Tune your ear to ‘New Frequencies’ series at McColl Center

Dancer Du Yufang will perform Japanese Butoh-style dance with live accompaniment during the New Frequencies series.
Dancer Du Yufang will perform Japanese Butoh-style dance with live accompaniment during the New Frequencies series. McColl Center for Art + Innovation

The new series at McColl Center for Art + Innovation is titled “New Frequencies.” It might be more accurate to say new infrequencies, though: You’re unlikely to see these events anywhere else that doesn’t involve a long drive, a plane ticket or a trans-Atlantic voyage.

It starts Dec. 11 with a program of short films by Jem Cohen, director of the art-house hit “Museum Hours” and the documentary “Instrument,” a 10-year collaboration with the Washington, D.C., band Fugazi. The shorts to be shown include collaborations with Patti Smith and writer Luc Sante, a portrait of singer-songwriter Elliot Smith and a film with Michael Stipe.

The series renews with nine events February through June at 721 N. Tryon St. It’s a chance to see avant-garde jazz, movies and dance – well, avant-garde for Charlotte.

“We did a short season last fall,” says series organizer Jeff Jackson. “Trumpeter Rob Mazurek’s Black Cube SP (featured) São Paulo Underground, which mixes experimental jazz with traditional Brazilian music and psychedelic electronic music; just before they played here, they got a rave in the New York Times. We showed animation by Janie Geiser; (a Lincoln Center series) put a film by her among top movies of the 2000s.

“We have tried to keep (advance) prices really low: $10 for a band, $5 for a film program. (They’re a bit more at the door.) That lets people take chances on things they don’t know a whole lot about. Though the stuff is cutting edge, we want it to be fun and energize audiences. It’s completely accessible.”

You’ll get details at 704-332-5535 or mccollcenter.org/events. Here’s what’s coming:

Feb. 9: Clarinetist Ben Goldberg, who draws on his Jewish roots and radical versions of Klezmer music to create adventurous chamber jazz.

Feb. 26: The regional premiere of “Daredevils,” a feature by artist Stephanie Barber that debuted in the 2014 New York Film Festival. A writer (Kimsu Theiler) interviews a well-known artist (Flora Coker) and feels reverberations from their discussion throughout her day.

March 4-5: Japanese Butoh-style dance with live accompaniment. Dancer Du Yufang will visit the U.S. through Slippery Rock University; the local Triptych Collective opens the program.

March 22: Films by Chicago writer-director Peter Thompson, including “Lowlands.” His description: “A cinematic essay that moves between chronological and geographical zones and events, including the 1996 trial of a Bosnian Serb for crimes against humanity, the paintings of Johannes Vermeer and the relationships between them.”

April 12: A reading by Ben Marcus, author of “Age of Wire and String” and “The Flame Alphabet” (published by Knopf). This American experimental novelist and story writer, whose work regularly appears in the New Yorker, appears through arrangement with CPCC’s Sensoria Festival.

April 22: The jazz trio Red Space consists of Tim Daisy (percussion), Mars Williams (sax) and Jeb Bishop (trombone).

May 20: A program devoted to experimental filmmaker George Kuchar, who’s known for his outrageous mix of camp, humor and inventiveness.

June 3: Poet Sandra Beasley, an NEA fellow with a new book out from Norton, will read.

June 10: Ghost Trees Big Band, a 13-piece band built around local free jazz duo Ghost Trees and featuring many of the best players on the Charlotte scene. The Chicago duo of Josh Berman and Keefe Jackson will open.

Toppman: 704-358-5232