USA/Austin, TX: A Tribute to Carla Bley

Carla Bley Tribute
February 8, 2024
8:30 pm
Soundspace at Cap’t Quacks
5326 Menchaca Rd
Austin TX 78745


Carl Michel and friends will pay tribute to the late iconic jazz composer/arranger/pianist Carla Bley this February in Austin, Texas.
Bley’s Biographer Amy C. Beal described Bley’s music as “vernacular yet sophisticated, appealing yet cryptic, joyous and mournful, silly and serious at the same time.”
Founder of the Jazz Composers Guild in New York during the 60’s, whose members included Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Paul Bley and Archie Shepp, by the late 60’s Bley’s music was featured on, “A Genuine Tong Funeral” by Gary Burton and her highly acclaimed “Escalator Over The Hill” won a Grand Prix du Disque, France’s most prestigious award for a musical recording.
In 1972, Bley received a Guggenheim fellowship for composition.
Along with Michael Mantler, Carla formed the record label JCOA, later Watt Works. As a leader, she released over two dozen albums. Ms. Bley was recognized as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2015.
Carla Bley passed away on October 17, 2023.

Musicians featured in the upcoming tribute include
Carl Michel, guitar
Alex Coke, saxophone and flutes
Ken George, trombone
Carolyn Trowbridge, vibes
Tex Vortexx, bass
Masumi Jones, drums


With a distinctive sound and an inclination toward experimentation, Alex Coke exemplifies the traditions pioneered by fellow Texas tenors and jazz flutists, while expanding the possibilities of extended technique. Coke’s extensive discography includes his many projects and his work as a featured soloist with The Austin Jazz Workshop, Greezy Wheels, White Denim, Maryann Price, Accra Trane Station, KlezEdge, Reeds and Deeds, and many, many others.

Guitarist/composer/arranger Carl Michel was a co-leader of the Creative Opportunity Orchestra with the innovative vocalist, Tina Marsh. He has released several projects under the Play On Records label including “Food Of Love,” ”The Carl Michel Group,” “The Carl Michel Group (+),” “Music In Motian: (The Compositions Of Paul Motian)” and with the Alex Coke & Carl Michel Sextet, “The Emissary” and “Emergence”

Trombone was always Ken George’s first love musically. (During and) After graduating from the University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band, Ken played with the greats ; Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Ray Charles, Ray Price, and yes, Elvis. Ken was also active in the Dallas recording industry, playing hundreds of jingles and albums over many years.
Even though he had a career in the investment industry, and is today the owner of a digital marketing agency, Ken remains active in the jazz scene, playing with two bands in the DFW area, two more in Austin, and on call for other trombonists in both cities.
Ken lives in Ft Worth with his wife, Angela, and their two dogs, Frazier and Miles.

Carolyn Trowbridge is an Austin-based percussionist who specializes in vibraphone, marimba, steel pan, and world percussion. Carolyn is also an active recording artist and collaborator, performing with live DJs and bands such as Star Parks, Grammy-winning artist Adrian Quesada, Hard Proof, The Azmaris, Simon Says, The Baffles, KP and the Boom Boom, rrunnerrss and The Alex Coke/Carl Michel Sextet. She also leads her own project, Found Memories.

Masumi Jones moved to the US from Japan to study at Berklee College of Music in 1995. In 2008, she settled in Austin TX. Since then she has been playing with many Austin bands such as the Rich Harney Trio, Alex Coke Quartet, Mitch Watkins Trio, Jitterbug Vipers, Sarah Sharp, 35mm, Austin Jazz Workshop, Tapestry Tap Dance Company, and many others.
Masumi’s own group ‘Masumi and the Gentlemen’ had a weekly residency at Lamberts BBQ downtown from 2011 up until 2017 and had live streaming shows weekly at Lunch with Masumi website.
Her Japanese piano trio G.G. (former Groovin’ Girls in 90’s in Boston) was featured in the short documentary film ‘Jazz Abroad’ in 2016, and on the NPR Live Sessions ‘Love Austin Music Profile’ on March 2020.

USA: Alex Coke Carl Michel Sextet CD Release

Alex Coke -Carl Michel Sextet CD Release”EMERGENCE”

 THURSDAY April 20, 2023 8:30pm Soundspace at Captain Quack’s 5326 Menchaca Austin TX 78745



Join the Alex Coke & Carl Michel Sextet in a concert at Quack’s SOUNDSPACE rolling out the welcome mat for their second CD, Emergence. A journey of musical colours and textures from many genres of music, Emergence showcases this Austin supergroup’s creative and dynamic talents,  exploring a unique combination of instruments, exciting original compositions,  and new arrangements from a broad palette of influences.

 The Alex Coke Carl Michel Sextet Features:

Alex Coke (Sax/Flutes)

Carl Michel (Guitar) 

 Elaine Barber (Concert Harp) 

Bob Hoffnar (Pedal Steel) 

Carolyn Trowbridge (Vibes) 

 Dr. James Suter (Bass) 

Coke Michel Sextet in Concert Thu, June 9, 2022, Austin, TX

Coke Michel Sextet in Concert

 Performing compelling music with origins in jazz, classical, folk, extended technique, and improvisation, The Alex Coke Carl Michel Sextet features musician/composers Alex Coke on woodwinds and guitarist Carl Michel. Together with Austin Symphony’s principal harpist Elaine Barber, Liminal Sound Series producer Bob Hoffnar on pedal steel, first call jazz bassist Dr. James Suter, and talented Austin percussionist Carolyn Trowbridge on vibes, the sextet will perform at the Draylen Mason Studio at KMFA on Thursday June 9, 2022 at 7:30pm.

This unique ensemble is an outgrowth of Coke and Barber’s popular weekly Driveway Concert Series that ran from April 2020 through June 2021 in response to music gigs and gatherings being curtailed as a result of the pandemic. The duo performed outdoors, socially distanced, with each member of the sextet individually in turn, appearing as special guests. Playing music as a gift to their local neighborhood at first, the project took shape as the possibilities for meetings indoors returned.

The Monday night concerts made way for rehearsals, new composition, and the formation of an unusual and very accomplished performing and recording ensemble. They released their first CD together, The Emissary, in October 2021 to good reviews and now a year after the final driveway concert, a second CD is in the works.

As a founding member of the Creative Opportunity Orchestra with many projects and recordings to his credit, Emmy Award winning composer Carl Michel had this to say : “The 6tet is a welcomed opportunity to work again with my friend Alex Coke. The “driveway concerts,” that were presented by Elaine Barber and Alex to their neighborhood, provided a way to collaborate with other musicians over the course of the pandemic shutdown. That process initiated the formation of the 6tet, a unique collaboration of instruments with some great musicians. This collaboration has opened up my palette in composition and arranging for these individuals.”

For the upcoming performance and live recording, works will include new arrangements of music by Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Valentyn Silvestrov, and Paul Motian with some new compositions by Coke and Michel in the mix .

One of the first jazz ensembles to perform at KMFA’s Draylen Mason Studio, the concert on June 9 is for an all ages audience. Presale Tickets are on sale now and will also be available at the door.


For more info and sound samples please visit:

This performance is made possible in part thanks to The Liminal Sound Series, dedicated to the commissioning of new works and collaborations between visionary composers and Austin, TX. based musicians and performers.

“They can drift with meditative beauty or roar with passion… their collective sound lingers in the memory.” – Jerome Wilson on The Emissary at All About Jazz