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Ken Vandermark’s Marker performs at Zeitgeist Jan. 29

The jazz composer leads a live score for La Jetee



The "Filmmakers" section of Ken Vandermark's website contains all the names you might expect on an avant-garde jazzman's inspirational roster — Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, Jean Luc Godard, Stanley Kubrick — and another that fits the profile but whom casual moviegoers may have to Google: Chris Marker. The Rive Gauche New Wave auteur, who died on his 91st birthday in 2012, is best known for 1962's La Jetee ("The Jetty"), a mind-bending, 28-minute "photo novel" in which a man is sent back in time to prevent World War III and instead perishes in front of himself as a child, implanting the traumatic memory that gets him selected for the mission. It's a nifty device that has fittingly repeated itself over and over in filmmaking, but Vandermark is more interested in how it applies to concert performance — "the idea of memory when you're listening and how it does or doesn't affect the perception or understanding of the music," he told DownBeat in August. The reeds master's 2010 album with The Resonance Ensemble, Kafka in Flight, has a track called "Coal Marker (for Chris Marker)," and early last year, with keyboardist/violinist Macie Stewart, guitarists Andrew Clinkman and Steve Marquette and drummer Phil Sudderberg, he formed Marker, whose August residency in Milwaukee closed with a semi-improvised performance of an original La Jetee score timed to visual cues via a stopwatch. That high-wire act is being recreated at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29, at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center. Marker also performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint as part of the fourth annual Instigation Festival, commingling Chicago and New Orleans art ventures at venues across both cities (visit for details). If it feels like you've seen any of this before, maybe it's because you have. Tickets for La Jetee performance $10. Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center, 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., (504) 352-1150;

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