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Mats Gustafsson & Fred Lonberg-Holm

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  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Fred Lonberg-Holm is a top cellist in creative music, and active in a variety of projects in avant-garde music, experimental rock, and modern composition. He studied cello with Ardyth Alton and Orlando Cole, and composition with Morton Feldman, Anthony Braxton, and Bunita Marcus. The Delaware-born cellist spent part of his childhood in Sweden, and eventually was based out of N.Y.C. for several years, where he performed in and led various ensembles including N.Y.C. projects include his quartet PEEP, Anthony Braxton's Creative Orchestra, John Zorn, God Is My Co-Pilot, and Anthony Coleman's Selfhaters. He has performed throughout North America in theaters, on radio, and on television. As a composer, he has had works commissioned by William Winant, the Schanzer/Speach Duo, Kevin Norton, and more. In the late '90s, Lonberg-Holm relocated to Chicago where he has since become heavily involved in the free music scene. His projects there include the Trio Troppo with drummer Michael Zerang; leading the improvisational Light Box Orchestra and Pillow with Zerang, Liz Payne and Ben Vida of Town and Country, and Michael Colligan who plays, among other instruments, dry ice.

He also performs and records with Ken Vandermark, Jim O'Rourke, and Kevin Drumm, among others, and is a member of the Peter Brötzmann Tentet (a late-'90s all-star cast of top young improvisers, handpicked into one ensemble by fiery saxophonist and free jazz legend Brötzmann), which has albums on Chicago's Okkadisk label. In 1999, Pillow's self-titled debut came out on Boxmedia, and Site Specific, a recording of duos with various artists, was released on the Explain label. The downright accessible Terminal 4 came next in 2001, filled with catchy pop melodies. The next year, a trio recording with Glenn Kotche and Jason Roebke paid tribute to jazz cellist Fred Katz. Roebke joined Terminal 4 for the band's lovely follow-up, When I'm Falling. Lonberg-Holm kept up his active pace, on average performing on more than ten rock, jazz, and avant-garde albums per year, in addition to leading and touring with his own projects.