Letting go takes courage. In 2000, with the support of JazzEast and the Canada Council for the Arts, jazz saxophonist David Aaron brought improv to the Khyber. Born in Toronto but based in New York, Aaron conducted quirky open performances with no set lists or prepared repertoires by local and international musicians. Eventually, he handed over the baton to jazz bassist Lukas Pearse. Until now.
On Saturday, Improv at The Khyber returns to Halifax for a very special fly-by-seat-of-your-pants kind of evening. After approaching a wish-list of fave musicians, Aaron has arranged four groups of improvisers from different musical disciplines that will play at intervals. The added element of surprise?
"Nobody will know who they will be playing with until they get there," he says, which will heighten the intensity of improv. "The moment kind of inspires the moment itself. The trick is to listen."
Bringing a taste of New York's inventive jazz scene with him, Aaron says free improv has power.
"It's challenging and it's personal and it can be such a beautiful expression of yourself. It can also be an incredibly dangerous and uneasy place to live," he says, noting that formlessness can be cruel.
But "I think that music should be an expression of the sounds going on in your head and free improv is just one of the rawest forms of that. Hopefully, it's where technique, personality, and the moment all converge together to make music."
The only thing you can expect is the unexpected.
Improv at The Khyber
Saturday, November 3, 8pm, $10
The Khyber, 1588 Barrington Street
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