Ars Nova Workshop and Ardmore Music Hall team up for contemporary jazz series

The Bad Plus.
The Bad Plus. SUBMITTED PHOTOS
Hudson performs Oct. 11 at Ardmore Music Hall.
Hudson performs Oct. 11 at Ardmore Music Hall.

Ars Nova Workshop and Ardmore Music Hall are teaming up to present a live contemporary jazz series of artists known for stretching musical boundries.

Here it is at a glance:

7 p.m. Saturday Sept. 16: Harmony, featuring Bill Frisell, Petra Haden, Luke Bergman and cellist Hank Roberts. Tickets: $30 in advance, $35 at the door, $40 for reserved seating.

7 p.m. Sunday Oct. 1: The Bad Plus. Tickets: $29 in advance, $35 at the door, $40 for reserved seating. Square Peg Round Hole opens. This will be the trio’s final Philadelphia area performance with co-founding pianist Ethan Iverson.

8 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 11: Hudson. Tickets: $40 in advance, $45 at the door, $55 for reserved seating. This new supergroup features Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, John Medeski and Larry Grenadier. The members of the quartet have worked with Miles Davis, Medeski Martin & Wood, Brad Mehldau and others.

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6:30 p.m. Dec. 10: Nels Cline Trio, featuring saxophonist Larry Ochs and Gerald Cleaver. Tickets: $17 in advance, $20 at the door, $27 for reserved seating. Before joining indie rock institution Wilco in 2004, Cline divided his energy between improvised contexts alongside Julius Hemphill, Vinny Golia, and his brother Alex, and more song-oriented settings like Carla Bozulich’s alt-country outfit Geraldine Fibbers and Mike Watt’s Crew of the Flying Saucer.

You must be 21 or over to get in. Ardmore Music Hall is at 23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore. Call (610) 649-8389 or visit www.ardmoremusic.com.

Ars Nova Workshop founder and artistic director Mark Christman commented in a press release: “For years, Ars Nova has sought to expand our programming to assure that our modern jazz heroes and legacy artists have a stable and accommodating environment that elevates and respects their extraordinary work. And we couldn’t be more excited about partnering with Ardmore Music Hall, who shares our commitment and passion.”

Ardmore Music Hall co-owner and talent buyer Chris Perella chimed in: “It’s a thrill for us to more aggressively pursue some of the greatest jazz icons in the world, knowing that we’ve got a partner in Ars Nova. They will not only be instrumental in reaching core jazz fanatics in the Philly area, but will also bring years of event production expertise and great contributions to the overall fan and musician experiences for these events. To kick off the partnership with Bill Frisell, John Medeski, John Scofield and Jack DeJohnette among others, will be a wonderful honor for Ardmore and a terrific personal reward for us the fans.”

A closer look

A sprawling and evocative trip through the landscape of American music of the last century, Harmony is a new group that continues Frisell’s career-long exploration of the breadth and scope of American music. Drawing on influences from folk, bluegrass and country as well as jazz, Harmony brings together collaborators from throughout Frisell’s notable career: vocalist Petra Haden, who has performed extensively in duos with the guitarist as well as on his movie-music tribute When You Wish Upon a Star; Roberts, whose association with Frisell spans three decades, dating back to the 1987 ECM release Lookout for Hope; and Bergman, a fellow member of the University of Washington Jazz Studies faculty and member of the Cuong Vu Group, which has recorded with Frisell.

 The Bad Plus came together at the end of the 20th century and has avoided easy categorization ever since, winning critical hosannas and a legion of fans worldwide with their creativity, unique sound and flair for live performance – not to mention their irreverent, power-trio reimagining of classic rock songs from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to “Iron Man.” Since coming together as a collective trio 17 years ago, The Bad Plus has been considered among the tightest, hardest-working bands in the world, without a line-up change or even a one-night substitution in 17 years. That all changes in 2018, however, when Ethan Iverson moves on to new horizons and Orrin Evans steps in, making this performance a crucial opportunity to catch the band in its original form.