Ze Couch was an apartment musical series in Brooklyn, NY, I created in March 2009 and I curated until June 2012.
The idea of doing a house concert series started when I first entered the house I lived in for 2 years in Bushwick in Brooklyn. I saw the livingroom and I immediately thought we could host some concerts over there. At that time also, I was freshly arriving from Paris (France) to NYC and I didn’t have much opportunities to play, so Ze Couch, was an alternative.
The credo of these events was: to hear different kinds of music in an intimate setting and to share this experience with people of various different backgrounds. Guests bring friends and drinks. A suggested donation is requested and all the money goes to the musicians. For each event, we provided food. We were trying to offer an alternative to the regular venues where the deals were pretty bad (no food, no drinks, no advertisement, almost no money, or owner/curator taking a cut on it).
I called the first event of this series “The Couch” to celebrate a couch we found with my housemate Daniele Chicca in Williamsburg and brought home by subway (L train and M train) one night of january 2009. Before the second event started, my friend Jean-Brice Godet from Paris ‘‘frenchisized’’ the name in ‘‘Ze’’ Couch.
I was joined a year and a half later, in october 2010, by Pascal Niggenkemper who helped me curating the series. His enthusiasm and dynamism changed many things! We did Ze Couch every 2 weeks, we organised a few festivals and he brought many new musicians to perform. At the same time, people like Julian Silva and Devlin Goldberg or Luis Ianes and Blandine Le Gall or Daniele Chicca with Cesare Baccheschi and Virna di Schiavi showed their interest in helping us by hosting the event at their place and cooking dinner.
I left NYC in mid-2012 and Ze Couch series kept going in Pascal’s and Sean Ali’s hands until 2015.
I’d like to thank Cesare, Daniele, Banu, Melanie, Pascal & Sofya, Julian & Devlin, Luis & Blandine, Virna and Sean and of course all of the contributing musicians and the audience. Ze Couch was for me a beautiful and important part of my New York experience and I am happy that, in a way, I contributed and brought my part to the New York cultural life for a certain time.
Article about Ze Couch by Patrick Brennan
June 24th @ 533 Ocean ave, 7:30pm
Cyprien Busolini - viola solo (Sciarinno, Ligeti, Mirtru - France).
Parias - guitar duo with Luis Ianes-Silva and Daniel Reyes-Llinas + Caleigh Drane - cello (Argentina/Colombia/USA).
Natura Morta - trio with Sean Ali - contrabass, Carlo Costa - drums & FL - viola (France/Italy/USA).
May 13th @ 533 Ocean Avenue - 7:30pm
Dustin Carlson solo: guitar, voice
Buckminster with Brad Henkel - trumpet, Nathaniel Morgan - alto sax and Peter Hanson - tenor sax, contrabass clarinet, clarinet, flute and euphonium.
April 8th @ 266 St Marks Place - 6pm
Contrabass duo Ken Filiano/Pascal Niggenkemper (Germany/USA).
Chris Otto - composition, violin solo + electronics/tape (USA).
Joe Hertenstein - stone table percussion & James Hurt - circuit bending, feedback (Germany/USA).
March 11th @ 533 Ocean Avenue - 4.30pm
duo Jürg Wickihalder - saxophones & Fabian Gisler - double bass (CH).
duo EMIR à 2 with Emilie Lesbros - voice & Patrice Soletti - guitar (France).
Flin van Hemmen trio with Flin van Hemmen - drums, Joachim Herman - piano and Clemens non Papa - bass (NL).
February 19th @ 266 St. Marks Ave - 4.30pm
Jonas Labhart saxophone solo (CH).
Terry McManus guitar solo (USA).
Cooper-Moore - composer/improviser, instrumentalist, designer and builder of musical instruments (USA).
January 22nd 2012 @ 27 Arion Place
7:30pm - Duo Fung Chern Hwei - violin & Keaton Akins - trumpet (Malaysia/USA).
8:30pm - Duo Josh Deutsch - trumpet & Nico Soffiato - guitar (IT/USA).
9:30pm - Steve Swell trombone solo (USA).
December 11th, 2011 @ 266 St. Marks Ave
7:30pm - Noah Kaplan tenor sax solo (USA).
8:15pm - Jason Kao Hwang - violin/viola solo (USA).
9:00pm - Dan Peck - tuba (USA).
November 13th, 2011 @ 275 Ocean Avenue
7:30pm - PascAli: Sean Ali - prepared double bass & Pascal Niggenkemper - prepared double bass (USA/ Germany).
8:20pm - Josh Sinton - amplified contrabass clarinet (USA).
9pm - Duo Shoko Nagai - piano with Satoshi Takeshi - drums (Japan).
October 23rd, 2011 @ 27 Arion place
8pm - Duo Yoni Kretzmer - tenor sax & Ben Syversen - trumpet (Israel/USA).
8:45pm - Sarah Bernstein - violin & voice (USA).
July 10th, 2011 @ 275 Ocean Ave.
7:30pm - Brad Henkel - trumpet with Owen Stewart-Robertson - guitar, and Erica Dicker - violin (USA).
8:30pm - Dave Miller - drums & Catherine Sikora - tenor/soprano sax (USA/IR).
9:30pm - Nate Wooley trumpet solo (USA).
June 26th, 2011 @ 266 St. Marks Ave
7:30pm - Hugues Vincent cello solo (F).
8.30pm - Fester with Sean Ali - double bass & David Grollman - snare (USA).
May 15th, 2011 @ 275 Ocean ave.
7:30pm - Billy Mintz drums solo (USA)
8:30pm - Fauré piano quartet Nº1 in C minor, Op.15 with:
Leo Adamov - violin, Mario Gotoh - viola, Egil Rostad - cello, Victoria Schwartzman - piano.
9:30pm - Tonino Miano piano solo (IT).
May 1st @ 27 Arion place
7.30pm - Sabir Mateen saxophones, clarinets, flute solo (USA)
8:30pm - Thomas Heberer trumpet solo (Germany)
9.30pm - Brian Questa double bass solo (USA).
ZE COUCH SPRING FESTIVAL!
April 8 & 9 & 10.
April 8th @ 27 arion place with
7.30 pm - Duo Coral L/Chuck Bettis - laptop (CH/USA).
8:30pm - Emilie Lesbros voice solo (F).
9.30pm - Daniel Levin cello solo (USA).
April 9th @ 266 St Marks ave
7.30 pm - Duo Leslie Ross & Sean Meehan (bassoon/snare, USA).
8:30pm - Jeremiah Cymerman clarinet/electronics solo (USA).
9.30pm - Trio Lesbros, Loriot, Niggenkemper (voice, viola, bass, F).
April 10th @ 275 ocean ave
7.30 pm - Margo Grib - voice, violin, oiano and Daniel Carter - saxophones, flute, trumpet, clarinet (USA).
8:30pm - Jean Carla Roda trio with Elena Moon Park - violin, trumpet and vibraphone tba (USA).
- March 27th @ 27 Arion Place.
Folk/Pop night! with:
7:30pm - Harvey Valdes guitar solo.
8:30pm - John Witherow (USA).
- March 13th @ Luis’ place, 266 St. Marks Ave #4.
7:30pm Carlos Cordeiro - clarinet /visuals (Portugal)
8:30pm Trio Baremboim-Ianes-Carmona (Argentina) with:
Ivan Baremboim-reeds, Luis Ianes- guitar, Jeronimo Carmona- double bass.
Blandine Le Gall - photography (F)
- February 20th @ 275 Ocean ave
7:30pm – Joachim Badenhorst clarinet solo (Belgium).
8:30pm – “Imagenes for female voice and electric guitar” Charlotte Mundy – voice & Daniel Reyes Llinas – guitar (Canada/Colombia).
9:30pm – Trio Jaeger-Gisler-Jaeger (CH)
with Michael Jaeger -sax, David Gisler – guitar & Chris Jaeger – drums.
- February 13th @ 687 Bushwick ave.
7:30pm – Duo Rash with Bernd Klug – double bass & Meaghan Burke – cello (Austria/USA).
8:30pm – Robin Verheyen sax solo (Belgium).
- January 30th @ 27 Arion place
7:30pm – Kath Buckell – voice, guitar & Hadar Noiberg – flute (Australia/Israel).
8:30pm – Darius Jones – sax & Ben Gerstein – trombone (USA).
- January 16th @ 275 Ocean ave.
7:30pm – Yukari – flute & Carlo Costa – drums (Japan/IT).
8:30pm – Todd Neufeld – guitar solo (USA).
- December 12th @ 275 Ocean ave.
7:30pm – Jon Goldberger – electric guitar & Juan Pablo Carletti – drums + Mikko Innanen – sax (USA/ARG/Finland).
8:30pm – piano duo, 4 hands of Samuel Barber “souvenirs” with Sofya Melikyan & Haik Arsenyan – piano (Armenia).
- November 28th @ 687 Bushwick ave.
7:30pm – Matthias Erian – electronics (Austria).
8:30pm – Duo Simon Jermyn – bass & Ingrid Laubrock – sax (Irland/Germany).
- November 14th @ 27 Arion place # 416)
7:30pm – Garth Stevenson – double bass (Canada),
8:30pm – Annie (USA).
- ZE COUCH FALL FESTIVAL -
October 22d, 23d & 24th:
22d (687 Bushwick ave, apt 2)
7:30pm – Joachim Junghanss – electronics (Germany).
8:30pm – Jon Irabagon – sax & Mike Pride – drums (USA)
23d (275 Ocean ave, apt 2)
7:30pm – Devin Gray – drums (USA).
8:30pm – Denman Maroney – piano solo (USA).
9:30pm – Adam Matta – beatbox & Nihan Devecioglu – vocal (USA/Turkey).
24th (27 arion place #416 brooklyn)
7:30pm – Chris Hoffman cello solo (USA).
8:30 – Ryan Ferreira guitar solo (USA).
- June 20th – Special Winds.
1)Trio Chris DiMeglio (trumpet)/Ben Gerstein (trombone)/Sandra Weiss (bassoon). USA/CH.
2) Jonathan Moritz (soprano, tenor sax) solo (USA).
3) Joachim Badenhorst (clarinets/tenor sax)/Louise Dam Eckhardt Jenssen (sax) duo (Belgium/Denmark).
- May 23d – Special Percussion night.
1) Juan Pablo Carletti (Argentina) & Pascal Niggenkemper (Germany) : duo Drums & double bass.
2) Mathias Kunzli (CH) solo : percussion
3) Aida Shahghasemi (Iran) solo : Daf
- April 25th – “Strings Evening”
1) Seth Woods solo (cello) – USA
2) Ginko Narayana string trio (FRA-IT)
with : Silvia Tarozzi – violin, FL – viola & Deborah Walker – cello.
3) Pascal Niggenkemper solo (doublebass) – Germany.
- March 28th – “GUITAR EVENING”
1) Ryan Mackstaller solo (guitar) – USA.
2) Daniel Reyes Llinas & Luis Carlos Ianes (guitar) – Colombia/Argentina.
3) Julian Sachs solo (guitar/voice) – USA.
- January the 16th @ 8pm.
1st set : Yukari Watanabe Solo (flutes) – Japan.
2d set : trio James Ilgenfritz (bass), Mikko Innanen (sax) & FL (viola) – USA/Finland/FR.
3d set : Justin Grey (guitar, keyboard, voice) – USA.
- July the 11th @ 8pm.
1st set : Yukari (flute) & Frantz Loriot (viola) – Japan/FR.
2d set : Michael Attias solo (sax) – USA
3d set : Sam Kulik (trombone) & Amie Weiss (violin) – USA
- June the 20th @ 8pm
1st set : Trio with James Ilgenfritz (bass), Ingrid Laubrock (sax), F.L. (viola) – USA/Germany/FR.
Free, improvised music.
2d set : Duo Joachim Badenhorst (clarinets) / Pascal Niggenkemper (bass) – Belgium/Germany.
- April 19th :
1st set : Cesare Baccheschi trio
2d set : Zaha
with Evan Mazunik (conducting), Eric J. Eigner (percussion), Justin Wood (alto sax), Ryan Kotler (bass), Gil Selinger (cello), Jean-Brice Godet (clarinets), FL (viola).
- March 1st :
1st Set : Hora trio + JBG
Evan Mazunik (accordeon), Jay Foote (bass), FL (viola) + Jean-Brice Godet (clarinets) – USA/FR
2d set : Matt Bauer – USA
with the Foote bro.