Past Performing Arts | Music

Zoh Amba + Chris Corsano

Zoh Amba sits in a forest. She wears a yellow and orange paisley-patterned shirt and has short, light brown hair and white skin with freckles.

Two of today’s most exciting musical talents—Zoh Amba on saxophone and Chris Corsano on drums—team up for an evening of ecstatic avant-jazz exploration.

Zoh Amba began playing the saxophone during her middle school days in east Tennessee, where she took to practicing daily in the forest near her home. Amba’s relationship to the instrument initially represented an escape from a deep sadness, which she describes frequently in interviews. Over time it developed into a conduit for the divine—the title of her album Bhakti (2022) means devotion to God—as she views her music and her commitment to the Hindu spiritual discipline of Advaita Vedanta as inexorably linked. Amba’s influences include Albert Ayler and her mentor David Murray, who has praised the young musician’s search for her own voice. John Zorn produced her debut record, O, Sun (2022), for his renowned label Tzadik Records.

For this performance Amba is joined by Chris Corsano, praised as “one of the world’s great drummers” by the Guardian (UK). An upstate New York–based musician who’s been active at the intersections of free jazz, avant-rock, and noise music since the late 1990s, Corsano has worked with everyone from Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Wilco’s Nels Cline to New York saxophonist Paul Flaherty and Björk, who invited Corsano to play on her Volta world tour in 2007–8. Be among the first in the region to see Amba and Corsano unite onstage in fearless pursuit of pure music and collective improvisation. (program approx. 60–75 mins.)

Zoh Amba, courtesy of Heavy Trip.

Know before you go

  • This performance has cabaret-style seating.

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More about the artists

Zoh Amba chevron-down chevron-up

Zoh Amba is a composer, saxophonist, and flutist from Tennessee whose music blends avant-garde approaches and devotional hymns. Amba studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, New England Conservatory, and under the tutelage of New York’s David Murray. Her 2022 record Bhakti features Columbus native Micah Thomas as well as Tyshawn Sorey and Matt Hollenberg. Read more about the artist.

Chris Corsano chevron-down chevron-up

Chris Corsano has bridged the worlds of rock and jazz since the late 1990s, drumming with such bands as Tall Firs and Sunburned Hand of the Man while beginning a long-standing partnership with saxophonist Paul Flaherty. The in-demand drummer has made many musical allies since, including guitaritst Bill Orcutt, who joins Corsano and Amba on the 2023 release The Flower School. In February 2006, Corsano released his first solo recording, The Young Cricketer, and toured Europe, the US, Australia, and Japan. In 2017, he received the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artist Award. Read more about the artist.

Doris Duke Foundation

Ohio Department of Development
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Wexner Family
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Ohio Arts Council
Ohio State’s Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme
The Columbus Foundation
Nationwide Foundation
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease

Mike and Paige Crane
Axium Packaging
Nancy Kramer
Ohio State Energy Partners
Ohio History Fund/Ohio History Connection
Larry and Donna James
Bruce and Joy Soll
Jones Day
Alex and Renée Shumate


Past Performing Arts

Zoh Amba + Chris Corsano