Ken Vandermark (USA 1964) is an improvising musician and composer who plays tenor and baritone saxophone, Bb and bass clarinet. He moved to Chicago from Boston in 1989, and has worked from the early 1990s onward, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in an array of contexts with many internationally renowned musicians. His current group activity includes the bands Bent Atlas, Lean Left, The DKV Trio, DEK, his large ensemble Entr’acte, the ongoing Momentum projects; duos with Terrie Ex, Christof Kurzmann, Damon Locks, Paal Nilssen-Love, Mars Williams, and Nate Wooley; and work as a solo performer.
Ken co-founded Catalytic Sound in 2012, an organization dedicated to the economic sustainability of creative improvising musicians and has been its director since then. In 2014 he began Audiographic Records, an independent music label. Since June of 2015 Ken has been co-curator of Option, a music and interview series held at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. Half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, Latin America, and Japan; his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed at home and abroad. In 1999 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in music.