Fred Lonberg-Holm holding cello
Credit: Uli Templin

Cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm lived in Chicago for 22 years. During that time, he was ubiquitous on the city’s improvisational music scene, playing in bands and ad hoc groupings with so many essential players that any list that could fit in this preview would be ridiculously incomplete. He was also a tireless touring musician who represented the city abroad in partnerships with far-flung jazz luminaries, including Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, and Lotte Anker. Lonberg-Holm’s methods all but demand that he work in a variety of contexts: he likes to amplify his cello’s voice and feed it through a gaggle of electronic effects, and that signal chain produces an array of sounds too broad for any single ensemble to use. Ever since he moved to Kingston, New York, in 2017, he’s returned frequently, sustaining Chicago-based outfits such as the Lightbox Orchestra and Tim Daisy’s Vox4 and bringing new bands to town. For his first visit back since the pandemic began, he’s reuniting four of the former. Ballister, his hard-hitting trio with saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, played here April 21. On Thursday, April 28, Lonberg-Holm will visit Elastic Arts to resume his partnership with drummer Tim Daisy, which has lasted more than 20 years and spanned bands led by Daisy, Lonberg-Holm, Ken Vandermark, and James Falzone; the methods they’ve explored together include complicated jazz arrangements and chaotic noise clashes. They once worked as a duo in the studio for a single track on Daisy’s 2016 release ​​October Music: Compositions for Duet, but they haven’t yet made a full album that documents such a pairing—a situation that should change this week. In the night’s second set, Lonberg-Holm’s trio J@K@L (with drummer Julian Kirshner and soprano/tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson) will revive their particular improvisational chemistry, which involves high-energy explorations of layered timbres and textures. And on Sunday, May 1, at the Hungry Brain, Lonberg-Holm will reconnect with Stirrup, a more tuneful, swinging group with bassist Nick Macri and drummer Charles Rumback.

J@K@L, Fred Lonberg-Holm & Tim Daisy Duo J@K@L is Lonberg-Holm with Julian Kirshner and Keefe Jackson. Thu 4/28, 8:30 PM, Elastic Arts, 3429 W. Diversey #208, $15, all ages

Stirrup Stirrup is Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nick Macri, and Charles Rumback. Sun 5/1, 9 PM, Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, $10, 21+