Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Field, Ken

Field, Ken (Kenneth David), saxophonist, flutist, composer; b. Red Bank, NJ, 26 January 1953. His father, Norman J Field (b. NYC, NY, 1923, d. 1991), was physicist and an educator.His mother is Gladys Field (b. NYC, NY, 1921). He has three siblings, Joan Lakin (b. Long Branch, NJ, 1949), Richard Field (b. Long Branch, NJ, 1957), and Elaine Field (b. Long Branch, NJ, 1959). He's married to Karen Aqua, an animation filmmaker.

Began clarinet studies at age 9, studied privately with Fred Caruso and others, played in grade school (Tinton Falls) and high school (Monmouth Regional H.S.) marching band, concert band, and orchestra. Played clarinet in All-Shore and All-State (NJ) bands.  Briefly played flute and tenor saxophone in stage band and concert band. Received John Philip Sousa Band Award upon High School graduation (1970).

Played briefly in wind ensemble at Brown University (Sc.B. magna cum laude in Applied Mathematics/Computer Science, 1974) until a dental injury in 1970 caused him to stop playing clarinet.  Began flute in approximately 1972, studied with Deborah Hay (approx 1973).  Played with various Providence-based folk, rock, and blues musicians.  Began alto saxophone in approximately 1974, played with local fusion group Forecast, later Phoenix.  Began private saxophone studies in Boston at Berklee with Joe Viola in 1976.  Played with Providence-based swing band Johnny & the Luncheonettes, RISD Orchestra, Brown University Stage Band (alto and bari sax).  Additional studies with Fred DiChristofaro.

Moved to Boston and attended Berklee College of Music full-time 1977-1978.  Studied with Joe Viola, Andy McGhee, and others.  Played with a number of rock, reggae, funk, and r&b bands in the Boston area (1978-1984).  From 1984-1988 played and recorded with the seminal Boston-area psychedelic funk band Skin.  In 1988, he joined Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, a prominent internationally-known instrumental modern music ensemble which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2001. Private studies with Charlie Banacos (improvisation 1984-86), Jerry Bergonzi (saxophone, improvisation 1988-89), John Eacott (composition 2001).

Performances & recording with his 2nd line horn and percussion group the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble (nominated best local jazz group by the Boston Phoenix, 2003, 2004, 2005), the Board of Education (six-year Thursday night house band at the famed Middle East Restaurant in Cambridge), Willie Loco Alexander's Persistence of Memory Orchestra (included two tours of France), the Bad Art Ensemble, Lars Vegas, Crown Electric Company, Alto Reform School, Chandler Travis Philharmonic, and others.  Live performances with the Ken Field Alto Saxophone Project, featuring saxophonists Neil Leonard, Matt Steckler, Charlie Kohlhase.

Had career as a computer scientist from 1974-1996 (Engineer, Raytheon Company, Portsmouth, RI, 1974-1977;  Speech Scientist and Manager of Corporate Systems and Computer Operations, Bolt Beranek and Newman, Cambridge, MA 1979-1996;  and research results published in IEEE Transactions on Communications, various technical conference proceedings. He is a lifetime member of Sigma Xi.Since 1988 he has been a member of the internationally acclaimed electronic modern music ensemble Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, with whom he has recorded eight CDs.

Field has performed in the US, Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Ireland, and Japan, and has been Composer-in-Residence at the Ucross Foundation (Wyoming), the Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), and the Atlantic Center for the Arts (Florida).  His musical projects have been featured in The New York Times, Saxophone Journal, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Tower Pulse, Billboard, Cadence, The Wire, The Orlando Sentinel, and many other publications.  Field has performed for President Bill Clinton, with former J. Geils frontman Peter Wolf, and with the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra.Presentation, residency, and workshop experience includes Alfred University (NY), Western New Mexico University, Sheridan College (WY), the Artists' Association of Nantucket (MA), Camden-Rockport High School/YouthArts (ME), New Mexico Military Institute, the Carolina Film Festival (NC), Emory University (GA), the University of North Carolina, Hilo & Waiakea High Schools (HI), Dartmouth College (NH), the Massachusetts College of Art (MA), Lebanon Valley College (PA), the Boston Museum of Science (MA), the Creative Music Orchestra (New Haven, CT), and, with Delfeayo Marsalis, the Nunez Correctional Learning Center (Port Sulpher, LA).

With Karen Aqua, Field was in residence in Utah during the fall of 2000 as part of Artists & Communities:  America Creates for the Millennium, a national NEA-sponsored community-based residency project coordinated by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.In 2004 he was commissioned by Bridgman/Packer Dance to compose music for Under the Skin, which has been performed in NYC, Washington (DC), Cincinnati, Dublin, Budapest, and Cambridge (MA).  A CD of this music was released in 2006 on Innova Recordings.

In 2003 the Saxophone Journal featured a Masterclass CD by Field based on the layered saxophone improvisations from his first solo CD. Ken Field is a Vandoren Performing Artist. He hosts The New Edge, a weekly radio program on WMBR in Cambridge, and curates and co-directs Cultural Constructions, an intercultural music performance project. Field is on the faculty of the Music Maker School, where he teaches saxophone and flute.

Recordings as a leader:
Subterranea (1996); Pictures of Motion (1999); Tokyo in F (2000); Revolutionary Snake Ensemble: Year of the Snake (2003); No Such Animal (2006); Under the Skin (2006)

As bandmember:
Skin: Saddle (1985); Skin: Troubled Sleep (1986); Skin: Sanity (1988); Birdsongs of the Mesozoic: Faultline (1989), Pyroclastics (1992); Willie Alexander: Persistence of Memory Orchestra (1993); Lars Vegas: Hazard Yellow/Requiem/Icy Needles (1994); Lars Vegas: Nervada (1995); Birdsongs of the Mesozoic: Dancing on A'A (1995); Willie Alexander's Persistence of Memory Orchestra: East Main Street Suite (1999); Birdsongs of the Mesozoic: Petrophonics (2000); Chandler Travis: Let's Have a Pancake (2000);  Chandler Travis Philharmonic: Llama Rhymes (2002);  Birdsongs of the Mesozoic: The Iridium Controversy (2003);  Birdsongs of the Mesozoic:  2001 Live Birds (2004);  Birdsongs of the Mesozoic/David Greenberger: 1001 Real Apes (2006);  Birdsongs of the Mesozoic/Oral Moses: Extreme Spirituals (2006);  Chandler Travis Philharmonic: Tarnation & Alastair Sim (2007)

As sideperson:
Brian Cullman: Brian Cullman (1975); Bim Skala Bim: Bim Skala Bim (1986); I-Tones: Something We Share (1987); Plate O' Shrimp: Tribal Surrealism (1988); Erik Lindgren: Oil on Linen (1992); Willie Alexander: Private WA (1994); Charlie Chesterman: From the Book of Flames (1994); June LaPointe: I Dreamed I painted Living Music a Light Blue Shade (1994); Peter Wolf: Long Line (1996); Willie Alexander: The Holy Babble (1996); Charlie Chesterman: Studebakersfield (1996); Universal You: Garden of Delight (1996); Swipe: Swipe (1997); Firecat: Black on Black (1999); David Gould: Adonai and I (2001), Adonai in Dub (2001); Archetribe: Earthtones (2001); Adam Sherman: Songbird (Producer and Performer) (2001); Kevin So: Leaving the Lights On (2003);  Julie Dougherty:  The Sweet Unraveling (2004);  Frankenstein Consort:  Classical A-Go-Go (2006); Chizuko Ura: Every Dear Friend (2006);

Radio & television broadcasts:
"New Sounds with John Schaefer", 7 March 2007.
"WBUR/NPR Morning Edition", Revolutionary Snake Ensemble feature, 15 February 2007.
"Outsight Radio Hour with Tom Schulte", January 2007.
"Soundcheck" radio interview, WNYC, NY. 3 March 2006.
Radio interview with Irene Trudel, WFMU, NJ.  28 February 2005.
"Soundcheck" radio interview, WNYC, NY. 4 February 2005.
"Soundcheck" radio interview, WNYC, NY. 27 February 2004.
"Outsight Radio Hour with Tom Schulte", December 2003.
"Outsight Radio Hour with Tom Schulte", August 2001.
"New Sounds with John Schaefer", Show #1770, WNYC, NYC, NY. 2000.
"New Sounds with John Schaefer", Show #1353, WNYC, NYC, NY. 1997.
"Heat", NPR Syndicated show, with Birdsongs of the Mesozoic.  circa 1991.
"Pipeline", WMBR, Cambridge, MA, with Willie Alexander, circa 1998.
"Pipeline", WMBR, Cambridge, MA, with Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, circa 2000.
"Mixed Bag", WVIA, Wilkes Barre, PA, with Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, 2001.
"May Pole Jam", Dead Air Live, Show #374, Somerville (MA) Cable TV, 2001.
Film, television, and dance soundtracks:
"Sensorium", Artist: Karen Aqua, Animated Film. 2007.
"Under the Skin", Artists: Bridgman/Packer Dance, Dance piece. 2005
"Andaluz", Artists: Karen Aqua/Joanna Priestley, Animated Film.
Music Producer. 2004.
"The Witness Project", Artist: Robin Masi, Multimedia installation. 2003.
"Suddenly Last Summer", Artist: Dog & Pony Theatre Co,  2002.
"Cortejo", Artist: Denorah de Jesus Rodriguez, Video.  2002.
"5 Dreams", Artist: Luke Jaeger, Animated Film. 1997.
"Ground Zero / Sacred Ground", Artist: Karen Aqua, Animated Film. 1997.
"Sesame Street", Artist: Karen Aqua, Numerous animated segments. 1990-2003.
"Sympathetic Magic", Artists: Karen Aqua/Annie Loui, Animated Film with Dance. 1994.
"Dancing in the Park", The Dance Collective, Live Outdoor Dance Performances. 1994.
"Perpetual Motion", Artist: Karen Aqua, Animated Film. 1992.
"Shrine to Ritualized Time", Artists: K. Aqua/J. Gillooly, Slide/Animation Installation, Boston. 1990.
"A Day in the Life of Scoop Bradley", Artist: Tamara Jenkins, Live Performance Theater, NYC. 1987.
"Nine Lives", Artist: Karen Aqua, Animated Film. 1987.
"Reacting to the Crisis", Live Multimedia Performance, Cambridge, MA. 1986.
"Intellectual Properties", Artist: John Adams, Video. 1985.
"Penetralia", Artist: Karen Aqua, Animated Film. 1976.

Magazine/Newspaper Interviews/Profiles:
"Field Day:  An avant garder takes a walk on Sesame Street", Westword, September 1, 2005.
"Many bands Field prolific sax player", Boston Herald, July 1, 2005.
"Today it's spiritual, tomorrow it's funereal", Boston Globe, 13 November, 2003.
"An Artist's Place", Orlando Sentinel, November 4, 2001.
"Ken Field", Margen Magazine (Spain), Winter 2000 (#19/20).
"Fascinating Fusion", Cape Cod Times, Sep 20, 2000.
"Life is a Dance", New Haven Advocate, April 13, 2000.
"His Music Has a Serious Side, Too", Boston Globe, April 18, 1999.
"Field of Dreams", The TAB, Cambridge, MA, March 23, 1999.
"Ken Field & His Layered Saxophones", Saxophone Journal, March/April, 1998.
"Is Music a Language", Desert Exposure, Silver City, NM, March 1998.
"Sax Player Weaves Jazz with Fluid Animation", Albuguerque Tribune, Apr 25, 1997.
"Elmo's Sax Player", Brown Alumni Monthly, Sep 1996.
"Man of Many Bands", Boston Globe, July 11, 1996.

Website Interviews/Profiles:
Innova "Alive and Composing" podcast feed://feeds.feedburner.com/AliveAndComposing
All Music Guide http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=Bpy5s8qptbt94
All About Jazz http://www.allaboutjazz.com/iviews/KField.htm
Outsight Radio Hour http://musicsojourn.com/AR/Alt/page/f/FieldKen.htm

Boston Music Award nomination, Revolutionary Snake Ensemble.  2004, 2005.
Best Music Poll nomination, Revolutionary Snake Ensemble.  2003, 2004, 2005.
Utah State Historical Society Antiquities Award for work on Nine Mile Canyon film.  2001
Named semifinalist in Musician Magazine's "Best Unsigned" competition.  1997.
Named one of "Boston's Top 10 Unsigned Acts":  The Tab, Boston, MA.  1996.
Nominated "Best Other Instrument" in Boston:  The Noise, Boston, MA.1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998.
Third Prize, Soundtrack Category (for "Nine Lives"): ASIFA-East Animation Awards, NYC. 1988.
Voted #3 Horn Player in Boston: The Beat, Boston, MA. 1986.

Meet the Composer:  Global Connections grant, support for travel to Japan. 2006.
Music Composition Residency Grant, Ucross Foundation, WY.  2003.
Artist-in-Residence, Treasure Mountain Middle School, Park City, UT.  2003.
Associate Artist-in-Residence, Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL, 2001.
3-week residency with British composer John Eacott.
Professional Development Grant, Massachusetts Cultural Council, 2001.
Support for travel to the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
Artist-in-Residence Grant (with Karen Aqua), Artists & Communities:
America Creates for the Millennium.  2000.
3-month teaching residency, Price and Salt Lake City, UT.
Professional Development Grant, Massachusetts Cultural Council, 1999.
Support for travel to Fundacion Valparaiso.
Music Composition Residency Grant, Fundacion Valparaiso, Mojacar, Spain, 1999.
One-month residency for the creation of new musical compositions.
Production Grant, Gardner/Wu Trust, 1998.  Support for production of Pictures of Motion CD.
Professional Development Grant, Massachusetts Cultural Council, 1998.
Support for attendance at Hiroshima '98 International Animation Festival.
Music Composition Residency Grant, Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, WY, 1997.
One-month residency for the creation of new musical compositions.
Meet the Composer, 1992, 1994, 1997.
Support for appearances at the Academy of Arts, Honolulu, HI, and the Outpost, Albuquerque, NM.
Production Grant, Gardner/Wu Trust, 1996.  Support for production of Subterranea solo CD.
New England Touring Roster, New England Foundation for the Arts, 1990-present.
General performance and residency support.  Birdsongs of the Mesozoic.
New Forms Regional Initiative Grant, New England Foundation for the Arts, 1992.  Birdsongs & Greg Garvey.

Contact information:
Ken Field, Cambridge, MA  USA

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