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Today's Shows

  • Wed Jun 14, 2017 - Buffalo NYHallwalls Contemporary Arts Center with DKV Trio
  • Thu Jun 15, 2017 - Toronto ONBurdock Music Hall with DKV Trio
  • Fri Jun 16, 2017 - Hamilton ONSomething Else! Festival of Creative Music
  • Fri Jun 16, 2017 - St. Catharines ONNiagara Artists Centre with DKV Trio
  • Sat Jun 17, 2017 - Hamilton ONSomething Else! Festival of Creative Music with Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley Duo
  • Sun Jun 18, 2017 - Hamilton ONSomething Else! Festival of Creative Music with DKV Trio
  • Thu Jun 22, 2017 - Madison WIArts + Literature Laboratory with Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley Duo

Ken Vandermark

Artist Biography

Born in Warwick, Rhode Island on September 22nd, 1964, Ken Vandermark began studying the tenor saxophone at the age of 16. Since graduating with a degree in Film and Communications from McGill University during the spring of 1986, his primary creative emphasis has been the exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. In 1989, he moved to Chicago from Boston, and has worked continuously from the early 1990's onward, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in a large array of contexts, with many internationally renowned musicians (such as Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Tim Daisy, Hamid Drake, Terrie Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Devin Hoff, Christof Kurzmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Lytton, Andy Moor, Joe Morris, and Nate Wooley). His current activity includes work with Made To Break, The Resonance Ensemble, Side A, Lean Left, Fire Room, the DKV Trio, and duos with Paal Nilssen-Love and Tim Daisy. More than half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, and Japan, and his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad. In addition to the tenor sax, he also plays the bass and Bb clarinet, and baritone saxophone.

Citations of Merit:

  • One of the "Chicagoans of the Year in the Arts, 1994" (Chicago Tribune, January 1, 1995) for his work with the Vandermark Quartet.
  • Selected as one of the "25 For The Future," the most significant improvising musicians under the age of 40, by Down Beat magazine, June 1998.
  • Selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 1999.
  • In 2004 was named among the "Musicians Of The Year" by All About Jazz, New York.
  • Picked as one of Chicago's "40 Cultural Heroes" by Time Out magazine in September 2008.
  • Was the first musician to be featured leading his own groups two years in a row at the Newport Jazz Festival (the Vandermark 5 in 2009, Powerhouse Sound in 2010).
  • Selected as "Artist in Residence" for the Chicago Jazz Festival, 2012.