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Stirrup is Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nick Macri and Charles Rumback. The three first played together as “the shimmering rhythm section of the Horse’s Ha,” (Time Out Chicago) and decided to form their own trio in 2009 to explore deep grooves, moody harmonies, and extended structures. A true collective, all three write and arrange for the band with influences as varied as the list of bands and musicians Stirrup’s members have worked with, including Ken Vandermark, Mark Eitzel, Wilco, Via Tania, Anthony Braxton, Nina Nastasia, Hector Zazou, Jeremy Enigk, L’Altra, Boxhead Ensemble, Peter Brötzmann, and Laetitia Sadier (of Stereolab).
Fred Lonberg-Holm enjoys working with a wide variety of musicians in as many situations as possible. In addition to Stirrup, current and ongoing projects include Seval, Friction Brothers (with Michaels Colligan and Zerang), The Valentine Trio, The Boxhead Ensemble, ADA trio (with Brötzmann and Nilssen-Love), VCDC, Fast Citizens, Ballister, The Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Joe McPhee’s Survival Unit III, as well as numerous one-off projects. Improvisors he has worked with include Clare Cooper, Charlotte Hug, Andrea Neumann, Sofia Jernberg, Shelly Hirsch, Tomeka Reid, Michiyo Yagi, Carrie Shull, Carrie Biolo, Birgitte Uhler, Rachel Wadham, Mary Halvorson, Joelle Leandre, Joanne Powers, Zeena Parkins, Judy Dunaway, Lotte Anker, Katherine Young, Jessica Pavone as well as a number of guys. He also leads a revolving cast large ensembles under the name Lightbox Orchestra. His extensive discography includes free improvised and free jazz recordings as well as new music, pop, rock and noise.
Bassist and Chicago native Nick Macri has careened in and out of various musical situations over the years from creative group settings and notable sideman gigs to theater work and solo excursions. He is/was a contributing member to many groups including instrumental explorers Euphone (Jade Tree) and Heroic Doses (SUB>POP), arty-pop quartet The Zincs (Thrill Jockey), and the pastoral psych-folk of The Horse's Ha. He has performed as a sideman and recorded sessions with a varied list of artists including Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab), Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), Jeremy Enigk (Sunny Day Real Estate), Ken Vandermark, Azita, Bobby Conn, The Lonesome Organist, Wanees Zarour's Middle East Music Ensemble, and Hector Zazou.
Charles Rumback is a figure of the rich and varied Chicago music scene. Born and raised in Kansas, he moved to Chicago to study at the Chicago College of Performing Arts where he received a degree in Jazz Composition. Having co-led groups such as Leaves and Colorlist, he has recorded and toured regularly with projects such as Azita, the Horse's Ha, L'altra and Via Tania. Current projects include Colorlist, Leaf Bird and Stirrup. Charles' playing deals closely with the jazz tradition, yet he has worked closely with artists from a wide variety of backgrounds such as; Jason Ajemian, Asuna, Caroline Davis, Josh Eustis, John Hughes, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Matt Lux, Bill Mackay, Nick Macri, the Medium Necks, Ron Miles, Jeff Parker, Liz Payne, Jason Stein, John Tate and Greg Ward.
"...The trio turned up the volume after that, staking a brisk pulse first behind a sustained guitar solo, then behind sheets of scratch-bowed cello noise. Whether pleasant or abrasive, the set wasn’t divorced from Lonberg-Holm’s signature effect pedal alchemy, often providing timbral contrast to the other acoustics, if not taking center stage entirely, as it did a couple times... Indeed, several of the compositions felt like vignettes capturing the subtle beauty of life’s more ordinary moments; sweet motifs anchored in a strong rhythmic center. That steady backing saved the slower compositions from becoming bits of pastoral ephemera, encapsulating the melodies in a proper contextual mood, and catapulted the more raucous Lonberg-Holm improvisations into near noise rock territory..." — Chicagomusic.org
"...branching out from their duties as the rhythm section of the Horse's Ha to explore more abstract territories. Their sounds are almost always anchored by subtle groove patterns and pulsing ostinatos, which are layered over with drawn out melodies and accumulations of electronic noises. Both their compositions and improvisational sensibilities strike a balance between avant garde sounds with a folk-lyricism. " — The Comfort Station
""As its equestrian name would suggest, Stirrup brings together the alternately sturdy and whimsical rhythm section of the Horse's Ha, with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, bassist Nick Macri and drummer Charles Rumback. Expect the trio to cut loose from the Brit folk and Yankee twang of that chamber-pop combo, instead exploring the more introspective corridors of jazz-improv." — TimeOut Chicago