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Event Archive - Darren Williams, Francois Houle

Mon. August 5th 2013 Kozmik Zoo (All Ages)
9:00pm - 12:00am doors at 8:00pm
Darren Williams + François Houle in Concert: 2 Solos + 1 Duo

Monday August 5th - doors at 8pm, show at 9pm
at Kozmik Zoo - 53 West Broadway, Vancouver
$10 admission

Saxophonist Darren Williams has been winning over audiences in Western Canada with his unforgettable performances that stretch musical boundaries. A seasoned live performer, Williams will be kicking off his 11 city Canadian tour in Calgary, July 2013. Other cities on the tour include Edmonton, Québec City, Rimouski, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Guelph, Waterloo, Vancouver, and Kelowna.

Currently based in Kelowna, BC, Darren Williams will be touring in promotion of his newly finished debut solo album Reed, a collection of his own compositions:

“Solo tenor saxophone with nods to Evan Parker and Colin Stetson. However, Williams has taken the initiative to dash ahead of his contemporaries, creating exciting and beautiful compositions that force the listener to forget the wealth of technique at the root of the music.” - Kevin Romain, Bleating Hearts, The SSRIs

Fresh from his appearance at the 2013 Vancouver International Jazz Festival, audiences can expect to be mesmerized by Darren’s incredible array of extended techniques on the saxophone as composition, improvisation, and physical endurance are explored within solo performance. Darren Williams performs in Vancouver on August 5th at The Kozmik Zoo with world renowned clarinetist François Houle who will also be performing a solo set on clarinet and electronics. Houle has redefined the aural language of the clarinet, notably with his 2006 album Aerials, creating an expansively personal tapestry of sounds and extended techniques:

“There’s skillful manipulation of the clarinet and technical trickery, exploration of ambience, extended and alternative voicings, and beyond that there’s Houle’s poise, beautiful tone, and an overriding concern for content.” -Julian Cowley, Wire Magazine

In addition Houle and Williams will play a set together as a duo, unleashing a sonic orgy of metal and wood in a roiling improvisational performance, abetted by electronics and bedeviling instrumental techniques.

Williams’ album Reed can be heard and purchased at:

Darren Williams gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Canadian Circuit for Improvising Musicians which have made this tour possible.

Darren Williams ( is a British Columbia based saxophonist and bassoonist who pushes the limits of improvisation and extended instrumental technique into regions that are lyrical, terrifying, uncanny, and “more fun than spiked punch live” (Georgia Straight). Called “a raw, vocal explorer,” (Stuart Broomer) Darren has performed with many renowned musicians including Eugene Chadbourne (USA), Chad van Gaalen (Calgary), Myk Freedman (NYC), Mats Gustafsson (Sweden), Ig Henneman and Han Bennink (Netherlands). He is involved in numerous ensembles and projects, notably co-leading and composing for the free jazz quintet Robots On Fire which performed at the 2013 Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Williams was awarded a Canada Council Grant to go on a national tour in the summer of 2013 in promotion of his debut solo album Reed, on Bug Incision Records ( Darren holds a BFA in music performance from York University and has studied with Casey Sokol, David Mott, George Lewis, and Francois Houle.

Clarinetist François Houle ( has established himself as one of today’s most inventive musicians, in all of the diverse musical spheres he embraces: classical, jazz, new music, improvised music, and world music. He has twice been listed by Downbeat magazine as a “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” and was hailed as a “Rising Star” in Downbeat’s 2008 Critics’ Poll. Houle has extensively toured across Canada, the United States and Europe, and has performed and recorded with Marilyn Crispell, Evan Parker, Dave Douglas, Benoît Delbecq, Mats Gustaffson, Myra Melford, Ab Baars, Marc Dresser, Georg Gräwe, Joëlle Léandre, and Håvard Wiik. With more than than a dozen recordings, and multiple Juno Award and West Coast Music Award nominations, Houle’s clarinet playing transcends the stylistic borders associated with his instrument. Inspired by musical innovators such as Steve Lacy, John Carter, William O. Smith and Evan Parker, François has developed a unique improvisational language, virtuosic and rich with sonic embellishment and technical extensions: “a spectacularly versatile clarinetist, who appears to have no limitations stylistically or sonically,” (Mark Swed, LA Times). Houle studied at McGill University, went on to win the National Debut competition, and completed his studies at Yale University. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, and was a featured soloist in the International Clarinet Association’s 2007 and 2008 ClarinetFests. François is a faculty member at the Vancouver Community College School of Music, and served as Artistic Director of the Vancouver Creative Music Institute from 2006 to 2010. In 2008 Houle was appointed as “Associate Composer” of the Canadian Music Centre.


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Darren Williams (Improvised musics (jazz, pop, Latin, freaky, etc.))

Darren is a musical performance graduate from Toronto where he studied contemporary improvisation at York University with Professor Casey Sokol. Since 1997 Williams has been active as a performer devoted to musical improvisation in all its manifestations. Concert appearances have included collaborations with John Oswald, Eugene Chadbourne, Ig Hen... more info

Francois Houle "François Houle" (new music, improvisation, Avant Jazz)

new music, improvisation, Avant Jazz from Vancouver BC more info