Made to Break (Active)

Band Members
Version 1 (2012-2014)
Devin Hoff: Bass
Tim Daisy: Drums
Christof Kurzmann: Electronics [lloopp]
Ken Vandermark: ReedsVersion 2 (2014-Present)
Tim Daisy: Drums
Christof Kurzmann: Electronics [lloopp]
Jasper Stadhouders: Bass
Ken Vandermark: Reeds
Releases (click to view)

Before The Code (2015)
Cherchez La Femme (2014)
Lacerba (2013)
Provoke (2013)Bio:MADE TO BREAK is improviser/composer Ken Vandermark’s key ensemble as a leader and his most radical. Called, “essential for anyone interested in the continuing evolution of creative music,” by the New York City Jazz Record MTB combines 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, Christof Kurzmann, Jasper Stadhouders), and their diverse approaches to improvisation, that give the ensemble such a dynamic and spontaneous energy.MADE TO BREAK developed its preliminary work with Devin Hoff playing electric bass in June of 2011 for the 3rd Okka Festival, and the group toured Europe in November of that year, to prepare to record their first albums in Lisbon. The band returned to Europe from February 28th until March 10th, 2013, to play a series of concerts featuring music from their first recordings (the LP, Lacerba, and CD, Provoke), which were issued by Clean Feed. The ensemble also worked on new compositions during these performances, and recorded in Vienna at the conclusion that tour. This material was released by Trost in early 2014, on the album called Cherchez La Femme. Jasper Stadhouders replaced Hoff on MADE TO BREAK’s U.S. tour in April of that year, and this solidified the creative energy and dynamics of the band. The group then returned to Europe in November to record their next album for Trost, which is entitled, Before The Code, and was released in October of 2015. In April of 2016 the ensemble mounted its second North American tour, which included a special recording project in Nashville and with Nate Wooley (trumpet), and C. Spencer Yeh (on violin, voice, and electronics); at the conclusion of that trip they made a new album for Trost in Chicago with Bob Weston; entitled, Trébuchet, it will be released in the autumn of 2017. That material was further developed during the group’s European tour during October of 2016; the band will return to Europe to tour and record their next music in November of 2017. In addition to the recent studio recordings issued by Trost, Vandermark released three live albums on the digital imprint of Audiographic Records, Systems vs. Artifacts, in late 2016, called Before the Code: Live, N N N, and Dispatch To The Sea.

This radical and groove-based ensemble has repeatedly amazed audiences wherever and whenever they perform- whether on festivals, in jazz venues, or rock clubs.

“Out of Ken Vandermark’s many bands and projects, Made to Break proves to be, time and again, the vessel for his most creative outbursts and boldest ideas. Before the Code, the quartet’s fourth LP, is no different, rising from the intersection of free jazz, free improvisation, experimental electronic music, contemporary classical music, and enriched with distorted funk grooves. An amalgamation of styles that miraculously works out into an abstract, but coherent and at times hard-hitting whole.” 4 and 1/2 stars

-Antonio Poscic, The Free Jazz Collective, February 1, 2016

“No band has ever attempted to bridge the sounds of free improvisation, funk, and electronics before Ken Vandermark formed the quartet Made To Break. The groups fourth release Before The Code pushes the musical envelope a bit more into the stratosphere, maybe even into the musical mesosphere.” 4 stars

-Mark Corroto, All About Jazz, October 30, 2015

Skopje Jazz Festival 2016

Jazz & Wine of Peace 2016

Florence, October 2015

Antwerp, November 2014

Soundcloud audio tracks from the album, Before The Code (Trost):
“Dial The Number (For Agnes Varda)”
“Off-Picture No. 119 (for Joshua Oppenheimer)”.


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.

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.

Jasper Stadhouders (electric bass) is a guitarist and bassist based in Amsterdam, born in Tilburg, the Netherlands, in 1989. He’s performed music on stage since the age of 8. He is an active member of the international improvised music circuit. He is a co-founder of the bands Cactus Truck (with John Dikeman and Onno Govaert), Stadhouders/Govaert/De Joode Trio and two duos with percussionists Dag Erik Knedal Andersen and Nicolas Field. He is also part of such diverse bands as Spinifex and Lily’s Déjà Vu, next to playing countless of ad hoc improv shows. Jasper also occasionally works in the fields of dance, theatre and contemporary composed music. He has played with Han Bennink, Ab Baars, Paal Nilssen-Love, Marshall Allen, Wolter Wierbos, Noel Redding, Ken Vandermark, Jim Black, Andrew D’Angelo, Terrie Ex, Andy Moor, Peter Evans, Frank Rosaly, Dave Rempis, Roy Campbell, Michael Moore, Jeb Bishop, Peter Jacquemyn, Wally Shoup, Ingrid Laubrock, Mars Williams, Michael Vatcher, Alan Wilkinson and many more. Jasper has performed extensively in Europe and the USA, as well as in India.

Ken Vandermark (reeds/composer) was 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, Tim Barnes, Peter Brötzmann, Tim Daisy, Hamid Drake, Terrie Hessels, Mats Gustafsson, Elisabeth Harnik, Steve Heather, Didi Kern, Kent Kessler, Christof Kurzmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Paul Lytton, Lou Mallozzi, Lasse Marhaug, Joe McPhee, Andy Moor, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Paal Nilssen-Love, Eddie Prevost, Eric Revis, Jasper Stadhouders, Chad Taylor, John Tilbury, Nasheet Waits, Mars Williams, Nate Wooley, and C. Spencer Yeh).

His current activity includes work with Made To Break, Marker, Lean Left, Shelter, DEK, The DKV Trio, Fire Room; duos with Paal Nilssen-Love, Tim Daisy, Terrie Ex, and Nate Wooley, as well as work as a solo performer. Since June of 2015 has been co-curator of Option, a music series held on a weekly basis at the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. In 2014 he began an independent label, called Audiographic Records, created to document special aspects of his work through albums and books. More than half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, Russia, Brazil, 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..

Special thanks to Mid Atlantic USAI program for supporting Made To Break’s Winter 2018 Latin America Tour to Mexico City and Mar del Plata.

Photo Credit: Bob Weston