Benelux – a trio of unique cellists formed at the 2017 New Orleans Instigation Festival – makes its Chicago debut. The collaborative Gold/Doherty/Cunningham trio returns to Elastic for a set of groove-oriented improvisation.
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Benelux is the triple cello threat of Helen Gillet, Lia Kohl and Katinka Kleijn. Formed at the 2017 New Orleans Instigation Festival, they use their shared musical sensitivity and sense of exploration to meet, while at the same time expanding the group’s direction in each of their very unique individual expertise.
Dutch cellist Katinka Kleijn enjoys a career performing in solo, chamber music, improvisation and orchestral performance. She appeared as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Hague Philharmonic, Chicago Sinfonietta, in recital at the Library of Congress and Carolina Performing Arts, as well as at the Marlboro Music Festival. A collaboration with the performance art duo Industry of the Ordinary resulted in “Intelligence in the Human-Machine” by Daniel Dehaan, a duo for cellist and brainwaves. Recently, Kleijn premiered Dai Fujikura’s Cello Concerto at Lincoln Center, with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and Marcos Balter’s “shadows of listening” at MusicNow in the Harris Theater. As a member of ICE she gave numerous premieres, including the American premiere of Zona by Magnus Lindberg at Lincoln Center and Eternal Escape by Dai Fujikura. Kleijn recorded David Baker’s Cello Concerto with the Chicago Sinfonietta on Cedille, and has recorded for Naxos, Boston Records, with the progrock metal band District 97, David Sylvian, the duo Relax Your Ears, and has a working duo with guitarist Bill MacKay.
Lia Kohl is a cellist and multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago. Her work centers on improvisation, performance and sound art. She is a curator and ensemble member with the acclaimed performance ensemble Mocrep, with whom she has toured nationally and internationally. As a member of Mocrep, she has collaborated with artists such as Jennifer Walshe, Natacha Diels and Steven Kazuo Takasugi and partnered with the Art Institute of Chicago, MCA, Lumpen Radio, and Mana Contemporary Chicago. As an improviser she performs regularly around Chicago and with her clarinet/percussion/cello trio, ZRL. An avid interpreter of contemporary music, she performs with Chicago Composers Orchestra, Fonema Consort, manual cinema and Ensemble Dal Niente.
Jazz-based cellist, singer, composer and improviser Helen Gillet grew up in Belgium, Singapore, Chicago and Wisconsin. Performing her own eclectic mix of French, Contemporary Jazz, North Indian, Blues and Classical styles, Gillet has forged a path for the cello in the New Orleans music scene since her arrival in 2002, winning Best Female Performer (2014 Gambit Big Easy Awards), Best Mixed Bag (2012 Gambit Big Easy Awards) and Best Contemporary Jazz (2011 Gambit Big Easy Awards). She has performed extensively across the United States and Western Europe. Beginning cello lessons at the age of nine, Gillet has taken her classical education all the way to a Master’s Degree (Beloit College ’00, Loyola University New Orleans ’04). Her training as an improviser began with North Indian Hindustani vocal ragas in 1998, which launched her into the worlds of free improvisation, jazz, funk, rock and French chansons. Gillet has performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Festival International (Lafayette, LA), Voodoo Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival and Hindsgavl Festival in Denmark, Mirano Oltre Festival in Italy, the Kennedy Center Center in Washington D.C. and MONA Mofo festival in Hobart, Tasmania.
SET 1: BENELUX TRIO
Katinka Kleijn – cello
Helen Gillet – cello
Lia Kohl – cello
SET 2: GOLD/DOHERTY/CUNNINGHAM
Matt Gold – guitar
Brian Doherty – bass
Jeremy Cunningham – drums