KANKAKEE — “Some might call a lot of what we do ‘free jazz,’” Stefen Robinson, of the jazz band Disorganizer, said.
Robinson, 37, is coming back home to play at Feed Arts & Cultural Center with his band, Disorganizer. A 2000 graduate of Kankakee High School, Robinson moved to Bloomington when he was 19 to study music technology at Illinois State University. In 2005, Robinson moved to Chicago, where he started pursuing music as a career.
“After writing, recording and touring with my avant-garde hiphop duo, Yea Big + Kid Static, for a few years, my partner and I moved back down to Bloomington in 2009, where I went back to Illinois State University to earn a degree in education,” Robinson said.
For the past seven years, Robinson has been working as an educator, teaching sociology and history at Normal Community High School, but he’s still been able to record and perform music with multiple projects such as Yea Big and a meditative-improv trio called Shoshin Trio.
“Disorganizer is my main music project. I love making music with those guys,” Robinson said.
Disorganizer formed a few years ago in Bloomington after Robinson ran into Travis Thacker (saxophone) at an instrument repair shop he owns with his dad.
“I asked him if he wanted to get together to play some music. I was playing the drum set the first time we got together. The second time we got together, he brought Ryan (Nolan) to play bass,” Robinson said. “At that point I asked them if they knew a real drummer. They called Michael (Carlson), and I moved to mandolin.”
“In the beginning, we didn’t intend to get too heavy into writing songs together (because we’re all fairly busy), but we enjoy playing together so much that we couldn’t help ourselves,” Robinson said. “Now we want to write and record and play shows as much as we are able.”
“Our music is instrumental and heavily influenced by jazz, but we are all equally influenced by other genres as well,” Robinson said.
Their performance at Feed, along with AMT Trio’s performance will also act as Disorganziers’s debut record release party and an art exhibition for Thomas Lowery, previously written about by the Daily Journal.
Disorganizer’s new album titled “Dispara,” drops Friday, June 7, and their show Saturday will act as a record release show.
Robinson promises great saxophone and bass guitar playing and amazing drumming on the album.
“Hopefully, people find our record to be high energy, thoughtful and dynamic.”