The Big Band at the End of the World asks and provides one of many possible answers to the question: What might improvisational music have to say to the relentlessly numbing and seemingly banal cruelty of our contemporary conjuncture – from border walls, internment camps, and the global rise of reactionary populism, to ubiquitous surveillance, to the melting of the polar ice caps and the extinction of species? Our answer takes the combined form of words, images, and sound. While the mood cannot but be of sadness, anxiety, and anger, the collective act is one of democratic hope.
We are 15 musicians, a visual artist, and a prose writer/performer. Stranger Genius Award-winning author Stacey Levine provides the words; artist & architect Anjali Grant provides video and animations; Gregg Miller has assembled an all-star line-up for the big band: Matt Benham (electric guitar), Heather Bentley (viola), Noel Kennon (viola), Jim Knodle (trumpet), Haley Freedlund (trombone), Kenny Mandell (flute/soprano sax), Jeremy Gonzalez (alto sax), Bryan Lineberry (alto sax), Alex Liebman (tenor sax), Gregg Miller (tenor sax), Domenic Chiaverini (bass), Nathie Katzoff (harmonium), Greg Campbell (french horn/percussion), Don Berman (percussion), Casey Adams (percussion).