The world of improvised music was shocked to learn of the passing of master guitarist Bern Nix.
Born in 1950, Nix moved to New York City, and made a living for a while as a guitar teacher. He succeeded James Blood Ulmer in Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time band, and in 1985 formed his own band. In 1993, the band released the album Alarms and Excursions. Nix released solo recordings such as Low Barometer (an acoustic recording), Less is More, and Negative Capability. Nix also performed with Jayne Cortez, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Elliot Sharp, Jemeel Moondoc, James Chance, Kip Hanrahan, and Roland Shannon Jackson. In recent years, Nix performed regularly at the Vision Festival, and at smaller local venues. He worked with his quartet The Bern Nix Quartet (featuring Matt Lavelle, François Grillot and Reggie Sylvester), Cheryl Pyle’s Beyond Group, and with ensembles led by Ras Moshe Burnett.