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Free Improvisation Workshop

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Free Improvisation Workshop

All levels of experience are welcome, whether you (or others) call it music or sound production or noise, whether you (or others) understand what you do or not.


It's a practice centered on mutual close listening, and an opportunity to develop collaborative skills in a non-judgmental context.

Acoustic or electronic instruments, sound sources of any type are appropriate including the voice.

An openness to the moment which is the cutting edge of creativity.

An openness to others (and their input) in the expectation that they will be open to you.


It's not a public performance although the skills we work on can certainly lead to performance.

“Free” improvisation doesn't mean a free-for-all. Think of it as free-spirited with the potential of freeing ourselves from inhibitions, both mental and emotional.

It's not unstructured. We learn to structure our music spontaneously.

It's not jazz, or classical, or any established genre or style of music-making, although all genres and styles are potential sources of inspiration.


Sessions will be organized according to improvisational principles and practices, based on the needs of the participants.

We will include moderated discussions in between the music we make, descriptive of our experiences, without heavy-handed value judgments. This is much easier to do in a workshop situation than after a public performance.

Ideally, each of us leaves the workshop with a sense of what to work on before the next session.


I'm Rick Ollman and I, along with guest improvisers, will lead (or manage or organize) the sessions, but I hope to learn from them, too. I am a multi-instrumentalist with many decades of free improvisational practice. I am a co-founder of Seed Sounds, a free improvisational trio performing monthly at the JGCA.

Anyone may attend one session without participating, but only one.


Saturday mornings 10 am until noon.


The Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts (JGCA)

926 E. Center St.

Milwaukee WI 53212


Suggested donation of $5 (or more) to the JGCA is greatly appreciated.

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