Aropa is a new collaborative project involving some of the top improvisers from Northeast Ohio and Pittsburgh, and featuring Phoenix native Russell Schmidt on piano. Members come from an eclectic mix of musical backgrounds and career experiences, finding common ground in improvised music and jazz traditions. The group is composed of Chris Anderson (trombone), Dan Bruce (guitar), Nathan Douds (drums), Dr. Jason Kush (saxophone), Aidan Plank (bass), and Russel Schmidt (piano).
Aropa performs original compositions drawing from a wide and diverse set of inspirations, employing a broad textural palette and relatable melodic material while maintaining a hint of dissonance and disorder throughout. In performance, members bring a level of risk, immediacy, and spontaneity that goes well beyond the written page.