Luke Polipnick and Friends – November 2012

Luke Polipnick and Friends… was a post I forgot to even include in the IMW line up. SORRY …but here’s what went down just to record it as a significant contribution to the IMW Blog.

On Nov 4th the Madison Music Collective presented the Luke Polipnick and friends for the “Jazz on a Sunday” series at the Brink Lounge. Luke and his amazing line up of players presented the premier performance of many of Luke’s original and high intricate pieces of music. Though this performance involved A LOT of “free” improvising and would be classified as avant-garde jazz, it also was VERY demanding music written to be performed with accurate precision. During the IMW I asked the band questions about how they approach this project and what went into learning these very detailed songs and then how they interacted to create such a cohesive sound when improvising. The responses were genuine and insightful to everyone in the room. Several musicians joined in the music making and created more intelligent and creative improvisation.


Guitarist-composer-producer Luke Polipnick returns to Madison with a special group of top improvisers from New York City (drummer Mike Pride) and the TwinCities (saxophonist Brandon Wozniak and bassist Adam Linz) to kick off a Fall Midwestern tour.  Luke and his band-mates exemplify the eclectic approach that many of our younger creative musicians are taking today, moving with great skill and confidence as they cross and integrate musical genres, while infusing their music with the improvisational spirit and masterful technique so central to good jazz.  For “Jazz on a Sunday,” Luke’s group will be performing new music that he composed for the group’s Fall tour.  He describes it as featuring “thematic material from folksy to rocking but rooted in jazz, appealing to fans of “post rock,” folk, reggae, free improvisation and mainstream jazz.”

Luke is currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds for production of his first jazz CD, with the band that he’ll be bringing to “Jazz on a Sunday.”  To find out more about the project, and to contribute, visit

LUKE POLIPNICK: Before moving to Omaha, NE this past summer, Luke Polipnick had established himself as a major force in Greater Madison’s jazz, experimental, reggae and folk music scenes, especially through his leadership of the production group Surrounded by Reality, a “free jazz” and new music promotion group that presented such iconoclastic musicians as Peter Brotzmann and Hamid Drake.

Luke’s resume includes performances as a solo guitarist at the 2006 Chicago Vision Festival, and as part of the electro-acoustic new music ensemble “Shelf Life” at the 2007 Sonic Circuits Festival in Washington, DC.  He has toured the United   States three times, and has played with many notable contemporary improvisers and jazz musicians in dozens of American cities, including the renowned Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, Dave King’s Trucking Company, Fareed Haque’s Flat Earth Ensemble, and Anthony Cox’s Regional Jazz Trio, as well as members of Branford Marsalis’ Grammy-winning quartet.

During his Madison years, Luke was a busy free-lance guitarist, working in small groups with saxophonist Patrick Breiner and with reggae stalwarts Natty Nation, among others, and also led the “free jazz” group Glacier in its weekly gigs at the Dragonfly Lounge where the band hosted an eclectic roster of guest artists ranging from multi-instrumentalist Hanah Jon Taylor to members of the local klezmer band Yid Vicious.

Luke’s compositional aesthetic synthesizes elements of minimal electronica, modern jazz, 20th century classical, and pop music.  His electronic piece, “The Eyes of the Soul Will Never Betray the Truth of Innocence,” received critical acclaim on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” and in the Washington Post, and appeared on David Matisyak’s “Telephono” compilation sponsored by the Bemis Arts Center of Omaha, NE.  His electro-acoustic composition, “Descriptive Data” was performed at the 2009 Spark Festival of Electronic Arts in Minneapolis.

Luke received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition from the University of Nebraska, and a Master’s in Jazz Studies from NorthernIllinoisUniversity. 

MIKE PRIDE:Percussionist-composer-bandleader Mike Pride is a leader in New York   City’s vital underground improvised music community.  Mike constantly challenges himself with new situations, breaking down barriers between different scenes, intermingling avant-rock, avant-jazz, free improv, blues, and heavy metal in a countless stream of new projects.  Over the years, he has performed with legendary composer and jazz educator David Baker as well as Anthony Braxton, William Parker, Mary Halvorson, Vijay Iyer, Nels Cline, John Zorn, Eugene Chadbourne, Chris Speed, Milford Graves, Mark Helias, George Lewis, Frank Lowe, Tony Malaby, Butch Morris, Sonny Simmons and many other contemporary improvisers of the highest quality, while also having toured with punk legends MDC and produced experimental, shock-rockers Ned Muffleburger and the DSL’s.  He has also studied with leading contemporary drummer Matt Wilson and the legendary percussionist/healer/teacher, Milford Graves. Since moving to New York City in 2000, Mike has performed and recorded throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and has been featured on over 40 recordings, on many of which he is a leader, co-leader or composer.  The 2010 CD (“Betweenwhile”) by his jazz quartet, From Bacteria to Boys, received a 4-star review in Downbeat.  His voluminous festival performances include the Block Island Music Fest 2002 (Rhode Island), CMJ Music Festival 2002 and 2005 (NYC), Improvised & Otherwise 2002-2004 (Brooklyn, NY), Now Now Jazz Festival 2003 (Sydney, Australia), Vision Festival 2003 (NYC), Spring Scream 2003-2006 (Kentig, Taiwan), Shi Mo Tsu Ki 2003 (Brooklyn, NY), Bud Fest 2003 (Prague), North By Northeast 2003 (Toronto), K-Town Festival 2003 (Copenhagen), Holidays In The Sun 2003 and 2004 (UK), Angry Fish Music Festival 2004 (Windham, ME), Future Of Experimental Rock Festival 2005 (NYC), Foo Fest 2006 (Providence, RI), Frequencies 2007 (NYC), Spring Reverb 2007 (San Diego), Stoner/Doom Fest 2007 (Portland, ME), and Kitchen Block Party 2007 (NYC), among many others.  His “Jazz on a Sunday” performance with Luke Polipnick will be his first in Madison.

BRANDON WOZNIAK: Regarded as one of Minnesota’s most exciting saxophonists, Brandon Wozniak is a member of Bad Plus drummer Dave King’s Trucking Company.  Over the years, Brandon has performed with such a diverse group of artists as singer Nellie McKay, the Tommy Dorsey Jazz Orchestra, and the Four Tops, and toured Germany for a year as part of rock group Zweibel Zweibel Hurra. Based in the Twin Cities, he is in high demand as a freelance player, performing regularly with local jazz scene stalwarts such as Monk in Motian, Atlantis Quartet, Dean Magraw, Jay Epstein, Katie Gearty, and the Bryan Nichols Quintet.  Brandon is a thoughtful improviser with a deep concept of harmony and swing.  Jazz Improv magazine describes him as a player who “… demonstrates impeccable articulation as he explores the possibilities throughout the range of the saxophone.”

ADAM LINZ: is bassist for Dave King’s Trucking Company, Fat Kid Wednesdays, and several other modern jazz groups in the Twin Cities.  Adam performs regularly in Europe with both of these bands, is currently coordinator of the Jazz program at the prestigious McPhailCenter for the Arts in Minneapolis.  He graduated from WilliamPattersonUniversity with a degree in bass performance, and  freelanced in New York City during his college years, subbing regularly in the celebrated Mingus Big Band.  As his influences on bass, Adam cites “… those players that kind of blurred the lines between playing a lot of different stuff … like Gary Peacock, Henry Grimes, Charlie Haden, and Dave Holland.”  He is also a devotee of Andy Simpkins, bassist with the Three Sounds, and Israel Crosby, long-time bassist for legendary mainstream jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s