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Composer/guitarist Richard Nelson brings his Imaginary Ensemble for an evening of his own exploratory contemporary jazz compositions.

Richard Nelson, Guitar; Brian Shankar Adler, drums; Peter Herman, guitar; Marcia Gallagher, vocals; Frank Mauceri, Saxophone; Scott Kiefner, bass

The Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble

Composer/guitarist Richard Nelson brings his Imaginary Ensemble for an evening of his own exploratory contemporary jazz compositions, elements of South African jazz, music by Bud Powell and other jazz masters, and jazz-tinged takes on blues and Americana classics featuring Maine’s outstanding jazz vocalist Marcia Gallagher. With Frank Mauceri, saxophones; Peter Herman, guitar; Scott Kiefner, bass; and Brian Shankar Adler, drums.

Richard Nelson

Described as “an ambitious and daring composer” who has “come up with a distinctive synthesis of modern jazz, and contemporary orchestral music” (Dave Wayne, All About Jazz), composer/guitarist Richard Nelson fosters a healthy creative interplay between the in-the-moment spontaneity of improvisational explorations and the more deliberately organized realms of composition. Alongside many other musical endeavors, he is co-leader, guitarist, and a principal composer for the Makrokosmos Orchestra, a 15-player, New York-based hybrid jazz/new-music ensemble, with multiple appearances at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn. He has written commissioned works for a number of notable performing ensembles including the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, the flute and harp Duo 2, and the Resinosa Ensemble, and he has received fellowships and residencies from MacDowell, Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Charles Ives Center, among others.

As a jazz performer and composer/bandleader, Richard has performed widely and with many well-known figures (including Sheila Jordan, Geri Allen, Adam Kolker, Taylor Ho-Bynum, and Ken Filiano) at festivals, clubs, colleges and other venues across the U.S. and abroad. Many of these appearances have been with the Boston-based Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, of which he has been a core member for many years. His Maine-based Imaginary Ensemble embodies the diverse nature of his artistic vision through its eclectic programs that incorporate and merge fully-composed pieces and progressive jazz (and improvised music of all sorts) with music that draws freely across the rock/pop/folk/blues spectrum.

Brian Shankar Adler is a multidisciplinary drummer, percussionist and composer. His work transcends the terrain between genre and geographic region, asking: how can we find connection through rhythm?

Adler has been described as being “a polyrhythmic force… New York City gritty yet still somehow capable of evoking the delicacy of a summer breeze…” by Brad Cohan, JazzTimes. He has performed and recorded for Chelsea Clinton’s film, “Of Many,” Kamala Sankaram’s operas, “Thumbprint” (LA Opera), and “A Rose” (Houston Grand Opera), and Elizabeth Swados’ final two theatrical productions, “The Nomad” and “The Golem.”

Adler has worked with Kinan Azmeh, Sheila Jordan, Guillermo Klein, La Bomba De Tiempo, The Michael Leonhart Orchestra, Frank London, Kate McGarry, Meg Okura, among others and has been featured in Modern Drummer Magazine, DownBeat, and NPR’s New Sounds. His recent project, Fourth Dimension won best music video at Transcinema International Film Festival in Peru and at the 2020 Independent Music Awards. He is a member of the eclectic rock band Bombay Rickey, performs environmental-activism with Bash the Trash and has been recorded on more than forty albums. Adler is on faculty at Bates College, University of Maine at Augusta and Vermont Jazz Center.

Scott Kiefner is a bassist currently living on the Seacoast of New Hampshire. After graduating from McGill University, he moved back to New England and has since established himself as an in-demand member of the jazz community. In addition to a busy freelance schedule, he performs regularly as a member of Sojoy, OURBIGBAND, and the Soggy Po Boys throughout New England and beyond. He teaches private lessons at Concord Community Music School, St. Paul’s School, Manchester Community Music School, and Plymouth State University.

Peter Herman graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the music program at the University of Maine at Augusta in 2014 and has crossed paths with many amazing musicians, teachers, and mentors. He freelances in a variety of acoustic and electric groups around Maine and New England. Peter now teaches guitar at UMA and at the Maine Arts Academy.

Marcia Gallagher attended UMA in the 1980’s and immediately began her professional music career. She has gigged in rock bands, soul bands, and with jazz combos. She currently performs solo as a keyboard/vocalist. She has been an accompanist, organist, and musical director for community, high school, and professional theater groups. She has taught music privately since her teenage years and has worked in the Central Maine area as a kindergarten through high school music teacher. She lives in Hallowell, Central Maine’s music mecca, where she has been part of the music scene for many years.

Saxophonist, composer, and teacher, Frank Mauceri lives and works in southern Maine. In addition to the Imaginary Ensemble, he performs in New England with Tom Porter and Friends, and with his own quartet. His compositions focus on using generative and interactive systems. His work includes audio art, video, prints, and performances. He has written about the effects of technology on music and the arts. He studied music composition at Oberlin College, and at the University of Illinois. He teaches music and new media at Bowdoin College.

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