Born: September 22, 1964 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
For the past 20 years, Ken Vandermark has been exploring and working to expand the possibilities of improvised and composed music in North America and Europe.
Since moving to Chicago from Boston in 1989, he's performed and recorded in a variety of contexts, and with many internationally renowned musicians. Past groups of significance include the NRG Ensemble, the DKV Trio, AALY, FME, the Vandermark Quartet, Spaceways Inc., School Days, Cinghiale, Witches & Devils, Steam, and Caffeine. Currently, the majority of his work as a composer and improviser has been directed toward the Vandermark 5, Powerhouse Sound, the Frame Quartet, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Sonore, and separate duos with the percussionists Tim Daisy and Paal Nilssen-Love, the Territory Band, CINC, and Free Fall. Upcoming projects include iTi (with Johannes Bauer, Thomas Lehn, Paal Nilssen-Love), Lean Left (with Terrie Ex, Andy Moor, Paal Nilssen Love), a collaboration with the group ZU, and the Resonance Ensemble (an international group featuring ten musicians from Poland, Sweden, the Ukraine, and the United States)....
- Was selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 1999.
- One of the "Chicagoans of the Year in the Arts, 1994" (Chicago Tribune, January 1, 1995) for the Vandermark Quartet
- Selected as one of the "25 For The Future," the most significant improvising musicians under the age of 40 by Down Beat Magazine, June 1998
- in 2004, Ken was named one of the "Musicians Of The Year" by All About Jazz, New York.