NOW ​Improvisation Workshops Spring 2023


NOW ​Improvisation Workshops Spring 2023



and Roberts Creek Community Hall

for up to 15 participants

February 23 - March 5

FREE with NOW Membership (purchase here or in the workshop)

Donations gratefully accepted (donate here

These workshops fall on different days and at different times, pls take a close look!


Since 1978, the New Orchestra Workshop Society (NOW) has presented music improvisation workshops, offering space for exploration and participation. Our workshops are for improvisers of all levels of ability and ranges of experience, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race or religion. We protect privacy in our workshops and adopt the We Have Voice Collective Code of Conduct. Read more about NOW workshop policieshere.

The NOW Society Spring 2023 workshops will be presented in person at 8EAST and at the Roberts Creek Community Hall. Find out more about each workshop facilitator below.


February 23 - Lisa Cay Miller and Stefan Smulovitz

at the Roberts Creek Community Hall



Presently living on the unceded Territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam peoples, Lisa Cay Miller (she/her) is an improvising pian and composer who loves to create in the moment. Dr. Lisa Cay is the Artistic Director of the NOW Society, and is so honoured to have been part of the NOW workshops for a number of years.

Award-winning technologist, composer, violist, and laptop artist Stefan Smulovitz has performed with leading improvisers around the world and created more than 50 live film scores. He is one of Canada’s most in demand composers for dance and is recognized for his groundbreaking interactive work with Radix Theatre.


Saturday February 25 - Karen Ng

at 8EAST 2-3:30 pm


Toronto-based improviser Karen Ng can be found in many different projects across a wide range of music. She has performed with The Weather Station, Andy Shauf, Lido Pimienta, Luka Kuplowsky, Badge Époque Ensemble, Tim Baker, L CON, Happiness Project, and Do Make Say Think. Currently Karen is involved in several improvising ensembles in the city including Rob Clutton Trio, p2p, Kind Mind, Craig Dunsmuir and the Dun Dun Band, See Through 4, as well as various ad hoc duos, trio and quartets.



Sunday February 26 - Luke Stewart

at 8EAST 2-3:30 pm


Luke Stewart is a DC/NYC-based musician and organizer of important musical presentations, and has a strong presence in the national and international Improvised Music community. He is noted in Downbeat Magazine in 2020 as one of “25 most influential jazz artists” of his generation. He was profiled in the Washington Post in early 2017 as “holding down the jazz scene,” selected as “Best Musical Omnivore” in the Washington City Paper’s 2017 “Best of DC,” chosen as “Jazz Artist of the Year” for 2017 in the District Now, and in the 2014 People Issue of the Washington City Paper as a “Jazz Revolutionary,” citing his multi-faceted cultural activities throughout DC. In New York City, Luke collaborated with Arts for Art in hosting the first ever “Free Jazz Convention” to share resources and strategies among the community. He has also performed in a myriad of collaborations and performances in venues such as the Kitchen, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pioneer Works, Roulette, and Issue Project Room. Luke is also a presence in the greater community of Creative Musicians, with regular multi-city ensembles including. His regular ensembles include Irreversible Entanglements, Heroes are Gang Leaders, and Ancestral Duo, Six Six featuring guitarist Anthony Pirog, and experimental rock duo Blacks’ Myths.



Friday March 3 - Tcheser Holmes

at 8EAST 5-6:30 pm


An adventurous, New York-based drummer, Tcheser Holmes combines the influence of his Afro-Caribbean roots, avant-garde jazz, and electronic production. Known for his work as a member of the ensemble Irreversible Entanglements, he paired with longtime creative associate trumpeter Aquiles Navarro for 2020's Heritage of the Invisible II. At the New England Conservatory in Boston, Holmes befriended trumpeter Aquiles Navarro. Bonding over their shared Panamanian backgrounds, the pair embarked on fruitful partnership, touring Panama and developing their expansive, genre-bending mix of free jazz, Latin traditions, and electronic music. They both eventually joined poet/singer Camae Ayewa's avant-garde group Irreversible Entanglements, appearing on the band's 2017 eponymous debut and 2020 follow-up, Who Sent You? That same year, Holmes and Navarro also released their debut album as a duo, the genre-bending Heritage of the Invisible II.



Saturday March 4 - Aquiles Navarro

at 8EAST 2-3:30 pm


Aquiles Navarro is a New York-based trumpeter, composer and DJ of Panamanian heritage. He is also the CEO & Founder of River Down Records, a label that focuses on documenting and expanding the creative sounds and minds of Panamá. Aquiles derives his sounds from folkloric music, salsa, reggae and everything that were around. This eclectic music background, based on his upbringing in Panama has led him to collaborate with folkloric musicians, dancers, visual artists, actors, poets and really the world around him. Navarro is a part of the liberation-oriented free jazz collective, Irreversible Entanglements. After their highly acclaimed self-titled debut album on International Anthem, Who Sent You? was released on March 20th 2020, creating a wave amongst the music world giving a voice to the times we are living in. Navarro also has a duo project with Brooklyn-based drummer Tcheser Holmes. The duo, entitled Heritage of the Invisible, merges each members music and life background through in real time improvisations.



Sunday March 5 - Jasper Stadhouders

at 8EAST 2-3:30 pm


Jasper Stadhouders is the unrepentant guitarist/bassist of Amsterdam’s wildly improvisational and wonderfully confrontational Cactus Truck. He plays guitar, bass and mandolin in bands such as PolyBand, Blood Cloud, Spinifex, Made to Break, Shelter, Balconies, Bazooka, Bacchanalia, Practical Music, CP Unit, Christian Marien Quartett & so many more. He's described as an improviser, composer, band leader and concert organizer. Jasper is also a part of Amsterdam based musician's collective Stichting Doek. He can be heard on over 30 releases on labels such as Trost, Not Two, TryTone and Audiographic. Listen to Jasper's latest tracks on Soundcloud.





Roberts Creek Community Hall