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Charles Gaines Ensemble Performs at Pomona College Museum of Art Sept. 20

The Charles Gaines Ensemble will present a rare and noteworthy evening of electronic, digital and acoustical sound on Thursday, September 20, 7 p.m., at the Pomona College Museum of Art. Charles Gaines, on drums, is joined by noted musicians and jazz legends Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet, Terry Adkins on sax, Louis Lopez with electronics and Nedra Wheeler on bass. Admission is free.

Charles Gaines received his B.A. from Jersey City State University and his M.F.A. from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has taught at California State University, Fresno from 1967-1989; he is currently on the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts, 1989 to the present. Gaines has had more than 60 one-person and several hundred group exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. Recent exhibitions include All Of This And Nothing, Hammer Museum Invitational, (2011); Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960 – 1980, Hammer Museum, (2011); State of Mind/Art from California Circa 1970, Berkeley Art Museum and Orange County Museum of Art (2011); Under The Big Black Sun: 1974-1981, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2011); Other exhibitions include Dance/Draw, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2011); Locations, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2011); Human Nature, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2011); The Artist Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2010); Man Son 1969, Vom Shrecken der Situation, Galerien Der Stadt, Esslingen, Villa Merikel/Bahwärterhaus, Esslingen Am Neckar, Germany (2010); Noir Complex, Magazin 4, Bregenzer Kunstverein, Bregenz, Austria (2010); among others. He was included in the Venice Biennale (2007), the Triennale der Photographie, Hamburg (1999) and Esslingen (2004), and the Whitney Biennial (1975). He is represented by Susanne Veilmetter Los Angeles Projects; Kent Fine Arts, New York; Brigitte March Gallery, Stuttgart. Awards include the American Academy of the Arts Purchase Award (2009); United States Artist (2007); Norton Family Foundation grant (2007); the Adoline Kent Award (2001); and a National Endowment for the Arts grant (1997).

Wadada Leo Smith, renowned trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser, has been active in creative contemporary music for over 40 years. His systemic music language Ankhrasmation is significant in his development as an artist and educator. Born in Leland, Mississippi, Smith's early musical life began in the high school concert and marching bands. At the age of 13, he became involved with the Delta Blues and Improvisation music traditions. He received his formal musical education with his stepfather Alex Wallace, the U.S. Military band program (1963), Sherwood School of Music (1967-69) and Wesleyan University (1975-76). Mr. Smith has studied a variety of music cultures: African, Japanese, Indonesian, European and American. He has taught at the University of New Haven (1975-'76), the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY (1975-'78) and Bard College (1987-'93). He is currently a faculty member at The Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts.   He is the director of the African-American Improvisational Music program, and is a member of ASCAP, Chamber Music America and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Mr. Smith's awards and commissions include: MAP Fund Award for “Ten Freedom Summers” (2011), Chamber Music America New Works Grant (2010), NEA Recording Grant (2010), Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2009-2010), Other Minds residency and "Taif,” a string quartet commission (2008), Fellow of the Jurassic Foundation (2008), FONT (Festival of New Trumpet) Award of Recognition (2008), Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Award (2005) and National Endowment for the Arts Music Grants (1972, 1974, 1981), among many others.

Terry Adkins, a well-known visual artist and musician, was born in Washington, D.C. and currently is professor of fine arts in the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. Adkins leads the Lone Wolf Recital Corps—a sound-based performance collaborative founded in Zurich in 1986—where members stage multimedia happenings that interact with and employ architecture, sculpture, video, music, spoken word, costumes and recorded sound. For Adkins, these recitals provide an ideal platform for recovering and reenacting the dynamic tenor of the subjects concerned. Adkins received his B.S. from Fisk University, M.S. from Illinois State University and M.F.A. from the University of Kentucky. Select solo exhibitions of his work include the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York; Projekt Binz 39, Zurich; Sculpture Center, New York; Indianapolis Museum of Art; and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. His work has been included in group exhibitions at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; Brooklyn Museum of Art; De Young Museum, San Francisco; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; and Museum of African Art, New York, among others.

Louis Lopez is a trumpet player, performer/composer, improviser and educator. His music-making centers around the integration of acoustic and processed sounds in live performance through the signal processing language of Max/MSP/Jitter. As an instrumentalist, Lopez has performed across the United States in Honolulu, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and at the International Society of Improvising (ISIM) conference in Chicago. His professional music experience includes collaborations in film, dance, radio, animation and concert music. These works have been performed at such prestigious arenas as the Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale, New Hampshire; Azusa Pacific University in California; The Sundance Film Festival; and in Essen, Germany, at PACT-Zollverein. His ensemble Grampus, an interface driven trio based in Los Angeles, released their debut album “ILK ILK” on pfMENTUM records to wide acclaim. It appeared on the KDVS TOP Ten Jazz Chart amongst the likes of Henry Threadgill and Ravi Coltrane, coupled with radio play across the U.S. and Europe. Lopez is currently the artistic developer and liaison for pfMENTUM records. Owned and operated by fellow trumpeter and composer, Jeff Kaiser, the record label is committed to enabling the production and exposure of creative musicians. He is also the ,music instructor and director of the music program at Crenshaw Arts/Tech Charter High School. Lopez obtained his M.A. from the California Institute of the Arts in Performance/Composition: African American Improvisational Music in 2012.

Nedra Wheeler is a bassist, composer and bandleader who has performed in Southern California and toured internationally for more than 25 years. She is a recipient of the 2006 Jazz Legend of Los Angeles Award from the Dunbar Economic Development Corporation and the City of Los Angeles. Wheeler has an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts. She is an instructor in the Los Angeles Community College District and a performance laecturer for the Jazz Mentorship program for the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department-Watts Towers Art Center. Wheeler’s artistic versatility (bass, composition, vocals) and experience with diverse musical genres includes jazz (straight ahead and contemporary), pop, R&B, world music and interpretation of original compositions for modern dance. She has performed and recorded with such greats as Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Pat Benatar, Linda Hopkins, Kenny Kirkland and Bob Dylan. Her recordings include film soundtracks for Malcolm X, Chick Peas, Clockers and Menace to Society, as well as a self-produced debut CD entitled Gifts: Live at Birdland West. A charismatic bassist, Wheeler is a favorite with the Al Williams Jazz Society and has appeared numerous times at the Long Beach Jazz Festival. Her international appearances include festivals in Canada, Japan, South America, France, Germany and other European countries.

This performance is presented in conjunction with the exhibition “In the Shadow of Numbers: Charles Gaines Selected Works 1975-2012,” on view September 4 through October 21, 2012, at the Pomona College Museum of Art and the Pitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College. The exhibition consists of photographs, sculptures, video and drawings from several bodies of Gaines’s work over several decades, including the Explosion, Randomized Text: History of Stars, Night/Crimes, Shadows, and the Walnut Tree Orchard series. “In the Shadow of Numbers” represents a significant overview of the contemporary artist’s work to date. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition and includes writing by the artist, an essay by Michael Ned Holte and an introduction by Rebecca McGrew and Ciara Ennis.

About Pomona College Museum of Art

The Project Series, organized by Museum Senior Curator Rebecca McGrew, presents Southern California artists in focused exhibitions. A catalogue accompanies each exhibition. The Project Series is supported in part by the Pasadena Art Alliance.

The Pomona College Museum of Art is located at 330 N. College Avenue, Claremont. The Museum is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. and Thursday, from noon to 11 p.m. For more information, call (909) 621-8283 or visit the Museum’s website.