Dan Blacksberg presents
A monthly series of acoustic-ish Improvised and creative music

Encounter 2:
Dan Blacksberg/Max Johnson Duo (trombone & bass)
Veronica MJ & Matt Engle (voice/viola & bass)

Sunday, November 19
$5 – $15 donation, NOTA

Click here for advance tickets!

West Philly trombonist Dan Blacksberg presents a Sunday evening series of experimental music to get you energized for your week! Dan brings together musicians from across Philly’s musical spectrum and beyond for new improvised Encounters in Studio 34’s comfy and intimate space. Bring your ears and settle down into a couch and experience the exciting unknown of the music, anchored by the expansive dexterity of Blacksberg’s trombone.

ENCOUNTER 2 brings Brooklyn-based bassist Max Johnson down to duet with Dan. Max and Dan have been solidly in each other’s orbits across many musical subcultures for years, and they’ll finally collide for the first time at this improvised performance! Philly stalwarts Veronica MJ and Matt Engle will open with a set drawn from their shared multifaceted musical lives.


Described as “an intrepid composer, architect of sound and beast of the bass…” (Brad Cohan, NYC Jazz Record) composer, bassist, and improviser Max Johnson creates complex worlds of sound, challenging his listeners to engage deeply and be rewarded with an experience always crafted with love, care, and clarity. With fourteen albums and over two thousand concerts internationally with artists like Anthony Braxton, Mary Halvorson, Ingrid Laubrock, David Grisman, Tyshawn Sorey, Henry Grimes, Sam Bush, Mark Dresser, John Zorn, Nels Cline, William Parker, and Mivos Quartet, Johnson brings a wild energy and excitement. He has been commissioned by the Jerome Foundation, Society of Composers Inc, Steven R. Gerber Trust, University of Glasgow; been featured on over fifty albums; and can be heard in Spike Lee’s Academy Award winning film, “The BlacKkKlansman”. Max Johnson currently teaches at Brooklyn College, is pursuing his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, and is the father to a beautiful chihuahua named Gabby.

Matt Engle grew up in the Philadelphia area and has been an active member of the creative and improvised music scene for 20 years. He has contributed to many varying musical situations and has previously performed with Dan Blacksberg, Bobby Zankel, Sonic Liberation Front, Bird Fly Yellow, Shot By Shot, The Scriptors, Yapp, Split Red, Dave Liebman, Tim Young, Marshall Allen, Watson, Roberto Pace, Sam Newsome, Rick Iannacone, Jaimie Branch, Elliot Levin, Anthony Pirog, Raymond King, David Middleton, Vince Johnson, Veronica MJ, Muhammad Ali, Oliver Lake, Seth Meicht, Tim Berne, Jack Wright, Thurman Barker, and Brandon Seabrook among many others.

Veronica MJ is a musician, educator, DJ, and cultural producer based in Philadelphia. She is drawn to sound at the intersection of improvisational, experimental, and traditional practices; has a passion for creating and realizing diverse and community-based artistic experiences; and is an active member of the avant-garde music scene. As a teaching artist and educator, Veronica brings her passion for chamber music, nurturing creativity, and de-colonizing the formal institution of classical music to her teaching philosophy.

Appearing everywhere from West Philly basements to Carnegie Hall, trombonist, composer, and educator Dan Blacksberg connects people, sounds, and cultures in respectful and vitalizing ways. Acknowledged as the foremost practitioner of klezmer trombone and a respected voice in jazz & experimental music, Dan creates music inside and outside known genres, from danceable klezmer melodies on Radiant Others, to classic free-jazz inflected blasts with the Dan Blacksberg Trio, to genre-busting projects like his Hasidic doom metal band Deveykus. He has performed and recorded with artists such as klezmer masters Elaine Hoffman Watts and Adrienne Cooper, and experimentalists like Anthony Braxton and extreme doom metal band The Body. He also makes the Radiant Others Klezmer Podcast.