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Turning 50 is a milestone in anyone's life, few of us have the wherewithal, though, to celebrate the occasion like free jazz trumpet master Jeff Kaiser will on Nov. 19, when he assembles a large cast of the world's most dangerous improvising musicians for a performance in Conrad Prebys Hall at UCSD.

He calls this monstrous unit the Jeff Kaiser Ockodektet, which is a spell-checked challenged way around calling it a "big band."

The Ockodektet, is however, by any definition, a big band, or large ensemble, or the term coined by legendary composer Anthony Braxton,-- Creative Orchestra, might fit the best.

In fact, expect a performance much closer to Anthony Braxton than to Doc Severinsen. I'm just sayin'.

The 21 piece Ockodektet will feature outcats from all over the country.

"They are all coming down, driving and flying in from Los Angeles, Saint Louis, New York, all over, just to hang and play some music with each other," says Kaiser. "This is not only my 50th year, but the band's 10th. Many of these players were in the original. Some of the younger members were in the audience at our first gig."

Kaiser spent much of the last few months writing a new composition for the Ockodektet, titled 132350. In addition, the band will perform works from their 2003 collection on pfMENTUM : 13 Themes For A Triskaidekaphobic.


Anyone familiar with the free jazz improvising community will gasp at the personnel:

Woodwinds David Borgo, Vinny Golia, Andrew Pask, Emily Hay, Tracy McMullen

Trumpets Dan Clucas, John Fumo, Brad Henkel, Daniel Rosenboom, Kris Tiner

Trombones Michael Dessen, Mike Vlatkovich

Tubas Jonathan Piper, William Roper

Basses Steuart Liebig (electric contrabass guitar), Mark Dresser, Jim Connolly

Percussion Rich West, Brad Dutz

Keyboards & Theremin Wayne Peet

The concert begins at 8 p.m., and through some kind of divine magic, is FREE! This is going to be a highlight memory for those of us who attend.

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