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Rent Romus' Actual/Actual, 52nd Street Planetary Ensemble & Koof Ibi - Benefit for Artsakh Relief Aid - Armenian Relief Society

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Benefit for Artsakh Relief Aid - Armenian Relief Society

Rent Romus' Actual/Actual:

Rent Romus is an Emmy award winning saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist, composer, bandleader, music producer, and community activist. Since 1988, his work on the saxophone has been dubbed “ferocious” by the San Francisco Weekly and “central to the creative music world of the West Coast” by writer Frank Rubolino. He leads the Lords of Outland a free improvisation unit, the Life’s Blood Ensemble a composition based contemporary group, and the Otherworld Ensemble a Finnish/American collective exploring new perspectives in heritage and traditional folk. He has recorded over 50 albums exploring a wide variety of musical settings which have included beat poet founder ruth weiss, and creative music pioneers Chico Freeman, John Tchicai, and Vinny Golia, Teppo Hauta-aho, Heikki Koskinen, Thollem McDonas, Stefan Pasborg, Marcos Fernandez, and Ernesto Diaz-Infante to name a few. He is the founder of Edgetone Records a community driven label with over 30 years of independent music production, and the creator of Outsound Presents, an all-volunteer musician run non-profit music presenting organization since 2000.

His main instrument is the alto saxophone doubling on c-melody, soprano, sopranino saxophones, various flutes and small percussion. His interests cross both genre and music notation styles from freeimprovisation to composition and graphic score. In addition to a background in jazz he is well versed in experimental, noise, drone, blues, rock, and traditional folk music forms.

Actual/Actual (Rent Romus - alto saxophone,  Gerard Cox - keyboards,  Josh Strange -vibraphone, trumpet and Troy Kunkler - drums) showcases improvised music with a blues music orientation at the core while keeping to a broad outlook towards “spontaneous composition”. Their wide swath takes in swing, Latin music, fusion, doom rock, reggae, punk, and many other musical elements. It's all “grist for the mill” as they create a new context for these elements where improbable connections are made and things happen when you least expect them to. Romus originally hails from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and has made it a point to engage and collaborate with musicians from the region. This band represents recent “talent reconnaissance” and is truly a multi-generational affair.

52nd Street Planetary Ensemble:

The 52nd Street Planetary Ensemble is a rotating cast of musical characters united by their dedication to the joyful practice of collective improvisation. Grounded in weekly workshop sessions at the Rotunda in West Philadelphia, they channel influences from jazz, experimental, and world music traditions into a never-ending exploration of creative freedom. The Ensemble includes: Thomas Patteson on Alto Sax, Ryoko Ohara on Alto Sax, Ihba Baskette on Tenor Sax and reeds, Anthony Bayne Senior on Tenor Sax, Sequoyah Leaf on Clarinet, Heather Gardner on violin/viola, Chip Swartz on percussion, Max Glazier on drums and Mark Brown on tenor sax.

Koof Ibi:

Koof Ibi is a multi-instrumentalist in the Philadelphia area. You can find him strolling down Broad Street with brass bands like The West Philadelphia Orchestra, or sharing the stage with rockstars like Japanese Breakfast for their hometown gigs. Koof has played every genre of music Philly has to offer and incorporates all of it into his own musical style. When he’s not  playing music he’s filming and editing the Random Tea Sessions, a music video series highlighting other musicians in Philadelphia, or he’s behind the lens covering live shows for the WXPN.

At his solo shows Koof combines live instruments, loops, and guitar pedals to create surprising  soundscapes and sonic liberation.

"In response to the dire circumstances faced by our compatriots, who are leaving behind their belongings, livelihoods, and indigenous lands, the ARS Eastern USA is launching a fundraising campaign. This initiative aims to provide immediate assistance and support to those uprooted from their homes, as they embark on the difficult journey of rebuilding their lives." -Artsakh Relief Aid Armenian Relief Society of Eastern USA

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