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In spring 1992, the Rova Saxophone Quartet, the award-winning, multi-reed avant-garde jazz ensemble, was Artist-in-Residence at MIT. The 1992 experience by the group was so successful that ROVA is coming back for another taste of life at MIT.
The group, whose music has been described as "Thelonious Monk crossed with Bartok" (The Village Voice, 1990) will return as Artists-in-Residence at MIT on November 15-17. In addition to classwork and workshops, Rova members Larry Ochs, Steve Adams, Bruce Ackley and co-founder Jon Raskin, all virtuoso saxophonists and composers in their own right, will present a free public concert on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 8pm in Killian Hall.
Formed in 1977, Rova is known for blurring the distinctions between composition and improvisation and between jazz and classical music. "They're explorers in their own way, making musical connections," said Professor Evan Ziporyn, one of the faculty sponsors of the residency. "It's a constructivist spirit that works very well at MIT where students like to make things. MIT students take what's there and they build something out of it. Rova does the same thing, only with music."
"MIT students were very informed about the music scene and open to new ways of working when we last visited," noted Mr. Raskin. "We didn't have to introduce them to our style of improvisation. Some very good players took our ideas to places we hadn't even thought of."
As part of their residency here, Rova will be conducting a workshop in improvisation in Killian Hall at 8pm Thursday, Nov. 16. Students are invited to bring instruments and participate, by pre-registration only. Attendance is limited to 15. Students should pre-register by 5pm today (Nov. 15) by sending email to
The Rova residency has been funded by the Artist-in-Residence Program of the Office of the Arts and the Music and Theater Arts Section. For more information, call x3-4003.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 15, 1995.