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Sat, Jan 06

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Merrimans' Playhouse

Bessesen/Drobka/Philion

Bessesen/Drobka/Philion has a distinctive approach marked by a congenial sense of trust and a unique, intuitive group language. In this performance the ensemble will explore original compositions and favorites by the likes of Thomas Chapin and others.

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Bessesen/Drobka/Philion
Bessesen/Drobka/Philion

Time & Location

Jan 06, 2024, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM EST

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, Suite 135, South Bend, IN 46617, USA

Guests

About the Event

TICKETS are $10 General/$5 Student. End time is not set.

Bessesen / Drobka/ Philion

This collaborative trio began during the height of the pandemic when bassist Ethan Philion and saxophonist Max Bessesen coped with their lack of performance opportunities by exploring adventurous new repertoire together in private sessions away from the stage. These informal meetings eventually coalesced into an exploration of free improvisation with tough hard bop roots. When restrictions began to lift, and the duo were able to reunite with their longtime collaborator Devin Drobka the unit began performing this material publicly around the Midwest. Bessesen/Drobka/Philion has a distinctive approach marked by a congenial sense of trust and a unique, intuitive group language. In this performance the ensemble will explore original compositions and favorites by the likes of Thomas Chapin and others.

Max Bessesen - saxophone

Devin Drobka - drums

Ethan Philion - double bass 

VIDEO

Video 2 

https://www.maxbessesen.com

https://devindrobka.com

https://ethanphilion.com/

Social Links

https://www.facebook.com/maxbessesenmusic/

https://www.instagram.com/maxbessesen/

https://www.youtube.com/user/maxbessesen

https://twitter.com/BessesenMax

Max Bessesen is a multi-woodwind instrumentalist and composer in NYC. His “saxophone virtuosity” (Downbeat) has made him an in-demand sideman alongside musicians like Frank Lacy, Joe Farnsworth, and Mimi Jones. He has performed across the US, the Netherlands and Jordan as well as NYC venues like Dizzy’s, Ornithology, and Birdland. His acclaimed 2020 album Trouble (Ropeadope) features Ron Miles and the single “Bakkam” won an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award. Support for this and other projects came from Luminarts, Pathways to Jazz, and The Beebe Fund. As a Beebe Fellow, Max spent a year studying music in India, Ghana, and Cuba.

Devin Drobka is one of the most in-demand and creative musicians in the Midwest for the past 15 years. Audiences around the world have been enthralled with his wide sonic palette and limitless rhythmic possibilities on the drums. A deep love of jazz, metal, folk, hip-hop, ambient, idm, and classical music has helped shaped Devin’s unique voice and vision on the drums both as a leader and as a sideman. His highly personal and creative drumming can be heard within the realm of jazz having performed with Greg Osby, Jerry Bergonzi, Dayna Stephens, and Joe Lovano as well as indie- folk bands like Field Report and indie rappers R.A.P. Ferreira and Serengeti. Devin can be heard on over 50 albums of genre bending, original music for which he is an advocate for. Devin currently composes music for his newest group, The Devin Drobka Trio, which draws upon his love of contemporary classical music and minimalism and his multi horn group, Bell Dance Songs, which is a response to his love of Albert Ayler, Paul Motian, and Ornette Coleman. Devin’s music has been described as “sounding like nothing else in midwestern jazz” and “gorgeous, innovative.”

Ethan Philion is an award-winning bassist, composer, and bandleader based in Chicago. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and DePaul University, Philion has been praised by the Washington Post for his "well-honed chops and astounding musicality” and his debut album, Meditations on Mingus, was commended as “a labor of conspicuous love and respect for a musical titan” by Downbeat Magazine. He has performed with an extensive list of jazz artists including Rufus Reid, Greg Ward, Dana Hall, Mark Feldman, Russ Johnson and more.

Philion’s album Meditations on Mingus was released in 2022 and has garnered praise from publications including the Chicago Tribune, JAZZIZ, Jazzwise, WDCB, and more. Esteemed critic Neil Tesser lauded the album’s “colorful obbligatos [and] ingenious wrinkles that—along with dazzling and deeply realized performances from all—lift this album above so many of the year’s Mingus centennial tributes.”

Philion won the 2019 International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition and was selected as one of the four fellowship recipients for the 2020 Chicago Luminarts Jazz competition. More recently, Philion was selected by the Jazz Institute of Chicago for their 2022 New Works Fresh Voices Fellowship. He was honored with the Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Fellowship in 2015 where he worked with director Jason Moran.

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services Private Trust Foundations, which include grants from the Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation (2020-2021; 2022-2023 seasons), the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation (2021-2022; 2022-2023 seasons), and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust (2021-2022; 2022-2023 season). Special concert event support provided by the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund grant (2022-2023 season). Activities are made possible in part by the Arts Organization Support (AOS), Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency (2023-2024 season).

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation (2020-2023 seasons). The Student and Home Grown Series concerts made possible, in part, with support from the ArtsEverywhere Grant from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, and the Arts Project Support Grant and the Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.

Tickets

  • General

    $10 Advanced or Door

    $10.00
    Sale ended
  • Student

    $5 Student/Discount

    $5.00
    Sale ended

Total

$0.00

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