Performing compelling music with origins in jazz, classical, folk,
extended technique, and improvisation, The Alex Coke Carl Michel
Sextet features musician/composers Alex Coke on woodwinds
and guitarist Carl Michel together with Austin Symphony’s
principal harpist Elaine Barber, Liminal Sound Series producer
Bob Hoffnar on pedal steel, first call jazz bassist Dr. James Suter,
and popular Austin percussionist Carolyn Trowbridge on vibes.
The sextet will perform at the Draylen Mason Studio at KMFA on
Thursday June 9, 2022 at 7:30pm.
This unique ensemble is an outgrowth of Coke and Barber’s
popular weekly Driveway Concert Series that ran from April 2020
through June 2021 in response to music gigs and gatherings
being curtailed as a result of the pandemic. The duo performed
outdoors, socially distanced, with each member of the sextet
individually in turn, appearing as special guests. Playing music as a
gift to their local neighbourhood at first, the project took shape as the
possibilities for meetings indoors returned.
The Monday night concerts made way for rehearsals, new
composition, and the formation of an unusual and very accomplished
performing and recording ensemble. They released their first CD
together, The Emissary, in October 2021 to good reviews and now a
year after the final driveway concert, a second CD is in the works.
As a founding member of the Creative Opportunity Orchestra with
many projects and recordings to his credit, Emmy Award winning
composer Carl Michel had this to say :
“The 6tet is a welcomed opportunity to work again with my friend
Alex Coke. The “driveway concerts,” that were presented by Elaine
Barber and Alex to their neighborhood, provided a way to collaborate
with other musicians over the course of the pandemic shutdown. That
process initiated the formation of the 6tet, a unique collaboration of
instruments with some great musicians. This collaboration has
opened up my palette in composition and arranging for these
For the upcoming performance and live recording, works will include
new arrangements of music by Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, and
a few classical pieces TBA, with some new compositions by Coke and
Michel also in the mix . One of the first jazz ensembles to perform at
KMFA’s Draylen Mason Studio, the concert on June 9 is for an all
ages audience. Presale Tickets go on sale May 23 and will also be
available at the door.
“They can drift with meditative beauty or roar with passion… their collective sound lingers in the memory.”
– Jerome Wilson on The Emissary at All About Jazz