Thursday, Apr 04, 2024 8:00p -

New School of Music
25 Lowell St
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Hosted by:
arlemski Alex Lemski

Innovation, Meetup, Music, Nightlife

Event website:

Caroline Davis, alto, flute & synthesizer and

Wendy Eisenberg, electric guitar.  New Music, Free Jazz, Improv. 


And a new venue for CMS, located not far to the west of Harvard Sq., off of Mt. Auburn St and the hospital. Some parking in their lot.



Caroline, “I’m totally more interested in putting the science into the music,” Davis, 37, said over drinks at a Brooklyn coffee shop in June. But in balancing intellect and emotion, the edge goes to the latter. For all of Davis’ logical rigor—and her willingness to deploy it in the service of her art—she makes sure that the science informs, rather than dictates, the music’s direction.

Mobile since her birth in Singapore, composer, saxophonist, and vocalist Caroline Davis’s expression covers a wide range of styles, owed to her shifting environment as a child. From angular, melody-present instrumental outfits to soulful, quirky song writing, Caroline’s persona is recognizably present. As an improviser and saxophonist, she has released six albums under her name.

Davis is an advocate for social justice in the realms of gender (This Is a Movement, The New School), IAJE’s Sisters and Mutual Mentorship in Jazz, the Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program, for MusiciansAnd organizing community events under the moniker Creatives for Abolition, supporting artistic endeavors and the message of prison abolition.

The experimental guitarist explores multiple approaches to genre and technique through inventive playing and clever songcraft on the new album Auto.

Wendy Eisenberg is an improviser and songwriter who uses guitar, pedals, the tenor banjo, the computer, the synthesizer and the voice. Their work spans genres, from jazz to noise to avant-rock to delicate songs; their performances span venues, from international festivals to intimate basements. Though often working solo as both a songwriter and improviser, with acclaimed releases on Tzadik, VDSQ, Out of your Head, and Garden Portal, they also perform in the rock band Editrix, and in endless other combinations of their heroes and peers including Allison Miller, Carla Kihlstedt, John Zorn, Billy Martin, and Caroline Davis. They are also a writer on music and other things, with published essays on music in Sound American, Arcana, and the Contemporary Music Review.


Caroline Davis is active as both a side-person and a leader in a diverse set of expressions. Davis has shared the stage with Lee Konitz, Rajna Swaminathan, Michelle Boulé, Angelica Sanchez, John Zorn, Bari Kim, The Femme Jam, Matt Mitchell, Terry Riley, Miles Okazaki, and Billy Kaye.

She has won Downbeat’s Critic’s Poll Rising Star Alto-Saxophonist (2018) and has been included in numerous Reader and Critics Polls including in 2023. Her work has garnered much praise from NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Wire, DownBeat, and many international publications.

Alive with nurturing visions of simple sonic offerings to morph our present situation, Caroline Davis’ main reason for playing music is to connect with others, beckoning new vistas among curious listeners.

She regularly sings and writes songs with the experimental R&B band, My Tree       


Davis’ latest trio album, Alula (New Amsterdam), mines the anatomical world—the title referring to an appendage on a bird’s wing that aids aerial navigation—for material that can be transformed into artistic analogs. In that respect, the project resembles the saxophonist’s previous disc, 2018’s Heart Tonic (Sunnyside), which drew on cardiology. And like her previous release, the new effort reflects her intellectual bent: Davis holds a doctorate in music cognition from Northwestern University and lectures widely on music.


A rigorous intellectual, Caroline Davis makes intensely visceral music that mines everything from the cardiology of the human heart (Heart Tonic, 2018) to the anatomy of flight (Alula, 2019) to the shapeshifting nature of grief (Portals, Volume 1: Mourning, 2020). On Captivity, her incendiary new release with her band Alula, the superb alto saxophonist and composer transmutes her alchemical mix of art and science into a cry for justice for incarcerated heroes who’ve soared above prison walls by keeping hope alive.


Through the years, her work continues to garner praise in domestic and international publications. Davis has shared musical moments with Lee Konitz, Angelica Sanchez, The Femme Jam, Matt Mitchell, Terry Riley, Miles Okazaki, Thana Alexa, and Billy Kaye, among many others.

When she was 6 years old, her family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and she began playing saxophone at Sequoyah Middle School; Then moved to Carrollton, Texas. After high school, she went to The University of Texas at Arlington, where she majored in Cognitive Psychology and Music (2004). During this time, she was also introduced to the education program at Litchfield Jazz Camp, in Connecticut. Her love for jazz blossomed here![2]After her studies, she served as an adjunct instructor at Northwestern UniversityDePaul University, and Columbia College Chicago.

Today, Caroline’s music covers a wide range of styles, owed to this shifting environment. As a leader, she has released seven albums:


Meanwhile, Eisenberg was actively involved in the Western Massachusetts music scene, living there until recently moving to New York, and worked with several rock and noise bands including the Birthing Hips, whose dissolution inspired Auto.

“I need to be in a punk band at the same time as I need to be playing free improv at the same time as I need to be playing songs,” Wendy Eisenberg explains, detailing their creative process. “All at the same time—otherwise none of the practices will work for me.” Listening to Eisenberg’s work, this is easily understood.

Wendy Eisenberg …come from punk, but also the worlds of improvisation and composition. Eisenberg played in the recently defunct Birthing Hips, the brawny and brainy punk band from Boston.


Take Eisenberg’s new record, Auto, for example. The album opens with the ballad “I Don’t Want To,” which combines clean sounds from Eisenberg’s ES-175 and glitchy electronics à la Jim O’Rourke and David Grubbs’ experimental creations as Gastr Del Sol. “Centreville” follows, with Eisenberg taking a tech-y and angular approach to guitar riffage, followed by the sunny, jazz-pop groove of “No Such Lack.” In just three tracks, Eisenberg has covered plenty of ground and the album proceeds with sustained versatility throughout.

Each stylistic jump on Auto is studied and focused and serves a distinct musical purpose, so the album makes the case that this sort of big-ears, genre-hopping approach is home for Eisenberg and is an aesthetic in and of itself. It’s no surprise when Eisenberg name-drops composer John Zorn’s iconoclastic Naked City band—whose extreme genre-pastiche approach is both groundbreaking and truly incomparable—as part of their education. “I went to NEC [New England Conservatory] for their Contemporary Improv masters,” the guitarist says. “It happened to coincide with Zorn’s 60th birthday concerts, where I got to play a bunch of Naked City parts.”

After college, Eisenberg continued to have multiple stylistic irons in the fire. Eisenberg was quick to become a regular player in the New York City experimental scene, where they stayed connected with Zorn, who released The Machinic Unconscious, Eisenberg’s trio record with bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle and countless Zorn projects) and drummer Ches Smith (Marc Ribot, Tim Berne).

It’s easy to hear similarities between Birthing Hips—whose own “genre-play,” as Eisenberg explains, is quickly identifiable, especially on “Strip Tease,” where Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy” theme can be heard accompanied by a blast of noise-rock ripping—and Auto, but the latter feels much more nuanced and personal. As a player, Eisenberg takes on such a wide variety of playing approaches, from angular riffing to contrapuntal chord melodies to short flashes of bossa nova comping and so much more—all of which seem to come naturally and in support of the well-crafted songs.

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04/04/2024 20:00:00 04/04/2024 22:00:00 America/New_York An acoustic/elec duet from NY, Caroline Davis & Wendy Eisenberg <p><strong><em>Caroline Davis,</em> alto, flute &amp; synthesizer and</strong></p><p><strong><em>Wendy Eisenberg</em>, electric guitar. </strong>&nbsp;New Music, Free Jazz, Improv.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbs... New School of Music, Cambridge, MA 02138 false MM/DD/YYYY

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