PANOPLY — John O’Gallagher & Michael Formanek & Jeff Williams

— in partnership with Hot Clube de Portugal

Galeria Zé dos Bois

John O’Gallagher
Michael Formanek
Jeff Williams

John O'Gallagher

“an alto saxophonist of dry tone and daring temperament” – The New York Times
John O’Gallagher is considered one of the most compelling alto saxophonists and composers at work today on the international jazz scene. Based in New York City for thirty years and now residing in Lisbon Portugal, he is known for his projects as a leader, and as a sought after sideman, working in varied ensembles with artists such as the Joe Henderson, Maria Schneider, Kenny Wheeler, Ben Monder, Tyshawn Sorey, Michael Formanek, Billy Hart, Tony Malaby, Drew Gress, Tom Rainey, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mike Gibbs, Thomas Morgan, Jeff Williams, Kris Davis, Dan Weiss, Paul Dunmall, Peter Evans, Rudy Royston, and many others. He has appeared on over 75 CD’s, of which three have been honored with Juno nominations, two with Grammy nominations, and one with a Grammy Award. Downbeat Magazine has declared that his recordings as a leader “all bear O’Gallagher’s exquisite melodic stamp […] a roughhewn majesty permeates the music”. He is the author of the book ‘Twelve-Tone Improvisation’ published by Advance Music and is active as a guest clinician at numerous international conservatories and universities.

Jeff Williams

In a career spanning fifty years drummer Jeff Williams first became known during the 1970s from his associations with Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, and Dave Liebman’s Lookout Farm. In the ’90s he toured with Joe Lovano and Tom Harrell, and Lovano’s Universal Language ensemble. Following that, Jeff began writing for and leading his own groups that have featured a variety of musicians, including Gonçalo Marques, John O’Gallagher. Jeff’s albums as a leader include seven releases on the Whirlwind Recordings label, including the recent Road Tales, along with the newly discovered In Duo (with Dave Liebman), released in January 2024.

Michael Formanek

Born in San Francisco in 1958, Formanek has performed in myriad contexts over the decades, including with masters from Gerry Mulligan and Stan Getz to Freddie Hubbard and Fred Hersch. Among his peers, the bassist has collaborated closely with Tim Berne, making a duo album with the saxophonist (Ornery People) and performing extensively in Berne’s iconic Bloodcount band in the ’90s. Formanek also released a solo LP – Am I Bothering You? – via Berne’s Screwgun label in 1998. Thumbscrew, a collaborative trio featuring Formanek and Halvorson alongside drummer Tomas Fujiwara, has released four lauded albums via Cuneiform. Formanek’s early recordings as a leader included a string of quartet and septet releases for Enja from 1990 to 1996. As a sideman, he has recorded with Uri Caine, Dave Burrell, Jane Ira Bloom, Gary Thomas, Jack Walrath, Joe Maneri, Harold Danko, Lee Konitz, Freddie Redd, Art Pepper, Chet Baker and even Elvis Costello, along with appearing on albums by such frequent partners as Berne, Halvorson, Fujiwara, Malaby, multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich, trumpeter Dave Ballou, saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, drummer Devin Gray and pianist Angelica Sanchez. From 2001 to 2018, Formanek taught jazz bass and jazz history at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he also directed the Peabody Jazz Orchestra. He continues to teach privately in the New York area and conducts workshops and masterclasses internationally. Michael Formanek received a 2023 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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