Click on painting to enter....by jack wright, 97.5 oil on canvas, 30in.x 40in., 1997
"Spring Garden Music" began in 1982 as the name Jack Wright gave to a bunch of raucous Philadelphia improvisers with whom he was playing. Some of them lived in a house on Spring Garden Street, which the 40-year-old saxophonist (now 75) had bought it in 1977. It was an uninhabitable shell that he put back into shape, now known as the Spring Garden Music House. SGM also became the label name of his first record and subsequent recordings, and then more generally for the adventure of himself and his musical partners. His playing expanded and changed as he criss-crossed North America, and also Europe, adding partners from everywhere, in performances and private sessions. Jack disappeared into the wilds of Colorado for fifteen years (among other things, painting, such as the one above), returned to the East Coast in 2003, and now lives in nearby Easton PA. He has been able to stock the house mostly with improvisers, ready to receive visitors interested in like-minded musical experiences. An earlier generation of these appeared in the Phila. City Paper: The House that Jack Built.
The current improviser residents
of the house are Zach Darrup,
guitar and Asimina Chremos,
dancer; and of course Jack Wright, visiting frequently. Besides these,
improvisers coming to Philadelphia play sessions at the Spring Garden
house on a continuing basis, along the lines of the earlier
No Net weekends. The house has contributed to a growth of activity
in the city. Beginning in 2014 an increasing number of improvisers found
that Philadelphia is a cheap place to live and play. Among them are
Ben Bennett, a regular
at the house, and
Alban Bailly, guitarist and cellist who once lived at the house and
has returned to Philadelphia, with more on the way.