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Lesley Mok/Joy Guidry/Ka Baird - sounds by J.Mordechai
Lesley Mok/Joy Guidry/Ka Baird - sounds by J.Mordechai

Thu, Jun 13


Ki Smith Gallery

Lesley Mok/Joy Guidry/Ka Baird - sounds by J.Mordechai

still/ presents: Lesley Mok/Joy Guidry/Ka Baird - sounds by J.Mordechai at Ki Smith Gallery

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Time & Location

Jun 13, 2024, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Ki Smith Gallery, 170 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002, USA

About the event

Lesley Mok (b. 1994) is a New York City-based percussionist and interdisciplinary artist who works in sound, installation, film, and theater. Interested in the ways social conditions shape our beings, Lesley’s work focuses on overacting humanness to explore ideas about alienness and privilege. Their work draws from queer and feminist art practices, Chinese philosophy, Afro-Cuban musical traditions, futurist perspectives, and ancestral knowledge.

Their ongoing explorations with composition and improvisation are most notably documented in their debut album The Living Collection, which features a ten-piece improvising chamber ensemble. The album, described as “an exquisite and stimulating work” by All About Jazz and “a singularly personal statement” by Jazz Trail Magazine, was named International Debut Album of the Year at the 2024 Deutscher JazzPreis.

In addition to their own practice, Lesley is a part of collaborative ensembles tombstar (Isabel Crespo Pardo, edi kwon, Zekkereya El-magharbel) and vehicle / passenger (Marc Alberto & Florian Herzog). They can also be heard in Myra Melford’s Fire and Water, David Leon: Bird’s Eye, and Anna Webber’s Shimmer Wince.

As a percussionist, Lesley has performed alongside Tomeka Reid, William Parker, Ingrid Laubrock, Mary Malvorson, Kenny Barron, John Patitucci, Cory Smythe, Jen Shyu, Kalia Vandever, Fay Victor, Adam O’Farrill, and others. They have performed throughout the Americas and Europe, including Roulette Intermedium, SF Jazz, Ringling Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Art, Unerhört Festival, Jazzowa Jesien, Cologne Jazz Festival, moers festival, Panama Jazz Festival, and Dominican Republic Jazz Festival.

Radical self-love, compassion, laughter, and the drive to amplify Black artmakers and noisemakers comprise the core of bassoonist and composer Joy Guidry’s work. Their performances have been hailed by The San Diego Tribune as “lyrical and haunting…hair-raising and unsettling.” Joy was born on October 12th, 1995 in Houston, Texas, into a creative family that played a big part in who they’ve become today. A versatile improviser and a composer of experimental, daring new works that embody a deep love of storytelling, Joy’s music channels their inner child in honor of their ancestors and predecessors. In addition, Joy seeks to support, hire, and promote Black artists in every aspect of their practice.

Joy holds a bachelor’s degree in Bassoon Performance from the Peabody Conservatory and a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Mannes School of Music. They have presented their original work at The Kitchen, Redcat, and have collaborated with the Dance Centre Kenya Ballet Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, and Alarm Will Sound. They have been commissioned by The National Sawdust, Long Beach Opera, JACK Quartet, and the I&I Foundation. They have been featured in prestigious festivals, including the La Biennale di Venezia, A’LARME Festival, Cologne Jazz Week, Spoleto Festival USA, and many more. In addition, Joy Guidry is the winner of the 2021 Berlin Prize for Young Artists. Joy Is currently playing on a Heckel Bassoon number 6101.

Ka Baird is a musician, performer, composer and sound designer based in New York City. They are known for their live performances which include extended voice and microphone techniques combined with electronics and psychoacoustic interplay of flutes and other woodwinds. They create a present tense sound with a vigorous, ritualistic delivery that seeks extreme release through physical exertion and psychic extension. They have worked/collaborated with many other musicians, artists, filmmakers and choreographers, both in structured compositions and in their dedicated practice of improvisation and interdisciplinary work.

They are one of the core members of Spires That In The Sunset Rise, founded in Chicago in 2001. Their debut solo album "Sapropelic Pycnic" was released through independent Chicago label Drag City in 2017. Their latest recording "Respires" was released through Brooklyn based imprint RVNG Intl in October 2019. Recent national and international engagements have included performances at Unsound Festival (Krakow, PL), Lampo (Chicago, IL), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL), MoMA PS1 (Queens, NY), Issue Project Room (Brooklyn, NY), The Kitchen (NYC), The Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia, PA), TUSK Festival (Newcastle, UK), Incubate (Tilburg, NL), KRAAK (Brussels, BE), Le Guess Who (Utrecht, NL), and the Festival Of Endless Gratitude (Copenhagen, DK). They have been artist-in-residence at We Jazz Festival (Helsinki, FI), Sonoscopia (Porto, PT), Inkonst (Malmo, SE), Experimental Sound Studio (Chicago, IL), and Pioneer Works (Brooklyn, NY). They have been a recipient of the Foundation of Contemporary Art's Emergency Grant,  a Jerome Foundation Artist-In-Residence at Roulette Intermedium, and is currently a Jerome Hill Artist Fellow through 2023-25.

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