Showtimes are at 7:30p & 9:30p for this performance. Doors open at 5pm for dinner. Seating begins at 6pm for “Dinner & a Show”. The second show starts seating at 9pm.
The Northwoods Improvisers first came together in 1976. Early versions of the band played collective electro-acoustic improvised music. In 1980 the band switched to an all acoustic instrumentation which has remained to this day. Mike Gilmore and Mike Johnston were founding members of the ensemble. Nick Ashton joined in 1986. The Northwoods Improvisers Sextet consists of Mike Johnston on bass, Nick Ashton on drums, Donovan Boxey on saxophones, Dominic Bieringa on saxophones, Jack O’Brien on cello and Mike Khoury on violin.
The Northwoods Improvisers have performed with several key musicians in their field, including Bill Smith, Eugene Chadbourne, Danny Spencer, Eddie Gale and most notably, working with the late Detroit composer Faruq Z. Bey formerly of Griot Galaxy. The group has released several CDs on the UK’s ARC label as well as on Entropy Stereo and Sagittarius A Star records based in Italy.
This most recent version of the sextet included the long standing rhythm section of bassist and drummer Mike Johnston and Nick Ashton, both very accomplished musicians with decades of collective history between them. Donovan Boxey and Dominic Bierenga bring a double saxophone attack with the two switching to different wind instruments between them. Together, they exceed the sum of their parts. Mike Khoury and Jack O’Brien along with Mike Johnston comprise a string section and bring the lushness of arco strings to the mix along with Eastern sensibilities.
The Northwoods Improvisers Sextet bring together through composed pieces with collective improvisation, eastern modes, and Native American elements to create music with references to indigenous sounds and the music of those who have been historically underrepresented in history. The Northwoods Improvisers Sextet has recently completed work on a new album which will be issued in September of 2023.
Mike Johnston – bass, Native American flutes, percussion
Nick Ashton – drums, percussion
Donovan Boxey – saxophones, melodian, percussion
Dominic Bierenga – saxophones, flute, bass clarinet, percussion
Jack O’Brien – cello, bass, percussion
Mike Khoury – violin