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Peter Brötzmann and Heather Leigh 

When: Fri., May 24, 7 p.m. 2019
Price: $10
Experimental percussionist Claire Rousay’s Contemporary Whatever series has brought plenty of boundary-shedding musicians to San Antonio, but none with the heroic stature of Peter Brötzmann. The German saxophonist’s career in improvised music has spanned 50 years, multiple groundbreaking projects and included work on some of free jazz’s definitive albums. For this date, Brötzmann is collaborating with Heather Leigh, a former Texan now living in Scotland who’s pushing the sonic limits of the pedal steel guitar — an instrument most often used to lend a high and lonesome whine to trad country. The pair have toured extensively in this configuration and released four albums, of which Sparrow Nights was named one of the 20 Best Jazz Albums of 2018 by Rolling Stone. While Brötzmann has a reputation for working on the abrasive end of the avant-garde spectrum (his breakthrough 1968 album was appropriately titled Machine Gun), critics have described his collaborations with Leigh as a “lyrical,” “seductive” and full of “existential-blues pathos.”

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