the Vandermark 5. In addition, Tim maintains an active composing schedule, writing for his own bands (such as Vox Arcana and Group 4-34) as well as contributing music to a number of collaborative projects- including chamber groups, jazz ensembles, dance, and film. He has had the fortunate experience to perform and record with many great improvisers both from around the world, including: Fred Anderson, Jim Baker, Jeb Bishop, Magnus Broo, Xavier Charles, James Falzone, Erik Friedlander, Per-Ake Homlander, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nate McBride, Joe McPhee, Dave Rempis, Steve Swell, Mikolaj Trzaska, Havard Wiik, Waclaw Zimpel, and Michael Zerang. Besides a regular concert schedule in Chicago, Tim has toured throughout North America and Europe, and has performed at numerous international music festivals.

Devin Hoff is a double-bassist, bass guitarist, guitarist and songwriter. He began playing music seriously at age 15, and has continued to do so ever since, foregoing college as he was already working at his chosen profession. Torn between the visceral energies of punk and metal and the spiritual freedom of free jazz in his youth, he has spent the last 20-plus years exploring the resonance and dissonance of these musical tendencies. Devin has played and recorded with many musicians and bands over the years, including Carla Bozulich, Nels Cline, Vijay Iyer, Carla Kihlstedt, Joshua Redman, Kira Roessler, Mike Watt, and Xiu Xiu.  His main creative vehicles of the past decade or so are the “crust jazz” bass/drums duo Good For Cows (with drummer Ches Smith) and his ongoing solo bass project, The Devin Hoff Platform.  He also plays under a pseudonym in various crust punk and metal projects.

Christof Kurzmann (vocals, lloopp, clarinet, alto sax), is an Austrian musician, performer, composer currently living in Buenos Aires. Beginning in 1994 he started his work in the field of experimental electronic music. Since that time Christof has collaborated with some of the most significant artists working in contemporary music and improvisation- including Toto Alvarez, Martin Brandlmayr, John Butcher, Eden Carrasco, Sebi Ciurcina, Werner Dafeldecker, Kai Fagaschinski, Fernanda Farrah, Bernhard Fleischmann, Michaela Grill, Margareth Kammerer, Leonel Kaplan, Bernhard Lang, Andrea Neumann, Fernando Perales, Eva Reiter, Marina Rosenfeld, Ursula Rucked, Burkhard Stangl, Michael Thieke, and Clayton Thomas- in groups such as El Infierno Musical, The Magic I.D., and Schee. During the course of his career, Christof has performed throughout Europe, Japan, North and South Amercia. He has also been a music curator since the mid 1980’s, and in 1999 founded the record label, Charhizma, which has released more than 30 cds.

Born in Warwick, Rhode Island on September 22nd, 1964, Ken Vandermark began studying the tenor saxophone at the age of 16.  Since graduating with a degree in Film and Communications from McGill University during the spring of 1986, his primary creative emphasis has been the exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. In 1989, he moved to Chicago from Boston, and has worked continuously from the early 1990’s onward, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in a large array of contexts, with many internationally renowned musicians (such as Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Tim Daisy, Hamid Drake, Terrie Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Devin Hoff, Christof Kurzmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Lytton, Andy Moor, Joe Morris, and Nate Wooley). His current activity includes work with Made To Break, The Resonance Ensemble, Side A, Lean Left, Fire Room, the DKV Trio, and duos with Paal Nilssen-Love and Tim Daisy; in addition, he is the music director of the experimental Pop band, The Margots. More than half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, and Japan, and his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad.  In addition to the tenor sax, he also plays the bass and Bb clarinet, and baritone saxophone. In 1999 he was awarded the MacArthur prize for music.