Kaleigh Wilder stands in front of an aesthetically distressed wall holding her saxophone.
Start: September 23, 2022 7:30 p.m.
End: September 23, 2022 9:30 p.m.
Location: Sursa Performance Hall
Contact Details
Nathan Bogert
(765) 285-5432
Kaleigh Wilder is an improviser and sound sculptor. Speaking through the baritone saxophone, her music is born of her embodied experiences of joy, spirituality, childhood trauma, and the prescribed dichotomy of being biracial. Her musical training also mirrors this dichotomy in identity—she is a trained classical musician but also studied jazz, free improvisation, and even went so far as West Africa to study Ghanaian music and dance. With these multitudes, Kaleigh likes to play from what she knows in her body—what her hands, ears, and inner child remember. Using timbral extremes that shift between raw and polished, abrasive and sensitive, discomfort and catharsis, Kaleigh channels her lived experiences into sound to communicate viscerally. She hopes to amplify in the listener their own understanding of music and Self.

Kaleigh leads a baritone saxophone and drum duo with Everett Reid, aka Nova Zaii, that play her original compositions and free improvisations. Their process involves deeply engaged listening, discussion, and ample free play in order to create their sound. She independently released her first album with Everett in December 2021, called Placemaking, and has another project on the way in 2023. She also co-leads a project with Ben Hall that focuses on the transmutation of afro-diasporic music. Kaleigh has performed throughout the US with notable musicians Allison Miller, Ellen Rowe, Ingrid Jensen, Marion Hayden, Regina Carter, Tia Fuller and Tanya Darby. She’s also performed throughout Central Europe, Costa Rica and Ghana. Kaleigh holds a Masters in Improvisation and a Graduate Certificate in World Performance Studies from the University of Michigan and a Bachelors in Music Performance from Ball State University. She currently resides in Detroit, Michigan.

Ben Hall is a composer, writer, and organizer. He was profiled by Fred Moten in the book Black and Blur and has written extensively about the visionary percussionist Milford Graves. He has participated in multiple museum exhibitions including Slow An Alarm Until It's A Tone, a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. He is currently working on a feature length documentary on the drummer Roy Brooks.