Saxophonist, improviser, and composer Dave Rempis has been an integral part of the thriving Chicago jazz and improvised music scene since 1997. With a background in ethnomusicology and African studies at Northwestern University, including a year spent at the University of Ghana, Rempis burst onto the creative music scene at the age of 22 when he was asked to join the now-legendary Chicago jazz outfit The Vandermark Five. This opportunity catapulted him to notoriety as he began to tour regularly throughout the US and Europe, an active schedule that he still maintains to the present day. At the same time, Rempis began to develop the many Chicago-based groups for which he’s currently known, including The Rempis Percussion Quartet, The Engines, Ballister, Rempis/Abrams/Ra, Wheelhouse, Triage, The Rempis/Rosaly Duo, and The Rempis/Daisy Duo. Other collaborations have included work with Paul Lytton, Fred Anderson, Peter Brötzmann, Hamid Drake, Tomeka Reid, Steve Swell, Elisabeth Harnik, John Tchicai, Roscoe Mitchell, Nate Wooley, Kevin Drumm, Paal Nilssen-Love, Nels Cline, and Joe McPhee. In 2013, he started his own record label, Aerophonic Records, to document this ongoing work. Rempis has been named regularly since 2006 in the annual Downbeat Critics’s Poll as a “rising star” on both alto and baritone saxophone, a category that he won in 2017. He was also the recipient of a Ragdale Fellowship from the Herb Alpert Foundation in 2017, as well as an Individual Artists Program grant from the City of Chicago for his solo project “Lattice.”
"There is nothing traditional about the work of this trio, the lack of rhythm and harmonic support leaves a big space for their ideas to grow. -Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz Blog"
"They play with spontaneous sonic searches, exploring their instruments' timbres, colors and shifting dynamics with commanding reserve and respectful interplay. -Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz"
Early Bird Gets
"By expanding his pool of collaborative constellations, Chicago reedist Dave Rempis has found a variety of contexts in which to explore his fiery improvisational aesthetic. And there’s no shortage of heat produced on The Early Bird Gets, his first recording with the trio of New York bassist Brandon Lopez and Chicago percussionist Ryan Packard. -Peter Margasak, Down Beat"
"The intensity comes not from volume, but from the intricate combination of tempos, configurations, and evolving motifs. -Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz Blog"
Hit The Ground Running
"Each player is allowed to express where they are now in their jazz thinking but still have the foresight and self control to propel the track and calm the track whenever it is needed. -Philip Coombs, Free Jazz Blog"
"The eight pieces blend together so that it’s almost impossible to separate them, not unlike the empathetic interplay between Rempis’ horn, Reid’s cello, and Abrams’ bass. -Andy Beta, Pitchfork"
"Much of the time it's a three way enterprise, illuminated by inventive passages like the knotty interplay between circular-breathed alto, clanking percussion and scuttling guitar on "IIOII." -John Sharpe, All About Jazz"
Let the World Cry (Duets)
"Featuring duets with Shaine Scarminach, Eugene Chadbourne, Dave Rempis, and Fred Lonberg-Holm"
Silke Eberhard, Dave Rempis, Kent Kessler & Mike Reed
""This set was a particular highlight of the event, with the longstanding connections between the three Chicagoans providing the perfect springboard for Eberhard to bounce off. As a front line, she and Rempis proved to be completely simpatico - knowing how to lay back, how to tease interweaving lines from one another, and how to dive in on a full-on burn when needed. And Kessler and Reed as always prove to be the perfect accompanists." -Aerophonic Records"
"The music was recorded in a 12,000-square foot abandoned munitions bunker situated in the northeast corner of San Francisco Bay. The unique space created a natural (and unalterable) reverb which the players had to factor into their performance. -Mark Corroto, All About Jazz"