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 improvisers from Philadelphia with whom he was playing. Some of these musicians lived in a house on Spring Garden Street, which the 40-year-old saxophonist (now 74) had bought it in '77. It was an uninhabitable shell that he put back into shape, now known as the Spring Garden Music House. SGM also became the label 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
are Zach Darrup, guitar;
invented instruments and cello; and
Asimina Chremos, dancer; and of course Jack Wright, visiting frequently.
Besides these, improvisers coming to Philadelphia for gigs 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 Philadelphia
became the home for a large number of improvisers, looking for a cheap
place to live and play. Among them are two percussionists-- Ben
Bennett, a regular at the house, and
Flandrew Fleisenberg. Alban Bailly, guitarist and cellist who once
lived at the house, has returned to Philadelphia, with more on the way.