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By Shelby Clark Petkus
Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown Concert House brings its annual festival dedicated to bassists on Oct. 15-18, with a prelude Oct. 14. The bass-centric event showcases new music from musicians who use the instrument known for its “full sonic and percussive possibilities.” From avant-garde to electronic, different bass styles ranging from European tradition to the Midwest style, the US East coast to the West, Edgefest will truly embody its theme: “BAS(S)ically Sound.”
This year’s lineup starts with William Parker, known for his bass compositions, playing a free event at Encore Records, 417 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. The 8 p.m. Oct. 14 show will feature informal, improvisational music to set the stage for the festival.
Wednesday’s events feature the Jaribu Shaheed Bass Quartet, the Detroit-based Shaheed leading a team of international bassists and percussionists. The event will open with a solo set by bassist, Mark Helias. The Michael Attias Trio follows at 9 p.m., featuring the trio of alto saxophone, drums and bass.
On Thursday, Diana Gannett, Doom in the Womb with Betsy Soukup and Ben Willis, and The Andrew Bishop Project start the evening. The Jason Roebke Octet follows at 8:30 p.m. with their renowned jazz. Open Loose ends the night with a 9:30 p.m. performance featuring Helias together with Tony Malaby on tenor saxophone and clarinet, and Tom Rainey on drums.
Friday evening hosts Helias once again as he plays with bassist Mark Dresser as part of the “Marks Brothers.” The two bring homages to comedic masters through a fusion of jazz, classical, modern and experimental. At 8 p.m., Nimish and Niraj Ganatra present “Out to Lunch, The Music of Eric Dolphy: 50th Anniversary Tour.” The concert features masters of the improvisational music scene. The Harrison Bankhead Quartet brings their all-star Chicago stylings at 9:30 p.m.
Saturday showcases the final day of performances, featuring the Edgefest Parade. The free event will feature musicians and the community at large parading as they play instruments. Walkers are urged to arrive at Kerrytown Concert House around 11:30 a.m., prior to the parade. The Joel Peterson Group then plays at 2 p.m. with a Mark Dresser solo. At 4 p.m., the Ingebrigt Haker Flaten Trio perform Scandinavian jazz. Parker, who opened the festival earlier in the week, will complete Edgefest with two sets at 7 and 10 p.m. His “In Order to Survive” shows feature guests Steve Swell on trombone and Kidd Jordan on tenor sax.
Edgefest 18 begins at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 15, 7 p.m. Oct. 16-17 and 10 a.m. Oct. 18 at Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor. Tickets range from $5-30, with passes for all events available for $135. For more information, visit www.kerrytownconcerthouse.com.