This event has been canceled for 2020. We are offering Virtual Summertios for 2020 June 21-25

Piano Registration: December 1, 2019

General Registration: January 1, 2020

Summertrios hosts renowned bassist and composer Mark Helias for Improv Across Music. 
Sessions for winds, strings, pianists, composers, and percussionists 

Anyone can improvise! Join expert bassist/composer/educator Mark Helias in an inspiring exploration of ensemble improvisation. Winds, strings, pianists, composers, and percussionists of all levels and musical backgrounds work together in small groups to discover the joy of improvising in a collegial, supportive setting.   


Whether new to improvisation or an expert, Mark tailors the sessions to best meet your needs in a collaborative, fluid, and pro-participation setting. There are no wrong notes.


·       Create/enhance your personal musical vocabulary.

·       Find your individual and ensemble musical voice.

·       Explore basic tenets of individual and ensemble improvisation in small, carefully matched groups.

·       Use active listening and improv to develop a stronger relationship to your fellow players.

·       Overcome the fear of playing without music in guided sessions . Give yourself permission to express yourself!


Return home invigorated and equipped with tools, techniques, and insights to carry you further down your musical path.


Mark Helias is a renowned bassist and composer who has performed throughout the world for more than three decades. After his studies at Rutgers University (B.A. 1974) and The Yale School of Music (M.M. 1976), he began his international career in the Anthony Braxton Quartet. Up to the present time he has performed with a panoply of world-class artists including: Edward Blackwell, Anthony Davis, Dewey Redman, Marcel Khalife, Abbey Lincoln, Oliver Lake, Andrew Cyrille, Marilyn Crispell, Julius Hemphill, Don Byron, Uri Caine, Roswell Rudd, Bobby Bradford, Barry Altschul, Ray Anderson, Jane, Ira Bloom, Don Cherry, David Krakauer, Cecil Taylor,  and Gerry Hemingway.


A prolific composer, Helias has written music for two feature films as well as chamber pieces and works for large ensemble and big band. His orchestra piece Stochasm was premiered by the American Composers Orchestra in June of 2011. He has produced many recordings for other artists including Ray Anderson, Tony Malaby, Bobby Previte, Jerome Harris, David, and Mark Dresser.


Twelve albums of his music have been released since 1984, including Split Image, The Current Set (1987),  Desert Blue (1989),  Attack The Future (1992), Loopin’ the Cool (1995), Fictionary (1998), Come Ahead Back (1998),  New School (2001).  Verbs of Will (2004), Atomic Clock (2006), Strange Unison (2008), Explicit (2011), and the latest on Intakt Records, The Signal Maker.

His trio, Open Loose with Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey, has become an archetypal improvising ensemble on the New York scene. He continues performing and recording with BassDrumBone, a thirty-six-year collaboration with Gerry Hemingway and Ray Anderson. Mr. Helias performs solo bass concerts and can also be heard in the innovative bass duo, The Marks Brothers, with fellow bassist Mark Dresser.  He teaches privately and at SIM (School for Improvisational Music).



The guaranteed registration deadline is March 1st, 2020. 

You may still apply after March 1st and we will place you, if possible.

All payments are due by April 30th.



Tuition is $1175

Housing is available and options are listed here



Refund of tuition/housing costs minus a $300 administrative fee will be given through April 30th.  


No refunds can be given after April 30, 2020,

A minimum of 5 participants must register by March 1st in order to hold the workshop. In the event of too few registrations, a full refund will be given.

We strongly recommend the purchase of trip insurance.