The Program

(Last update: Jan 6th, 2020)

The 16 artists invited to the Monheim Triennale 2020 are developing special programs and exclusive projects in which they can be seen several times in the most diverse constellations. In this way a festival program will be successively developed that presents groundbreaking positions of current improvised, composed and popular music at eye level in a common context.
You can get first insights here. The complete program with the exact dates and times will be published on 02 March 2020.

Sam Amidon, Photo: Frank Schemmann

Sam Amidon

Folk Songs

Sam Amidon_voc, git, bjo
& EOS Chamber Orchestra

Returning to his roots in Vermont and travels to Appalachia, Sam Amidon will perform his distinctive reworkings of traditional American songs - murder ballads, mountain songs and folk hymns - accompanied by a chamber orchestra playing the beautiful and celebrated orchestral arrangements of composer Nico Muhly.

The Following Mountain

Sam Amidon_voc, git, bjo, vl
Stian Westerhus_git
Kris Davis_p
Robert Landfermann_b
Greg Fox_dr

Based on Sam Amidon's 2017 album of the same name, this festival-specific get-together of Triennale musicians fuses Amidon's folk-based songwriting and original composition with expansive improvisation, merging ancient Kentucky melodies with Ornette Coleman & Don Cherry-inspired textures.

Lakecia Benjamin, Photo: Elizabeth Leitzell

Lakecia Benjamin

Soul Shakedown

Lakecia Benjamin_sax
Melodie Nicholson_voc
Devone Allison_keyb
Shelley Spruill_b
Eric Brown_dr
& Special Guests

Ready to join the party? This crew will make you sweat, bringing a super high energy, fun, dancish and grooving show to Monheim mixing it all up - funk, soul, hip hop and a flare of jazz.

Pan Daijing, Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski

Pan Daijing

Untitled, 2020

Continuing with her experimental storytelling through sound and performance, Pan Daijing will present a site-specific composition at Monheim Triennale.

Kris Davis, Photo: Mimi Chakarova

Kris Davis


Kris Davis_p
Mimi Chakarova_film
Ingrid Laubrock_sax
& festival Artists

A brand new collaboration between Kris Davis and Bulgarian filmmaker Mimi Chakarova on a special project - a 45 minute silent film dedicated to social justice set to music by Kris Davis’ compositions played by artists from the festival program.

Kris Davis & Ingrid Laubrock

Kris Davis_p
Ingrid Laubrock_sax
Having collaborated together on many different projects over the years, these both exceptional New York-based musicians have played as a duo constellation since 2013 and released their first duo album in 2019 featuring compositions from both players. Sensitive interplay and instinct for risky exploration in an ultra-modern jazz context allow their compositions to develop completely open to results.

Greg Fox, Photo: Ebru Yildiz

Greg Fox


Greg Fox_dr
Angel Deradoorian_fl, voc
Michael Beharie_git
Justin Frye_b

Expanding Greg Fox‘ solo work on his electroacoustic setup to a live quartet with traditional jazz instruments, this band will take you on a journey through sound, interweaving high energy rhythms with dreamlike soundwaves.

Black Sabbath Cover Band

Greg Fox_dr
Angel Deradoorian_voc
Nick Zinner_git
Mick Barr_git
Brad Truax_b

Having it raw and dirty Greg Fox is paying tribute to his own metal-roots, honoring the legendary rock band with a bunch of great musicians playing their European premiere.

Shabaka Hutchings, Photo: Yvonne Schmedemann

Shabaka Hutchings

Ensemble for Upliftment and Spiritual Unity

Shabaka Hutchings_comp, sax, cl
Siyabonga Mthembu_voc
Mthunzi Mvubu_sax
Theon Cross_tuba
Ariel Zamonsky_b
Gontse Makhene_perc
Eddie Hick_dr
Tumi Mogorosi_dr
Tom Skinner_dr
& EOS Chamber Orchestra

Combine his three groups „Sons of Kemet“, „The Comet Is Coming“ and „Shabaka and the Ancestors“ and throw in the mix a chamber orchestra, Shabaka Hutchings’ dream project is gonna be a world premier and a colorful firework of his creativity.

Shabaka Hutchings & Kris Davis

Shabaka Hutchings_sax
Kris Davis_p

A coming together of old and new world, black and white, man and woman, saxophone and piano, in the most intimate constellation our music can provide.

Sofia Jernberg, Photo: Frank Schemmann

Sofia Jernberg

The Dreams Of Our Future

Sofia Jernberg_comp, voc
Ariadne Greif_voc
Eivind Lønning_tp
Mette Rasmussen_sax
Mats Gustafsson_bar
Eva Lindal_vl
Anna Lindal_vl
Cory Smythe_p
Ole Morten Vågan_b
Raymond Strid_dr
and mixed children choir

A brand new project by Sofia Jernberg putting children’s dreams into lyrics and having them sing these songs together as a choir with music played by a who’s who of the Scandinavian improv scene - commissioned by Monheim Triennale and Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, with support from Arts Council Norway.

Four አራት

Sofia Jernberg_voc
Samuel Yirga_p
Ole Morten Vågan_b
Andreas Werliin_dr

Both grewing up in Ehtiopia, but moving in different genres, the rising star of Ethio-Jazz Samuel Yirga meets vocal techniques virtuoso Sofia Jernberg in their first encounter.

Robert Landfermann, Photo: Frank Schemmann

Robert Landfermann


Robert Landfermann_comp, b
Sebastian Gille_sax
Percy Pursglove_tp
Elias Stemeseder_p
Jozef Dumoulin_rhodes
Kathrin Pechlof_harp
Jonas Burgwinkel_dr
Christian Lillinger_dr

Putting together this band exclusively for the Monheim Triennale Robert Landfermann integrates some of Europe’s best improvisers in a tribute to his birth place along the Rhine River.

Ava Mendoza, Photo: Frank Schemmann

Ava Mendoza

Unnatural Ways

Ava Mendoza_git
Tim Dahl_b
Sam Ospovat_dr

Having developed a deeply personal sound, raw and heavy this Brooklyn based trio pushes the boundaries of written music to put on powerful and unpredictable live shows drawing from their backgrounds in noise rock, free jazz, and metal.

Ava Mendoza & Tatsuya Yoshida

Ava Mendoza_git
Tatsuya Yoshida_dr

A member of the renowned progressive rock duo „Ruins“ and undoubtedly one of the most important drummers to come out of the Japanese avant-rock scene Tatsuya Yoshida has been invited by New Yorks’s guitar wizard Ava Mendoza for their first encounter on stage ever.

Marcus Schmickler, Photo: Albrecht Fuchs

Marcus Schmickler

Entwurf einer Rheinlandschaft

Marcus Schmickler_comp

The Monheim Triennale will open on July 1st 2020 with a commissioned composition by Marcus Schmickler. The composer stages an open air concert on both sides of the Rhine with which he explores the relationship between near and far in music, text and performance. "I am interested in the protagonists' relationship to money, power, love, humanity and ecology, comparable to classical fabrics such as „Faust“ or „Der Ring des Nibelungen“. On the eve of the first edition of the Monheim Triennale, thematic aspects of the entire festival will be prepared in my design of „Entwurf einer Rheinlandschaft“ (Draft of a Rhine River Landscape) and asked as questions to the festival and the citizens of the city.“

Lehn/Schmickler meet Corsano

Marcus Schmickler_computer
Thomas Lehn_synth
Chris Corsano_dr

In this world premiere the pioneering synthesizer-improv duo Lehn/Schmickler meets New York-based Chris Corsano, a meeting of analog and digital sound generators with acoustic drums.

Phillip Sollmann, Photo: Lendita Kashtanjeva

Phillip Sollmann

Modular Organ System

Sound Installation by Phillip Sollmann & Konrad Sprenger

Since 2017 the Berlin musicians and artists Phillip Sollmann and Konrad Sprenger have been developing their "Modular Organ System". As an expansive sculpture and sound installation, it provides an environment that visitors can explore independently. All functional parts of the instrument are visible and can be grasped in their spatial dimensions and pictorial qualities. The Modular Organ System remains in operation for the entire duration of the Triennale, while it alternates between installative and concertante states.

Gegen die Zeit II

Phillip Sollmann_string instruments and live electronic
John Gürtler_blaswandler and live electronic

The Berlin duo Sollmann & Gürtler plays music characterized by implosions and decay. Wind converters, string instruments and live electronics are used. In Monheim they will modulate each other with a feedback system.

Terre Thaemlitz, Photo: Ruthie Singer-Decapite

Terre Thaemlitz

The Laurence Rassel Show

2006, Laurence Rassel and Terre Thaemlitz were commissioned by a German public radio station to produce an electroacoustic radio drama about feminist anonymity, transgendered authorship... and murder. Cancelled due to content issues, Rassel and Thaemlitz self-released the project and have since continued their public conversations in increasingly undocumented and offline settings.

DJ Sprinkles

DJ Sprinkles is the deep house DJ personna of Terre Thaemlitz. Sprinkles is unconcerned with mass appeal, and focusses on sniper-sets aimed at a long gone generation of angry and depressed queer HIV/AIDS activists unafraid to cry on the dancefloor.

Terre Thaemlitz Ambient DJ Set

In addition to her DJ Sprinkles persona, back in 1993 Terre Thaemlitz also frequently DJ'ed at New York's first regular all-ambient party, Electric Lounge Machine. In lieu of her usual long-form audio-video and piano performances at European festivals, Thaemlitz will give a rare ambient DJ performance.

Julia Úlehla, Photo: Santiago de Hoyos

Julia Úlehla


Julia Úlehla_voc
Aram Bajakian_git
Josh Zubot_vl
Peggy Lee_cello
Dylan van der Schyff_dr
James Meger_b
Tyson Naylor_acc, keyb

Paying homage to 100-year-old folksongs from Moravia that were written down by Julia Úlehla’s great-grandfather, this group of Vancouver based improvisors develop their own incredibly intense, touching, stirring, gripping, progressive jazz and post-rock versions of this songs.

Stian Westerhus, Photo: Frank Schemmann

Stian Westerhus

Stian Westerhus & Fennesz

Stian Westerhus_git
Fennesz_git, elec

Imagine two masters of advanced sound creation will meet – in this world premier it happens: Fennesz, a key figure in the electronic world using guitar and computer to create shimmering, swirling electronic sound of enormous range and complex musicality meets Norwegian guitarist Stian Westerhus, who uses his guitar as the source of a whole raft of feedback manipulations and seared amplifier flare-ups to create a floating almost sacral sound.