Simone Baron is a polyglot pianist, accordionist, improviser and composer whose work “ego-less, genre agnostic and without expectations” (JazzTimes) engages curiously and charismatically with a broad spectrum of idioms. Educated at Oberlin and Tel Aviv University and joyfully de-educated at festivals and performances across Europe and the Americas, Simone has won grants, fellowships and residencies from Chamber Music America, South Arts, Maryland State Arts Council, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Hambidge Center, Sacatar Foundation, iPark, Strathmore Foundation, ArtOMI, UMD, Avaloch Farm, the Banff Centre, and Spectrum Toronto. In 2016 Simone founded Arco Belo, a diasporic chamber music ensemble, and has shared the stage with luminaries such as Susan Alcorn, Tyshawn Sorey, Hermeto Pascoal, and the Conserere ensemble (Milan). Simone is a Victoria Artist and plays a Poeta XB Accordion, and is a founding member of the Boulanger Initiative. | Instagram | Bandcamp

Toshi Makihara’s performance utilizes traditional percussion with a variety of discovered sound media, everyday objects and toys. Through a rigorous, systematic, and practiced process of experimentation, Makihara seeks out sounds that have never been heard before, experimenting with touch, force, and speed, and always remaining aware of sound’s relationship to the body. Makihara studied drums and percussion with Sabu Toyozumi, a renouned improvising percussionist in Tokyo. He has also studied butoh with dance master Kazuo Ohno and others.

One of the world’s premiere exponents of her instrument, Susan Alcorn has taken the pedal steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country music. Having first paid her dues in Texas country & western bands, she began to expand the vocabulary of her instrument through her study of 20th century classical music, visionary jazz, and world musics.

Though known for her solo work, she has collaborated with numerous artists including Pauline Oliveros, Eugene Chadbourne, Chris Cutler, the London Improvisors Orchestra, the Glasgow Improvisors Orchestra, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Nate Wooley, Ingrid Laubrock and Leila Bourdreuil, George Burt, Evan Parker, Michael Formanek, Zane Campbell, and Mary Halvorson among others. In 2017 she received the Baker Artist Award and in 2018, along with saxophonist Joe McPhee, the Instant Award in Improvised Music.
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photo credit: David Lovato

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Baltimore based percussionist Paul Neidhardt has been a member of High Zero and the Red Room Collective since 2004. Paul works locally as a drum instructor and dance accompanist. His performance work focuses on improvisation using extended techniques to create non-traditional drum sounds and textures. Paul currently plays in the percussion ensemble Umbilicus and hosts the monthly Volunteers Collective improvisation workshop at the Red Room.

photo credit: Stewart Mostofsky

Shelly Purdy (percussion) is a contemporary musician and teaching artist committed to presenting new and experimental music. Her sonic explorations tend to favor the mingling of found objects with more traditional instruments and an affinity for chance and improvisation whenever possible. Purdy regularly performs with such ensembles as the percussion quartet; Umbilicus, the science/music ensemble; The Inverse Square Trio, and the avant/jazz trio; The Compositions. Purdy also has been studying Javanese & Balinese Gamelan under the tutelage of Prof Gina Beck and is a board member for The High Zero Foundation and 2640 Collective.

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Event location:

425 E 31st St, Baltimore, MD 21218

The Red Room is a volunteer-run space in Baltimore dedicated to mind-expanding experimental culture, headquartered at Normals Books and Records.