Sunday, 7. April 2019, 20 h (Saal 1)

Series “Improvisation International”

Tony Oxley (GB/DE) – electronics
Stefan Hölker – percussion

Tony Oxley is famous as a drummer and congenial partner of free jazz legend Cecil Taylor. Less known is his work as an electronic musician, which he presents together with the percussionist Stefan Hölker at exploratorium.

Tony Oxley is one of the style-defining drummers of free improvisation. He became 80 years old last June and has been active as a versatile drummer and percussionist for almost 60 years. Mid-60s, he played together with the guitarist Derek Bailey and bassist Gavin Bryars in the paradigmatic trio Joseph Holbrooke. With Bailey and the saxophonist Evan Parker he founded in 1970 on his initiative the label Incus, on which appeared as a result many of the pioneering albums of free music. Early on he played in Barry Guy’s London Jazz Composers’ Orchestra, and later founded his own major ensemble, the Tony Oxley Celebration Orchestra. In smaller ensembles he often played with pianists such as Howard Riley, Bill Evans, Paul Bley, Pat Thomas, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Fred van Hove or Ulrich Gumpert. Above all, it was free jazz icon Cecil Taylor, whose firm duo partner he became. Their most recent CD Conversations with Tony Oxley, a recording from the Berlin Philharmonic in 2008, landed on the best list 3-2018 of the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (“Price of German Record Critics”). His countless other partners include Anthony Braxton, William Parker, Bill Dixon, Phil Wachsmann, Radu Malfatti, Phil Minton, Tomasz Stanko, Conny and Johannes Bauer, as well as the author of concrete poetry Ernst Jandl.

More unknown, however, is Oxley’s work as an electro-acoustician, with which he began in the mid-70s and which is based on the recording and alienation of sounds. The concert at exploratorium is one of the rare opportunities to experience this part of Oxley’s work live.

Oxley presents his work with samples, CD players and mixing desk in a duo with percussionist Stefan Hölker, with whom he has enjoyed a collaboration that has lasted since the 80s. Hölker played in Oxley’s Celebration Orchestra and Oxley also produced CDs for Hölkers Free Jazz groups. Since then Hölker plays in various ensembles of free music and in jazz groups; he also works regularly as a theater musician at the important Theater am Marienplatz in Krefeld, where he performed works e. g. by John Cage and Mauricio Kagel.

Admission: 12 / 10 / 6 Euro (normal price / reduced / Berlin-Pass)
Reservations at or (030) 84 72 10 52.


Here you find information about our past concerts in 2018 and 2019.