April in Santa Cruz

Daniel Goode
80th Birthday Celebration

As part of the annual April in Santa Cruz Contemporary Music Festival, I performed three solo works by Daniel Goode:

Sonata 1 (2015)
Sonata 2 (2015)
OoMPAH for Henry (2002)

Daniel Goode is a wonderful composer and clarinetist who lives and works in New York City. It was a joy to meet him and his wife Ann Snitow, a feminist activist and writer! Daniel Goode is co-founder/co-director of the DownTown Ensemble and since 1976 he has been a performer and composer with Gamelan Son of Lion. In 2004 he initiated the Flexible Orchestra, a rethinking of the symphony orchestra. From 1971 to 1998 he was director of the Electronic Music Studio at Rutgers University.


New Release on New World Records

New World Records has released a new CD of piano music by Larry Polansky. I enjoyed recording “Old Paint” for the album; Old Paint (2010), is a setting of the traditional American cowboy song “I Ride an Old Paint.” A piece unlike any other that I have encountered, I was required to sing the words, accompany my voice with my left hand, perform a computer-generated melody in my right hand, and play an array of small percussion instruments at the same time!

At the heart of the CD is an incredible new work after which the album is titled, “Three Pieces for Two Pianos.” It is played beautifully by Marilyn Nonken and Joseph Kubera.

Preview the album here

Angel City Jazz Festival

Slumgum is performing at this year’s Angel City Jazz Festival.  Each year, ACJF celebrates forward-looking music with an awesome lineup of artists. It’s always a blast!  The festival runs from September 19-28.  Slumgum plays at the Blue Whale on the 25th along with Matana Roberts’s ANTHEM.


Debut Album by Trevor Anderies

Just released: “Shades of Truth,” the new album by the Trevor Anderies Ensemble!

It was a joy to record with drummer Trevor Anderies for his debut album. “Shades of Truth” shows off his exceptional compositional talent and features a host of outstanding LA musicians including the legendary Dwight Trible.

Also featured on the Album: David Tranchina, Gavin Templeton, Jon Armstrong, Brian Walsh, and Dan Rosenboom.

Click here to listen and purchase!

Introducing Adanu Habobo

Adanu Habobo is Vancouver’s new traditional Ghanaian drum/dance ensemble. I am honored to be a member of the group and to have participated in a fundraising event to support the very villages in Ghana that practice the style of dance and drumming that we are learning.

All proceeds from our first performance will go towards initiatives founded by each of the two leaders of our ensemble:

Kofi Gbolonyo started the Ghana School Project, a school based in his town of Dzodze that aims to give free music education in both traditional and Western music to any willing child.

Curtis Andrews started the Dzogadze Education Development Foundation. The foundation funded construction of a 3-room school block for primary children (opened in 2009), and has also assisted in some infrastructure development in the village, supplying school and medical supplies. Most recently, the foundation started a pilot scholarship program for the two highest achieving male and female students who have completed middle school and now must leave the village and attend high school (at great cost to the families).

The Daniel Rosenboom Septet Live at the Blue Whale

Just Released! “Unsayable Absence: Live at the Blue Whale,” by The Daniel Rosenboom Septet. This album captures an extraordinary band letting loose at one of the finest music venues in LA. Featuring: Daniel Rosenboom, Gavin Templeton, Jon Armstrong, Brian Walsh, Rory Cowal, Hamilton Price, and Matt Mayhall. Recorded live by Masa Tsuzuki/ cover photo by Diana Ming Jeong.

“One of the most original, exciting, adventurous groups in L.A. right now.”
— Gary Fukushima, LA Weekly

Click here for the digital album

Slumgum wins CMA/ASCAP Award

Slumgum has won the 2013 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.

Established jointly by Chamber Music America and ASCAP, the annual award recognizes U.S.-based professional ensembles for distinctive programming of music composed within the past 25 years. The recipients, chosen by an independent panel of judges, were evaluated on the basis of their programming and innovations in attracting audiences to performances of new music.

“Today’s composers are writing exciting and beautiful music for small ensembles,” said Chamber Music America’s CEO, Margaret M. Lioi. “Innovative presenters and artists in the chamber music community are introducing this music to audiences around the country, and this year we are pleased to recognize eight ensembles and presenters whose accomplishments in this area are particularly inspiring.”

Click to read the press release:

New Album by Slumgum, Featuring Hugh Ragin

Nine Winds Records is proud to announce the release of The Sky His Own by Slumgum featuring Hugh Ragin. A homegrown favorite of the Los Angeles jazz scene, Slumgum has won acclaim for their electrifying performances and wildly imaginative original repertoire. On their new album, Slumgum is joined by virtuoso trumpeter Hugh Ragin. A uniquely versatile jazz musician, Ragin is equally at home playing bebop and avant-garde improvisation. His illustrious career includes historic collaborations with artists such as Roscoe Mitchell, Clark Terry, David Murray, and Sun Ra. Ragin and Slumgumʼs collaboration bridges generations and brings together an ensemble with a shared passion for adventurous music-making. Original compositions by each band member give rise to far-ranging improvisation. The result is a vital tapestry of moods and textures that reflects their sheer joy in playing together.

Buy it online:

LA Times Article


The LA Times published a feature about me and my jazz quartet, Slumgum:


Slumgum — with 2 weekend gigs – carves out a place of its own

July 13, 2012|By Chris Barton

Build an image in your head of a longtime volunteer at DIY bike garage the Bicycle Kitchen on Heliotrope, and chances are some amalgam of tattoos, torn jeans and punk rock emerges. What probably doesn’t appear so readily is the stereotype-busting Rory Cowal, the bespectacled treasurer of the nonprofilt bicycle advocacy group who is also keyboardist for rising jazz quartet Slumgum.