Drummer Ken Ollis brings a truly unique perspective to the task of writing and recording an album of improvisatory music. Well versed in a multitude of styles, Ken’s composing and improvising is as informed by rock and salsa music as it is by jazz, modern classical, and avant-garde free improvisation. Ken’s newest record, “Senses Sharpened” is a collection of searing, passionate explorations of highly idiosyncratic compositions which reflect his varied background and resistance to genre categorization. Also bringing their sweeping perspectives to the table are John Savage (flute, alto flute, alto saxophone) and Dan Gaynor (piano), two of Portland’s most accomplished improvisers and working musicians.
Ken has performed extensively throughout the US, Canada, and Europe, and has played with a variety of musicians including: Kenny Werner, Ingrid Jensen, Julian Priester, The Drifters, Bud Shank, John Stowell, Darrell Grant, John Gross, Dan Balmer, Chata Addy, Rob Blakeslee, Rich Halley, Glen Moore, and many others. Most recently, his projects have included work with Dominique Eade, Heather Masse (from The Wailin’ Jennys), Aoife O’Donovan (from Crooked Still), Pepe and The Bottle Blondes, Paxselin Quartet, and several other groups. Ken also regularly performs in collaboration with painters, poets, dancers, and cinematographers. His compositions are featured in the repertoire of the Paxselin Quartet, the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, PDX Ensemble, The Chamber of Commerce, and in his own groups. He currently teaches at Portland State University and George Fox University, and has taught a multitude of clinics throughout the country. Ken holds an M.M. in Jazz Performance.
Ken Ollis, drums, compositions
Dan Gaynor, piano
John Savage, flutes and saxophone