M U S I C I A N S   S P E A K
Joseph Celli Podcast Series
About Music Radio Press Images Upcoming Contact Facebook

Episode Index
31. Joe Lovano
30. Angelica Sanchez
29. Tomeka Reid
28. Dennis Báthory-Kitsz
27. David Murray
26. William Parker
25. Malcolm Goldstein
24. Miguel Zenon
23. Mary Halvorson
22. Bill Frisell
21. Joe Morris
20. Pamela Z
19. Wadada Leo Smith
18. Min Xiao-Fen
17. Dickie Landry
16. Aaron Taylor Kuffner
15. Thomas Buckner
14. Libby Van Cleve Interviews Joseph Celli
13. Nate Wooley
12. Kris Davis
11. Carl Testa
10. Rudresh Mahanthappa
09. Phill Niblock
08. Jen Shyu
07. Ingrid Laubrock
06. Rez Abbasi
05. Kyoko Kitamura
04. Miguel Zenon
03. Mario Pavone
02. Matthew Shipp
01. Gustavo Matamoro

  Joe Morris - Episode 21 (10/21/21)
Joseph Celli Interviews Joe Morris
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser Joe Morris recalls his early years as a guitarist, his influences, and his path to becoming one of the most widely respected free music guitarists today. During the interview we listen to solo and ensemble performances as he discusses free jazz and the differences with other jazz styles. Joe also talks about the new Improvisation Now! concert series that he is curating at Real Art Ways and the various participating musicians. He appears on over 150 recordings as leader, co-leader and sideman with ‘best of the year’ nominations in the Village Voice, Chicago Tribune, Wire, Coda, and Jazzis among others. He has been on the faculty in the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation Department at the New England Conservatory of Music since 2000.

“…the preeminent free music guitarist of his generation.” Downbeat Magazine

“One of the most profound improvisers at work in the U. S.” The Wire

“…the guitar revolutionary to pay attention to.” The Boston Phoenix

“…the most exciting and original jazz plucker to emerge in the last decade.” Downbeat

  Pamela Z - Episode 20 (7/19/21)
Joseph Celli Interviews Pamela Z
Composer/performer and media artist Pamela Z discusses her new CD release and her work with voice, electronic processing and gesture activated Midi controllers. She talks about the evolution of her work, the use of technology, and contextualizes various works from A Secret Code CD release (Neuma) as we listen to several selections from the release.

Pamela performs throughout the United States with tours to Japan and Europe and has been commissioned by Kronos Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, Bang On A Can All-Stars, Ethel, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players among others. She has received numerous awards including United States Artists, the Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, Rome Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency, Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, Creative Capital Fund, and the MAP Fund among many others.

“Building upon layers is the central idea in Z's work, as she creates and edits digital loops on the spot and then sings, speaks or grunts over the top of her phantom ensemble. Z transcends the kind of dry, hermetic nature of much electronic music, by adding elements of dancer, performance artists, digital shaman, and generally charismatic stage presence. Josef Woodard (Santa Barbara News-Press)

  Wadada Leo Smith - Episode 19 (6/4/21)
Joseph Celli Interviews Wadada Leo Smith
Wadada Leo Smith has been in the epicenter of creative music for over 50 years as a composer, trumpet player, educator and theoretician. Since his earliest days with Anthony Braxton to his most recent tours, recordings and performances with the likes of Vijay Iyer, Bill Laswell, and Milford Graves he has defined a singular path as a creative musician. In addition to being a finalist in the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Music he also received the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award and earned an honorary doctorate from CalArts, where he was also celebrated as Faculty Emeritus

During the interview we listen to two newly released CD box sets including Sacred Ceremonies and Trumpet and Wadada discusses various aspects of his compositional process, his work during the pandemic, upcoming projects and his tributes to other musicians, social and spiritual leaders.

The New York Times wrote, “…he knows the power of a single musical gesture and cuts a clearing around himself when he plays: He uses open, full, melodic cries, and then grainy, blurry, throttled ones; he plays in recognizable rhythm for a short period or lets his phrases crumble.”

“Before the masses woke, Smith's music had incorporated political, cultural, spiritual, and environmental awareness. The elder statesman of new music continues his prolific output with TUM Records box sets for the first half of 2021.” Karl Ackermann, All About Jazz

  Min Xiao-Fen - Episode 18 (5/14/21)
Joseph Celli Interviews Min Xiao-Fen
Classically trained pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-Fen left China and subsequently pursued an expansive career as a leading performer in avant-garde jazz, free improvisation experimental and contemporary classical music. She has collaborated with an eclectic range of music luminaries including Bjork, John Zorn, Randy Weston, Jin Hi Kim, Derek Bailey, Wadada Leo Smith and others.

We listen to several selections from Min’s newest release White Lotus with guitarist Rez Abbasi that includes her compositions and improvisations for the 1934 Chinese silent film, The Goddess. Additionally she discusses her training in China, transition to the United States and her instrument the pipa.

Larry Blumenfeld, Wall Street Journal wrote, “Min Xiao-Fen plucked and strummed a pipa… she summoned the sharp percussive tones and quivering vibrato associated with her instrument. She also evoked further-flung sounds: a banjo’s twang; a violin’s lyrical lines; and the crisscrossing overtones of a Resonator guitar.”

“The pipa player extraordinaire brandished her virtuosic skills coaxing cascades of pearly notes from the pear like Chinese lute…” Ted Shen, Chicago Tribune

  Richard (Dickie) Landry - Episode 17 (5/6/21)
Joseph Celli Interviews Dickie Landry
Louisiana composer, saxophonist, photographer Richard (Dickie) Landry has been a seminal figure in the American downtown music and art scene that began developing in the late ‘60s. After leaving the bayou country Dickie was in the center of the experimental, avant-garde new music, dance and art scene in New York where he worked with literally the whose who of the new art scene including Keith Sonnier, Robert Rauschenberg, Gordon Matta-Clark, Robert Smithson, Walter de Maria, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Nancy Graves, Spalding Grey, Joan Jonas, Richard Serra, Mabou Mines, Chuck Close, Robert Wilson, Joseph Kosuth, Bruce Nauman, Trisha Brown, Deborah Hay, and many many others.

During this interview we listen to Landry’s Mass for Pentecost Sunday and he discusses his on-going work and touring with theatre director Robert Wilson’s Oedipus Rex for which he composed the music. Dickie has recorded extensively with Philip Glass as well as Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon, Robert Plant and many others.

  Aaron Taylor Kuffner - Episode 16 (5/1/21)
Joseph Celli Interviews Aaron Taylor Kuffner
Sculptor, composer, electronic music producer and former DJ Aaron Taylor Kuffner discusses his sonic installation Encountering Resonance and his Gamelatron, a sound-producing kinetic sculpture. Aaron discusses his study of Indonesian gong making and their function within his Gamelatron installations which marry resonant metal objects with robotics and modernist sculpture. Aaron speaks about ‘…providing conceptual tools that further the evolution of consciousness through experiences of beauty and the sublime…. Pushing the role of art to be a form of service to society.’

Aaron has stated, “I see technology in a greater sense – not just digital technology, but anything from smelting bronze to machining metals – as something that humans always incorporate into our lives in turn contributes to shaping our culture. Art has always been made from the tools and resources available to the artist. In this moment in history these are the tools that are available to me – so that is what I use.” (Forbes)

  Thomas Buckner - Episode 15 (2/17/21)
Joseph Celli Interviews Thomas Buckner
Vocalist, improviser, concert and record producer Thomas Buckner discusses his 40 years commitment as a central figure in American new and improvised music. Tom talks about his early West Coast years with his 1750 Arch Street, his transition to the East Coast and some of his long-term creative activities. During the interview he discusses his lengthy creative work with Robert Ashley, Roscoe Mitchell, Annea Lockwood and many others. The program features an improvisation from his newest release VoiceScapes with Danish vocalist Randi Pontoppidan as well as excerpts of works by Robert Ashley, Roscoe Mitchell and Annea Lockwood.

Tom has had works composed for him by over 50 composers including Jon Gibson, Nils Vigeland, Peter Gena, Anneal Lockwood, Bun-Ching Lam, Robert Ashley, Earl Howard, Jin Hi Kim among many others.

The New York Times wrote, “He has sung a ''sound sculpture'' inspired by a round trip on the E train to Queens, introduced an opera about a secret agent who has forgotten whom he's spying on, and improvised vocalizations in breath sounds ranging from gurgles to clucks to a syrupy baritone. When it comes to the avant-garde in music, few singers are avant-er than Thomas Buckner. A pillar of the experimental music nonestablishment, ….”

  Libby Van Cleve - Episode 14 (8/28/20)
Libby Van Cleve Interviews Joseph Celli (Part 1)
Libby Van Cleve, Director of Yale University’s Oral History of American Music Archive, holds an extensive interview with oboist/composer Joseph Celli tracing his early upbringing, his education and wide-ranging cultural influences that informed his subsequent international work with composers John Cage, Ornette Coleman, Phill Niblock, Kronos Quartet and many others.

“The most striking sound effects however, came not from the strings (Kronos Quartet) but from the guest oboist Joseph Celli…. It held the attention.” The New York Times (Carnegie Recital Hall Concert)

“… superb avant-garde oboist…” Chicago Tribune

“There were gasps and shouts when he (Celli) began producing wide, multi-phonic blocks of sound from a common-and-garden variety oboe… intense, humorous, delicate, raucous, cool, emotional and more…” Sydney Herald (Australia)

Complete Interview Available at:  archives.yale.edu

  Nate Wooley - Episode 13 (11/17/20)
Joseph Celli Interviews Nate Wooley
Trumpet virtuoso, improviser, composer Nate Wooley discusses his revolutionary trumpet improvisations and his work to redefine the instrument with his use of feedback, noise, extreme extended techniques, and vocalizations. Nate talks about his music and we listen to excerpts of various pieces including the new ecstatic song cycle Seven Storey Mountain VI (Pyroclastic Records)

He has performed with such icons as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Elaine Radigue, Fred Frith, Evan Parker and others and works with some of the most innovative new music makers of the day including Kris Davis, Peter Evans, Cory Smythe, Ingrid Laubrock, Mary Halvorson, Sylvie Courvoisier as well as a solo appearance with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 2018.

Time Out New York has called him “an iconoclastic trumpeter and Downbeat’s Jazz Musician of the Year, Dave Douglas said, “Nate Wooley is one of the most interesting and unusual trumpet players living today…”

  Kris Davis - Episode 12 (11/6/2020)
Joseph Celli Interviews Kris Davis
Composer, improviser, pianist, educator and record producer Kris Davis works in a diverse and eclectic range of new music from solo to ensemble works with a distinctive cadre of musicians including John Zorn, Terri Lyne Carrington, Craig Taborn, Tyshawn Sorey, Eric Revis, Michael Formanek, Tony Malaby, Ingrid Laubrock, Julian Lage, Mary Halvorson, Bill Frisell, Tom Rainey and others. Kris discusses her early training, compositional and improvising process as well as her work as Associate Program Director of Creative Development for the Institute Jazz and Gender Justice at Berklee College of Music. During the interview we also listen to music from several of her highly acclaimed recordings.

“As she does throughout Aeriol Piano, Davis draws you in so effortlessly that the brilliance of what she’s doing doesn’t hit you until the piece has slipped past your.” Jazz Times

“Octopus CD showcases improvisational prowess at the highest levels.” AllAboutJazz.com Best Jazz of 2019

“…her skills (Davis) as a composer, band assembler, system builder and improviser – a musical auteur, basically – come fully into focus. Ms. Davis builds her compositions on crooked patterns and splintered loops that somehow become a kind of magnetic touchstone, bringing together wildly diverse musicians in tangled unity.” The New York Times

  Carl Testa - Episode 11 (8/15/2020)
Joseph Celli Interviews Carl Testa
Composer, multi-instrumentalist Carl Testa works at the intersection of improvised, electronic, and experimental music. Carl has composed acoustic and electronic music for a range of configurations including multimedia pieces that incorporate electronics, lighting, dance and theater. He performs regularly with composers Anthony Braxon, Mario Pavone and Tyshawn Sorey and serves as the Director of Publishing and Creative Technology for Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation and was production manager for noted jazz venue and record label Firehouse 12. Carl discusses his application of live, interactive computer in an improvisational setting and we listen to several excerpts of his work.

"Electronic musician Carl Testa used a new electroacoustic setup-designed in collaboration with the composer - to control the playback files. Alongside the pianist Cory Smythe, who played some of Mr. Braxton's 1970 solo piano music, Mr. Testa oversaw a head-spinning, surround-sound environment that felt more immersive than past two-channel stereo recordings..." The New York Times

  Rudresh Mahanthappa- Episode 10 (6/15/2020)
Joseph Celli Interviews Rudresh Mahanthappa
Italian born, Indian emigres saxophonist/composer/educator Rudresh Mahanthappa discusses his newest release Hero Trio and the tribute he pays to his greatest influences with interpretations ranging from Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker to Johnny Cash.  He discusses his very personal approach based on an amalgamation of Western and Indian music. Rudresh has received many awards including Guggenheim Fellowship, Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and has been named alto saxophonist of the year for six of seven years running in Downbeat Magazine International Critics’ Poll. Currently he is Director of Jazz at Princeton University.

John Ford of The Guardian wrote, “… The US-raised alto saxophonist who astutely fuses western and Indian traditional with mind-bending jazz rhythms…”. In addition to the interview we hear several performances of Rudresh from Hero Trio and from an earlier release, Agrima.

Back | Next

Home About Music Radio Press Images Upcoming Contact