Nick Mazzarella + Tomeka Reid

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, saxophonist Nick Mazzarella and cellist Tomeka Reid perform at Arts + Literature Laboratory in support of their recent release Signaling, a collection of improvised duets inspired by avant-garde music of the 1970s. The idea to record as a duo arose when the two discovered a mutual admiration for the music of saxophonist Julius Hemphill and cellist Abdul Wadud. Using this touchstone as a starting point, Mazzarella and Reid play with a "striking amount of originality" (Derek Taylor, Dusted Magazine), adapting the duo setting as a vehicle for their own unique voices. Tickets $15 in advance online at or $18 at the door. Online sales end 1 hour before the show. Doors open at 7:30pm. Show starts at 8pm.

Critical praise for Signaling:

"On this captivating, fully-improvised duo recording by alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella and cellist Tomeka Reid, we find a superlative example of two leading-edge musicians who continue to draw vital inspiration from their forbears." (Troy Dostert, All About Jazz)

"Completely sublime duets between alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella and cellist Tomeka Reid – working here together at a level that seems to both bring a whole new sense of energy to duo improvisation, and also put the record at the level of some of the most exciting work of the 70s!" (Dusty Groove )

Nick Mazzarella by Mark Pallman, NY Times

Saxophonist and composer Nick Mazzarella has bee n described as a "student of jazz’s deep history and a freedom seeker unwilling to let rules hold back expression." (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader) . He has maintained a consistent presence in Chicago's music scene since the early 2000s, and his regular performances there represent an aesthetically unique contribution to the city's rich jazz and improvised music culture. His working trio and quintet have served as the primary vehicles for his endeavors as a composer and leader, while as a collaborator or sideman he has performed and recorded with such artists as Tomeka Reid, Makaya McCraven, Hamid Drake, Joshua Abrams, and Rob Mazurek. He has released recordings on Nessa Records, Clean Feed Records, and the International Anthem Recording Company imprint, among others, and has performed throughout the United States and Scandinavia. Mazzarella also curates two concert series: the Anagram Series, presented weekly at Elastic Arts in... Read More

Tomeka Reid by Mark Pallman, NY Times

Chicago based cellist, composer and educator, Tomeka Reid has been described as "a remarkably versatile player," (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). Equally adept in classical and jazz contexts, Ms. Reid predominantly finds herself in experimental and improvisatory settings and composes for a wide range of instrumentation, from big band to chamber ensemble. Ms. Reid's music combines her love for groove along with freer concepts.
She is an integral part of Dee Alexander's Evolution Ensemble, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble/Strings, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) Great Black Music Ensemble, and co-leads the internationally recognized string trio, Hear in Now with performances in Poznan, Poland; Paris, France; Rome, Venice, Milan, Italy; Soazza, Switzerland; and in the US: Chicago, New York and Vermont. As a composer, she  has been commissioned by the AACM, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble ,... Read More

Ready to Visit?

Arts + Literature Laboratory is located in Madison’s Schenk-Atwood neighborhood at 2021 Winnebago Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704.

Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11am-3pm during exhibitions or by appointment. Please check the exhibitions calendar before planning your visit, as the gallery is closed between exhibitions and other schedule changes are posted here.


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