Best Experimental Music Night

Improvised Music Session at Bar 355

On any given weekend, the small stage at the back of Bar 355 is usually filled with people dancing, but on the first Sunday of every month, it turns into a playground for avant-garde musicians. Local drummer and man-about-town Sam Ospovat started Improvised Music Session last year, enlisting friends and bandmates from Anteater, Beep, Naytronix, Kapowski, and Oakland Active Orchestra, to name a few, to join him in an improvised jam session. He starts off the evening with a set of originals — usually accompanied by regulars Kasey Knudsen, Michael Coleman, and Kim Cass — and then branches off into bop standards and improvised tunes, inviting anyone to play. The jam, which goes late, offers a rare opportunity to watch musicians in their natural state, trying to challenge one another and keep a sometimes-skeptical crowd engaged with the often-strange music.

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