Andrew Raffo Dewar: Bio

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Andrew Raffo Dewar (b. 1975 Rosario, Argentina) is a composer, improviser, woodwind instrumentalist and ethnomusicologist.

Since 1995, he has been active in the music communities of Minneapolis, New Orleans, the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City, performing his work in North America, Southeast Asia and Europe.

Dewar studied with saxophonist/composers Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton and Phillip Greenlief, composer Alvin Lucier, trumpeter/composer Bill Dixon, and multi-instrumentalist improviser Milo Fine. He has also had a long involvement with Indonesian traditional and experimental music, particularly the Minangkabau music of West Sumatra and Central Javanese gamelan.

Dewar has been noted as "having the rare ability to translate his knowledge into something beautiful" (Matthew O'Shannessy, Foxy Digitalis). The 2008 debut recording of his music on Porter Records was described as "a garden of forking paths" (Foxy Digitalis), "absorbing" (Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine) and "evoking something unnatural and plugged-in" (Clifford Allen, Bagatellen). San Francisco's Aquarius Records described the album as "musical rainfall...a swirling soft cloud of free jazz flutter," and "absolutely essential listening for the drone inclined and jazzbos with a thing for far out sounds."

As a composer, his pieces have been performed by the Flux Quartet (NYC), Sekar Anu (Indonesia), the Koto Phase ensemble (USA/Japan) and the XYZ composer collective (NYC). He has received grants from Arts International, Meet The Composer and the Getty Foundation to support his work.

"Though he's a noted composer of chamber music, Dewar's flutters and wails show that he's no slouch when it comes to heavyweight sax playing either" (Clifford Allen, Signal to Noise). As a performer, Dewar has been described as having "complete control of the instrumental nuances," and being "inherently clever [and] intuitively rational," with "uncommon sensitivity" (Massimo Ricci, Temporary Faults). Approaching the soprano saxophone as "a piece of metal capable of making sounds" (Richard Grooms, The Improvisor), Dewar's conception at times "sounds almost electronic in the way it pulsates" (Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, NYC), leading one writer to comment that "you don't have to know what that means to appreciate that this will not be a traditional sax solo" (Flagpole Magazine, Athens, GA).

In addition to leading his own ensembles and performing in collaborative groups with musicians from around the world, he performs with and appears on recordings by the Anthony Braxton 12+1tet and the Bill Dixon Orchestra.

Andrew Raffo Dewar is Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts in New College and the School of Music at the University of Alabama.

As a performer and improviser he has worked with (among many others):

Tetuzi Akiyama, Matt Bauder, Jorge Boehringer, Anthony Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, Eugene Chadbourne, Jonathan Chen, Loren Kiyoshi Dempster, Bill Dixon, Michel Doneda, Bryan Eubanks, Milo Fine, Wolfgang Fuchs, Guillermo Gregorio, Andrew Lafkas, Tatsuya Nakatani, Jessica Pavone, Chad Popple, Gino Robair, Phillip Schulze, Davu Seru, John Shiurba, Aaron Siegel, Alan Silva, LaDonna Smith, Pande Made Sukerta, I. Dewa Nyoman Supenida, A.L. Suwardi, Matthew Welch, Davey Williams, and Jack Wright.

Copyright © 2004-2010 Andrew Raffo Dewar.
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Page last updated May 15th, 2010.