cleo's apartment


Marvin Gaye - Cleo’s Apartment


Mon, June 27, Doors: 8:30 pm - Show: 9:00 pm - 21+ - $5  Artist Websiteexperimental/electro-acoustic/jazzThe Jack Curtis Dubowsky Ensemble is an internationally recognized new music group that combines acoustic instruments, electronic hardware, composed material, and structured improvisation. Hear analog synthesizer treated as a rare and unpredictable performance instrument! The Ensemble’s contemporary electro-acoustic music is performed and recorded live, with no overdubs or sequencing.
also Cleo’s Apartment
Electric Universe feat. Thomas Doggett

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My friend Lauren Hickman made an awesome short film titled Flick. It was a labor of love and my contribution was the saxophone solo in the last song of the film. While the film was in post-production, I received a call from Mike Huss, co-founder of Cleo’s Apartment, and he said “Lauren cued up the final scene and I pushed play for Bronx and your solo lined up perfectly with the action in the film!” The film is now available to watch on YouTube.

This Saturday in Kansas City!

September 9th: Cleo’s Apartment @ The Record Bar in Kansas City.  11pm  

Cleo’s sounds like The Roots meets Beck with Billie Holiday singing.  Really.  Preview the album on iTunes and Amazon.


Cleo’s Apartment is:

Mikiel Williams - Wind Synth, Saxophone, Percussion, Live Synths, flute

Curtis Weis - Keyboards, Key Bass, Guitars, Bass

Rachel Gulick - Vocals, Trumpet, Trombone, Percussion, Flugelhorn

Crystal Fields - Vocals, Percussion

Mike Huss Jr. - Vocals, Synth, Organ, Electric Piano

Tommy Doggett - Saxophone

Mike Woods - Drums


We play after SageNSour and before Nuthatch-47

Show Announcement! June 27 Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines

I’ll be performing with Cleo’s Apartment & Electric Universe on Monday June 27th at the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines.  I’m featured on Cleo’s recent CD: Off At the Shoulders. Here’s the band bio to learn more:

A new breed of Hip-hop/acid jazz from Des Moines, Iowa, Cleo’s Apartment is the house party you never want to leave. With tenants playing turntables, keyboards, and live drums, the Apartment takes cues from Public Enemy, Miles Davis, Portishead, The Roots and everything in between to produce a sound foreign to corn and sure to keep a crowd panting for more.

Listening to Cleo’s is sort of analogous to stumbling upon a basement full of old vinyl. So many rich sounds are available to your ears, and every time you start idly browsing, you hear something you’ve never heard before. Combining elements of soul, hip hop, jazz, rock, and storytelling, Cleo’s is a veritable bottomless pit of potential

Cleo’s has shared the stage with performers like Brother Ali, Digable Planets, Eoto, Rebirth Brass Band, Mike Giles, Maxilla Blue, Roxi Copland, Martin Dosh, Colourmusic, Algernon, Small Sails, The Blend, and Tommy Doggett, to name a few on a substantial list of goods and greats.

Within the first minute of any song, the listener knows they’ve found something intense and different. From track to track, Cleo’s Apartment sends sounds anywhere from sweat-inducing drum and bass grooves to the cool collapse of a Rhodes keyboard. From start to finish, Cleo’s will grab a crowd and not let go until the last record has been scratched.

Also on the bill that night is a group I’m very excited to hear: Jack Curtis Dubowsky Ensemble: (includes links to high res photos)

“redefining musical boundaries” San Francisco Classical Voice 9/1/09

Midwest Tour June 25 – July 6, 2011 Chicago IL, Madison WI, Des Moines IA, Minneapolis MN

Experimental / Electro-acoustic / Contemporary Classical / Avant-Garde / Instrumental Performed and recorded live with no overdubs. Use of hardware electronics only, no software. Similar or comparable to:

Neu!, Toru Takemitsu, Monolake, Cluster, Philip Glass Ensemble, John Zorn, Thomas Adès, The Residents, John Cage, Cabaret Voltaire

The Jack Curtis Dubowsky Ensemble is an internationally recognized new music group that combines acoustic instruments, electronic hardware, composed material, and structured improvisation. Hear analog synthesizer treated as a rare and unpredictable performance instrument! The Ensemble's contemporary electro-acoustic music is performed and recorded live, with no overdubs or sequencing.

The Ensemble has played chamber concert series, new music series, galleries, and alternative performance spaces nationwide, including The Tank (NYC), AS220 (Providence RI), The Lilypad (Cambridge MA), Meridian Gallery (SF), Cafe Du Nord (SF), and Trinity Chamber Concerts (Berkeley).

The Ensemble has presented extensive programs of live music to experimental film. In 2010, the Ensemble attracted global attention with concerts of Depeche Mode’s Violator, performed entirely live, start-to-finish, with a complement of strings arranged by Jack Curtis Dubowsky, to mark the album’s 20th anniversary.

This June the Ensemble releases its third full length album and CD, Jack Curtis Dubowsky Ensemble III. It continues the tradition of a brainy mix of nocturnal ambient tracks, slow jams, and funky krautrock.

The Ensemble features Jack Curtis Dubowsky on Roland Jupiter Six and bass, and Fred Morgan on drums and percussion. Dubowsky and Morgan met at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and have played together as the Ensemble since 2008. Dubowsky has an extensive catalog of concert music distributed online by Sheet Music Plus and Theodore Front Musical Literature, Inc.


New video from Cleo’s Apartment.  This track was recorded last year and the video was made by Mikiel Williams.  Among the 1000 photos, keep your eye out for a bald tenor saxophonist: that’s me!

I just got home. I’m so excited about the movie. I knew that I wouldn’t make it to the meet-and-greet at 10pm because I was scheduled to play a wedding reception until 11pm. The wedding party enjoyed us so much that they offered to pay us more for and extra 45 minutes of music. We said “yes” of course but now I was going to be late. I quickly loaded my gear into my car and then raced over to the theatre. I ran in, saw Lauryn, she told me the movie hadn’t started yet, I sat down and it began. It’s a good film and good story that is assembled and told in a unique way. The song I played on was used for an intense scene. I got chills. It fit perfectly. The surreal part was seeing my name in the credits. So cool. It’s late. I’m tired. I’m proud. I’m going to bed. Good night.

Mark your calendars now for July 14! Des Moines native L.K. Hickman will premiere her much anticipated independent film, “FLICK”, at midnight. This sure to be cult-classic was shot on location in Des Moines and features Iowa’s own Grant Monohon and upcoming talent Nicole Rae. The story centers around young artist Sonny Graves who returns home to his troubled past and hidden habits. The film unfolds over one night. Catalyzed unknowingly by a violet cigarette lighter belonging to an ethereal young woman that enlightens the past and transforms the future.

Come meet the director and some of the cast and crew at a premiere reception at Mar’s Cafe at 10 pm on Saturday, July 14. The film follows at midnight here at the Varsity. Admission is $5.00 and the film is approximately 40 minutes.

The track Bronx by Cleo’s Apartment is featured in the film. Of all of the recordings I’ve done, I’m most proud of Bronx. I recorded it in 2007 and it has appeared on a couple of Cleo’s releases. This is the first song I’ve ever been a part of to appear in a movie. I’m super excited!!!!

  • Listen

2008 mix of Bronx by Cleo’s Apartment. This is the hidden track on their recent release; Off At the Shoulders.

This track and several others were recorded at a townhouse I was living in at the time. Mike Huss would send me tracks and I would add parts and then he would reassemble them. My tenor solo is one take. He removed my delay track and replaced it with a different delay plug-in. He sampled a low note from my solo and used it for the ending: after the breakdown where the acoustic piano enters.