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Adieu to champion of improv

Walt Davis packs up for New Zealand


For the last decade, Walt Davis has been quietly enriching the cultural life of Triangle residents--an accusation he would humbly shrug off. Davis, who is moving to New Zealand, headed the Alliance for Improvised Music, organizing scores of free jazz, multimedia and border-crossing events. Metropolitan areas like Chicago, Davis' original home, claim the deepest jazz heritage. But Davis' work made the Triangle a stopping point for traveling tours of the headiest improv--Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Lacy, Georg Graewe among others--and inarguably strengthened the local improv scene.

For Davis' send-off, organizers have put together a free show at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro Friday, Aug. 26 with a roster that reads like a who's who of local improvisers. Many are members of the Micro-East Collective, the large ensemble that participates in AIM events and coordination. Trumpeter Mondre Moffett, newly a Greensboro resident, will lead a group through interpretations of Ornette Coleman numbers and other improvisations. Other performers include oboist Carrie Shull, cellist Chris Eubank, bassoon player Todd Hershberger; Crowmeat Bob, Chuck Johnson, tuba player David Morris and drummer Mike Isenberg. The Unstable Ensemble opens.

The show starts at 8 p.m. and is free.

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