Sans Soleil with William Parker and Lesley Mok
Past event


Sans Soleil is a multi-genre ritual duo focused on deepening Black and Asian American solidarity, created and led by Chris Williams and Patrick Shiroishi. The duo’s REDCAT premiere, Bandung, is an evening-length composition weaving field recordings, pan-Indigenous instrumentation, and free jazz expression, in collaboration with expanded ensemble members William Parker and Lesley Mok. Williams and Shiroishi have taken inspiration from social histories and their personal ancestral history and experiences, diving into cultural themes, as well as political underweavings. Connecting the past with the present while looking into the future, Sans Soleil blends musical genres while continuing to grow their collective voice.

The jazz supergroup of free-improvising heavyweights — Patrick Shiroishi, Jessica Ackerley, Chris Williams, Luke Stewart, and Jason Nazary — veers between frenetic roar and microscopic textures.

Phillippe Roberts, Pitchfork

about the artists

Chris Williams

Chris Williams is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based between NYC and LA and is most at home collaborating with contemporary improvisers and experimentalists. He has toured extensively throughout the US and Europe. His work explores the dyad of ancestral trauma and power existing in all Black Americans. Investigating this has led to the creation of the modular piece I Ain’t Got No Spare (2019), which interweaves performance, homemade electronics, sound, and projection; it was presented at Clockshop with a second installation iteration at Shatto Gallery through CultureHub. Selected recent and upcoming projects include: mehahn a theatrical meditation on grief and hereditary dissonance, created alongside director Natalia Lassalle-Morillo; Sans Soleil, a duo with Patrick Shiroishi out on Astral Spirits (2021); and On the Platform (2020), a collaboration with percussionist Booker Stardrum and animator Miranda Javid, which premiered in the Netherlands at West Den Haag. Williams has received grants and/or been in residence with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Foundation of Contemporary Arts, CultureHub, Atlantic Center for the Arts, WasteLAnd, and others. He has collaborated with creators Eyvind Kang, Joanna Mattrey, Miriam Parker, Patrick Shiroishi, Bennie Maupin, Nicole Mitchell, Fay Victor, Wendy Eisenberg, Luke Stewart, Amanda Beech, Marjani Forte-Saunders, and Eric Revis.

Instagram / Website


Patrick Shiroishi

Patrick Shiroishi is a Japanese American multi-instrumentalist and composer based in Los Angeles who is perhaps best known for his extensive and incredibly intense work with the saxophone. Over the last decade, he has established himself as one of the premier improvising musicians in Los Angeles, playing solo and in numerous collaborative projects. Shiroishi may well be considered a foundational player in the city’s vast musical expanse. Since the release of his 2013 solo debut, Black Sun Sutra, Shiroishi has produced a hefty handful of LPs. Sometimes, his work is sprawling and bizarre. At other times, it’s more subdued. But at the root of all of his endeavors lies strong musical partnerships, resulting in records that capture the freewheeling energy of all the musicians, collectively embracing spontaneity.

Instagram / Website


William Parker

William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City. He has recorded over 150 albums, published six books, and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists. Parker has been called “one of the most inventive bassists/leaders since [Charles] Mingus” and “the creative heir to Jimmy Garrison and Paul Chambers … directly influenced by ’60s avant-gardists, such as Sirone, Henry Grimes, and Alan Silva.” The Village Voice called him “the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time” and Time Out New York named him one of the “50 Greatest New York Musicians of All Time.” Parker’s current active bands include the large-band The Little Huey Creative Orchestra; the Raining on the Moon Sextet; the In Order to Survive Quartet; Stan’s Hat Flapping in the Wind; the Cosmic Mountain Quintet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore; as well as a deep and ongoing solo bass study. His recordings have long been documented by the AUM Fidelity record label and on his own Centering Records, among others. His duo project with Patricia Nicholson Parker, Hope Cries for Justice, combines music, storytelling, poetry, and dance. Over the decades, Parker has developed a reputation as a connector and hub of information concerning the history of creative music, recently culminating in two hefty volumes of interviews, Conversations I and Conversations II, with over 60 avant-garde and creative musicians. He is also the subject of an exhaustive 468-page “sessionography” that documents thousands of performances and recording sessions, a remarkable chronicle of his prolificness as an active artist. He has been a key figure in the New York and European creative music scenes since the 1970s and has worked all over the world. Parker has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Peter Brotzmann, Milford Graves, Peter Kowald, and David S. Ware, among many others.

Instagram / Website


Lesley Mok

Lesley Mok is a percussionist and interdisciplinary artist who works in sound, installation, film, and theater. Interested in the ways social conditions shape our beings, Mok’s work focuses on overacting humanness to explore ideas about alienness and privilege. Their work draws from queer and feminist art practices, Chinese philosophy, Caribbean folkloric musical traditions, futurist perspectives, and ancestral knowledge. Their ongoing explorations with composition and improvisation are most notably documented in their ten-piece improvising chamber ensemble, The Living Collection (American Dreams Records). Other recent works include: stilled leaf-chatter (2022), bird in its chest (2022), pooling light (2021), but I forced to mind my vision of a sky (2020), and she smashed the enclosure (2020).

In addition to their own work, Mok can be heard in Myra Melford’s Fire and Water Quintet, David Leon’s Bird’s Eye, Anna Webber’s Shimmer Wince, the percussion co-operative The Forest, and co-led projects tombstar and vehicle / passenger.

Mok’s work has been recognized by the ASCAP Foundation, Roulette Intermedium, and the Asian American Arts Alliance, and has been performed by International Contemporary Ensemble, Metropolis Ensemble, and JACK Quartet. They have collaborated with Tomeka Reid, Fay Victor, William Parker, Cory Smythe, Jen Shyu, Myra Melford, Isabel Crespo Pardo, edi kwon, Zekkereya El-margharbel, David Leon, Doyeon Kim, Adam O’Farrill, and others.

Instagram / Website