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University of Iowa News Release


March 22, 2007

Cerberus And The Architects Will Present Cutting-Edge Improvisations April 1

Cerberus and the Architects -- two unique ensembles associated with the University of Iowa Division of Performing Arts -- will present "Over the River," an innovative program of improvised music and dance, at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 1, in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

Cerberus, named for the three-headed dog that guards Hades in Greek mythology, is made up of UI School of Music faculty members Jeffrey Agrell, horn; Brent Sandy, trumpet; and John Manning, tuba. In addition to their usual instruments, the members of the group will also play piano and various percussion instruments during the April 1 performance.

Members of the Architects are dancers Jennifer Kayle, Pamela Vail, Katherine Ferrier, and Lisa Gonzales. Kayle is a member of the faculty of the UI Dance Department.

The program will consist of a series of pieces that will be completely improvised at the concert -- both the music and the dance. Agrell said, "This concert represents a unique collaboration between two groups that are on the cutting edge of performance in their own areas, music and dance, now brought together for the first time. The two groups will improvise freely but interdependently; the musicians will reflect in music what they see as well as inventing freely; the dancers will reflect in movement what they hear as well as creating choreography on the spot.

"The title 'Over the River' signifies a reaching out, literally across the Iowa River, of two arts departments that are often separate from each other, but this time work in close collaboration in a performance that is improvised in all respects, he said."

Cerberus was founded at the UI School of Music in 2005, and has given several concerts both on and off campus in the past two years. They will release their first CD, "Side Show Tim," recorded in conjunction with improvising musician and "Soundpainting" inventor Walter Thompson, later this year on Dane Records.

The Architects were born out of collaborations among its four members dating back to the late 1980s. For more than 15 years the Architects have been working collaboratively and independently "to dispel the myth that improvisation is merely doing whatever you want," their Web page proclaims.

"Our compositional research and performance exposes a dialogue between bodies, time and space. ... Recognizing known forms and exploring unfamiliar ones, we compose in the moment. Without the aid of pre-planned structures we make dances; noticing what emerges, making decisions, shaping and structuring as the piece unfolds; choreography without an eraser. What results is a merging of process and product, a revealing of mind and body at work and a celebration of composition."

Learn more about the Architects at

Jennifer Kayle began her movement education as a competitive gymnast and diver. She began her dance career when Vail cast her in a modern dance trio. She later earned her bachelor's dergree in dance and sociology/anthropology from Middlebury College. She began her teaching career at Northfield Mt. Hermon School and went on to teach at Hampshire, Amherst, Keene State and Muhlenberg College.

You may read Kayle's biography at Information is posted on the members of the Architects at

Agrell joined the UI School of Music faculty in 2000 after a 25-year career as associate principal horn in the Lucerne (Switzerland) Symphony. Besides teaching horn, he currently directs the UI Horn Choir, teaches Introduction to Improvisation, and performs with the Iowa Brass Quintet, and the contemporary classical improvising ensembles Duende (horn, cello, piano), and Cerberus. More information:

Sandy, who joined the jazz faculty in 2000, is a jazz trumpet and flugelhorn performer, teacher and clinician. Sandy performs regularly with local and regional jazz groups including the OddBar Trio, the Grismore Scea Group and Equilateral. For more, see:

Manning is a founding member of the Atlantic Brass Quintet, with whom he has toured across the United States and around the world, including performances at the White House, Tanglewood, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and June in Buffalo. An active freelance musician, he has performed with the Boston Symphony, the Empire Brass and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. He joined the UI faculty in 2004. For more information, see:

The School of Music and the Dance Department are units of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Learn more about them at their Web pages, and

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072; cell: 319-541-2846;