Detroit’s Skeeter Shelton + Joel Peterson Duo (aka Spectrum 2) headline a NO WIG Series concert at Filament on Saturday, January 27th. Filament is a new grassroots-oriented performing arts space and listening lounge located within The Vanderelli Room art gallery in Franklinton. Spearheaded by veteran free jazz musician and promoter Gerard Cox, this new space is bringing fresh sounds to the area, especially under the guise of the NO WIG Series. With a title inspired by a Ben Franklin quote, the series will present a range of events focused on free jazz, noise, musique concrete, performance art and other similar styles. Along with the powerful Michigan free jazz duo, the bill also includes a solo set by Caleb Miller on keys, analog synth and reeds and a trio led by fiery saxophonist Hasan Abdur-Razzaq with Mario Bosca on bass and Cox on drums. Doors open at 7:30, music begins around 8pm, the event is BYOB, and admission is $5-10 on a sliding scale. Get ready for “an evening of intense cosmic music,” and stay tuned for more shows at Filament! Keep reading for a bio of Shelton and Peterson.
Spectrum is an ensemble of varying musicians lead by Detroit saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Skeeter C.R. Shelton. In this iteration, Spectrum 2 is a duo with long-time collaborator and fellow Detroit-based creative musician, Joel Peterson.
Spectrum 2 is a unique take on the vanguard jazz of the last century — updated for today, but distinct from the overly cerebral vibe that has come to dominate so much contemporary creative music. Spectrum 2 opts instead to emphasize “the cry” of jazz, along with elements of Detroit-style soul jazz and extended techniques of the avant garde. The roots of this duo go back several years and ensembles; both musicians were mentored by saxophonist Faruq Z. Bey of the legendary group Griot Galaxy, starting at points separated by three decades. Besides performing together with Bey and other members of Detroit’s jazz and creative music scene, Shelton and Peterson have two ensembles with Bay-area pianist Thollem McDonas: Soar Trio and the large band BoxDeserter — both of which have recordings on Edge Tone Records.
The son of drummer and AACM charter-member Ajaramu (formerly Joe Shelton), Skeeter Shelton grew up around many of his father’s bandmates: Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Fred Anderson and, Ajaramu’s long-time love interest, Amina Claudine Meyers. As he got older, Shelton studied with jazz’s first serious harpist, Dorothy Ashby, and legendary organist Lyman Woodard. He’s been a member of Hakim Jami’s Street Band, The Vizitors, The Northwoods Improvisers, Kindred/The Faruq Z. Bey Quartet, The US Army Band and Joe Tex’s group. He has performed with Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake, Han Bennink, and especially fellow wind player Michael Carey; Shelton has also recorded with James Blood Ulmer, Hakim Jami, and Dushun Mosley.
Joel Peterson is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who works in a wide range of musical fields. In jazz and improvised music, he has performed with Han Bennink, Marshall Allen, Kenneth Green, Salim Washington, Elliot Sharp, Jeff Marx, Steve Cohn, Tatsuya Nakatani and Jack Wright. His chamber music has been performed by members of The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The Detroit Opera Theater and New Music Detroit. Peterson has performed folkloric and international music with his group Immigrant Suns, the Nigerian Afrobeat group Odu and in collaboration with various diaspora communities in Detroit, especially Detroit’s large Arabic population. He’s also a founding member of several groups that blur genre lines: Scavenger Quartet (with Frank Pahl), Xen Harmonic Gamelan, Viands and Chatoyant (with James Baljo of Wolf Eyes, Marko Novachcoff and Matthew Smith). Other collaborations include work with Rhys Chatham, Amy Denio, Damo Suzuki, Eugene Chadbourne, Gino Robair and many others.