Calendar

Tashi Dorji w/ James Jackson Toth
Oct
21
7:30pm 7:30pm

Tashi Dorji w/ James Jackson Toth

Black Iris will be presenting a fresh collaboration between genre-evading guitarist Tashi Dorji and literary lyricist James Jackson Toth in the intimate setting of the Tiny Bar at Black Iris on October 21st.  This performance brings together Dorji and Toth's disparate styles to find commonalities informed by intimate experiences of life on the road as well as the stories and impulses that define the characters that populate the country surrounding it. 

Tashi Dorji: Dorji grew up in Bhutan, on the eastern side of the Himalayas. Residing in Asheville since 2000 and soaking up a vast array of music. Along the way, Dorji developed a playing style unbound by tradition, yet with a direct line to intuitive artistry. His recordings feature improvisations that spasmodically grow along tangential, surprising paths. All references break loose during a composition, as Dorji keys into his own inner world.

James Jackson Toth: Swans frontman and head of Young God Records Michael Gira stated, James Jackson Toth's “got that picaresque quality that Dylan had in his heyday, wherein the shambolic narrator undergoes various travails and epiphanies — harrowing, bleak and darkly comical — in the course of a narrative, then leaves you mystified, both smiling and sad.

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

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Lean Year | Robert Donne
Oct
25
7:30pm 7:30pm

Lean Year | Robert Donne

Lean Year: is Virginia-based singer Emilie Rex and filmmaker/musician Rick Alverson. Together the two co-wrote the minimalist folk gem over the course of a year at their home in Richmond. They note Karen Dalton, Brian Eno, Fred Neil as their influences and examine their experiences in the aspirational worlds of the occult, Catechism education, the cloistered world of figure skating, hierarchical academia and the parasitic culture of the film industry throughout a series of powerfully restrained and meticulously crafted vignettes.

Robert Donne: is a musician and film composer from Richmond, VA. He has recorded works with a variety of groups and individuals including Labradford (Kranky), Aix Em Klemm (Kranky), Spokane (Jagjaguwar), Gregor Samsa, Cristal (Flingco Sound System, Entr'acte), Pan.American (Kranky), Stephen Vitiello, and most recently Anjou (Kranky). His work as a composer includes Rick Alverson's Entertainment, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and New Jerusalem (2011 Film Festival Rotterdam), as well as Daniel Carbone's Hide Your Smiling Faces (2013 Berlinale).

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

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Audrey Chen & Margaret Rorison
Oct
26
7:30pm 7:30pm

Audrey Chen & Margaret Rorison

(Voice and 16mm film projection)

The collaboration between Audrey Chen and Margaret Rorison works inside the intimate worlds of their maternal lines, as experienced through the myriad sounds of the human voice and 16mm film projection. Images and sounds captured in spaces brought together by their individual experiences of mother, daughter, granddaughter and how that affects their identities- and channels towards decision making, touch, habit, memory and language. 

Margaret Rorison: Margaret Rorison is a curator and filmmaker from Baltimore, Maryland. Her works often develop from explorations through rural and urban landscapes, combining language, sound and imagery to create installations, films and live 16mm projections. She is interested in the visceral nature of experience and the potentials of storytelling through the use of 16mm projection and sound, often sharing bills and collaborating with sound artists to explore new ways in which the image and machine can converse with sound and performance.

Audrey Chen: using the cello, voice and occasional analog electronics, Chen’s work delves deeply into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. A large component of her music is improvised and her approach to this is extremely personal and visceral. Her playing explores the combination and layering of the homemade analog synthesizer, preparations and traditional and extended techniques in both the voice and cello. She works to join these elements into a singular ecstatic personal language. Over the past decade, her predominant focus has been her solo work with the cello, voice and electronics, but she has more recently begun to shift back towards the exploration of the voice as a primary instrument.

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

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OUR HEAVENLY BODIES w/ live score by Coupler
Nov
16
7:30pm 7:30pm

OUR HEAVENLY BODIES w/ live score by Coupler

Dir. Hanns Walter Kornblum, Germany, 1925, 91 min., NR, Digital

In 1925, German director Hanns Walter Kornblum set out to create a film unlike any that had come before. His aim was a film that would serve as both a summation of all the astronomical knowledge available at the time and a dreamy investigation of what wonders might await humanity at the advent of space travel. With the help of 15 special effects technicians and nine cameramen, Kornblum's film is a technical marvel, one that revels in the beauty and mysteries of the universe, reminiscent of Carl Sagan's COSMOS more than 50 years later. Digital Restoration by Filmmuseum München.

About Coupler: Coupler is less a band than a creative organization.  Founded in 2011 by Lambchop veteran Ryan Norris, its core is Norris along with Rodrigo Avendaño and Rollum Haas though its membership has at points swelled to as many as eight.  At its root the project is an exercise in mutual cooperation of creative individuals and is an exploration of the intersections of man and machine, live and recorded, composed and improvised, stasis and flux.

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

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J Collin | TBA
Nov
17
7:30pm 7:30pm

J Collin | TBA

J Collin: is a guitar player from Lancashire, UK, currently based in Sweden. On record he plays either improvised freeform abstract blues or through-composed minimalistic utilitarian drone music. His live shows are improvisations using a system of body, mind, breath, strings and electricity. His most recent LP is The Nature (Early Music; 2017).

"Acoustic string improvs of great abstraction, clanger and depth, recalling a certain vibe that Loren Connors once called his own, although there's no aping here. Lots of dizzy inventions of clustered strings that manage to maintain a certain melodic beauty for all their weirdness. There are even bits of wobbled slide and sustain that recall Fahey at his loosest. Totally boss." – Byron Coley

This spine-tingling album by J Collin is six-string primitivism taken to a whole other level of wildness and intuition.” – Derek Walmsley, The Wire

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

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Snake Union | Bonnie Jones | Feminacci
Dec
2
7:30pm 7:30pm

Snake Union | Bonnie Jones | Feminacci

SNAKE UNION is a Brooklyn based experimental electronic group consisting of Chuck Bettis (Die Trommel Fatale, Mossenek) and David Grant (Action Patrol, On A Clear Day). A duo that works in improvisational rhythmic explorations that match analog synths and digital sound processing, modular wires and max patches. By turns psychedelic, delicate, and fuzzed out, the sequenced collides with the freeform as these two soundmakers push into new realms.  www.snakeunion.bandcamp.com

CHUCK BETTIS (electronics):  was raised in the fertile harDCore soil, nourished within Baltimore's enigmatic avant garde gatherings, and currently blossoming in New York's downtown musical tribe. His unique blend of electronics and throat has led him into various collaborations with great musicians from around the globe. He has performed live with John Zorn, Fred Frith, Jamie Saft, and Afrirampo to name a few. Some of the musicians Bettis has recorded and played live with are as follows; Ikue Mori, Nautical Almanac, Audrey Chen, Yellow Swans, Toshio Kajiwara, Mick Barr, etc, plus a long history of punk bands he was in (most notably the experimental punk band Meta-matics as well as the enigmatic All Scars). Currently he is working on many of his experimental projects such as Snake Union with Dave Grant, Die Trommel Fatale with Brandon Seabrook/Marika Hughes/Eivind Opsvik/Henry Fraser/Dave Truet/Sam Ospovat, Mossenek with Mick Barr & Colin Marston, Chatterblip with Dafna Naphtali, and Pretty Clicks with Berangere Maximin, in addition to improvising, recording, or composing with an array of musicians from around the world. www.chuckbettis.com

DAVID GRANT (eurorack modular): is a designer and musician living and working in New York City. In his personal work, the imagery and sounds of an upbringing in the American south collide with the semantic overload of international urban life. Using with analog synthesizers, field recordings, and video processing, his work channels the spacious natural energy found in rurality, along with the numinous power of historical religious material. Through the use of stark visual contrast, open-ended sound composition, and a warm density of visual and sonic dirt, the artist generates an expansive atavistic state in the audience.

Bonnie Jones is a Korean-American improvising musician, poet, and performer working with electronic sound and text. She performs solo and in numerous collaborative music, film, and visual art projects. Bonnie’s work explores the fluidity and function of electronic noise (field recordings, circuit bending) and text (poetry, found, spoken, visual). Her art seeks opportunities within different mediums to expose the fluid nature of individual identity, history, form, and meaning. 

Bonnie received her MFA at Bard College where she studied with Laetitia Sonami and Marina Rosenfeld. She has received commissions from the London ICA and Walters Art Museum and has presented her work extensively at institutions in the US, Mexico, Europe and Asia, including the LA MOCA, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, and REDCAT. Her collaborative sound works have been shown at the Swiss Institute, Whitney Museum, and Hunter College. 

Feminacci: is classically trained violinist Elizabeth Nall's electronic project. She began to experiment with electronic sound and composition while involved in a collective founded by German composer, Herbert Brun, School for Designing a Society. In her studio practice today she uses technology to test the expectations of her musical ideas, exploring method in search of inspiration in the previously unheard. http://feminacci.org

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avantNOIR | CGI Jesus
Oct
16
7:30pm 7:30pm

avantNOIR | CGI Jesus

AvantNOIR: San Francisco Bay Area bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa brings her lush and layered avantNOIR ensemble to Richmond in its first East Coast tour. avantNOIR is a suite of compositions for jazz sextet inspired by noir genre fiction set in New York City (where Mezzacappa was born and raised) and the San Francisco Bay Area (where she has lived for the past 16 years). avant-NOIR is a musical companion to Paul Auster’s abstract “soft-boiled” crime stories from his New York Trilogy of the 1980s, set in conversation with the West Coast classic hard-boiled 1920s-era detective fiction of Dashiell Hammett. The music progresses like a detective’s case, using clues and imagery from the crime novels such as maps, letters, messages and relationships between characters and places, to create compositions with acoustic and electric sounds, and composed and improvised material. The result is a contemporary jazz gem influenced as much by Charles Ives and Pierre Boulez as by Eric Dolphy and Henry Threadgill.

CGI Jesus: Local punk free jazz trio will be opening the night with a blast of double bass, sax and drums

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

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Josiah Johnson | Planes on Paper | Alex Norman
Oct
9
7:30pm 7:30pm

Josiah Johnson | Planes on Paper | Alex Norman

Planes on Paper: There is a vocal synergy that exists between Navid Eliot and Jen Borst, the two core members of the Washington-based folk group PLANES ON PAPER. They each have clear, unique voices, but when combined, a special kind of musical beauty emerges. As a one year-old project, they were already receiving high praise from a nearly endless list of media outlets across the country: The Seattle Times, American Songwriter Magazine, KEXP Seattle, WNYU New York, The Revue, Ear To The Ground, and The Stranger, to name just a few. 

Now 2.5 years into the band, the praise continues, and the songwriting duo is drawing crowds on both coasts of the US as well as playing noteworthy festivals...all without yet releasing a full-length album - that unconventional path speaks volumes about the strength of Planes on Paper's live performances. Described as, "a cohesive, stark showcase of pure, unadulterated song craft," they are a show not to be missed. Their debut full length album, Edge Markings, will be released in early 2018.

Josiah Johnson (The Head and The Heart): Southern California native, current resident of the Bay Area, former Seattleite, one-time Torontonian, and long-time tour busy resident. JOSIAH JOHNSON'S immersion in the musical culture of so many locales, as well as his dedication to constant touring, have given him the means to share his music far and wide. But the strength of his songwriting has carried his music far beyond his physical reach. Best known as a member of American indie-folkers THE HEAD AND THE HEART, Josiahs solo performances highlight a stripped down, emotive, lyrics-first kind of song craft, inimitable in its sincerity and beauty.

Alex Norman: is a folk singer-songwriter from Richmond, Virginia. She currently plays at a variety of venues around Richmond and Charlottesville and wherever else her adventures take her. Alex is the Round 6 and Round 10 winner of Ashland Coffee & Tea’s “Songwriter Shootout,” and she is also a three-time finalist in the Rapunzel’s Coffee & Books annual songwriting competition (2013, 2014, 2016).  In 2013 she was featured at the State Fair of Virginia and played there again in 2014. Alex has played the Camel’s monthly Songwriter Showcase on multiple occasions. In 2015, Alex played a live set on WRIR 97.3 fm “Over the Edge” (2015) to help raise money for the local radio station. Alex was featured on Virginia Currents WCVE in November and performed as the featured artist at the James River Filmmaker’s Forum at the Visual Arts Center this past Spring.

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $10 | Cash Bar

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Jacob Wick | RAIC
Oct
5
7:30pm 7:30pm

Jacob Wick | RAIC

Jacob Wick: is a trumpet player and improviser. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Wick has lived in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Los Angeles, and has performed with a variety of improvisers and composers in a variety of contexts, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art (US), the Moers Jazz Festival (DE), and el Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MX). He has performed with Toshimaru Nakamura, Bonnie Jones, Katherine Young, Andrew D'Angelo, Josh Roseman, and many others. He has released recordings on Prom Night Records (Brooklyn, NY), Peira (Chicago, IL), Diatribe (Dublin, IE), and Creative Sources (Lisbon, PT). He holds a BM from Purchase College, SUNY, and an MFA from the California College of the Arts.

In performance, Wick works to privilege the perspective, experience, and expressive capacities of ambient non-human actors—air ducts, airplanes, birds, cement—over his own experience as a white, cis, American male. This approach is indebted to a wild commitment to queer politics and years of cruising contemporary and 20th century art and/or life theories. Current projects include solo trumpet performance, listening and/or visualization exercises, and Dos/Tres Hongos, a duo or trio with Marc Riordan and Frank Rosaly.

RAIC: Richmond Avant Improv Collective. Samuel Goff. Abdul Hakim-Bilal. Erik Schroeder. Zoe Olivia-Kinney.

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

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Rafael Toral | David Dominique
Sep
30
7:30pm 7:30pm

Rafael Toral | David Dominique

Rafael Toral: plays electronic music today as a jazz musician would play his instrument, applying jazz discipline and working practices to his abstract electronics. The result is truly evolutionary music, once described as “a brand of electronic music far more visceral and emotive than that of his cerebral peers”. Melodic without notes, rhythmic without a beat, familiar but strange, meticulous but radically free, it is riddled with interesting paradox.

Collaborations include Jim O’Rourke, Evan Parker, John Edwards, Joe Morris, Tatsuya Nakatani, Chris Corsano, Manuel Mota, David Toop, Alvin Lucier, John Zorn, Phill Niblock, Christian Marclay, Sonic Youth, João Paulo Feliciano, Rhys Chatham, Lee Ranaldo, C Spencer Yeh, Dean Roberts.  Since 2008 he directs the Space Collective, a slowly developing orchestral group.

Furniture Daniel: is the new solo electronic project of David Dominique. Performing on analog synthesizer, drum machine, voice and loop pedal, Dominique creates colorful patchworks of looped polyphonic vocal harmonies, chants, utterances and evolving timbres. Rich, abstract soundscapes intersperse with winding multi-layered songs, exploring grief, mania, hallucination and catharsis.

David Dominique, is a composer, performer and music theorist living in Richmond, by way of LA, Boston and New York. Much of Dominique’s recent music has been written for an extended jazz octet, including the forthcoming "Mask" (2018), and the widely-praised album, “Ritual,” described by Downbeat Magazine as a "rowdy muscular brand of modernism. Picture Charles Mingus taking over the Sun Ra Arkestra.” Both albums mix elements of contemporary experimental music, minimalism, rock and ‘60s big band jazz. Furniture Daniel has performed recently in Los Angeles, Northern California, Wyoming, Virginia, Austria, and Finland, and has developed through the support of artist residencies in Finland (Arteles Creative Center; Fiskars AiR), Djerassi Resident Artist Program (CA), Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (WY) and MacDowell Colony (NH). Upcoming 2017 performances are scheduled for Richmond, Indianapolis, Baltimore and Brussels.

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

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Daniel Levin | David Moré
Sep
18
7:30pm 7:30pm

Daniel Levin | David Moré

Black Iris welcomes cellist Daniel Levin for a solo set in the Tiny Bar, September 18th.  Levin, touring in support of his upcoming solo album Living ( appearing on Smeraldina-Rima later in the Spring), has been developing his sonic vocabulary since the age of six when he began his training as a cellist. After graduating from the New England Conservatory Levin moved to New York and immersed himself in the jazz scene. His most recent work presents techniques that extend beyond the perimeters of jazz and new music by generating sound-scapes influenced by the ephemera encountered in everyday life. 

Richmond based sound-artists-experimenter David Moré will be opening the evening with his unique assemblages of objects + instruments that come together with orchestrated beauty and chaos.

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

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The Bones of JR Jones | Josh Small & Andrew Alli
Sep
15
7:30pm 7:30pm

The Bones of JR Jones | Josh Small & Andrew Alli

We're excited to to be hosting The Bones of JR Jones' third live session in the Tiny Bar at Black Iris.  A dark and soulful high energy performance The Bones of JR Jones presents an evening that you won't want to miss!

The Bones of JR Jones: What has continued to define The Bones of J.R. Jones is the musician’s hypnotic live show. He operates as a one-man band — playing guitar, drums, and singing in unison, creating the feeling of a raucous blues band with more immediacy.  “I am hyperaware of the history that a lot of the music I play brings with it,” he says. “I’m trying my damnedest not to reinvent the wheel but carve out my own voice. But it’s about finding that balance where the music does feel fresh and new but also familiar at the same time.”

Josh Small: In the complexity of his boogie-woogie rhythms and soulful croon, Josh Small masterfully howls at the open skies in a way that channels folk heroes of the past. What sets Small apart is the way he introduces modern ideas that incorporate themselves remarkably into traditional folk ideas… he pays respect to the troubadours of the past while reinventing ideas which may result in proclamations of Small’s name alongside theirs

Andrew Alli: is a 26 year old Richmond, Virginia native. Always into music, he stumbled upon the blues while taking up his first instrument; the harmonica, a few years back. He instantly fell in love with the blues and all of the history that comes with such an influencial music. Andrew developed his style of playing by studying from the harmonica greats including: Little Walter, Big Walter Horton, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Junior Wells

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

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Purling Hiss | Long Hots
Sep
9
7:30pm 7:30pm

Purling Hiss | Long Hots

Purling Hiss: is the rock music project of American multi-instrumentalist Mike Polizze. Based in Philadelphia, the project was named so because of its heavy use of distortion and white noise. Originally conceived for his own personal amusement and desire to experiment, Polizze eventually self-released Purling Hiss (2009) and began touring with a live band... The rock we need meets the rock we deserve, with popular music to keep spririts (and bias) high for the coming stretch of unexplored darkness wasteland ahead.

Long Hots: Kensington, Philly basement boogie. Members of Hothead, Spacin, Rosali 

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

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Immigrant Songs _ Benefit Dance Party
Jul
27
7:00pm 7:00pm

Immigrant Songs _ Benefit Dance Party

Doors 700pm | $10 | RSVP

Black Iris is honored to be hosting a community dance party to benefit Aynaz Habibpour, a 20-year-old refugee/aspiring neurosurgeon who needs money to pay for her first semester of tuition at VCU . 

This party celebrates the spirit that makes America greater. Songs about fleeing a bad scene, overcoming the odds and striving for something better. Hip-hop, soul, rock, pop & more from DJ Ant Boogie and DJ Big Chair.

...more information here.

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Xenga + Zach Rowden
Jul
15
7:30pm 7:30pm

Xenga + Zach Rowden

Doors 730pm | Show 8pm | $6-$10 | RSVP

Black Iris is excited to be welcoming Xenga to the Tiny Bar this Saturday, July 15th.   Years of collaboration between Jarrett Gilgore (reeds) & Ian McColm (drums) generate a constant reassessment of the classic free-jazz duo of sax and drums.  Xenga takes this porous form and introduces a wide range of influences ranging from heavy metal to North African trance music.  Gilgore and McColm strive to contribute new sounds and structures to the creative music canon using a variety of techniques developed over years of experimentation. 

Stalwarts of the Baltimore-Washington improvised music scene, Gilgore & McColm have performed and collaborated with an array of international talent including Dave Rempis, Paul Giallorenzo, Jaimie Branch, and Washington DC’s own, Luke Stewart.

Joining Xenga on this tour is Zach Rowden. A New Haven-based musician, Rowden deals with the acoustic and performative possibilities of the electric and upright basses. His collaborators and associations include: Iancu Dumitrescu & Ana-Maria Avram (Hyperion Ensemble soloist/member), Michael Foster’s The Ghost, Robert Black, Chris Cretella, Matt Sargent, Leila Bordreuil, Lindsey Vickery, Charmaine Lee, Gus Caldwell, and Sean Ali.

Although a new collaboration, Xenga + Zach Rowden is born out of a wealth of improvisational experience and the hearty spirit of young friends creating new music every night from the air around us all.

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Ravish Momin | Hibachi Sequence
May
24
7:30pm 7:30pm

Ravish Momin | Hibachi Sequence

Ravish Momin | Hibachi Sequence | $10

Black Iris is incredibly excited to present Ravish Momin performing solo percussion and electronics. Ravish Momin is a versatile percussionist/composer/electronic musician/educator currently residing in New York City.  He has received prestigious performance grants from Meet The Composer, The Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, US Artists International and Arts International.   His unique ‘world-percussion’ approach has led him to also work as a sideman with a diverse range of musicians.  Most notably, he has recently performed with pop-star Shakira on nationally televised appearances in the US on "The View" (ABC), "Rockefeller Tree Lighting" (NBC) and the "Rachael Ray Show" (ABC), and also recorded with her for iHeart Radio and Yahoo Music.

He is also the leader of the acclaimed world/Jazz ensemble Tarana.  They have performed at major festivals and venues across the world; amongst their highlights, they have performed at The New Music and Sound Summit (Austin, TX 2016), Festival Alfonsino (Monterrey, MX 2016), Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage (DC, 2016), Rough Trade/New York (Brooklyn, NY, 2015), Columbia University's Live from Lerner (New York, 2014), The Mexico City Sound Encounter (Mexico, 2013), Kaunas Jazz Festival (Lithuania, 2012), The San Servolo Jazz Festival (Italy, 2010), The Calgary Jazz Festival (Canada, 2009), Jazz Lent (Maribor, Slovenia, 2009), Cultural Festival Zacatecas (Mexico 2009), Jazz Ao Centro Festival (Coimbra, Portugal, 2008),  The Yardbird Suite Jazz Club (Edmonton, Canada, 2007), Detroit Institute of Art (US, 2006),  Mediawave Festival (Hungary, 2006), the Jazzin’ Tondela (Portugal, 2005), the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery (Washington, DC, 2005), the New Music Circle (St. Louis, MO, 2005),  9th Annual Asian American Jazz Festival (Chicago, IL, 2004) and the Taipei Arts Festival (Taiwan, 2004.)  They have also toured widely in the UK, Europe and China.  In New York City, they've performed at Columbia University, the Rubin Museum of Asian Art, Knitting Factory, The Stone,  and various music venues across Brooklyn and Manhattan, They have also been featured in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Chicago Reader, TimeOUT Magazines (London, Lisbon, HongKong and Chicago), ‘Village Voice’ (New York), Redstar Magazine (China) and various other domestic and international publications.

Hibachi Sequence is the solo project of Richmond based percussionist James Gibian. Hibachi Sequence is an experimental drum/performance piece featuring live improvised percussion with incorporated VHS video and electronic sampling.

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Sahba Sizdahkhani | David Moré
May
18
7:30pm 7:30pm

Sahba Sizdahkhani | David Moré

Sahba Sizdahkhani | David Moré | May 18 | $6 - $10

Iranian musician Sahba Sizdahkhani serves as a unique crossroad of East meets West. Inspired heavily by 1960’s free-jazz and Persian Traditional Music, he constantly channels the fire-energy and longing for connectivity these two stormy histories represent. Sahba began playing drums at age 12, and santour, an ancient string instrument, just a few years later. A momentous breakthrough resulted upon hearing The John Coltrane Quartet for the first time, making him a stalwart believer in free improvisation as the only means to attaining maximum expansion, revelation, and flight during a performance.

Sahba has recorded with artists on the imprints of Dischord Records, Southern Lord, and Drag City and has appeared live with Peter Brotzmann, Devendra Banhart,  Miho Hatori (Cibo Matto), Marc Ribot, Eli Keszler, and Mary Halvorson. He completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Maryland in Art History and Archeology and currently resides in California.

David Moré is a sound artist, musician wannabe, and occasional maker of objects. Current projects include listening to weak electromagnetic signals from (maybe) Jupiter using a home built radio telescope, as well as weekly practice sessions with his mildly electric fish pet fish, Alex Halsted, via Skype. In 2004, as well as in 2013, he was quite honored to perform at the High Zero Festival of Improvised Experimental Music in Baltimore,alongside such luminaries as Daniel Higgs, Joe McPhee, and Susan Alcorn. His projects have been presented through Art in General (NYC) and the University of Illinois at Chicago, amongst others." Hope that helps.

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Curved Light | Gardener
May
15
7:30pm 7:30pm

Curved Light | Gardener

May 15 | Tiny Bar at Black Iris | Curved Light | Gardener | $6 - $10 RSVP

Curved Light is the audio/visual duo of Peter Tran and Deirdre Smith. Conceptualized in Baltimore and formalized in Austin, they utilize the modular synth for sound and vision to create immersive, psychedelic fourth worlds that thrive in a live context. Curved Light has shared the stage with S U R V I V E, Suzanne Ciani, and Lower Dens.

“It’s one of 2017’s first great electronic full-lengths, and makes it look easy.” - Sputnikmusic

Gardener is "Ex-Make Noiser Dash Lewis returns with a new set of deeply-creviced compositions for voice and modular synthesizer. All tracks are performed live, and in this four-song suite, Dash's talent for loop building and deconstruction shines. 

Pieces flourish with a breadth of emotion; constantly building and churning. Heavy waves of bass cascade upon gentle layers of vocal chanting. Lights shimmer from deep within the void. 

The witness is treated to a truly organic experience as vocal layers intertwine with sequenced patterns and thunderous drones. Gardener exemplifies a true "Die Mensch-Maschine" ethos. When coupled with live construction of vocal knots, one can easily appreciate the synthesizer as an actual cyber-entity as well as performative instrument." 
-Joe Bastardo, Moss Archive 

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Wham City Comedy & Cricket Arrison
Apr
22
8:00pm 8:00pm

Wham City Comedy & Cricket Arrison

Black Iris and Unusual Uptown are coming together to present Wham City Comedy Saturday, April 22nd. Wham City Comedy is Ben O'Brien, Alan Resnick and Robby Rackleff, they are a comedy & video collective based in Baltimore known for their bizarre viral videos and absurdist presentational performances. They have created a series of infomercials for Adult Swim including Unedited Footage of a Bear, Live Forever As You Are Now W/ Alan Resnick, Commencement Speech, and most recently This House Has People In It. They never repeat material so they only tour once a year - don't miss your chance!

Beginning April 1st $8 Advanced tickets will be available at Steady Sounds 322 W. Broad St. Door tickets if available are $10.

Door 7:30pm | Show 8pm

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Tiny Bar Session 035 | Elder Ones
Apr
15
7:30pm 7:30pm

Tiny Bar Session 035 | Elder Ones

Black Iris is excited to be presenting Tiny Bar Session 034 with the Elder Ones.  A fixture of New York’s experimental scene, the vocalist Amirtha Kidambi makes her bandleading debut on Holy Science, fusing classical Indian music, drone, and free jazz with an original perspective.

In New York’s experimental scene, the presence of vocalist Amirtha Kidambi on a concert bill has been a consistent indicator of quality. In 2013, she impressed in a live appearance with the legendary composer and improviser Muhal Richard Abrams. At the 2014 Whitney Biennial, she was part of a youthful ensemble that gave the premiere of one of the final operas by the late visionary Robert Ashley. Until forming the group Elder Ones, though, Kidambi had yet to create a vehicle for her own compositions. 

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Cindy Baker | Fashion Plate Performance
Apr
14
6:00pm 6:00pm

Cindy Baker | Fashion Plate Performance

Cindy Baker is a Canadian artist whose performance work addresses gender culture, queer theory, art theory and the implications of fat-shame. Cindy will host her Fashion Plate project, inviting student designers and garment makers to produce garments for Cindy to showcase in a fashion catwalk show that confronts the design industry’s disregard for fat and deviant bodies.

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Tiny Bar Session 034 | Tatsuya Nakatani | CGI Jesus
Apr
6
7:30pm 7:30pm

Tiny Bar Session 034 | Tatsuya Nakatani | CGI Jesus

Join us for Tiny Bar Session 034 with sound artist/percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani. 

Door 730pm | $6-10 | Show 8pm | RSVP

Tonight, Thursday April 6th at 730pm we're excited to be presenting Tatsuya Nakatani in the Tiny Bar at Black Iris! Nakatani is an acoustic sound artist and master percussionist originally from Osaka, Japan. He has released over eighty recordings in North America and Europe. Recognized for his constant touring, Nakatani criss-crosses the country every year inspiring audiences with his pioneering sound. Nakatani teaches master classes and workshops at universities, giving students an opportunity to share his unique musical approach and philosophy for creating visceral, non-linear music. Having invented many instruments and extended techniques utilizing drums, gongs, cymbals, singing bowls, wooden sticks, metal objects, and the bows and mallets he handcrafts in his Kobo; he creates an intense, intuitively primitive, expressive music that defies genre. His work references improvised-experimental music, free jazz, and noise, while still retaining the sense of space and beauty found in traditional Japanese folk music.

Local punk free jazz trio CGI Jesus will be opening the night with a blast of double bass, sax and drums.

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Robert Beatty | Blues Control
Apr
1
7:30pm 7:30pm

Robert Beatty | Blues Control

We're excited to be working with 1708 Gallery to host tonight's show with Robert Beatty (Three Legged Race) and Blues Control. Blues Control are recently transplanted to Richmond so come out for the incredible sets and support local and traveling artists. 

Doors 730pm | $6-$10 | Show 8pm | All Door $ Goes To The Bands!

https://soundcloud.com/bluescontrol

https://threeleggedrace.bandcamp.com

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Tiny Bar Session 033 | Marian McLaughlin Trio & TBA
Mar
25
7:30pm 7:30pm

Tiny Bar Session 033 | Marian McLaughlin Trio & TBA

Join us for Session 033 as The Marian McLaughlin Trio returns to the Tiny Bar at Black Iris. The Marian McLaughlin Trio is the newest form McLaughlin's music has taken for live performance, as McLaughlin (vocals, nylon-string guitar) and Foote (double bass, 12-string guitar) are joined by the immensely talented cellist-vocalist Katie Weissman. Achieving a remarkable range of sound for its small size, the trio distills the lush instrumentation of McLaughlin's recording output (strings, winds, percussion, electric guitars) into concentrated form, offering a musical experience at once intimate and expansive. The group has toured the eastern United States extensively, drawing widespread praise for its exceptional musicianship and adventurous interpretations of McLaughlin's songs. 

Doors: 7:30pm - $10 | Show: 8:00pm | Cash Bar

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Tiny Bar Session 032 | The Bones of JR Jones & Gull
Mar
15
7:30pm 7:30pm

Tiny Bar Session 032 | The Bones of JR Jones & Gull

We're excited to to be hosting The Bones of JR Jones second session at the Tiny Bar at Black Iris this time with local favorite Gull opening the evening. Session 032 will be a high energy evening that you won't want to miss!

Doors 7:30pm $10 | Show 8pm | Cash Bar

The Bones of JR Jones: What has continued to define The Bones of J.R. Jones is the musician’s hypnotic live show. He operates as a one-man band — playing guitar, drums, and singing in unison, creating the feeling of a raucous blues band with more immediacy.  “I am hyperaware of the history that a lot of the music I play brings with it,” he says. “I’m trying my damnedest not to reinvent the wheel but carve out my own voice. But it’s about finding that balance where the music does feel fresh and new but also familiar at the same time.”

Gull: Richmond based Gull is a solo performance who blends together percussion, voice, guitar and electronics to generate a swirl of sound that engulfs the listener. 

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Tiny Bar Session 031 | Tashi Dorji & Gardener
Mar
13
7:30pm 7:30pm

Tiny Bar Session 031 | Tashi Dorji & Gardener

Tiny Bar Session 031 | Doors 7:30pm $6-$10 | Show 8pm

Tashi Dorji grew up in Bhutan, on the eastern side of the Himalayas. Residing in Asheville since 2000 and soaking up a vast array of music. Along the way, Dorji developed a playing style unbound by tradition, yet with a direct line to intuitive artistry. His recordings feature improvisations that spasmodically grow along tangential, surprising paths. All references break loose during a composition, as Dorji keys into his own inner world.

 Dorji presented his debut LP on Hermit Hut, the label created by Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) in 2014. Since then Tashi has released music in various formats on labels such as Bathetic Records, Cabin Floor Esoterica, Blue Tapes, Marmara Records, Feeding Tubes,VDSQ & MIE.

Gardener is the ongoing experimental ambient voice & modular synth project of ex-NoiseMaker Dash Lewis. Pieces flourish with a breadth of emotion; constantly building and churning. Heavy waves of bass cascade upon gentle layers of vocal chanting. Lights shimmer from deep within the void. 

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A Day Without A Woman | Write A Wrong
Mar
8
12:00pm12:00pm

A Day Without A Woman | Write A Wrong

Black Iris Invites YOU to Write a Wrong!

 

In solidarity with the Day Without A Woman’s strike, Womens March and all groups fighting oppression, sexism, racism, xenophobia, and hate, Black Iris invites all people to join together in action. Without women we are nothing. Our doors will be open to the public and we will provide the materials needed to write your representatives at a local, state and federal level. Coffee and refreshments will be provided. Please come by to fill out a postcard. Meet members of your community who are committed to a more just society. The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.

 

When: Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 8th from 12pm to 5pm. 

Where: Black Iris, 321 West Broad st. Richmond VA 23220

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The Zomes | David Moré
Feb
25
7:30pm 7:30pm

The Zomes | David Moré

Doors 730pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

ZOMES : It all began when Asa Osborne was performing at the Perspectives Festival in Sweden where Hanna was working. After a improvised set together Asa invited Hanna to Baltimore witch was the beginning of the trans-Atlantic exchange of ideas that eventually became Time Was and Near Unsion.

Hanna traveled to Baltimore during September and October of 2012 to record Time Was at Tempo House. These are the first Zomes recordings laid to tape in a studio and the songs are as immersive on record as they are live. Time Was is an expansion of the Zomes aesthetic, an open and natural collaboration between like-minded individuals. While there are certainly obvious musical connections to Osborne’s work with Lungfish, the duo of Asa and Hanna have built on this considerable foundation and expanded the form to glorious new heights.

DAVID MORE´: is a sound artist, musician wannabe, and occasional maker of objects. Current projects include listening to weak electromagnetic signals from (maybe) Jupiter using a home built radio telescope, as well as weekly practice sessions with his mildly electric fish pet fish, Alex Halsted, via Skype. In 2004, as well as in 2013, he was quite honored to perform at the High Zero Festival of Improvised Experimental Music in Baltimore,alongside such luminaries as Daniel Higgs, Joe McPhee, and Susan Alcorn. His projects have been presented through Art in General (NYC) and the University of Illinois at Chicago, amongst others." Hope that helps.

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Made In Richmond | Pop Up Shop
Feb
24
to Feb 25

Made In Richmond | Pop Up Shop

We're excited to be hosting the first Pop Up of Made In Richmond. Come on out Friday (7-10) and Saturday (10-5). Made in Richmond will have workshops, quality goods, and more... all from local makers right here in Richmond, VA.

Featuring: Join or Die Knives | Awl Snap | Bear Ceramics | Kugo Laser | Van Herten Outerwear | Ore & Fiber | Maslo Jewelry | Commune | Van Jester Woodworks | Roseneath Leather. 

We hope to see you. 

Buy local. By Richmond

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Open City | Elizabeth Van Lew w/Teargas Rock
Feb
18
7:30pm 7:30pm

Open City | Elizabeth Van Lew w/Teargas Rock

Doors 730pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

Black Iris presents Open City (Philadelphia) & Elizabeth Van Lew w/Teargas Rock.

 Open City is a project embedded with histories — people, places, sounds, scenes. Bringing together collective decades of experience in East Coast punk and DIY communities, specifically ones known for prying open the melodic sides of punk rock, hardcore and post-punk, the project is: singer and lyricist Rachel Rubino (Bridge And Tunnel, Worriers), bassist Andy Nelson (Paint It Black, Ceremony, Dark Blue), guitarist Dan Yemin (Paint It Black, Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, Armalite), and drummer Chris Wilson (Ted Leo & the Pharmacists).

Elizabeth Van Lew: For the first time in 116 years, objective conditions compel Elizabeth Van Lew (EVL) and her squad of spies and soldiers to return to Richmond to announce truths past that bring to light cosmic contradictions present and future. An ardent abolitionist and proto-feminist, Ms. Van Lew explodes the corrupt revisionist Lost Cause mythology of “Crazy Bet” through photos, words and propaganda of the deed.  

In solidarity against totalitarianism and all forms of oppression, Teargas Rock will be performing along side EVL. Teargas Rock realizes the political momentum tipping the scales towards the unjust cannot necessarily be rectified through conventional channels of appeal.  As such, a portion of the proceeds from this performance will be  funneled through established non-governmental organizations to autonomous revolutionary cells and pre-revolution survival programs.  Despite two successful tours of Cuba and Venezuela, Teargas Rock has been unable to perform in the U.S. until now.

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Christopher Tignor | Stephen Vitiello
Feb
15
7:30pm 7:30pm

Christopher Tignor | Stephen Vitiello

Doors 730pm | $6 - $10 | Cash Bar

Black Iris is excited to announce an evening with Christopher Tignor and Stephen Vitiello. Once label mates on (the now silent though always ahead of it's time) New Albion Records, Tignor and Vitiello share an explorers desire for exploration and discovery in the ocean of sound that surrounds us. 

Christopher Tignor is a composer, violinist, and software engineer. His emotionally charged scores and unique focus on live, performance-based electro-acoustic practice has won acclaim within both the classical and experimental communities across 8 LPs on the Western Vinyl and New Albion record labels. As a result of his unique performance technique using tuning forks, Christopher is a sponsored artist of the German tuning fork maker Wittner. Likewise, renown software leader Antares sponsors Christopher for his inventive application of Auto-Tune as a "choral" violin harmonizer.

Stephen Vitiello has performed nationally and internationally, at locations such as the Tate Modern, London; the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival; The Kitchen, New York; and the Cartier Foundation, Paris. In 2011, ABC-TV, Australia produced the documentary Stephen Vitiello: Listening With Intent. Awards include Creative Capital (2006) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2011-2012). Vitiello is a professor of Kinetic Imaging at Virginia Commonwealth University. He lives and works in Richmond, Virginia.

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Tiny Bar Session 030 | Wes Swing Duo
Feb
9
7:30pm 7:30pm

Tiny Bar Session 030 | Wes Swing Duo

Black Iris presents Tiny Bar Session 030 with the Wes Swing Duo Thursday February 9th. 

Doors | 7:30pm, $10 Cash, Show | 8:00pm

Wes Swing is a singer, cellist, multi-instrumentalist and composer from Virginia. Swing's style of composition draws on classical, folk and alternative rock influences to create a "rich and lilting soundscape” of "beautifully swelling cello-folk." In live performance he loops his cello and violin to create deeply enveloping string sections to which "Swing demonstrates his vocal prowess with delicate intonation," delivering lyrics imbued with poetry.

"Listening to the album became a journey that I found lent itself to a full listen rather than dipping in and out of tracks...Swing demonstrates his vocal prowess with delicate intonation" - Folk Radio UK

"Like a cold fall night pierces a mountain hollow... Swing's voice rings out over his classical cello strings." - Stephanie Garcia, The Hook 

Live Session Video // Philadelphia 2017

"Ghost" Music Video, Iceland

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Tiny Bar 029 // H.O.W.
Jan
23
7:30pm 7:30pm

Tiny Bar 029 // H.O.W.

Black Iris Gallery is excited to be presenting the first Tiny Bar Session of 2017.  Session 029 showcases H.O.W which began as the solo project of Hanna Olivegren.  Hannah, who is also the singer in ZOMES with Asa Osborne (Lungfish), brings together melodies, harmonies, westafrican rhythms,  improvisation and soul seeking love, joy and reflection that makes H.O.W. a sonic delight and a welcome addition to the Black Iris program. 

After living in Baltimore and releasing a solo mixtape H.O.W has developed into a 4 piece group with: 
Hanna Olivgren - Keyboard & Voice
Ines Nassara - Voice
Zack Branch - Cello
Mike Kuhl - Drums

http://howmusichow.bandcamp.com/album/m-i-x-t-a-p-e

DOORS 7:30 // SHOW 8:00
$6 - 10 CASH DONATION

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Nelly Kate | Bobby Donne | Feminacci
Jan
7
7:30pm 7:30pm

Nelly Kate | Bobby Donne | Feminacci


Black Iris Gallery is excited, focused and defiantly optimistic about the role arts, culture and the creative community will play in shaping and reshaping the spaces/places that make up our collective world. Our first presentation of 2017 brings together three artists who share in common a pursuit of newness, meaning, understanding, and beauty in the known and unknown .  Each of their experiments and explorations gather, create and present evidence of a vast expanding sonic universe. 

FEMINACCI ::: SPARSE // EERIE // GRANULAR. From simple sequences, where each number is the sum of previous two, we find the golden ratio, often witnessed in nature. Even our uteruses follow these proportions.

BOBBY DONNE ::: FRESH // UNDENIABLE // ELECTRONIC. Through involvement with endeavors such as: Gregor Samsa, Labradford, Stephen Vitiello, and Cristal—we have grown eager to experience the latest palette of this established artist.

NELLY KATE ::: IMMERSIVE // EXPERIENTIAL // LO-FI. Tuning into new frequencies. Sonic tiptoes tread softly as video experiments light her way.

CLINT SLEEPER ::: On the heels of his residency, at Signal Culture, Sleeper refined a motion + sound-responsive app to affect videos live during this show.

DOORS 7 // SHOW 7:30
$5 - 10 CASH DONATION
 

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Dammann/Davis/Niekrasz/Summerfield
Dec
9
9:00pm 9:00pm

Dammann/Davis/Niekrasz/Summerfield

Born of bassist/composer Chris Dammann’s desire to play with his favorite improvisers, this quartet features Kevin Davis (cello), John Niekrasz (drums) and Toby Summerfield (guitar). This group focuses on a shared language of spontaneous composition and deep listening.

 http://kevindavismusic.com/           

https://johnniekrasz.wordpress.com/

http://tobysummerfield.com/           

https://milkfactoryproductions.bandcamp.com/album/restroy

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Run Tell That w/ Luther Hughes & Joy Priest
Dec
9
7:00pm 7:00pm

Run Tell That w/ Luther Hughes & Joy Priest

Run Tell That is a quarterly poetry reading series in Richmond, Virginia featuring poets whose work troubles the public/private, individual/collective “I.” Named after & situated in the tradition of “storying” in the South, this series understands all American letters to be necessarily shaped by the South’s public/private, individual/collective I’s. Here, the slow-mouthed ghosts sing. 

Luther Hughes received his BA in poetry from Columbia College Chicago. He currently curates, “Shade,” a literary blog for queer writers of color. He is also the Associate Poetry Editor for The Offing Magazine. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Luther’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Solstice Literary Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, Winter Tangerine, Vinyl Poetry, Word Riot, and others. You can follow him on Twitter @lutherxhughes. He thinks you are beautiful.

Joy Priest is a writer born and raised in Louisville, KY. She is the winner of the 2016 Hurston/Wright Foundation College Writers Award, and has received scholarships, grants, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Joy's work has been published or is upcoming in Blackbird, Callaloo, Drunken Boat, espnW, Muzzle, PUBLIC POOL, Vinyl, and the anthologies Best New Poets 2014, and The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop, among others. She is currently an M.F.A. candidate in poetry at the University of South Carolina.

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