Jack Mouse – drums

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

Flashpoint -the spark that ignites

creativity, imagination & innovation.


Flashpoint offers engaging improvisatory events that
focus
on creative experimentation.​


Our goal is to create an international community

committed to the advancement of contemporary improvisation in art and life.

 

RECORDINGS


THREE STORY SANDBOX

 

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) was released January, 2016.

 

JACK MOUSE GROUP


Jack 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."  Snakeheads & Ladybugs (Tall Grass) is a brilliant album of freely-improvised duets with multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson.         www.jackmouse.com

New Music Practitioners

- Utilizing Improvisation for New Music Performers and Composers

 

Clinics – Workshops – Master classes

JANICE BORLA GROUP


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.”   
    www.janiceborla.com

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.

SNAKEHEADS & LADYBUGS Tall Grass (2015)

Jack Mouse - drums

Scott Robinson - tenor & c  melody saxophones/ cornet/ e-flat clarinet


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

FLASHPOINT IMPROVARTS SUMMIT is a multi-evening, multi-arts event that will bring pair artists of diverse disciplines – music, visual art, poetry and dance – to perform together in a series of collaborative improvised performances, each evening featuring a different combination of artists.


Anchoring the performances and providing the common thread will be two renowned jazz improvisers, educators and musical curators well established in the international arts community – vocalist Janice Borla and drummer Jack Mouse.  Joined by

New York multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson, they comprise the critically-acclaimed chamber ensemble Three Story Sandbox, performing freely-improvised music that reaches beyond the traditional bounds of jazz to incorporate an array of world music and contemporary elements.  This nucleus will be augmented at various times by additional improvising musical artists.


For each performance they will collaborate with notable artists of other disciplines from around the world, innovators on the cutting edge of their respective disciplines.  The resulting performances -- an evening each of improvised dance/movement, poetry/spoken word, visual arts and new music -- will incorporate unscripted, unrehearsed, spontaneously-improvised elements into the artists' own artistic expression, while igniting the creative synergy that comes from meeting in live performance. 


The evening performances will be augmented by educational workshops, demonstrations and 'meet the artist' sessions meant to give aspiring artists, students and general audiences meaningful opportunities to engage with the featured artists.


Say FCA founders Borla and Mouse:  "By combining freely-improvised music with cutting edge contemporary artists, who are themselves stretching the boundaries of their respective genres, we want to open minds to new possibilities that come from such artistic collaborations.  In the life of every artist at all levels, from amateur to professional, there has been a moment of epiphany -- a flashpoint -- which triggered and/or solidified the commitment to his/her art form.  We consider it a crucial part of our mission to establish and produce events and experiences that evoke such moments for young people and aspiring artists -- letting them know that there is a place for them in the creative world."


      

Janice Borla – voice 

Scott Robinson – tenor saxophone

Art Davis – trumpet
John McLean – guitars

Bob Bowman – bass
Jack Mouse – drums


 

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.  

WHAT DO WE HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH?

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 Environmen
t

FLASHPOINT IMPROVARTS SUMMIT

To provide a showcase for artists on the cutting edge of their genre;

To instigate artistic, transformative performances that result from the experimentation, imagination and collaboration of artists of different genres improvising together;

To “expand the conversation” beyond the artists’ own disciplines to create provocative ways of expressing the inter-connectedness of artistic expression;
To inspire artists of all types to explore improvisation as a means of enhancing their own creativity and expanding their range of expression;
To inspire and create a new generation of young artists from all disciplines, as the ‘torch is passed,’ to appreciate the role of improvisation in their artistic growth;
To engage a broad-based audience in celebrating improvisation as a life skill that pervades the goings-on of everyday life, a catalyst for creative thinking;
To introduce to the community at large the concept of improvisation as a conduit for thinking ‘outside the box,’ stimulating creative collaboration and innovation.

PROMISES TO BURN Tall Grass (2014)

Janice Borla - voice

Scott Robinson - tenor saxophone/ flute

Art Davis - trumpet/ flugelhorn

John McLean - guitars

Bob Bowman - bass

Jack Mouse - drums


* * * * Four stars -  One of the "Best Jazz Albums of the Year"

​"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

Celebrating improvisation as a catalyst for creative interaction and collaboration

​Residencies

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

A member of the Unity Arts Alliance


Janice Borla

Vocalist / Executive Director

​​​Praised for her beautiful sound, superb technique, adventurous repertoire and imaginative vocal improvisations, Janice is described as "a one- woman jazz tornado” and “among the best, boldest and most innovative vocalists around.” (Jazz Times).  She has performed with Clark Terry, Bunky Green, Dan Haerle, and numerous others.  Her recordings Promises to Burn and From Every Angle were both chosen as 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 presented the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp and “Hot Jazz – 6 Cool Nites” concert series for 26 years.  As guest artist and clinician she has performed and adjudicated 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. 

RANGE OF MOTION Origin (2013)

Jack Mouse - drums

Scott Robinson - tenor sax/ soprano sax/ flute

Art Davis - trumpet/ flugelhorn

John McLean - guitars

Bob Bowman, Kelly Sill - bass


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)



General Audiences

Pre-/post-concert discussion

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

THREE STORY SANDBOX Tall Grass (2016)​

Jack Mouse - drums & percussion

Scott Robinson - tenor & c melody saxophones/ flute/ e-flat clarinet/ cornet/ Navajo cedar flute/ other assorted instruments

Janice Borla - voice


DownBeat "Editor's Pick" 

"The music is stunning and brilliant in its unfettered freedom...A kaleidoscopic array of aural imagery..."  (DownBeat)



Jack Mouse

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 and Three Story Sandbox are two brilliant albums of freely improvised duets with multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson.   A respected jazz educator, Jack has presented clinics and workshops at jazz festivals, colleges and high schools throughout the world, and is currently 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  ​​

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.