October 9, 2015

Friday night live at Transistor: experimental jazz from the Atticus Lazenby/Ben Schmidt-Swartz Duo and Afro-soul & folk from Woven Collective. Sound by Jon Monteverde.

Atticus Lazenby is a Chicago bassist, keyboardist, and composer. His music combines funk and jazz with elements of rock, hip-hop, and world music. Originally from rural southern Maine, Atticus studied music at Bennington College and moved to Chicago in 2014. He is currently performing original jazz/funk with the Atticus Lazenby Group and creating electronic music as half of Chicago/Athens, GA looping duo Lazenby+DeMatteo.

Saxophonist Ben Schmidt-Swartz is a Chicago-area native. He studied music at Western Michigan University under saxophonist Trent Kynaston and trumpeter/arranger Dr. Scott Cowan. While at WMU, Ben also performed with Paquito D’Rivera, Kurt Elling, Fred Hersch, Billy Hart, Bob Mintzer, Stefon Harris, and Donny McCaslin. In 2014, Ben and Chilean drummer Nelson Oliva toured Chile in support of the Ben Schmidt-Swartz/Nelson Oliva Group’s 2012 release “Mastermind.” Ben currently performs in and around Chicago with the Rusty Jones Trio and Quintet, Andrew Lawrence’s MKUltra, the Atticus Lazenby Group, and others.

As the Atticus Lazenby/Ben Schmidt-Swartz Duo, Atticus and Ben combine their experiences and influences to create a lush and unique sound that draws from jazz, avant-garde and improvised music, indie rock, and experimental electronic music.

For their performance at Transistor, the Atticus Lazenby/Ben Schmidt-Swartz Duo played a set of improvised electro-acoustic music and original compositions on saxophone, bass, keyboards and electronics.


Woven Collective was born in the back of a cab. It was on a muggy winter’s day in Kolkata that the collaboration between Krista Speroni and Alexander Kelly began to take form. The year was 2014, but the seed was sown the prior spring. It’s a story that begins at one of the premiere underground venues nestled in the heart of Honolulu’s fish and vice district, ‘Chinatown’s Ong King. Krista had just returned to her hometown after studying brains at the Mass. Institute of Technology, and fate would have it that she would be one of the early attendees of a night of art, storytelling, pole-dancing and music headlined by the seven-piece, Afro-soul-infused Shama Thrush. Upon realizing their mutual adoration for early Motown, African rhythm and the ethereal, jamming and composing followed suit with a rhythmic vision in mind that would necessitate a full band. In 2015 Speroni and Kelly relocated to Boston to seek out the city’s deep musical and cultural roots. Krista’s former bandmates Otto Briner, Danbee (“Tauntaun”) Kim, and Price Smith were eagerly welcomed aboard the Woven wagon for a short tour to North Carolina and have since combined forces to realize a mutual vision of revitalized spiritual energy through song, dance and and fresh juice. Like a basket composed of a simple interlocking pattern of unique individual strands or the blanket that warms you in the dark of night, that which is Woven transcends the sum of its parts to nourish life.

Alex Kelly is a multi-instrumentalist and visual artist born in New Ulm, Minnesota. He received his BA in Music from the University of Hawaiʻi, while simultaneously delving into an extracurricular study of Hindustani music, focusing on the sitar. In 2013 he traveled to India to conduct a research project concerning the Indian slide guitar under the tutelage of virtuoso Pandit Debashish Bhattarya. Eastern music philosophy, David Axelrod, Ethiopian and Nigerian jazz, and the lush psychedelic sounds of the '60s influence his stylings.

The joyful chuckles of Danbee “Tauntaun” Kim have been known to be heard from over .82 miles away. Tauntaun is an activator, organizer, fun-maker, and general bad-ass. Her classical violin roots began as a small Korean child in the deep south of the Bayou (go figure). Today she works actively with youth to enrich their lives through movement and creativity-based curricula, combining her passion for science and exploration with her love of the arts.

Krista Speroni is spunky modern nomad who grew up in rural Kauai and later went on to study brain and cognitive science at MIT. While she majored in the brain, her real passion in life is music. Her eclectic musical background has has brought her everywhere from funk bands to Balinese Gamelan; a constant challenge and great source of inspiration has been learning and teaching Senegalese drumming (Sabar). She employs this vocation to inspire holistic living as an educator in order to nurture healthy communities. Her songs are catchy, lyrically driven and ethereal.

For this Transistor set, a Woven Trio performed modern work songs.

Visit the Woven Collective’s website.

Poster by Kendra Hutchings

Poster by Kendra Hutchings

Find more live performance recordings on our archive page.