Tone Road Ramblers


Come and join the Tone Road Ramblers for a concert & discussion of improvised music, followed by a Q&A.

This concert is from 5:30-6:30 and is free! Donations will be gratefully accepted to benefit C4A.


The Tone Road Ramblers are:

Morgan Powell ~ Champaign, IL

Ray Sasaki ~ Austin, TX

Eric Mandat ~ Carbondale, IL

Howie Smith ~ Cleveland, OH

Jim Staley ~ New York, NY


Tone Road Ramblers since 1981



Our musical materials are inclusive and diverse: from extended techniques, the use of toys and unusual sound sources, microtonality, from diverse traditions. Jazz and world music and the western avant-garde. These musical traditions are among the points of departure.

The motivation to form and develop this unique ensemble was and remains to find a collaborative music that reaches for a broad range of human experiences and ideas. Our work is the result of an intensive two-week collective residence. It includes rehearsing notated scores, improvising, eating, drinking, laughing, hanging out, and sharing stories and personal histories. The final result is a music of respect, love and exploration.


Tone Road Ramblers gave its first concert in April 1981 in New York City on the Roulette series. Since then the group has concertized over a large part of the USA including New York, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Tampa, Miami, San Francisco, Fresno, San Diego, Chicago, Ann Arbor, Urbana, and Austin. In addition, TRR was invited to present concerts at the International Festivals of New Music in Bucharest, Romania and Latvia during the 1990’s. In 1997, the group performed at Merkin Hall, NYC, and for the International Trombone Festival at Urbana, Illinois. TRR has been recorded on two LP’s and nine CD’s and continues to rehearse at Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, Illinois, each year for the purpose of exploring new ideas for improvisations and compositions.