News & Events

Guest Artist Chris Reyman To Improv With IWU Students

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Composer, pianist and accordionist Chris Reyman will perform improvisations with IWU School of Music students on Tuesday, April 10 at 8 p.m. at Westbrook Auditorium in Presser Hall (1210 N. Park St., Bloomington). The event is free and open to the public.

Reyman will perform alongside IWU students: Brigid Broderick ’19 (vocals), Paul Johnson ’19 (piano), Robby Kuntz ’18 (piano and percussion), Genna Simon ’18 (vocals), Jacob Taitel ’18 (tuba) and Minji Will ’19 (vocals).

As a professor, ensemblist, composer and activist, Reyman’s musical career is as varied and versatile as his improvisational music. His work as a pianist and accordionist has been featured on several CDs, including “The First Four Billion Years Are the Hardest” by Michael Meadows and “It’s a Circus Here, Dolores” by Kevin Elloitt. He has composed soundtracks for award-winning short films, such as “The Ocean Maker” and “Undocumented Freedom,” that have been screened at over one hundred film festivals worldwide. Reyman is also a professor of music at the University of Texas at El Paso, and has presented academic research about improvisation in America, Canada and France.

Reyman is a member of KOAN, an improvisational ensemble that integrates music and dance to create an experimental artform that pushes the boundaries of improvisation. Members include jazz musician Erik Unsworth, Grammy-nominee Mack Goldsbury and dancer Sandra Paola López R.

Reyman, along with López, is co-founder of in2improv, an organization that uses improvisation and the performance arts to develop creativity and collaboration in marginalized communities. The program has recently expanded to become The Institute for Improvisation and Social Action (ImprovISA), which focuses its efforts in communities along the U.S.-Mexico border, particularly in major cities such as El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua in Mexico.

By Rachel McCarthy ’21