8pm Circular Dreaming, a new performance group formed by musician/animator Valerie Mih
9pm Steve Lacy’s “Tips”
Bruce Ackley – soprano saxophone
Phillip Greenlief – alto saxophone
Aurora Josephson – voice
This is a special performance of the extended work “Tips”, a composition by Steve Lacy for voice and two saxophones. The works uses text by the founder of cubism, George Braque. The evening will feature jazz and experimental compositions by Mih, accompanied by projected animated visuals created by Mih and guest artist Marco Salsiccia. Guitarist Alex Yeung and drummer Andre Custodio (of the cantocore duo Say Bok Gwai) will join keyboardist Mih for this evening of mind-expanding sonic explorations combining jazz, classical and rock influences. Mih began studying classical piano at the age of 6 and jazz piano at age 15. She received a B.A. in American Studies from Stanford University, where she co-founded the Stanford Taiko Group with Ann Ishimaru (founder of Portland Taiko). She subsequently discovered the field of animation, and earned an M.F.A. in Film, Video and Computer Animation from the University of Southern California. Her professional animation and media works have been recognized with awards, distribution contracts and festival screenings, including the Festival of Cinema and Technology’s Best Animation Award (for Einstein), Independent Television Service production funding (for PBS interstitials Paper Peace and Harmonize), a CINE Eagle Award (for The Pets Zone), and a Silicon Valley Arts Fellowship (for Voices of Patriots). While working professionally in the animation field, she continued to develop musically and found an ideal music mentor in trumpeter/composer Eddie Gale. She discovered Gale while listening to jazz radio station KCSM on her way to work as an animator at Lucas Learning in the year 2000. On the air, Gale was discussing his open jazz workshops and jam sessions at the Black Dot in Oakland, funded by a California Artist-in-Residence grant. Mih became a regular at his jam sessions for three years, after which Gale asked her to join his working band. As a member of Gale’s group, she has performed at the Vision Festival, Sista’s Place, and Zebulon Concert Cafe in New York; the San Jose Jazz Festival; and the Bach Dynamite Society in Half Moon Bay, among other venues.
Jazz and free improvisation led naturally to the development of her own compositional voice, which Mih explores with fellow musicians and artists through Circular Dreaming. Bringing together her two artistic loves – music and animation – she crafts a magical sensory journey for the audience.