MYRA MELFORD`s Fire and Water Quintet featuring Mary Halvorson, Ingrid Laubrock, Tomeka Reid and Susie Ibarra

Visionary pianist Myra Melford taps into the elemental nature of inspiration for her exhilarating new project, Fire and Water. The all-star ensemble convenes five of the leading voices in contemporary improvised music: Melford, guitarist Mary Halvorson, saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, cellist Tomeka Reid and drummer Susie Ibarra. All five women are innovative composers and bandleaders in their own rights as well as being gifted and venturesome improvisers, providing this ensemble a myriad of pathways to explore. Melford has taken full advantage of these uniquely expansive possibilities, crafting a suite of new music that fluidly traverses the borders between notated composition and guided improvisation.
Fire and Water draws inspiration from Melford’s ongoing engagement with the iconoclastic work of the late visual artist Cy Twombly. The band’s name pays homage to the artist’s “For the Love of Fire and Water,” a series that combines his trademark vibrant scribbles and scrawled calligraphic texts. Melford senses an affinity between her own work and Twombly’s “sense of curiosity and play, and his unbridled energy that just jumps off the page.” That spirit animates the instigative music that she has penned for Fire and Water. The group initially came together for a sold-out performance at New York’s The Stone, in June 2019, where, the pianist remembers, “the chemistry was evident right from the first note. I’ve wanted to revisit this constellation of players ever since.”

Line Up

Myra Melford, piano
Ingrid Laubrock, sax
Mary Halvorson, guitar
Tomeika Reid, cello
Susie Ibarra, drums




26.04.2022  travel to Europe
05.05.2022  ULM/Germany
06.05.2022  SINGEN/Germany - Kulturzentrum Gems
07.05.2022  MANTOVA/Italy
08.05.2022  return home


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