Wayne Horvitz, a composer, pianist, and electronic musician who has been described as one of America’s most creative musicians, will appear at The Merc Playhouse on Feb. 2.
A key figure in the 1980s New York music scene, Horvitz has been a catalyst for a fertile music scene over the past two decades in Seattle, where he founded a performance venue, The Royal Room, in 2011.
According to The New York Times, Horvitz’s compositions include elements of “bebop and rock, gospel hymns and country, free jazz and funk and mid-century film music and Charles Ives.”
Horvitz has performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. He is the leader of the Gravitas Quartet, Sweeter Than the Day, Zony Mash, The Four plus One Ensemble and co-founder of the New York Composers Orchestra.
He has performed and collaborated with Bill Frisell, Butch Morris, John Zorn, George Lewis, Robin Holcomb, Fred Frith, Julian Priester, Michael Shrieve and Carla Bley, among others. He has created music for the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, Kronos String Quartet, Seattle Chamber Players, BAM, and Earshot Jazz. Collaborators include Paul Taylor, Liz Lerman, Bill Irwin and Gus Van Sant.
Horvitz has composed music for theater and dance from Seattle to Broadway. He has composed and produced music for a variety of video, film, television and multimedia projects.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2016 Doris Duke Performing Arts Award and the NEA American Masterpiece award. Recent compositions include “The Heartsong of Charging Elk,” based on the novel by James Welch, and “55: Music and Dance in Concrete,” a collaboration with dancer Yukio Suzuki and video artist Yohei Saito that uses field recordings of composed and improvised fragments recorded in the bunkers of Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington.
Horvitz is the music programmer for The Royal Room in Seattle, and a professor of composition at the Cornish College of the Arts.
He will perform at The Merc Playhouse with an ensemble that includes longtime collaborators Eric Eagle on drums and Geoff Harper on bass. The performance begins at 7 p.m. Tickets for students under 18 are only $1, adults are $20. Tickets may be purchased at brownpapertickets.com.