School of Music's Mike Titlebaum improvises with the world's finest at international music festival in NYC


Contributed by Jenny Stockdale

Mike Titlebaum, assistant professor of music performance and director of jazz studies, participated in the recent International Society for Improvised Music's Cross-Cultural Workshop and Performance held in the New York City region from June 29 to July 1.  

Facilitated by York College and The City University of New York (CUNY), with generous support from Arts Council Korea, the event was created to provide exposure to wide-ranging creative strategies and approaches to improvisation pedagogy, as well as to interact with top-level musicians from highly varied backgrounds. 

During the event, Titlebaum performed with world-class improvising musicians from across the U.S., Russia, Siberia, and Korea. During the course of the weekend, Titlebaum played with prominent guest artists Gamin Kang and Hyun-Sik Shin from Korea, Jane Ira Bloom, and Elliott Sharp.  

The workshop culminated with a performance at Roulette –a world-famous venue for experimental music and other arts in Brooklyn, NY.  Here, Titlebaum (saxophone and piccolo) performed with a diverse quartet of musicians including Jin Ji Kim (electric Komungo), Rui Li (flugelhorn and ocarina), and Amanda Schoofs (voice).  

"It was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with a wide range of gifted improvisers,” Titlebaum said of the experience.  “Everyone involved had a truly unique voice in the realm of improvisation, and was interested to meet and collaborate with improvisers with different cultural backgrounds."