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Tephra Sound

  • Arts + Literature Laboratory 2021 Winnebago Street Madison, WI, 53704 United States (map)

Tephra Sound is an adventurous, improvisational jazz quartet in which cellist Helen Gillet joins three other musicians boasting distinct, seasoned resumés. Gillet’s long list of collaborations includes jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson, Psychedelic Furs, and Tatsuya Nakatani, and she is trained in musical forms ranging from North Indian ragas, to French chansons to blues. She began forming Tephra Sound with keyboardist and Brian Haas (Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey), whose sensitive-yet-playful style contributes a specific character to the group. Multi-wind instrumentalist Jessica Lurie contributes a Balkan- and Klezmer-leaning style, and a dash of  animated, eccentric personality. Drummer Nikki Glaspie's experience includes playing on a five-year tour with Beyoncé and forming New Orleans jazz-funk outfit Nth Power, and she contributes to Tephra Sound with driving (yet often bouncy and sporadic) rhythms and direction. The group plays here behind their August release, Horizon. —Emili Earhart