peermusic classical
Jerome Kitzke  |  Audio  |  Worklist  |  Reviews
Jerome Kitzke

Jerome Kitzke

"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

Recent and upcoming events

Nov. 13,14, 2015 -- 60th Birthday Concerts: Two evenings of Jerome's music at New York City's Dimenna Center, presented by Tribeca New Music. 12 works including a world premiere, performed by 26 musicians -- many of whom have been performing Jerome's music for decades.



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 sacred ground.

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.

Jerome 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.