New Music Practitioners

- Utilizing Improvisation for New Music Performers and Composers

 

Janice’s group presents vocal renditions of contemporary jazz compositions, many without lyrics.  Eschewing the vocalist with accompaniment approach for that of a fully integrated instrumental ensemble, Borla’s arrangements provide a broad palette of textures and contexts for conversational interaction – harmonized, contrapuntal and improvisatory.

Praised for her beautiful sound, superb technique, adventurous repertoire and imaginative vocal improvisations, Borla is described as "a one-woman jazz tornado” and “among the best, boldest and most innovative vocalists around.” (Jazz Times).  Her critically-acclaimed recordings Promises to Burn (Tall Grass) and From Every Angle (Blujazz) were both among Downbeat’s “Best Albums of the Year,” and WBEZ-FM Chicago Public Radio named Agents of Change “The #1 Jazz Album of the Year.”  

A recognized pioneer in vocal jazz education, she has presented the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp and “Hot Jazz – 6 Cool Nites” concert series for 26 years.  As a guest artist she has presented workshops at high schools, colleges and festivals in the U.S. Canada, Europe and Japan, and since 2007 has served as vocal judge for the DownBeat Student Music Awards.  www.janiceborla.com

Soloists, Small and Large Ensembles 

- Developing a Vocabulary for Improvisation
- Improvisation:  Conversation and Composition
- Free Improvisation:  Open Ears, Open Mind    
- The Rhythm Section:  Communication and Collaboration
- The Improvising Vocalist in the Instrumental Environment

“Free improvisers and jazz purists alike will revel in the experimental energy and improvisational skill displayed by these two seasoned pros…”   (Percussive Notes)

9 weeks on the CMJ Top 40 Chart

5 weeks on the Jazz Week Top 50 Chart

“A sure-handed, high energy drummer who dazzles with brushes.  A splendid album, well-written and quarterbacked by Mouse…Thumbs up!” (All About Jazz)


Vocalist / Executive Director

​​​Praised for her beautiful sound, superb technique, adventurous repertoire and imaginative vocal improvisations, she is described as "a one- woman jazz tornado” and “among the best, boldest and most innovative vocalists around.” (Jazz Times).

J has performed with Clark Terry, Bunky Green, Dan Haerle, and numerous others.  Promises to Burn and From Every Angle were both chosen one of Downbeat’s “Best Albums of the Year.” Agents of Change was named “The #1 Jazz Album of the Year” by WBEZ-FM Chicago Public Radio. 

A recognized pioneer in vocal jazz education, she has presented the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp and “Hot Jazz – 6 Cool Nites” concert series for 26 years.  As a guest artist and clinician she has performed and adjudicated at high schools, colleges and festivals in the U.S. Canada, Europe and Japan. 


 

Origin (2013)  

* * * * Four stars -  One of the

"Best Jazz Albums of the Year"


Tall Grass (2015)

Jack Mouse – drums

Scott Robinson – tenor saxophone
Art Davis – trumpet
John McLean – guitars
Bob Bowman – bass

Mouse has performed with many jazz heavyweights, including Stan Kenton, Clark Terry, Bunky Green, Herb Ellis, Joe Williams, James Moody, Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Marc Johnson, Dianne Reeves, the Dan Haerle Trio, and a host

of others.  Described as “a sure-handed, high energy drummer who dazzles with brushes” (All About Jazz), his original compositions incorporate elements of swing, hard bop, third stream and free improvisation.  His critically-acclaimed recording Range of Motion (Origin) charted for 5 weeks on the “Jazz Week Top 50” and 9 weeks on the “CMJ Top 40.”  His current release Snakeheads & Ladybugs (Tall Grass) is a brilliant album of freely improvised duets with multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson. 

A respected jazz educator, Mouse has presented clinics and workshops at jazz festivals, colleges and high schools throughout the world and is Coordinator of Jazz Studies at North Central College.  He is a staff artist/clinician for

Yamaha Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks and Aquarian Drum Heads.  www.jackmouse.com.

Tall Grass (2014)

- What are you going to hear?  What did you hear?
- Musical Improvisation:  Where’s the Melody?

Flashpoint - the spark that ignites

creativity, imagination

& innovation.


Flashpoint offers engaging

improvisatory events that focus

on creative experimentation.​


Our goal - to create an

international community committed

to the advancement of contemporary improvisation in art and life.

 

A member of the Unity Arts Alliance

Clinics – Workshops – Master classes

   

This chamber ensemble presents workshops and entire concerts of completely free improvised music that while very innovative and adventurous, is highly musical, compelling and totally accessible.  Its first recording project Three Story Sandbox (Tall Grass) is newly released January, 2016.

 


Drummer / Artistic Director

​Jack has performed with Stan Kenton, Clark Terry, Bunky Green, Herb Ellis, Joe Williams, James Moody, Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Marc Johnson, the Dan Haerle Trio, and many others. 

Range of Motion, featuring his original compositions, garnered many rave reviews and extensive international radio airplay.  Snakeheads & Ladybugs is a brilliant album of freely improvised duets with multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson.

 Jack is Coordinator of Jazz Studies at North Central College. Presently he is a staff artist/clinician for Yamaha Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks and Aquarian Drum Heads.
  


Today improvisation is rarely nurtured. Once a vital element in art music, it has all but disappeared from that realm.  While it remains the core element of jazz, in an environment of dwindling support for arts education there is no longer a guarantee that the general public has the frame of reference to understand or enjoy the improvisatory performances they attend.

Janice Borla – voice 

Scott Robinson – tenor saxophone

Art Davis – trumpet
John McLean – guitars

Bob Bowman – bass
Jack Mouse – drums


 

"Borla pulls off a hat trick on this disc...on equal footing with her instrumentalists but remains the focal point with stellar performances...An impressive musical feat."  (DownBeat)

Jack Mouse – drums
Scott Robinson – saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist
Janice Borla –voice

Release Date: January 1, 2016

General Audiences

Pre-/post-concert discussion

Our mission is to foster a greater understanding of and appreciation for the art of improvisation by:


  • Providing insight into the artistic improvisatory process;
  • Presenting inter-disciplinary arts projects that expand the use of improvisation;
  • Fostering musical experimentation among musicians engaged in the realm of contemporary New Music.  

Residencies

Any or all of the activities described above are available individually or as an integrated residency, tailored to the facility's needs.

Improvisation is an invaluable life skill.  We improvise whenever we engage in spontaneous conversation.  The convergence of intuition and rational thinking, improvisation can impact many crucial facets of our lives.