"New music offers
no more joyous phenomenon than the irrepressible, earth-worshipping Kitzke.
His [Mad] Coyote group veers from intricately notated jazz to virtuoso
atonal improv to native American-inspired ritual with turn-on-a-dime control."
--Kyle Gann, Village Voice
"The intense, nondoctrinaire, adventurous quality of this music appeals
to me. Jerome Kitzke has the makings of an American original."
--Robert Carl, Fanfare Magazine
"... for Jerome Kitzke’s “There Is a Field,” a vibrant mix of direct, evocative music, texts from Rumi and Walt Whitman, whoops and drumming, Mr. Sanborn’s counterpoint — sad, grave Civil War photographs by Mathew Brady — illuminated the underlying poignancy within Mr. Kitzke’s exuberant gestures."
-- Steve Smith, New York Times, on Sarah Cahill's performance at Merkin Hall
Jerome Kitzke lives in
New York City but grew up along the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan
in Milwaukee, where he was born in 1955. Since his first work in
1970, he has thought himself to be as much a storyteller as he is
a composer. Some of the stories are about life's personal roads,
like The Redness of Blood and Sunflower
Sutra which both express the composer's love for his blood
family. Many, however, like Box Death Hollow
and The Paha Sapa Give-Back are about
the roads that go looking for what it means to be an American late
in the 20th Century, especially as it relates to the connection
between how we live on this land and the way we came to live on
it. Kitzke's music celebrates American Vitality in its purest forms.
It thrives on the spirit of driving jazz, Plains Indian song, and
Beat Generation poetry, where freedom and ritual converge. It is
direct, dramatic, and visceral always with an ear to the
Mr. Kitzke composes for and performs with his group The Mad Coyote.
His music has been performed in North and South American, Europe,
Asia and Australia by such organizations as the Milwaukee Symphony,
the New Juilliard Ensemble, Essential Music (New York), Present
Music (Milwaukee), Earplay (San Francisco), and Zeitgeist (Minneapolis-St.
Paul), Trio AKKOBASSO (Germany) and such artists as Guy Klucevsek,
Margaret Leng Tan, Kathleen Supové, Michael Lowenstern, Christine
Schadeberg, Dora Ohrenstein, Wendy Chambers, Anthony de Mare, Lisa
Karrer and Tom Linker.
Mr. Kitzke's CD The Character
of American Sunlight is available from Koch International Classics (3-7456-2 H1). Current commissions include Present Music, the Kronos Quartet, Zeitgeist, and the percussionist Tom Kolor.
Kitzke founded the ensemble The Mad Coyote in 1992 to present concerts
combining his notated pieces and free improvisation. The group consists
of piano, accordion, violin, bass, flute/voice, bass clarinet, tenor
saxophone, trumpet, solo voice, two percussion, and conductor; though
Kitzke often uses smaller ensembles drawn from the group. Each member
can play with equal aplomb the most complex notated music and music
that is totally improvised.