Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Fri, Nov 22 2019 8:00 PM

Jason Levis "Joseph's Bones"

Bay Area composer, drummer, and bandleader Jason Levis visits with his instrumental dub orchestra, Joseph’s Bones, transforming the rich, electronic soundscapes of dub into a vibrant sonic palette for his acoustic ensemble. Featuring a unique instrumentation of oboe, clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, two trombones, violin, voila, cello, harp, two guitars, vibraphone, acoustic bass, and drums, Joseph's Bones pulls the thread between visceral groove and abstract aural suspension.

In the lineage of experimentation by dub masters King Tubby and Lee "Scratch" Perry, Joseph's Bones reconstructs and re-imagines echo, reverb and delay without the use of electronic effects. The ensemble employs their acoustic avant-dub language to subvert traditional song form and fragment the music's surface texture while never losing the physical impact of the dance music. Imagine King Tubby played by a chamber orchestra, accompanied by a dance band. This is real-time, live, acoustic dub.

Levis, who holds a PhD in classical composition from UC Berkeley, says “The exploration of experimental sounds and techniques in classical music takes place in the concert hall. The experimental electronic sound-transformation processes of Jamaican dub are done in the studio and brought to the dance floor. Joseph's Bones blends those worlds to create "Avant-Dub Instrumentale" and bring the rich, colorful soundscape of dub to life.”

Levis has been deeply involved in reggae music for over 30 years, and has performed internationally. Dub is the intersection point where texture and sonic space can be invested with meaning and stand side by side with rhythm, melody, and harmony. It is the connective language between jazz, improvisation, and modern classical music.

Band Members & Instrumentation

Rob Ewing - Trombone
Scott Larson - Trombone
Matt Renzi - Oboe, Clarinet, Tenor Sax
Beth Schenck - Alto Sax
Alisa Rose - Violin
Katie Wreede - Viola
Jess Ivry - Cello
Diana Rowan - Harp
Myles Boisen - Guitar
John Finkbeiner - Guitar
Lisa Mezzacappa - Acoustic bass
Dillon Vado - Vibraphone and Percussion
Jason Levis - Drum set and compositions

Artist Bio

The music of composer, drummer, and percussionist Jason Levis lives in the rich spaces where styles intersect and musical languages merge. His artistic scope includes jazz, contemporary improvisation, modern classical composition and dub reggae. His wide-ranging creative efforts are skillfully bound by his innate sense of timbre, sonic space, rhythmic force, and his insatiable interest in discovery. Over the years his passion and curiosity have led him to search out the intersections of musical paths less traveled, and the resulting unique perspective is reflected in his music.

Recent projects include Joseph's Bones, an avant-dub reggae orchestra; the Jason Levis Septet, original jazz compositions for seven players, the Lost Shapes, a jazz quintet collective; Junior Reggae a jazz/dub quartet; the duo B experimental band; a large ensemble performing original compositions for improvisers; and the Jason Levis Trio.

Levis holds a Ph.D. in composition from the University of California, Berkeley and currently teaches at the California Jazz Conservatory. He is active as a performer and composer in the United States and Europe.
✚gCal  ✚iCal
Audio samples in which musicians at this event play:
Videos featuring musicians playing at this event
avantNOIR, a suite of compositions for jazz quartet plus guests, is a musical companion to the crime novels of Dashiell Hammett and Paul Auster. All music by Lisa Mezzacappa.