Piotr Michalowski Ensemble





Piotr Michalowski Ensemble



  • Piotr Michalowski, saxophones and bass clarinet
  • Abby Alwin, cello
  • Mike Khoury, violin and viola
  • Kenn Thomas, piano
  • Joel Peterson, bass
  • David Hurley, drums
  • Ken Kozora, cornet

Event Details

Times and dates of performances are subject to change.

See our Edgefest page for more information about the festival. 

Support for Edgefest is made possible in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.



Piotr Michalowski


Piotr Michalowski plays multiple woodwinds, focusing on bass clarinet as well as the other low clarinets, and on the soprano and sopranino saxophones. He has performed in Paris, Warsaw, Rome, Berkeley, New York,  and other places with musicians such as Vinny Golia, Jon Raskin, Gino Robair, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Jason Kao Hwang, Steve Swell, Ken Filiano or Thollem McDonnas (recording in trio format), in addition to performances with many players on the southeast Michigan improvising scene. Forthcoming recordings include a collection of contra clarinet duets with Jason Alder, another with Polish bass clarinetist Jerzy Mazzoll and a set with Joe McPhee and Andrew Drury recorded last year at Edgefest.

Abby Alwin

Abby Alwin, cellist and improviser, weaves sound inspired from the moment, and generated from the heart. She serves the community as a public-school orchestra director, with a 15-year tenure with the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Alwin is recipient of the 2013 Yale University Distinguished Music Educator Award, recognizing innovative and exemplary pedagogy amongst the best in the United States. Her most recent projects have included collaborations with Detroit composers, improvisors & choreographers, focusing on improvisatory and contemporary idioms as well as the folk traditions of Bulgaria & Greece. She is currently assistant conductor of the Dexter (MI) Community Orchestra.

Mike Khoury

Mike Khoury is an experimental composer, violinist/violist, and improviser deeply influenced by Detroit and Arab-diasporic musical traditions who works as a free improviser and as a member of the Redford Symphony. Working with Palestinian-American choreographer/organizer Leyya Tawil, he has engaged in conversation with traditional folk concerns, political identity and with the Arab avant-garde. As a curator, Khoury has presented the live or recorded music (on his Entropy label and performance space) of Griot Galaxy, Black Merda, Wendell Harrison, Ben Miller and Cary Loren of Destroy All Monsters. This year, Khoury travelled to Beirut to present new compositions.

Kenn Thomas

Pianist and keyboardist Kenn Thomas is a versatile artist who plays in various contexts, from gospel to free improvisation. He is often heard in groups at Trinosophes in Detroit or at Trixie’s Bar in Hamtramck in collaborative groups that feature the area’s leading improvisers, but also playing solo sets or duets, most memorably with bassist William Parker. He has been featured on recordings with his brother, the reed man Oluyemi Thomas, most recently on Positive Knowledge - Edgefest Edition, from the 2009 festival.

Joel Peterson

Bassist/multi-instrumentalist Joel Peterson is well-known in Detroit and beyond, both as an accomplished bass player and as an award-winning new music and classical composer, but also as a tireless promoter of new music, most recently in his new venue Trinosophes, which has quickly become the premier venue for explorative jazz and other music styles in Detroit. He is widely recognized for his work with the Immigrant Suns, Frank Pahl’s Scavenger Quartet, BoxDeserter, Odu Afrobeat Orchestra, and, in the past, in various groups with Faruq Z. Bey. His most recent project is the genre bending quartet Chatoyant in which he plays both bass and fender Rhodes keyboard. Their initial albums Place of Destination and Psychic Hieroglyphs have received critical acclaim.

David Hurley

Drummer and percussionist David Hurley is a recent transplant to the Detroit area from San Diego, CA, where he left a legacy of celebrated groups with recordings in multiple genres of music from free jazz to progressive rock and dub music. His 2008 solo debut Outer Nebula Inner Nebula gets to the heart of Hurley’s intense percussion-based approach to the drum set. His presence on the Detroit scene has fast become familiar through hosting the biweekly Fire Music Mondays series and breakout appearances with the Oluyemi Thomas Quartet, New Olduvai Ensemble featuring Cecil Taylor alumni Elliott Levin and Tom Rollison, and the James Cornish Small Opera at the Strange Beautiful Music Festival. He has performed in groups with Kenn Thomas, Marcus Elliott, Will McEvoy, Ben Willis, Kirsten Karey, Molly Jones, David Shettler, Rafael Statin, Piotr Michalowski, Skeeter Shelton, Alex Harding, Andrew Bishop, Tim Haldeman and many others.

Planning Your Visit

Our historic Kerrytown neighborhood