Black Host is: Gerald Cleaver (drums, sound design), Cooper-Moore (piano, synth), Brandon Seabrook (guitar), Darius Jones (alto saxophone) and Pascal Niggenkemper (bass).
Drummer Gerald Cleaver, born and raised in Detroit, is a product of the city’s rich music tradition. He earned a music education degree from the University of Michigan and taught public school in Detroit before joining the jazz faculty at both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University in 1995 and 1998, respectively. Gerald moved to NYC in 2002. He has performed and recorded with Joe Morris, Mat Maneri, Roscoe Mitchell, Miroslav Vitous, Michael Formanek, Ralph Alessi, Jeremy Pelt, David Torn, Mario Pavone and Tomasz Stanko, among others.
Cooper-Moore is an improviser, composer, and educator who lives in East Harlem. He was born Gene Y. Ashton on August 31, 1946, in a small, racially-segregated town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. In 1967 he enrolled at the Berklee College of Music, while there he made a pivotal connection with saxophonist David S. Ware. In the 1970s, he and Ware relocated to New York City and established a loft space at 501 Canal Street that became a hub for many musicians to live, practice, and perform. There he started to create instruments of his own design, construction, and occasionally invention (ashimba, banjo, diddley-bo, ﬂutes/ﬁfes, harp, mouthbow, twanger, etc.) that he has used to extend his approach that combines blues, jazz, avant-garde, gospel, and other traditions.
Brandon Seabrook is the guitar-banjo shredding front man of the raucous avant-thrash trio, Seabrook Power Plant. The New York Times called him “…a man apparently hellbent on earning the title of World’s Least Rustic Banjo Player”. Mixing tweaked out hardcore with art rock improvisations, Seabrook’s aggressively punk appropriation of the four-stringed banjo and his tech-metallic squelching on guitar have found a home in both DIY, folk rock and experimental concert halls alike. The Village Voice named him “NYC’s Best Guitarist of 2012”.
Darius Jones is a critically acclaimed young alto saxophonist and composer who joined the New York music community in 2005. Darius was awarded the Van Lier Fellowship by Roulette in 2008, which he used to launch his chamber ensemble, Elizabeth-Caroline Unit, a project dedicated to new works for voice. He was one of Jazz Times’ Debut Artists of the Year for 2009 and was featured in the Wall Street Journal in 2011. Critics have called him “robustly creative” (Nate Chinen, New York Times) and “one of NYC’s most incisive and passionate saxists” (Time Out New York).
German-french bassist, composer and improviser Pascal Niggenkemper has been living in New York City since 2005. From 2008 to 2010 Pascal led the PNTrio with Tyshawn Sorey and Robin Verheyen (“Pasàpas” Konnex 2008) & “Urban Creatures” (JazzHausMusik 2010). In September 2011 Pascal released with Gerald Cleaver and Simon Nabatov the CD/LP “Upcoming Hurricane” (NoBusiness Records), which is listed among “Albums of the Year”, 2011 in the The New York City Jazz Record. He recently recorded a new solo program called: so : lo .w music for bass & shade. Pascal is also co-leading the groups Baloni (“Fremdenzimmer” Clean Feed Nov 2011) and PascAli, a duo for two prepared basses with Sean Ali (“Suspicious Activity” Creative Sources Sept 2012).