Downtown NY Avant musicians to play the Lilypad


The Creative Music Series proudly welcomes
From New York
Prime lower “downtown” NY Avant musicians
and a first for Boston
three masters world-class, exceptional improvisers together

The Rob Brown Trio

One of the truly important saxophonist’s and bandleaders, an international figure and an anchor for decades with the great bassist William Parker for an evening of creativity and forward-looking (free) Jazz exploration…

Rob Brown, alto saxophone, composer

Rob Brown, part of the (mini) Vision Festival tour last October at Tufts, who has been called “Mr. Avant Garde” would feature highly on most people’s lists of modern purveyors of reed magic.

Leading New York avant-garde bassist William Parker has featured Brown for the last twenty years.  And Brown has been associated, both as sideman and leader with Matthew Shipp, Joe Morris, Whit Dickey; and alongside Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Butch Morris, Reggie Workman, Henry Grimes, Roy Campbell, Jason Kao Hwang, Karl Berger and activist/poet Amiri Baraka and more… Brown has a substantial discography under his own name.
“I don’t feel the need so much to exclude elements of music that aren’t traditionally jazz, and it just adds to the overall sound of the music”. Rob Brown.

“…one of the most consistently musical and compelling of the…free-jazz players.” – Boston Phoenix.

“An alto saxophonist of astonishing virtuosity, Rob Brown possesses a rare mastery of the instrument’s tonal colors.” – Alternative Press

“Rob Brown is an awesome alto saxophonist, a mercurial improviser who is perpetually inventive” Aum Fidelity.

“His solos were bright, aggressive, detailed, and nuanced”.  NPR.

Chad Taylor, drums, composer

“This is an outstanding (recording) debut (Chad Taylor) from a group of players that, both together in this collective or on their own, make exciting music. Taylor, in particular, makes a strong case for himself as a bandleader, composer, and musician and thus, TITRATION is one of the strongest records of the year. Jay Collins -one final note…imbued with a depth that rewards repeated listening, TITRATION marks both a victory for Taylor and a solid entry in the catalog of today’s shape-shifting avant-garde.”-Jazz Times

“What is remarkable is that there is no wasted motion, no histrionics or grandstanding, as pure emotion is translated to superlative music-making on this most highly recommended recording, one for the ages.”

Chris Lightcap, bass, composer

Chris Lightcap, “…the all-star bassist deftly combines oddball meters, conventional song structures and stunning melodic washes. The Epicenter is one of the best things to come out, thus far, in 2015.” – Dave Sumner, Bird is the Worm.

“Lightcap’s expertise on the bass is second to none, as he pushes and prods his way through these original works with an absolutely stellar band…The music is centered but perfectly identified by shooting out many sparks and shafts of light. ” – Michael G Nastos, All Music Guide


Rob Brown was born in 1962 in Hampton VA. Rob took up the saxophone at age 12. Early on he was introduced to the music of Charlie Parker and Eric Dolphy by his older brother who also played the saxophone. He played in school concert and jazz bands by age 13 and started playing with a performing/traveling jazz-blues band at age 16. During his first year of college Rob made a serious commitment to developing his music and he moved to Boston in 1981 to study. There he encountered many other young hard-working musicians that inspired him and within a couple of years Rob saw the direction he wanted to pursue as an artist, and that Boston was not the best place for him to realize that.

Rob moved to New York in 1984 and established the musical relationships that came to define his career. Immediately he reestablished ties with pianist Matthew Shipp whom he met in Boston in 1982 and continued to develop an improvising language with him. They performed sometimes with a trio or quartet but mainly as a duo and recorded their first album together in 1988 on Cadence. Within a year or two of moving to NYC Rob met William Parker and formed a trio with Denis Charles that explored a slightly more traditional jazz trio improvising language utilizing Rob’s compositions. In 1989 they recorded a cd for Silkheart and Rob’s trio concept continued to evolve, playing with different drummers and bassists producing a number of recordings.

Rob also began working with William Parker’s many ensembles and has continued to be very active with him for almost 30 years, touring Europe and the US and recording at least 18 albums.  A more recent and ongoing collaboration is with cellist Daniel Levin, which began in 2003.

Chad Taylor (b. 1973) is a composer, educator, percussionist and scholar who is a co-founder of the Chicago Underground ensembles. Originally from Tempe, AZ, Chad grew up in Chicago where he started performing professionally at the age of 16. Chad has performed with Fred Anderson, Derek Bailey, Cooper-Moore, Pharoah Sanders, Marc Ribot, Peter Brotzmann, Malachi Favors and many others. Chad leads his own band Circle down which debut recording was given a 5-star review by Allmusic:  Chad has a BFA from the New School in Jazz Performance and an MFA in Jazz Research and History from Rutgers University.

These days, Taylor is fully on board with the idea that no sonic strategy is off-limits. “We don’t get caught up in the actual sound of what we’re playing, because it might change,” he says.

As an important contributor to the Chicago underground creative music scene and New York, drummer and composer Chad Taylor has been on the rise, even leading his own groups.

Chris Lightcap, born in 1971 and raised in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, has played violin and piano before taking up the electric bass at fourteen. As a senior in high school, he started to study the upright bass and the following year he enrolled at Williams College. During this period he studied bass, composition, and improvisation with Milt Hinton, Cameron Brown, Robert Suderburg, Alvin Lucier, and Bill Dixon. He also had the privilege of studying and performing with master drummer Edward Blackwell shortly before his death in 1992. Upon graduating from Williams with the school’s Hutchinson arts grant he moved to his current home, New York City.

Lightcap soon found work with a wide array of material and musicians. He performed weekly with the Cecil Taylor Big Band in 1995 and was invited to perform in a trio with Archie Shepp and Sunny Murray in Paris the following year. For the next two years, he worked regularly throughout New York City in a trio led by saxophonist George Garzone. In 2000 Chris joined the ensemble of Regina Carter, an association that continues today.

Recently Lightcap assembled Superette, an experimental all-electric band that explores the nexus of harmolodics, surf, West African music, psychedelia and beyond.

Since 2013 he has played both upright and electric bass with Craig Taborn’s Quartet which released its acclaimed “Daylight Ghosts” on ECM in 2017.

The Creative Music Series (CMS) was established in January 2015, to showcase the work of adventurous jazz musicians from out-of-state, presenting them in intimate venues in the Cambridge/Somerville area.  My endeavor was a reaction to the apparent lack of invitations being extended to accomplished, new talent and even unknown musicians to the Boston area.  CMS has now begun to zero in on Boston based musicians who are creating their own projects with these out-of-town guests and taking these musical risks to find an expression and gain a wider appreciation. s us