Born: January 6, 1968 Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
RENT ROMUS swings like death and hell according to the late Danish writer and producer Jack Lind. Born in the great north of upper Michigan and growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Romus' work on the saxophone has been dubbed “ferocious” by the San Francisco Weekly and “central to the creative music world of the West Coast” by writer jazz critic Frank Rubolino. From his very beginnings as a student of jazz while being exposed to the twilight tutelage of Stan Getz he found himself drawn to the outer realms of Sun Ra and Albert Ayler, as well as Derek Bailey and Merzbow. He runs the collective ensembles the Lords of Outland as well as the Life’s Blood trio. Romus has recorded exploring improvisation and composition in a wide variety of musical settings on over 35 albums both as a leader and sideman which have included Chico Freeman, John Tchiai, Vinny Golia, Thollem McDonas, Stefan Pasborg, Dave Mihaly, James Zitro, Kash Killion, Jon Bridsong, Jim Ryan, and Ernesto Diaz-Infante. With over 25 years of D.I.Y. music production, performance, and curation he runs Edgetone Records a label for many forms of improvisation and experimentation. He is the founder and Executive Director of Outsound Presents under which curates the bi-weekly SIMM Music Series at the Musicians Union Hall, the weekly Luggage Store Gallery New Music Series, as well as annual Outsound New Music Summit, a creative music festival held every summer in San Francisco.
Awards:2003 recipient Meet The Composer Grant, Meridian Gallery Series, San Francisco, CA 2006 recipient Meet the Composer Creative Connections Grant, Bloom Tour, Bowerbird Philadelphia, PA
Romus' sax rekindles that flame egregiously, thematic sketches becoming instant excuses for the instruments to coalesce into a gruelling mass of Pollockian sonic painting that plumps on the brain and self-adjusts until your synapses are completely disjointed. Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
Rent Romus and his Sax are the rudder, guiding the way....his frenzied summersaults lead the band ever upwards towards the sky. Tobias Fischer, Tokafi
The center piece of the band is Rent Romus with his fantastic sax work, and like his contemporary Zorn, Romus has a long history in the music scene as well as in the established cultural art world working and collaborating with talented musicans.-Jackalblaster
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Music Business Discussion/ Q&A Rent Romus has worked as an independent music producer and curator since 1984. He runs Edgetone Records launched in 1991 originally a vanity label to support his recordings and later in 2001 began releasing other artists primarily from the San Francisco Bay Area crossing many forms of improvised and experimental music. He was the Executive Director of Jazz in Flight from 1996-1997 a non-profit jazz presenting organization based in Oakland California until it disbanded in 2001 which booked creative touring and local performing musicians at Yoshi's (jazz club) in Oakland California. He founded Outsound Presents a non-profit artist based organization and serves as the Executive Director while he curates The SIMM Music Series since 2001 at the Musicians Union Hall as well as the Luggage Store Gallery New Music Series in San Francisco. Romus co-founded and was the Director of Promotion for the SFAlt Festival in 2002-04 which lead to him create and organize the annual Edgetone New Music Summit, a national experimental music festival held in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. The festival is now produced under the Outsound Presents banner which continues at the present under the title, Outsound New Music Summit. Topics covered are: • Business philosophies from the artist point of view • business models, licensing, contracts • D.I.Y (do it yourself) promotional concepts • Navigating product manufacturing, distribution, labels • Self-booking and independent touring • Tools for administration A question and answer session is utilized to engage participants after the lecture portion. Directed Improvisation Workshop The workshop can be open to everyone regardless of their experience and is open to others to incorporate dancers, filmmakers, writers, actors and fine artists and more if the environment allows. Participants will leave the workshop with a greater ability to work collaboratively with others in a group setting through group awareness and interactive listening. This is primarily designed to enhance sonic and artistic interactions between individuals within a group setting. Though a set of written directions, graphs, signs, hand signals conducted, and input from the participants, individuals may utilize everyday sound sources, found objects and objects that already naturally exist in the space, or voice, traditional musical instruments, non-traditional instruments and ambient sounds that are occurring outside of the group and everything possible that we discover as an ensemble throughout the process. Overall, the emphasis is not necessarily on individual creativity but on the ability to listen and collaborate with others. This workshop encourages participation by anyone regardless of their musical experience, age, or language.