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Posts Tagged ‘Improvisational Music’


Flyer announcing a show at the Zeitgeist Gallery in Cambridge.  From the Joe Monteiro Video Tape Collection.

Exhibition Location:
 2nd Floor of the Main Library

During the 1990s, the Zeitgeist Gallery was the catalyst for Cambridge’s emerging community of improvisational musicians. Owned by Alan Nidle, the Zeitgeist was located on the corner of Broadway and Norfolk Streets. Friday night concerts called the Playground Series began in 1997. Subconscious Cafe, also held at the Zeitgeist, were curated by Cambridge resident Rob Chalfen.

The scene was thriving and gaining an international reputation.  A dedicated audience would convene weekly to listen to Cambridge-based groups, joined by musicians from all over the world, for intense boundary-pushing concerts.

On April 26, 2002, the Zeitgeist Gallery was destroyed by fire. The Playground and Subconscious Cafe Series moved to various locations in Cambridge and Boston but never regained their popularity.  By 2005, the improvisational music scene in Cambridge began to slow down. The small art galleries and venues were forced to close due to raising rents.

The flyers in this exhibition are from the Joe Monteiro Video Tape Collection.  Monteiro recorded concerts between 2000 and 2005, becoming the unofficial documentarian of the Cambridge area creative music scene.

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