Russ Johnson - trumpet
Jay Mollerskov - guitar & electronics
Tim Russell - percussion & electronics
Trumpeter Russ Johnson is a recent Midwest transplant after spending 23 years as an important member of New York City’s jazz community. He has 7 recordings as a leader or co-leader and performed on more than 75 recordings as a sideman. Russ has worked alongside many of the legendary figures in jazz including Lee Konitz, Steve Swallow, Bill Frisell, and Joe Lovano. In addition, Russ has recorded and/or performed with a long list of the most prominent musicians currently on the international jazz scene, including Myra Melford, Ken Vandermark, and Tony Malaby. Russ has performed in more than 40 countries across the globe.
Jay Mollerskov is a guitarist & composer in Milwaukee, WI. He attended UW-Milwaukee where he received a composition degree as well as an MM in guitar performance while studying with Dr. Yehuda Yannay, Dr. John Welstead, Dr. Chris Burns, Steve Nelson-Raney, and Bobby Broom. Jay is an active part of the improvised music scene in Milwaukee where he performs with Trench (Devin Drobke, Steve Nelson-Raney, Jay Mollerskov) Hal Rammel, and others. Jay founded the Formations Series for New & Improvised Music in October 2014 with the help of Devin Drobka after a trip to NYC.
Tim Russell is the Music Director at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Dance Department. He was recently called “The premier composer for Modern Dance in Milwaukee" by the Shepherd Express and his “Compelling original Music" (Madison Isthmus) has been used by choreographers such as Li Chiao Ping, Kate Corby, Maria Gillespie, Gerald Casel, WildSpace Dance, Danceworks, Liz Sexe and Kun Yang Lin bringing Tim and his music all across the country from the Judson Church in New York City to ODC in San Francisco. Outside the realm of Dance, Tim is an active participant in the Milwaukee Music scene. He performs with many of Milwaukee's top artists across all genres.
Mark Mantel - vibraphones
Mark Mantel (b. 1961), in Milwaukee, WI, got his Ph. D. at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Mantel's music explores the creation and layering of dense musical materials derived from physical models, text-driven and real-time live electronic elements, "found-objects", and theatre and theatrical elements. The works of many writers and painters serve as points of departure in much of his music as an attempt to explore artistic processes closely associated with other disciplines. Improvisation, formally, spontaneously, and structurally, plays a substantive role in defining his music. Currently, Mantel is working on an opera, "2100", involving multiple stages, film, video sculpture, and multiple ensembles concerned with the Industrial Revolution, automation, and the precarious nature of humanity.
Mantel will performing improvisations from his vibraphone series, works for vibes, text, and percussives, as well as performing with invited guests.