The Art of Improvisation 2014

Next Friday I’m playing a solo show at a super relaxed venue here in North Wales with live projection and animations from Greg Byatt. It will be a chance to try out much of the new music I’ve been working on recently as well as some favourites culled from Classical Music, World Music and Jazz Standards. Something for everyone…..maybe!

Blue Sky Poster Jan 24th

New quartet project in the USA

I’m really looking forward to returning to the USA to work on an improvised project.

Thanks also to Wales Arts International’s International Opportunities Fund for making this possible.

For Immediate Release: January 7, 2014


Mat Maneri, Tanya Kalmanovitch, Huw Warren and Peter Herbert to perform in New York (January 30 and 31) and Boston (February 2)

The viola is a rare bird in jazz and improvised music. But this month a new quartet featuring not one, but two improvising violists will mark its debut with performances in New York (Mannes College, January 30; Douglass Street Music Collective, January 31) and Boston (Jordan Hall, February 2).

Violists Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch often perform together in their home base of New York City. Welsh pianist Huw Warren and Austrian bassist Peter Herbert frequently collaborate at European festivals. 2014 marks the first time the four have performed as a quartet.

In this project, the quartet will play sets of fully improvised music. “Working with such intuitive improvisers is a natural and authentic way to explore the possibilities of this new sound-world,” says Warren.

The project was born our of Warren and Kalmanovitch’s collaborations over the past decade at the Guildhall School’s summer jazz workshop in London, UK. The two musicians decided to extend their collaboration into an international quartet. “I’ll admit that at first, it sounds a bit like an instrument joke,” quips Kalmanovitch. “’What could be better than one jazz violist? Two violists!’”

All four musicians share deep roots in classical music and jazz, but added to the mix are the diverse influences that have marked these musicians’ careers: Arabic music, North and South Indian classical music, the works of maverick Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal, and the hymns and folksongs of Warren’s native Wales.

Warren’s 2013 ECM release Quercus (with June Tabor and Iain Ballamy) continues the pianists’ career-long bent for bringing old songs – hymns, folksongs, jazz standards – into a delicate new light. The Observer’s Dave Gelly described the record as “one of the most surprising and beautiful pieces of work I have heard in a long time.”

Thursday January 30: Goldmark Hall, Mannes College the New School for Music, New York

150 West 85th Street, New York, NY 10024
Showtime at 8:00 PM, Free and open to the public
For more information call (212) 580-0210 or visit

Friday January 31: Douglass Street Music Collective, Brooklyn

295 Douglass Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Showtime at 8:00 PM, $10 admission
For more information call (646) 359-2556 or visit

Sunday February 2: Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, Boston

290 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA, 02115
Showtime at 8:00 PM, Free and open to the public
For more information call (617) 585-1100 or visit

Performer Bios

Violist Mat Maneri is an American composer and improviser. He has recorded and performed with Cecil Taylor, Matthew Shipp, Joe Morris, Gerald Cleaver, Tim Berne, Borah Bergman, Mark Dresser, William Parker, Barre Phillips, Marilyn Crispell, Craig Taborn, Michael Formanek, among many others. He started releasing records as a leader in 1996, often featuring long-time collaborators Randy Peterson and Ed Schuller. Maneri teaches privately and at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York.

“Maneri is a remarkable virtuoso, the internal logic of his lines is captivating.” Stuart Nicholson,


Tanya Kalmanovitch is a violist, ethnomusicologist and writer based in New York City. Trained at the Juilliard School, her work as a musician bridges classical, jazz and experimental music and has been profiled in Jazz Times, DownBeat, the Globe and Mail and the New York Times. Her most recent project is a trio with pianist Anthony Coleman and accordionist Ted Reichman. She performs and teaches regularly in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia, and is a faculty member at the New England Conservatory in Boston and Mannes College The New School for Music in New York.

“Kalmanovitch is an exceptional musician. In soloing she thinks compositionally, with an expressive contrast between the astringent chromaticism of her lines and compositions and her warmly malleable tone … a remarkable unity between the written and the improvised.” Ray Comiskey, The Irish Times

Welsh pianist/composer Huw Warren is one of the United Kingdom’s leading musicians, with a unique eclectic approach combining improvisation with folk, world and new music influences. He has released several solo recordings of original music, as well as project albums using source material as diverse as John Dowland, Welsh Hymns, and the music of Hermeto Pascoal. His most recent recording, Quercus (with June Tabor and Iain Ballamy) was released in 2013 on ECM Records. Huw is on faculty in the Jazz department at the Royal Welsh College of Music, and is artist in residence at the Brecon Jazz Festival.

“A European stylist of the highest order” BBC Music Magazine

Austrian bassist and composer Peter Herbert is equally sought-after in the fields of jazz, classical music and free improvisation. He has appeared as a soloist with the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, as a bassist with the Art Farmer/Clifford Jordon Quintet, the Marc Copland/John Abercrombie Quartet, and Robin Eubanks, and his compositions have been commissioned by numerous European orchestras and chamber ensembles. Peter Herbert is on the faculty at the JIM/Anton Bruckner University in Linz, Austria.

“Musician of the year.” Hans Koller Prize, Austrian Music Office

Hello 2014

…and a very Happy New Year to one and all!

Looking forward to new gigs and projects in the year to come.

but without further ado….

Here’s my first show of the year:

Blue Sky Poster Jan 24th