Since Alex Lemski started the Creative Music Works in 1989 with the "vision of uncompromising freedom of expression for musicians," the organization has brought in a number of pivotal artists in the jazz and avant-garde realms such as David S. Ware, Joseph Jarman and Andrew Cyrille, Nels Cline, Larry Ochs and Fred Frith. The organization has changed hands a few times after Lemski left in 2001, but it's essentially been on hiatus for the last few years after Paul Riola and Andrew Starr stepped down.
Now under the leadership of guitarist Farrell Lowe and with new board of directors, CMW is re-emerging with "Turning Live Music on Its Ear 2011," a benefit concert tonight at Dazzle featuring Matt Skellenger Quartet with Ron Miles, Glenn Taylor and Dave Miller. CMW is also bringing in the Marc Ribot Trio (featuring bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Chad Taylor) the Oriental Theater on Thursday, May 19 and forward-thinking pianist Matthew Shipp to Dazzle on Friday, July 15.
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CMW spokesman Frank Lambrick says that they've been working on getting things back together for over a year. "We're hoping we that once we get above the surface of the water again and get our name our name out there," he says, "and get stuff going that we'll attract some more people who are interested in helping, and keep building from there."
While they plan on bringing acts that are more experimental and avant-garde, Lambrick says they won't just be limited those genres. "We're lucky we have the name we've got," Lambrick says. "Creative music doesn't have to be any particular thing. It doesn't have to have an improvisational thing. It doesn't have to have a jazz component necessarily. It gives us lots of latitude."
Tonight's show with Skellenger at Dazzle (930 Lincoln Street) starts at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $20, $12 for students with I.D. Dinner packages are $55 per person or $110 for dinner-for-two.