APPLICATION for Workshop here.


By Jeff Miers, SAMF Executive Director

We know that music-making can be a transformative agent for musicians of all ages. And there is no means of gaining more intimate access to that transformative power than through the spirit-freeing process of improvisation.

SAMF is thrilled to announce that the foundation is teaming with Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center to present Bobby Previte’s Improvisation Workshop in Buffalo between May 4 and May 9, 2024.

Previte, a Western New York native and graduate of the UB School of Music, is a widely celebrated drummer, composer, performer and educator who rose to renown as a seminal figure in the 1980s ‘Downtown Scene’ in New York City.

In addition to his prolific output as a bandleader, Previte has worked with such luminaries as Charlie Hunter,  Stanton Moore, Skerik, Nels Cline, John Medeski, Iggy Pop, Jamie Saft, and Steve Swallow, among dozens of others.

Much of Previte’s genius can be posited to his unerring ability to walk the tightrope between composed, notated music and envelope-pushing improvisation. This ability is a constant in all of Previte’s work, and affords him keen insight into the risks and rewards associated with true in-the-moment improvisation.

SAMF’s sponsorship of Previte’s visit allows the Improvisation Workshop, which will be conducted in-person at Hallwalls in Buffalo, to be presented free of charge to interested participants.

Those participants will work directly with Previte to create group improvisations “structured around, and limited by certain criteria—density, form, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, silence, register, and orchestration,” according to Previte. “In addition, through group improvising, the class will investigate the nature of judgement, emotion, technique, role, and the genesis of the ‘idea germ’  in the making of music.”

The goal for the course, which is open to musicians of all skill levels, age groups and musical proclivities, is for participants to unearth and celebrate their own voice in music. The course is not specific to any genre, and ability to read and write music is not required, nor is previous experience with improvisation.

The course will be conducted over 4 days, on Saturday, May 4, Sunday May 5, Monday May 6, Tuesday May 7, and Wednesday May 8. At the conclusion of the course, participants will each write short “scores for improvisation.” The group will present these scores in an open-to-the-public concert at The Cave on Thursday, May 9th at 7 p.m.


The full schedule for the Workshop is as follows:

Saturday May 4 and Sunday May 5

10:00am-12:30 pm Morning Session

12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch Break

2:00pm-5:30pm Afternoon Session

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday May 6, 7, 8

6:00pm – 9:00pm – Evening Sessions

Thursday Evening, May 9 

Concert at The Cave at 7 p.m.

The on-line application can be found here. NOTE: EXTENDED Deadline for application is April 25, and invited participants will be notified via email shortly thereafter.

Jeff Miers

Author Jeff Miers

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