Cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum will embark on a five-week, 1800-mile Acoustic Bicycle Tour Aug. 28 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The artist will present solo concerts and play with ensembles of area musicians along his route, stopping in Mexico Oct. 1.
According to a press release, “Bynum sees the entire trip as a kind of composition. Like all his music, it looks to combine the predetermined, indeterminate, improvised, intuitive and structured into an organic whole. The endeavor is a performance art piece, a philosophical statement, a celebration of musical community, and an exercise in extreme physicality. There are clear analogies between choosing to travel by bike and the path of creative music: the trip may be slower and more arduous, but it is ultimately more rewarding in its acoustic pleasures and unexpected delights.”
Bynum will present his music in a variety of contexts, from solo to big band, in venues ranging from state parks to art galleries to concert halls. Highlights will include pop-up outdoor solo concerts at beaches, parks and street corners. Bynum will open the tour at sunset on Wreck Beach at the far western tip of Vancouver and close it out with a pair of performances at sunset at San Diego’s Border Field State Park (9/30) and sunrise on the Mexican side of the border the following morning (10/1).
Bynum plans duets with clarinetist Francois Houle (8/29, Vancouver, BC), tubaist Gregg Moore (9/12, Arcata, CA), pianist Myra Melford (9/19, San Francisco, CA) and bassist Mark Dresser (9/29, Mission Viejo, CA), and ensembles featuring pianist Lisa Cay Miller (8/30, Vancouver, BC) and trumpeter Cuong Vu and drummer Dylan van der Schyff (9/3, Seattle, WA).
Concerts are also planned with large ensembles of local artists performing Bynum’s compositions and conducted improvisations, include perforbmances with the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (9/7, Portland, OR) and Phillip Greenlief’s OrcheSperry (9/16, Berkeley, CA).
Two concerts will feature the music of Bynum’s longtime mentor and collaborator Anthony Braxton-a quartet co-led with saxophonist (and fellow Braxton sideman) James Fei exploring Braxton’s classic 1970s small group music (9/17, Oakland, CA), then a concert with under the leadership of Braxton, in a trio with vocalist Kyoko Kitamura at the Angel City Jazz Festival (9/27, Los Angeles, CA).
Bynum will also appear at the Angel City Jazz Festival as a leader, with an all-star band of Los Angeles-area musicians-flutist Nicole Mitchell, trombonist Michael Dessen, violinist Jeff Gauthier, guitarist Jeff Parker, bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Alex Cline-performing music from his Sextet and 7-tette recordings (9/28, Los Angeles, CA).
In addition to the music, according to the release, “The Acoustic Bicycle Tour is intended to generate conversation on aesthetics and philosophy, the politics and economics of the arts, the relationship between music and the environment and the joys of creative engagement. Bynum’s solo performances often incorporate spoken word, blurring the lines between musical lectures and verbal improvisations.” Bynum will also conduct workshops, talks and radio interviews along the way. In addition, Bynum will keep a daily journal throughout the trip on his website and publish occasional articles and stories capturing his experiences en route.
A preliminary schedule is below, but those interested are encouraged to visit Bynum’s website and Facebook page for updates.
Schedule (as of July 15)
Thursday, August 28: Sunset solo at Wreck Beach, Vancouver, BC
Friday, August 29: Duo with Francois Houle (clarinet). The Apartment, 119B E Pender St, Vancouver, BC.
Saturday, August 30: Ensemble with Lisa Cay Miller (piano) and other musicians tba. China Cloud, 524 Main St, Vancouver, BC.
Wednesday, September 3: Quartet with Cuong Vu (trumpet), Carmen Rothwell (bass), and Dylan van der Schyff (drums). The Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA.
Sunday, September 7: The Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, 12-piece ensemble led by Douglas Detrick (trumpet). Central Hotel, 8608 N Lombard St, Portland, OR.
Friday, September 12: Duo with Gregg Moore (tuba), Arcata, CA. House concert, rsvp required.
Tuesday, September 16: OrcheSperry, 14-piece ensemble led by Phillip Greenlief (saxophone). Berkeley Arts, 2133 University Ave, Berkeley, CA.
Wednesday, September 17: Quartet with James Fei (saxophone), Lisa Mezzacappa (bass), and Jordan Glenn (drums), performing the ’70s quartet music of Anthony Braxton. Duende, 468 19th St, Oakland, CA.
Friday, September 19: Duos with Myra Melford (piano). Center for New Music, 55 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA.
Saturday, September 27: Anthony Braxton Trio, with Braxton (saxophones, electronics) and Kyoko Kitamura (voice). Angel City Jazz Festival, Zipper Hall, 200 South Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA.
Sunday, September 28: 7-tette with Nicole Mitchell (flute), Michael Dessen (trombone), Jeff Gauthier (violin), Jeff Parker (guitar), Mark Dresser (bass), and Alex Cline (drums). Angel City Jazz Festival, Barnsdall Art Park Gallery Theater, 4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA.
Monday, September 29: Duo with Mark Dresser (bass). Saddleback College, 28000 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA.
Tuesday, September 30: Sunset solo at Border Field State Park, San Diego, CA.
Wednesday, October 1: Sunrise solo, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico.