Written by 20th century Hungarian composer Bela Bartok, Mikrokosmos, or Little Worlds, was originally intended as a progressive study of piano technique. Since their completion in 1939, the study and performance of these 153 etudes has become standard in the classical music community. Offering insight into Bartok’s innovative use of rhythm, harmony and musicality, the pieces are often cited as the master composer’s most important musical testament. These brief melodies are inflected with new meaning by guitarist, Ryan Mackstaller, trombonist Rick Parker and drummer Tim Kuhl. The trio draws from their dynamic musical experiences in the rock, jazz, avant garde and improvised music scenes of Brooklyn, NY in their dynamic performance of these classical etudes.
RICK PARKER (trombone / effects)
“Sleek and Modernistic” (David Adler, Philly Weekly) aptly describes the music of trombonist/composer Rick Parker. He has released 2 CD’s with his quintet, the Rick Parker Collective: New York Gravity on Fresh Sound New Talent Records and Finding Space on WJF Records, with the latter being named by All About Jazz editor Michael Ricci as a “Top Pick CD for 2006.” An adventurous composer and bandleader, Parker is a 2 time winner of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award and co-leads several ensembles including: an electronica inspired ensemble, Ambient Assault, with keyboardist Sam Barsh; 4Limones, a quartet including saxophonist Tim Berne and Mexican musicians Mark Aanderud and Hernan Hecht; 9 Volt Circustry, a trio with guitarist Eyal Maoz; and also works as a sideman with bands lead by Frank Lacy, Charli Persip, Tim Kuhl, Miki Hirose and Bryan Beninghove.
RYAN MACKSTALLER (guitar / effects)
Guitarist, composer and improviser Ryan Mackstaller was born and bred in Metro Detroit. He spent his formative years playing with some of the most forward-thinking bands and musicians in the Detroit and Ann Arbor music scene. Upon relocating to New York in 2005, he quickly immersed himself in the Brooklyn creative music scene and currently leads the Median Trio and The Sky & The Sea. Ryan also works in numerous jazz, rock, folk and experimental projects and is a member of The Majorleans, Easy Tells and The Tim Kuhl Group. He also can be found performing with Tam Lin, Julie Kathryn, Gerald Cleaver’s Uncle June, Paul Sigismondi & The Lost Hours, The Izzys, and Christian Gibbs.
TIM KUHL (drums)
In 2003 Tim Kuhl relocated from Baltimore to New York City where he has been busy playing in all genres of music. He consistently curates monthly nights of music. He is the drummer, composer and leader of his critically acclaimed jazz ensemble, and “Doomsayer” with a record to be released in 2011. He has and currently performs with Magnets for Teeth, Minerva Lions, The Sea Gazing Family Band, Moneybrother, The Majorleans, Snake Dudes, New Tongues, The Junkman Band, BIGMAN, C. Gibbs, Everyboy, 22 Leroy and numerous others. Kuhl has two of his own releases, GHOST and KING, featuring his original compositions and has enjoyed successful touring all over the world while having performed with a number of jazz greats such as Mike Formanek, Josh Roseman, & Alan Ferber to name just a few. His compositional genius, aided by his masterful approach to the drum kit place him in the forefront of the young artist jazz community.