More and More Signal Problems

Signal Problems is a band. It is a band that I lead, though more on that in a bit. It is a band that’s been playing together for about 7 years, which is coincidentally how long I’ve lived in New York. None of the people in the band are people I met in New York. I think I’ve known each of them (and we’ve known each other) for about 10 or 11 years. It is a band that relies heavily on our shared experiences: learning about music over the years, moving to New York, etc. That’s why it’s a little strong for me to say I lead the band, as it’s more like I’m the point person keeping it going. Though I write the music, what comes out of it is just as much a surprise to me as anyone.

I wrote the previous not because I think anyone really needs a history of the band, but the context is important. Next week, on Sept 13th we’re playing at the Festival of New Trumpet Music, a performance that will culminate a spring and summer developing and recording 3 albums worth of music that we’ve been working on since 2013, when the first Signal Problems album was recorded. We’re not going to play three albums worth of material next Wednesday, nor is it really possible to get the full effect of our years of shared experience in a 45 minute set, but I think this will be a special performance of a band in rare form, and I don’t really know what’s going to happen. Maybe that’s your kind of thing?

Here’s some stuff we did over the last 6 months.

Rehearsal:

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Shredding:

Standards with Billy Mintz:

Eric and I made a promo video when Nathan/Adam were out of town for a gig:

We recorded for 3 days at a log cabin in the Catskills:

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Come to our gig at Shapeshifter Lab on Sept 13th 8pm! You obviously like us if you read this far.

signal problems catskills

Good music in May!

I like to play music. I like to play music more when there are people in the room to share it with. Sharing is caring.

DG’s “Misfit Toys”- Wednesday, May 11th 10pm @ A.E. Randolph Presents (bar below Rye in Williamsburg)

Starting in January of 2010, I wrote my first complete set of original music and formed a project to perform it called “Misfit Toys”. This performance is a revival of that music plus one new piece I wrote using some of the same techniques. I forgot how fun this music is to play, and have really been enjoying rehearsing it and finding new inspiration in it. This performance features a mostly different band with a slightly different instrumentation. Not to be missed, it might be another 5 years!

Danny Gouker, Trumpet; Michael Attias, Alto Sax; Eric Trudel, Tenor Sax; Dustin Carlson, octave-down guitar; Max Goldman, drums

A video posted by Danny Gouker (@greatbalddanny) on

Wing Walker Orchestra– Thursday, May 12th 9pm @ Threes Brewing

It’s a website, it’s a podcast, it’s a mixtape, but it’s also an orchestra! Featuring music specifically arranged for this group by members of the ensemble.

Reckless Marcher- Monday, May 16th 10:00pm @ 65 Fen Music Series

A new with Dustin Carlson and Max Goldman. We will play our original music and music by Mike Formanek and Tim Berne. We’ve been playing together a lot recently in different bands and been rehearsing as a trio so that we can really do this music justice. I think we can do it!

Dustin Carlson’s “Air Ceremony”- Wednesday, May 25th 10:15pm @ A.E. Randolph Presents

Dustin writes some challenging and exciting music. This will be the third time I will have played with him this month, so we’re bound to be synced up. Everyone in this band really brings it!

misfit toys

2 Special Performances this Week

These special performances are especially special if you like the idea of more than one trumpet and more than one upright bass playing at the same time.

Curriculum Readers- Thursday, April 21 8pm @ Threes Brewing ($10):

An all out celebration of Ornette Coleman’s music! Three sets.

First set: Curriculum Quextet w/ me, Sam Weinberg, Josh Sinton, Will McEvoy (coming in from Ann Arbor just for this!), and Max Goldman. If you’re already a faithful reader of my website updates (you probably aren’t), you know how positively I feel about playing Ornette’s music with these fellas.

Second set: Proof Readers w/ Nate Wooley, Darius Jones, Trevor Dunn, and Ryan Sawyer. This band is stacked with musicians I have looked up to for 8 or 9 years now. Fun fact: Nate Wooley is sort of a trumpet player hero to me and I’ve seen him many times at casual enough venues that I might have said “hello”. However, I’ve never spoken to the guy and now it’s gone on long enough that feel awkward. So there’s that, I guess.

Third set: Curriculum Readers SUPERBAND featuring everyone from the first two sets playing selections from Ornette’s orchestral work, Skies of America. PARTY!

Trumpets and Basses- Friday, April 22nd 7pm @ Brooklyn Studios for Dance ($5 suggested donation):

trumpet and bassThis performance will be a revival of one my favorite Out of Your Head Brooklyn (more on that later) performances that I’ve been involved in. THREE TRUMPETS! THREE BASSES! What more could you want? We’re bringing back most of the original lineup from that Out of Your Head performance who handled improvising in that idiosyncratic instrumentation with such grace and energy over a year ago. We’ll be in the beautifully renovated space at Brooklyn Studios for Dance and will have spent the entire afternoon recording in a church sanctuary.  I know this is a cliche, but I think it will be deep, and not just because of all the basses. Trumpets: Danny Gouker, Kenny Warren, Jake Henry Basses: Adam Hopkins, Will McEvoy, Zach Swanson

Here’s a snippet my buddy Eric took from the Out of Your Head performance I mentioned:


Oh yeah, and speaking of Out of Your Head, I’m playing at that again at Three’s Brewing on Sunday! Again in a band with another trumpet player- this time one I’ve never met! Details

 

Signal Problems Love Letter Excerpt

If you’re reading this, maybe you’ve been to a Signal Problems performance recently. If so, you’re probably aware that we’ve been working out some new ways of performing together since recording the Signal Problems CD in 2013. If you haven’t seen us recently, you probably have no idea what that’s all about because I haven’t posted any recordings or videos in a long time.

Here’s a little peek into part of a recent performance I particularly enjoyed. This is part of a 20-30 minute long suite called Love Letter that has increasingly involved some quasi-theatre over the last few years. In it’s current incarnation, each performance muses on a particular theme or suggestion that I give the band in secret. This segment starts about 5-7 minutes into a performance at the Kensington Improvisers Collective.

If you want to hear more, invite us play in your living room. Seriously.

 

Old and New music in June

Old Music

Let’s get right to it, if you haven’t been in Brooklyn and had a chance to see Curriculum perform over the last few months, you have three more chances before Will moves away:

curriculum sextet

  • June 3rd, 9pm @ A.E. Randolph Presents
  • June 10th, 9pm and 10:30pm @ A.E. Randolph Presents**
  • July 1st, 9pm and 10:30pm @ A.E. Randolph Presents**

Like I said last month, Curriculum is a special project and this month we’re closing out a period of approximately 3 1/2 years where I have gotten together with Will McEvoy and a few other close friends to “go to school” on some music that we feel is generally unfairly represented in institutions where jazz music is taught. Most recently, we have focused mostly on the music of Ornette Coleman. These performances will feature myself, Will McEvoy, Sam Weinberg, Josh Sinton, Ryan Snow, and Max Goldman combining to form what we’re calling the Curriculum “Quextet”.

**The last two performances will be recorded live for a possible future release, so we’d like to especially encourage you to come out and maybe get your hand on one of those records like Pee Wee Marquette said in that famous live Art Blakey record.

New Music

Also proud to be presenting several performances of original music this month!

Danny Gouker Quartet- Sunday, June 7, 6pm @ Cafe VivaldiThis as yet unnamed ensemble features my music for trumpet, piano, bass, and percussion. I’ve been working hard with Zach Swanson (bass) and Jonah Rosenberg (piano) to find new paths for this relatively traditional instrumentation. Sam Ospovat will join us on percussion to play the part of the wild card.

Duo w/ Zach Swanson- Satuday, June 13th @ 1 + 2 + 3 home seriesI’ve been playing duo sessions with Zach for a few years now, but this is our first performance! I think it will be worth hearing.

Danny Gouker Quartet- Sunday, June 28th, 6pm @ Cafe Vivaldi: Same project as June 7th, some details TBA!

bolo photoBolo- Monday, June 29th, 8pm @ Why Not? Jazz RoomBolo is a composing/improvising collective with Deric Dickens, Andrew Schiller, and Drew Williams. I like the music we’ve come up with. Maybe you will, too. Drew wrote a 9 part suite that we debuted last time, so maybe you would like things like that. If not, the rest of us have written some shorter pieces.

May Update

2015 rolls on, and so do we.

curriculum 5-6-15Curriculum had a great gig at Rye last week. Will is leaving town sometime this summer and while we’ll continue to play, we’re near the end of a period where I’ve played “standards” with that guy almost every week for about three years. Can’t recommend some of our upcoming gigs enough.

 

 

Glad to have some more music performances to look forward to this month:

bolo photoFriday, May 15: “Keen Ice Frammento” @ Why Not Jazz Room 7-8:30pm: OK, this band isn’t really called Keen Ice Frammento. We were thinking about naming it, but haven’t decided anything yet, so everyone is call it something different. Happy to be joined by Drew Williams, Andrew Schiller, and Deric Dickens to play some music by members of the band. FACEBOOK EVENT

Wednesday, May 20: Madjen @ Shapeshifter Lab 7-8pm: Another composer’s collective I’m really happy to be a part of. This will be the second performance by this group, and the group is starting to sound really tight. We’re going to play a piece of mine called “Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday”. This is a video of it, but our performance at Shapeshifter is going to be better, I promise.

CANCELLED — Friday May 22nd: New Quartet — CANCELLED I’m sorry to report that, due to events outside of my control, this performance has been cancelled. We’re looking into rescheduling, so look for that in a future update.

Wednesday May 27th: Curriculum Quartet at Rye 9pm. Back again! It will be worth your Wednesday night, for sure. They also have excellent cocktails there. More info..

Saturday May 30th: w/ Deric Dickens’ “Rocket #9” at ibeam, Brooklyn 9:45pm. This one is on the anniversary of Sun Ra’s death, so I guess it’s appropriate that I’m going to be playing in Deric Dickens’ Sun Ra inspired adventure with a large-ish cast of other people I won’t attempt to name here. More info..

Sunday May 31st: Out of Your Head Brooklyn @ Threes Brewing, 8:45pm. Not playing on this one, but this is the last of a set of three Eric Trudel and I helped curate. More info..

And since I was a little late posting the May one, there’s also…

Wednesday June 3rd: Curriculum Quartet at Rye 9pm. Again, it’s worth it!

April Highlights

What is proving to be a pretty busy 2015 continues to roll on! A few performances of note, starting this week, are coming up. Hope to see some friendly faces.

Tuesday, March 31st 10:30pm: Will McEvoy’s Curriculum @ Korzo Konceptions Series (Brooklyn, NY). https://www.facebook.com/konceptions for more info.

Curriculum has been performing Ornette Coleman’s music quite a bit already this year, and the music is sounding really inspired. This one will feature all of the horn players who have been rotating in over the last two months.

Wednesday, April 1st 7:00pm: Signal Problems @ Evolving Pop-up series presented by Arts for Art (Lower East Side, Manhattan). http://www.artsforart.org/about/ourearth or https://www.facebook.com/events/357808564416195/ for more info.

Signal Problems is back after a short break to work on other music. This performance is special, because we are the opening set of a month long special series dedicated to free jazz, art, dance, and the overall theme of “Our Earth, Our World”. It’s also a good chance for your Manhattan types and early risers to come out. We’re still rolling with a new set of music that continues to evolve as we play it and as situations dictate. If you want to see what I mean, come to both this performance and the next one and see how wildly different things can be…

Monday, April 6th 10:30pm: Signal Problems @ 65Fen Music series (Brooklyn). http://65fenmusicseries.tumblr.com/ for more information

After a much trumped up, but ultimately disappointing snow storm cancelled our 65Fen debut in January, we’re very excited to finally get a chance to play at this new artist-curated series in Brooklyn. This venue is in my neighborhood. I go there often. It’s cozy and a great, intimate venue to hear new music. I guarantee you this set will be quite different from the April 1st Signal Problems set, so it’s definitely worth coming to both!

Monday, April 13th 8:15pm: Wing Walker Music Orchestra @ Shape Shifter Lab (Brooklyn). http://www.wingwalkermusic.com/ or http://www.shapeshifterlab.com/ for more info

It’s a website, it’s a podcast, it’s a mixtape, but it’s also an orchestra! For this performance, we’re focusing mostly on music written/arranged by Drew Williams that we will be recording the next night.

Sunday, April 18th at 8:00pm: Out of Your Head Brooklyn @ Threes Brewing (Brooklyn). http://outofyourhead.org/brooklyn/ for more info

I’m not playing on this one, but longtime buddies and fellow Signal Problems members Eric Trudel, Adam Hopkins, and I curated this night of brand new bands playing completely improvised music. We also collaborated on the last one, which included an idea of mine that at least one person called “genius” involving 3 trumpets and 3 basses. Here’s a (dim) video from that one:


Wednesday April 22nd at 9:00pm. Curriculum Quartet at A.E. Randolph Presents (Brooklyn). http://aerandolphpresents.tumblr.com/ for more info.

Back in our “home” venue! Always a good hang at the bar below Rye.

New music in February

2015 is proving to be a great year so far. In addition to a few fun and interesting gigs at Korzo and Shapeshifter, I also had the pleasure of participating in the Towson University Jazz Festival Orchestra with special guest Bobby Shew and also participated on a panel discussion on what it means to get a degree in Jazz performance these days.

Continuing into the second half of February, there’s a number of new performances coming up that I’m excited about:

2/17 w/ Drew Williams Nonet at Cornelia Street Cafe, NYC 6pm

2/18 w/ Curriculum quartet 9pm at Rye Bar as part of A.E. Randolph Presents. Curriculum Quartet started as a rehearsal project working on the music of Eric Dolphy, Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, and Charlie Haden. After 2+ years of rehearsal, we’re playing a lot of gigs at Rye through the summer as part of a new series presenting interesting music performed by (mostly) young musicians.

2/25 w/ Curriculum quartet 9pm. Same details as 2/18.

2/26 w/ Mad Jen at Something Jazz Cafe 9pm. This is a composers collective I’m part of that’s been working on/reading some new music for the last 6 months. It’s our first performance!

2/28 @ ibeam, brooklyn 8pm PREMIERE of new music I’ve written for 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Guitar and Drums that I’m calling DG’s Dog and Pony Show (feat. Joe Moffett, Darius C Jones, Nick Grinder, Dustin Carlson, and Sam Ospovat). It’s part of Dave Ballou’s Ibeam residency and he’s playing with Herb Robertson, Tom Rainey, and Mike Formanek afterward!

dog and pony show

Wing Walker Orcherstra 1/29!

Have you checked out the Wing Walker Music website? Some friends from college started it over a year ago after feeling a little burned out on music once they finished school. They wanted to get back into being fans of and enjoying music, and started a podcast/blog to document some of what they were getting into. I’ve previously contributed as part of their Wildcard column, and there’s a track from the Signal Problems record available for free on their Spring 2014 Mixtape.

Anyway, they’ve also started presenting some pretty cool concerts, as well, one of which I’m a part of at Shape Shifter Lab tomorrow 1/29/2015. They’ve put together an “orchestra” (sort of a mini big-band) and I’ve contributed an arrangement of Shane Endsley’s “Pedals”. Michael Attias is going to be joining us as a special guest, and Shane was supposed to as well, but last I heard he’s potentially stuck in Denver due to the recent NYC snowstorm. It’ll be a party nonetheless! Especially since it’s Drew Williams’ birthday!

Go here for more details!

wing walker orchestra

Signal Problems CD

We are pleased to announce the release of the debut Signal Problems record on pfMentum.

CD copies will be available first at a few “CD Release” shows we have planned in mid-february:

February 15th @ the Windup Space in Baltimore, MD (w/ Jason Ajemian)

February 18th @ Korzo Konceptions series in NYC

The CD will be available to purchase after that through members of the band, this webpage, and pfMentum’s website.

Go here to find out more about the project.