New Music at Silas Marder

A four-concert series organized by Peter Watrous will launch tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Silas Marder Gallery in Bridgehampton
Jeremy Gustin, left, and Will Graefe — the Brooklyn duo known as Star Rover — take John Fahey’s guitar playing as the launching pad for original compositions that defy the conventions of jazz. Below, Anna Webber, whose quartet will wind up the series at Marders on Aug. 28.

“Two Duets, a Quartet, and a Sextet,” a four-concert series organized by Peter Watrous, a jazz guitarist and former jazz critic for The New York Times, and Noah Garabedian, a composer and bass player, will launch tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Silas Marder Gallery in Bridgehampton with Kristin Slipp and Dov Manski. The programs will take place outdoors.

Ms. Slipp, a vocalist, improviser, and composer, and Mr. Manski, a pianist and composer, take an unorthodox approach to familiar jazz standards, avoiding conventions and incorporating improvisational ideas and textures.

The idea behind the series, said Mr. Watrous, “is to be able to use people who are going beyond the norms of jazz in form and style, instead of having a series of music that would be ‘average.’ ” The genesis of the program was an exhibition at the gallery last summer of work by Louise Eastman, Mr. Watrous’s companion.

“Louise and I thought it would be nice to have music at the opening, so I brought my trio from New York, and we played.” Jess Frost, the gallery’s director, liked the music. “What she appreciated was that the music wasn’t hidebound. I suggested a series of concerts by younger musicians, and she was really enthusiastic.” Mr. Watrous proposed the groups, Ms. Frost vetted them and decided what she wanted.

According to Mr. Watrous, who left The Times in 2000 after almost 15 years there, “Everybody in this series is in their 20s, and they’ve all gone to school for jazz because jazz is, I think, the smartest pedagogy available for learning how to be a musician. But they’re also interested in all different types of music, and that feeds into what they’re doing.”

Next up will be Star Rover — Will Graefe on guitar and Jeremy Gustin on drums — who “specialize in an alluring sort of pastoral punk that suggests a collaboration between Deerhoof and John Fahey,” according to Time Out New York. The duo will perform on July 24.

Mr. Garabedian’s Big Butter and the Egg Men Sextet, scheduled for Aug. 14, is made up of musicians who are friends and have been playing together for years. “I wanted to create a band where the musicians could all comp for each other,” he has said, “without a traditional choral instrument. Having a band that can potentially go from being an entire sextet improvising together, to a small duo or trio, was a very exciting prospect for me.”

The series will conclude on Aug. 28 with a performance by the Anna Webber Quartet. Ms. Webber, who is also a member of Big Butter and the Egg Men, is a saxophonist and flutist who, like most of the musicians in the series, is an integral part of the Brooklyn avant-garde jazz scene.

All programs start at 7. “It’s especially rare to find a private venue that’s willing to pay the musicians and not charge the audience,” said Mr. Watrous.