Present Music Celebrates Valentine’s Day with THE AVANT-GARDEN OF LOVE

Milwaukee, WI. [January 8, 2020] – This Valentine’s Day, join Present Music for its love letter to the avant-garde, a recreation of the raucous and dynamic atmosphere of an early Dadaist cabaret with 21st-Century artists. Hear The Avant-Garden of Love on February 13 and 14 at 7:30 pm at the Jan Serr Studio in UWM’s Kenilworth Square East building.

Swedish composer and vocalist Sophie Dunér joins Present Music as a special guest, singing music of Louis “Moondog” Hardin, Charles Mingus, and Ornette Coleman along with her brilliant original music. Rooted in jazz, her work has been described as conveying “seemingly all the desperate fear and unbridled joy of human existence in every extraordinary lyric.”

Little Bang Theory, a toy-instrument group from Ann Arbor, will join PM to premiere a commissioned score to The Love of Zero, a rare French expressionist silent film from 1927 that follows the travails of a lovelorn trombonist. In the unusual configuration of a string septet, Present Music will perform Dobrinka Tabakova’s Such Different Paths, which was nominated for a GRAMMY Award in 2014.
At its most surreal, the concert resembles a three-ring circus of sound poetry, street performance, and a 1960 game show appearance by John Cage, complete with Rube Goldbergian contraptions and a clawfoot bathtub.

These concerts are dedicated to the memory of Arthur Laskin, great patron of the arts in Milwaukee, jazz lover, and ardent supporter of Present Music throughout its history. The concerts are generously sponsored by Jan Serr and John Shannon, and as a tribute to Mr. Laskin, We Six of the Milwaukee Jazz Institute will give a special performance at the post-concert event on Valentine’s Day.

After the Valentine’s Day Concert:
Present Music continues its exploration of love after the concert on February 14 with an interactive cabaret, the Tangled Hearts Soiree, an after-party drag show hosted by Miss Birdee and the triumphant return of local jazz legends We Six. Join the chaos for a Milwaukee-style Cabaret Voltaire! Bring a costume, or create your own alter-ego at the event, and enter a surrealist costume contest. This event features additional performances by Quasimondo Physical Theatre and a curious selection of late-night edibles and libations.

Tickets for the Tangled Hearts Soiree Valentine’s Day event may be purchased as a standalone ticket (for $40/person) or in conjunction with The Avant-Garden of Love concert (at a special rate of $55/person).

Tickets are available for purchase by phone and online, as well as at-the-door the day of the concert. Online ticket sales end 24 hours prior to each concert event. To learn more about these events (and future events), or to purchase tickets, please go to on the web or call 414-271-0711×2.

Sophie Dunér is a singer, composer (& painter) with her roots in jazz. A native of Sweden, she travels and performs internationally as her blend of jazz, world and contemporary classical writing receives demand worldwide – from the infamous CBGB´s in NYC to Buenos Aires Festival de Música Contemporánea de La Plata to Festival O/Modernt in Sweden. Her music may be described as a blend of the romantic and the spiritually elevated with a dissonant, bold and satirical edge, playing with tense colours resolving into romantic harmony or vice versa. With musical roots in jazz, Sophie personally draws inspiration from a variety of composers such as Weill, Monk, Mingus, Henze, Gillespie & Stravinsky.

The Avant-Garden of Love concert is generously sponsored by Jan Serr and John Shannon. Present Music’s season programming is also funded in part by a grant from the Milwaukee Arts Board and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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