Live Musical Performance
Co-Sponsored byNeues Kabarett
Featuring Sonny Simmons (alto sax, English horn), Michael Marcus (reeds), John Austria (piano), Rashaan Carter (bass), Jay Rosen (drums).
Neues Kabarett is delighted to present The Cosmosamatics returning from their European summer tour for a rare New York City performance.
The Cosmosamatics were formed in 2000, but are the fruit of a partnership between Sonny Simmons and Michael Marcus established in 1981. As Marcus insists in the liner notes to their album Zetrons (Not Two, 2005), “We are a band – which is rare in jazz today. Sonny and I have been collaborating for years to keep the tradition alive of being a band.” They have released eight albums to date.
This current Cosmosamatics lineup consists of Sonny Simmons (alto sax, English horn), Michael Marcus (reeds), John Austria (piano), Rashaan Carter (bass), Jay Rosen (drums).
Sonny Simmons grew up in Oakland, California, where he began playing the English horn. At age 16 he took up the alto saxophone, which became his primary instrument. He plays primarily in an avant-garde style occasionally bordering on free jazz. He is one of the few jazz musicians to play the English horn. In the early 1960s he worked with Charles Mingus and Prince Lasha, before recording his own LPs for ESP-Disk.
Michael Marcus has been an active member of the New York jazz scene for over twenty five years. He made his professional debuts in the 1970s with the blues bands of Albert King and Bobby Blue Bland w/Mel Brown. In the 1980s and 1990s, Marcus became a prominent figure on the “free jazz” scene with the likes of Sonny Simmons, Frank Lowe, Philip Wilson, Jemeel Moondoc, Denis Charles and Makanda Ken McIntyre, all the while staying connected to the tradition.
John Austria is a jazz pianist who has been performing and teaching professionally in New York City for over ten years. He performs regularly with the Sonny Simmons Quintet, Michael Marcus Quintet, and Makane Kouyate's West African/Jazz fusion ensemble "Denbaya". John also runs a weekly jam session at "Boom" restaurant in Soho. He has been teaching with the New York Jazz Workshop for over a year now, and has also taught at the non-profit music school Upbeat NYC for several years.
Bassist Rashaan Carter, son of a jazz saxophonist, was already a member of the Washington DC jazz community as a high school student. He performed in venues such as Blues Alley, Twins, HR-57, and the Bohemian Caverns. Before graduation, he appeared with Gary Thomas, Roy Hargrove, Stefon Harris, and played in a trio around DC with brothers Roland and Russell. He cites Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, Dave Holland, and Ron Carter as his key influences.
Drummer Jay Rosen was born in Philadelphia in 1961. His family moved to Long Island, N.Y. in 1964. Rosen began music lessons at age eight on guitar and then piano. However after watching Tony Williams with Sonny Rollins at Carnegie Hall in 1971, Rosen switched to the drums exclusively. Since 1998, Rosen has performed with Joe McPhee and Dominic Duval in Trio X. He has been playing with The Cosmosamatics since its inception.
Called "intrepid" and "exemplary" by Time Out New York and lauded by such publications as The Wire and All About Jazz, Neues Kabarett has presented a fascinating combination of artists since 1998. With music ranging from free-jazz to experimental and improvised to through-composed, featuring known instruments to those just invented, the series connects audiences with established and upcoming artists in intimate concerts at its Brecht Forum home and other venues.
The Brecht Forum is a place for people who are working for fundamental social change and a new culture that puts human needs first. The Brecht Forum offers a year-round program of classes, lectures, seminars, art exhibitions, performances, popular education workshops and language classes in its beautiful home looking out on the Hudson River in historic Westbeth.