A Word in Edgewise is a collaborative improvisation project merging dark themes with deep listening, intricate groove, vital dynamics and relenting intimacy. It is currently comprised of cellist Clark Battle and drummer Kevin Cook.
Kevin Cook (drummer) has been a staple in the Seattle dance scene, accompanying classes at Cornish College of the Arts, UW and Spectrum Dance for over 20 years. A long time fan of the avant-garde, he is inspired by such artists as Fred Frith, Captain Beefheart, Dr. Nerve, Amy Denio and Daevid Allen’s Gong. His dynamic playing has enabled him to play in a diverse range of projects, from the extremes of heavy metal to the sublime subtleties of acoustic cello.
Despite almost all of his musical influences being progressive jazz-rock guitarists, cellist Clark Battle reluctantly studied classical cello from a young age. Guitar envy ultimately seduced him down the unreasonable path of luthiery; irreverently hacking a perfectly good acoustic cello with an extra string, internal LEDs and internal electric surface exciters for guitar effects. Embracing an improvisational approach Clark weaves prepared themes with whatever inspires him in the moment.
Jonathan G. Smith — Vocals, guitars, woodwinds, percussion, dulcimer, mandolin, banjo
Bubblemath was formed in the 90s in Minneapolis, and their first album, Such Fine Particles of the Universe, took the prog world by surprise in 2001, presenting a unique and complex twist on what was understood as progressive rock. They combined grand compositions with quirky humor and precise execution into a style unlike anything heard before. Their second album didn’t appear until more than a decade later, but there was no drop in quality, and Edit Peptide made many critics’ lists for the best albums of 2017.
Cantrip is a Seattle trio formed by guitarist Simon Henneman, whose band Northern Cantrips performed at our 2015 festival. With an explosive cross-pollination between jazz and rock, they will do their best to rid you of any socks you might be wearing.
Jeff Libersher — Guitar, vocals, trumpet, keyboards
Amelie Morgan — Keyboards, vocals, oboe
Thymme Jones — Drums, vocals, piano, trumpet, noise
Hailing from the singularly vibrant musical hotbed known as Chicago, Cheer-Accident has been a creative, vital force in rock music for over 20 years. They constantly strive to surprise their audiences and themselves through relentless reinvention. From dreamy pop to angular art-rock, Cheer-Accident strikes a powerful balance between personalized and unique studio wizardry and the visceral excitement of a well-honed, explosive live rock band. Presenting itself in various configurations, the band’s core personnel is frequently augmented by some of Chicago’s finest musicians.
Clearly Beloved is a gathering of five musicians, friends and storytellers. They write and orchestrate songs about fishermen; homesteaders; the feeling you get the moment before a shark attack; the flight of a carrier pigeon. Having at their disposal guitar, drums, bass, violins, marimbas, vocals, hand bells, toy piano, viola and glockenspiel, they are not opposed to using anvil and hammer, when the song calls for it. Nor are they opposed to dancing a tango with large paper mache dolls when required. They have not written about heartbreak, but do have songs about baking bread.
Faun Fables began in 1998 as a collaboration between singer and songwriter Dawn McCarthy and Nils Frykdahl of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Together, the duo has delved into a unique pan-cultural realm of magic and emotion, unbounded by the conventions of any genre or style.
Free Salamander Exhibit is a band based in Oakland, California, that much is not in dispute. Pretty much everything else is opinion and conjecture, including such propositions as the contention that FSE is the next phase in the evolution of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, being a new configuration of former members of that legendary band. Another contention is the description of their music as progressive rock, which is supported by the sometimes heavy sounds, but belied by the wide range of other sounds presented, many of which do not resemble rock at all. Another contention is that they are one of the most creative and consistently interesting bands in the world today.
Himiko Cloud was formed in a small town in Central Washington called Cashmere. They use loops, polyrhythms, heavy effects, and time signature changes to create a lush form of instrumental progressive music. Originally a duo, Kyle Folden (guitar) and Jake Henson (drums) have played shows around the Northwest together under this name for three years. With the addition of bassist Connor McKay in the fall of 2017, they are ready to take on the world.
Inner Ear Brigade (IEB) is an ensemble of musicians based in the San Francisco Bay Area who play a unique mix of progressive rock, jazz, and experimental pop, all delivered through their originally detailed compositions and arrangements. They recently released their 2nd full length album Dromology. The music is “fun, happy, accessible, and proggy.” Steeped with a vintage analog sensibility, effects processing, and synthesizers, IEB crafts their sounds from “RIO elements (Rock In Opposition), Canterbury (Sound), and Zappa.”
Moraine is an omnivorous Seattle-based instrumental quintet led by guitarist Dennis Rea and featuring violinist Alicia DeJoie, woodwind player James DeJoie, bassist Kevin Millard, and drummer Tom Zgonc. With its several writers and full complement of ace instrumentalists arrayed in striking combination, Moraine has built a reputation as one of the most electrifying and original instrumental rock bands anywhere, winning over listeners around the globe with its unique amalgam of art rock, forward-thinking jazz, world music, and more. Moraine has been enthusiastically received by audiences ranging from jazz aficionados to metalheads to partisans of progressive rock and has appeared alongside such renowned artists as Three Friends (Gentle Giant), Steve Hackett, Eddie Jobson, and Richard Pinhas. The band's 2009 release on NYC-based MoonJune Records, manifest deNsity, garnered more than 100 enthusiastic reviews worldwide, and its set at NEARfest 2010, the world's preeminent showcase for progressive rock, was considered by many to be a highlight of the festival. Moraine created a buzz on its spring 2011 tour of major East Coast cities and in late 2011 released its second CD, Metamorphic Rock: Live at NEARfest, co-produced and mixed by legendary Pacific Northwest producer Steve Fisk.
Not for the faint of heart, Seattle’s Ocelot Omelet ventures into the depths of rock music where psychedelic echoes meet subterranean deities in dark rituals involving sound, vision, and emotion. The phrase “pseudo-retro tele-gothic psycho-hippie filth-punk” has been used, and it is as accurate as it is confusing. Moments of torrential pummeling are balanced by periods of calm serenity.
Spontaneous Rex is an experimental jazz and avant-rock band based in Seattle. The band focuses on originals and covers that range from modern jazz to fusion; from electronic music to progressive rock, creating their own signature style. The band is a quartet of piano/keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums. The four met while studying music at Cornish College.
This experimental Portland trio, formed in 2006, specialize in creative overuse of their effect pedals. Their latest material includes extensive live looping work, creating huge enveloping layers of sound. At best, they fuse the oddball rhythms and technicality of progressive music with a genuine sense of melody and emotion.
A lot has changed with The Mercury Tree since they played Seaprog 2014. They’ve released an album called Permutations, toured extensively around North America, and morphed into a marvelously cohesive trio. They’ve also been exploring the world of microtonal tuning, utilizing custom instruments built for 17 notes per octave. And they’ve done it without losing sight of what it means to write good tunes.
Tiny Orchestral Moments is an international troupe of connected musicians who meet periodically to perform and record. A core of experienced musicians invites others to participate, including many from the world’s Guitar Circle community. The aim: share structured improvisation that sounds composed, and composed collaboration that sounds improvised.
Join us to see what happens when this amazing group of musicians gets together.
Seaprog is fiscally sponsored by Shunpike.
Shunpike is the 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that provides independent arts groups in Washington State
with the services, resources, and opportunities they need to forge their own paths to sustainable success.