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Musical Biography

Ike Levin is a multi-reed player who honed his musical skills performing in the blues and jazz clubs of his native Chicago and later as a contributor to the jazz and creative music scene in the San Francisco Bay area.  He studied composition at the Roosevelt University Conservatory of Music and privately with the legendary reed master Joe Daley who helped him establish his technique and post-bop musical roots.  Ike also studied with Fred Anderson one of the co-founders of Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM).  Under his tutelage Ike gained an appreciation for phrasing and use of space as he explored the musical frontiers of improvised music.  Yet, his true musical development came from listening to the many iconic musicians who came through the Chicago jazz venues and by sitting in at the array of jam sessions held throughout the city.  

A number of key musical influences are evident in Ike's approach to his instruments and improvisation. These include John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, Kidd Jordan, and Thelonious Monk.  Other key influences include the works of many of the 20th century orchestral composers such as Bartok, Schoenberg,  Pendercki, Satie, Ligeti, and Boulez. 

Ike has performed across the U.S and Canada at a variety of jazz venues, clubs, and festivals.  He has played and recorded with a host of notable jazz artists including Joel Futterman, with whom he has had a deeply productive 20 year association, Alvin Fielder, Donald Robinson, Kash Killion, Robert Barry, Ronnie Burrage, Reggie Nicholson, Oluyemi Thomas, Igeoma Thomas, Robert Porter, Yancy Taylor, Smiley Winters, Al Criado, Percy Scott, Wilbur Campbell among many others.  Ike also continues to lead a variety of his own small ensembles. 

Ike also co-composed the musical soundtrack for the 2017 independent documentary film Birthright: A War Story that examines the aggressive campaign by states, the courts, and religious doctrine to restrict  women's autonomy over their reproductive health care.  

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