When it comes to grass-roots new music activities in Ventura, things seem to circle back to Jeff Kaiser, the composer/bandleader/impresario who has either produced the music himself or helped present others in live settings.
Kaiser is again behind the Ventura New Music Concert Series at the Performance Studio, 34 N. Palm St., Ventura, which takes place Friday and Saturday.
On Friday at 8 p.m., the Jim Connolly Ensemble will perform. Three separate concerts will be presented Saturday: at noon, there will be a “New Vocal Music Concert,” featuring Robert Borneman and Liz Stuart; at 3 p.m., an “Electro-Acoustic Music” concert will present “guitar torturer” Ted Killian and synthesist Garry Garner, and at 8 p.m., the weekend will climax with a double concert with Kaiser’s own Mahacuisinart--presenting the premiere of “The Tell-Tale Blender"--and Borneman’s Ordinary Arts Ensemble.
Over the past several years, Kaiser has presented several new music festivals in Ventura. He looks to Santa Barbara’s Jazz and World Music Society’s now-defunct Day of Music--in which numerous artists appeared at various venues in town in one day--as a potential model. “That’s what I’d like to go for with this one,” he said.
Presenting fringe music is never easy, and self-reliance is the key to making it work.
“Believe it or not, this is self-supporting,” Kaiser said. “The cultural affairs office of Ventura donated the printing for the flyer. The Ventura Arts Council is the presenter and, through them, we get low-cost mailing. The Performance Studio gives us a percentage deal instead of an upfront cash deal.”
For Kaiser, the idea of putting it all in a two-day package deal made perfect sense. “It seems to have more energy and be more exciting to have it all at once. We can pool our resources and have fun. It’s a big party for all of us musicians.”
It’s a party in which the public is invited. Tickets for the various concerts range from $3 to $6. Info: 643-5701.