Composers & Improvisers Workshop Reunion

In celebration of their 60th anniversary this year, Jack Straw Cultural Center presents a special evening of performance featuring members of the Composers & Improvisers Workshop. Workshop alumni Lynette Westendorf, Sumiko Sato, Jim Knodle, Kenny Mandell, Don Berman, Steve Griggs, Charles Hiestand, Casey James, Elizabeth Strauss, poet Pamela Moore Dionne, and others will perform newly composed works and improvisations in a variety of combinations.

In the mid 1990s, a group of Seattle musicians began a series of workshops as a way for musicians to bring their compositions and ideas for improvisation to a collaborative session, not with the goal of performing or recording, but rather to talk over the music, the creative process, and to gain feedback from one another. Some people focused exclusively on scored music, while others led improvised “conductions” or open structured improv. The group eventually developed into the Composers & Improvisers Workshop, and was open to participation to anyone interested in developing their skills and collaborating with other musicians. CIW presented regularly at Jack Straw in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.