LaDonna Smith & Davey Williams

Chopin Theater

1543 West Division Street
Chicago, Illinois 60622

An evening of improvisations from the Birmingham-based duo—and their first joint appearance in Chicago in ten years.

LaDonna Smith (b.1951, Birmingham, Ala.) is a violinist, violist, and pianist. Since 1974 she has been performing free improvisational music with musicians such as Davey Williams, Gunther Christmann, Anne Lebaron, Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne, Misha Feigin, Michael Evans, David Sait, Jack Wright, John Russell, Sergey Letov, Toshi Makihara, Andrew Dewar and many other of the world’s major improvisers.

Davey Williams (b.1952, York, Ala.) is generally acknowledged as one of the founders and preeminent exponents of American free-improvised guitar playing. In his late teens and early twenties he worked in the blues band of Johnny Shines, and in the soul band and revue Salt and Pepper. By the mid-1970s he had begun involvement in new jazz, avant-garde composition, surrealism and free improvisation. From the mid-1980s he was part of the New York ‘downtown scene,’ playing in the band Curlew with George Cartwright and Tom Cora, and in many other settings. In addition to his longtime collaboration with LaDonna Smith, he has worked with many contemporaries in new composition and free improvisation including Anne LeBaron, John Zorn, Jim Staley and Ikue Mori.

In 1974 Smith and Williams formed the improvising duo (and record label) Trans Museq. Together, they edit the Improvisor, the only magazine dedicated exclusively to free music.