Ken Leighton 5:01 p.m., Nov. 24
Point of Contact
Sound description: Improvisational vocal jazz.
RIYL: John Zorn, Marcelo Radulovich, Hans Fiellestad, Marcos Fernandes, Donkey
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Inception: San Marcos, 2007
Current Status: Playing, teaching, and lecturing.
Influences: John Zorn, Lisle Ellis, Donkey, Cosmologic, Gunther's Grass, Marcelo Radulovich, Hans Fiellestad, Marcos Fernandes, Bill Horist, Peter Brotzmann, Cross Border Trio, 2 Foot Yard, the Assholes, Thomas Dimuzio, Nathan Hubbard, Wormhole, the Nortec Collective
Point of Contact is a trio featuring Ellen Weller, Bob Weller, and Mark Dresser. This group of improvisation veterans offers up spontaneous, energetic interactivity and exploration of fresh sonic spaces through use of extended techniques and other-worldly harmonies. The group's first eponymous CD was released on the Circumvention label.
Ellen Weller plays flute, recorder, ocarina, fife, soprano sax, piano, and clarinet. She divides her musical performance activities between improvisation, jazz, klezmer, and classical music. She received her Masters in Music Composition from Queens College in New York and her PhD in Critical Studies and Experimental Practices from the University of California San Diego. Weller has taught music at all levels, from kindergarten through college, and is currently assistant professor of world music at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA, where she teaches Music Theory and Ear Training, Music Appreciation, and World Music. An active member of the Trummerflora Collective (www.trummerflora.com ), Weller often records with her pianist husband Bob Weller and internationally recognized contrabassist Mark Dresser.
Mark Dresser studied with Bertram Turetzky at the University of California San Diego (BA and MA degrees), taking part in the Los Angeles avant-garde jazz scene of the early '70s. A chapter on his extended techniques for contrabass, "A Personal Pedagogy," appears in the book, Arcana: Musicians on Music. He received a 2003 Grammy nomination, two NYFA grants, Meet the Composer commissions, a McKim Fund commission at the Library of Congress, and commissions from sculptor Robert Taplin and flutist Matthias Ziegler. He is professor of music at University of California San Diego. He has also been a lecturer at Princeton University, faculty at the New School University, and Hampshire College.
Pianist/percussionist/composer Bob Weller has enjoyed a significant career as a jazz drummer, working with jazz greats Joe Pass, Mose Allison, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Benny Golson, Kenny Baron, and others. His compositions early on crossed the boundary between jazz and classical chamber music, such as his 1979 jazz/chamber ensemble suite based upon J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. In addition to progressive jazz recordings with his brother, L.A. drummer Dick Weller, he has recorded with the radical klezmer group Rabbinical School Dropouts on John Zorn's Tzadik label. Bob has a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance from California State University, Northridge.
- Point of Contact