Montauk Project is an improvised percussion/woodwinds duo featuring Milwaukee-based musicians and educators Jake Polancich (drums/percussion/bassoon/guitar) and Ryan Meisel (saxophones, flutes/processors). The project was formed in late 2012 in an effort to explore extreme improvisational opportunities and original music that couldn’t be duplicated in a larger ensemble. Montauk Project continues to serve an artistic longing to react musically to an array of occurrences in our world…good, evil, and everything in between. With this project, the music goes where it needs to. There is an intentional transparency to Montauk Project compositions; allowing the music to breathe, morph, flex, and maneuver. The duo is joined by dancers Elisabeth O’Keefe-Roskopf and Katharina Abderholden as they explore movement through improvisation and sound. “Più mosso” is the Italian musical term that translates to “more motion.”
Jake and Ryan share a musical bond formed after many years playing together in the RM Quartet and Jake’s trio Sincerely, Linus. Coming together earlier last decade, they have found a musical language within their work. Both being music educators, they are able to relate their music to real life concepts making their music accessible to all ages, and variations of listeners.
A musician and educator based in the Milwaukee area, Jake Polancich is the director of bands and music teacher leader at Arrowhead High School (Hartland, WI) where he oversees all aspects of the program including 4 concert bands, 2 jazz ensembles, marching band, percussion ensemble, and teaches Music Theory. As a drummer and percussionist, his most recent projects include performance/recording dates with the Ryan Meisel QuArtet, Montauk Project, and his newest project Sincerely, Linus. He has performed and recorded with numerous bands and ensembles throughout the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Italy, and the Republic of China. He continues to serve as a performer, conductor, presenter and adjudicator for various festivals and concerts. Jake is a proud endorser of DREAM Cymbals and Pork Pie Drums. For more information, follow Jake on Twitter @jpolancich or visit www.jpomusic.com
Madison & Milwaukee Wisconsin have a long tradition of providing the incubation for many of the midwest’s best creative musicians! From the swing days of Chuck Hedges and Al Jarreau, to the avant-garde musicians like Roscoe Mitchell and Hanah Jon Taylor. Ryan Meisel is an up-and-coming lion of Wisconsin jazzmen who performs at the best jazz festivals and venues in the area. Ryan’s group features music from his prolific compositional pen inspired by many great jazzmen including Chicago’s Fred Anderson and Von Freeman as well as classic John Coltrane, Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon!
Ryan is a musician, educator, and composer. Ryan grew up outside of Milwaukee and honed his jazz skills under the tutelage of legendary bassist Richard Davis at the UW Madison and master jazz educators Ron Carter and Rodrigo Villanueva at Northern Illinois University. Ryan has frequented the many jam sessions in Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee and currently imparts that knowledge to his students as a teacher in the public schools. He strives to share music that is original, unifying among musicians, and uplifting for audiences. For more information, visit www.meiselmusic.net
Elisabeth Roskopf’s passion for dance began at age 6 and she has been dancing ever since. She graduated with a BA in Piano and a minor in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2011. She is a company member with Li Chiao-Ping Dance in Madison, Wisconsin as well as a guest artist with Danceworks Performance Company, Wild Space Dance Company, Montauk Project, and an alumna of Catey Ott Dance Collective all in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since the Spring of 2014, Elisabeth has been performing in the Lake Arts Project, directed by Jennifer Miller and Karl von Rabenau of the Milwaukee Ballet. Beginning in the Fall of 2015, and still ongoing, she choreographed and performed her solo works for MKE Follies and with Danceworks DanceLAB Get It Out There concert series. In addition to her performing, she is also a dance teacher and a choreographer in the Greater Milwaukee area.
Katharina began dancing at the age of 14 when she attended several ballet intensive programs. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for four years where she focused her studies on contemporary dance technique and choreography. While attending the university, Katharina was able to perform in works choreographed by Mark Morris, Arnie Zane, and Colleen Thomas. Professionally Katharina worked with Danceworks Milwaukee (USA), Le Marchepied (CH), and projects created by Stephen Kowplowitz(USA) and Cie Utilité Publique(CH). For more information, https://katharinaabderholden.wordpress.com/