Montreal-born, Vancouver-raised tenor and soprano saxophonist/composer Michael Blake has established himself as a leading voice in contemporary music. For the last 30 years he has made his home in New York City, where he consistently creates music that bristles with originality and vision. He has released 1over a dozen recordings as a leader and performed on countless sessions with other musicians, has scored music for TV and film, and performed in halls, clubs and festivals worldwide. Most recently he has also lent his talents to projects led by Charlie Hunter, Henry Butler/Steven Bernstein Hot 9, Michael Bates, Erik Friedlander and Ben Allison.
For this Smalls gig Michael brings in a new quintet with a scattering of old friends including the versatile multi-intrumentalist Peck Allmond and acclaimed bassist Michael Bates. New comers JK Kim and Gabriel Chakarji came to his attention through the grapevine. JK Kim is a Korean born drummer with a forceful and musical approach to percussion. He attended the Berkelee College of Music and is a rising star on his instrument. Venezualan pianist Chakarji is currently attending The New School and brings an in depth intelligence and personal culural identity to his music.