tombstar & Arcx Quartet


Thu Jun 22 2023 at 08:00 pm to 10:00 pm


Icebox Project Space | Philadelphia, PA

A new ensemble comprising improvisers, composer-performers, and interdisciplinary artists from who explore the collective subconscious.
About this Event


Isabel Crespo Pardo: voice

edi kwon: violin

Zekkereya El-magharbel: trombone

Lesley Mok: drums

A new ensemble comprising improvisers, composer-performers, and interdisciplinary artists from Brooklyn and Detroit who explore the collective subconscious through improvisation, composition, and raucous, joyful experimentation. At once playful, ritualistic, ecstatic, grave, and surprising, the ensemble’s process and expressive possibilities are informed by each artist’s interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary practices, as well as a collective commitment to egalitarian decision making, friendship, and individual autonomy.

Isabel Crespo Pardo (they/them) is an NYC-based latinx vocalist, improviser, and composer creating art that constantly evolves to reflect the intra/interpersonal spaces they inhabit. Their practice is nourished by curiosity and (dis)comfort. Reveling in soft chaos, they embrace openness and specificity to create poetic work.

Most recently, they toured the Northeast with sinonó, their trio with Lester St. Louis (cello), and Henry Fraser (bass). Following the tour, the trio recorded Crespo’s graphic scores and poem/songs and they plan to release their debut album in 2024. Crespo’s compositional voice can also be heard on ‘el rostro (des)cubierto,’ an upcoming album set for release in June 2023 on Lobby Art Records. This record features a collection of pieces composed for Afarin Nazarijou (qanun), Skyler Hill (guitar), and SeaJun Kwon (bass).

edi kwon is a violinist, vocalist, and interdisciplinary artist based in Lenapehoking, or New York City. Her practice connects composition, improvisation, movement, and ceremony to explore transformation & transgression, ritual practice as a tool to queer ancestral lineage, and the use of mythology to connect, obscure, and reveal.

As a composer-performer and improviser, she is inspired by Korean folk timbres & inflections, textures & movement from natural environments, and American experimentalism as shaped by the AACM. Her work as a choreographer and movement artist embodies an expressive release and reclamation of colonialism’s spiritual imprints, connecting to both Japanese Butoh and a lineage of queer trans practitioners of Korean shamanic ritual. In addition to an evolving, interdisciplinary solo practice, she collaborates with artists of diverse disciplines, including The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Du Yun, Holland Andrews, Tomeka Reid, Kenneth Tam, Isabel Crespo Pardo, Lester St. Louis, Mariah Garnett, International Contemporary Ensemble, and as a member of the artist collective Juni One Set with Senga Nengudi and Degenerate Art Ensemble co-directors Haruko Crow Nishimura and Joshua Kohl.

Zekkereya El-magharbel is an interdisciplinary artist currently living in Detroit. They have been a member of the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (Los Angeles) for almost 10 years and have worked/studied with luminaries such as Angel Bat Dawid, Tyshawn Sorey, Corey Smythe, Jaimie Branch, Steve Lehman, and George Lewis to name a few. Their main instrument is trombone and are currently conducting research on North African Maqam and adjacent sonic modalities.

Lesley Mok is an improviser, composer, percussionist, and sound artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Interested in the ways social conditions shape our beings, Lesley’s work focuses on overacting humanness to explore ideas about alienness and privilege. Her ongoing explorations with composition and improvisation are most notably documented in her ten-piece improvising chamber ensemble, The Living Collection (released May 5, 2023 by American Dreams).

Lesley's work has been recognized by the ASCAP Foundation, Roulette Intermedium, and the Asian American Arts Alliance, and has been performed by International Contemporary Ensemble, Metropolis Ensemble, and JACK Quartet. She has collaborated with Tomeka Reid, Fay Victor, William Parker, Cory Smythe, Jen Shyu, Myra Melford, Sara Serpa, Elias Stemeseder, David Leon, Doyeon Kim, Anna Webber, Adam O’Farrill, and others.

Arcx Quartet:

Carlos Santiago- Violin

Matt Engle- Contrabass

Veronica Mercedes Jurkiewicz - Viola

Thomas Kraines- Cello

Quartet leader Carlos Santiago was born and raised in Philadelphia and was educated at The Hartt School of Music and Temple University. Approaching music from multiple standpoints, Carlos has relished performing in a wide variety of musical settings and styles such as the multi - disciplinary Bismuth String Quartet, the complex mathematical compositions of the rock band Normal Love, soloing with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, playing Tango, Salsa, and Afro-Caribbean jazz with Sonic Liberation Front, or Roma jazz with BeauDjango. Past teachers include John Blake, Diane Monroe, Yusef Lateef, Adolf Sandole, Louis Lanza, and Nicholas Mann. Sharing the unity of all of these types of music is the driving force behind his passion for sonic exploration.

Matt Engle grew up in the Philadelphia area and has been an active member of the creative and improvised music scene for over 20 years. He has contributed to many varying musical situations and has previously performed with Dan Blacksberg, Bobby Zankel, Sonic Liberation Front, Bird Fly Yellow, Shot By Shot, The Scriptors, Yapp, Jarrett Gilgore, Split Red, Dave Liebman, Tim Young, Marshall Allen, Anomalous Warmth, Watson, Roberto Pace, Sam Newsome, Rick Iannacone, Jaimie Branch, Elliot Levin, Anthony Pirog, Raymond King, David Middleton, Vince Johnson, Veronica MJ, Muhammad Ali, Oliver Lake, Seth Meicht, Tim Berne, Jack Wright, Thurman Barker, Jay Lunar, and Brandon Seabrook among many others.

Veronica Mercedes Pazymiño Jurkiewicz is an instrumentalist, vocalist, educator, and curator based in Philadelphia. She is drawn to sound involving the intersection of experimental, improvisational, and traditional practice; has a passion for creating and realizing diverse types of artistic programs and communal art experiences; and is an active member of the avant-garde music scene in Philadelphia. A versatile musician, Veronica shape-shifts as both a violinist and violist as well as between many different genres and languages within music. She is the violist of the Bismuth String Quartet, a soprano in Choral Arts Philadelphia, a member of Sonic Liberation Front; and Arcana New Music Ensemble; and performs folk and traditional music from all over Latin America and Mexico with Magdaliz Roura and her Latin Ensemble Crisol.

A member of the Daedalus Quartet, cellist Thomas Kraines has forged a multifaceted career as a cellist and composer, equally comfortable with avant-garde improvisation, new music, and traditional chamber music and solo repertoire. In addition to his work with the Daedalus Quartet, Mr. Kraines performs frequently with the Network for New Music, the Arcana Ensemble, and in numerous other ensembles. An accomplished composer of chamber music, his works have been performed around the world by many artists including the English Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Kenneth Woods. Kraines has given musical improvisation workshops and performances at the Longy School of Music, the University of Florida at Gainesville, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught at the Peabody Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, the Killington Music Festival, Yellow Barn, and Princeton University, and currently teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.

venue is wheelchair accessible


Where is it happening?

Icebox Project Space, 1400 North American Street, Philadelphia, United States

Event Location & Nearby Stays:


USD 0.00 to USD 20.00

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