Formations is a monthly music series dedicated to fostering the growth of new and improvised music in Milwaukee.
Steve Nelson-Raney - saxophone
Chuck Stebelton - landscape poetry
Steve Nelson-Raney is a saxophonist and pianist who is active as a performer in jazz, contemporary classical music and free improvisation idioms.
Chuck Stebelton is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, most recently The Platformist (Cultural Society, 2012). His first book Circulation Flowers (Tougher Disguises, 2005) was winner of the inaugural Jack Spicer Award. As a birder and Wisconsin Master Naturalist volunteer he has offered interpretive hikes for organizations including Lynden Sculpture Garden, Woodland Pattern Book Center, and Friends of Lorine Niedecker. He works as Literary Program Director at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee.
Devin Drobka - drums & cymbals
Devin Drobka is a freelance musician based in Milwaukee. While attending Boston’s Berklee College of Music (BM in drum set performance, ‘09), he was also the regular drummer in world-renowned saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi’s quartet, with whom he performed for three years alongside pianist Bruce Barth and bassist Dave Santoro. Over a couple of years living in New York City, Drobka then performed with many top artists in the contemporary and avant-garde jazz scenes, including Ben Wendell, Mike Moreno, Tony Malaby, Matt Wilson, and Michael Attias. Since returning to his hometown of Milwaukee in 2013, Drobka has become the first-call drummer for many top Wisconsin and touring jazz artists, with whom he regularly performs at Milwaukee’s Jazz Estate, Madison’s Tempest Bar and the Fountain, and at many other venues and at festivals throughout Southern Wisconsin and Illinois. Drobka leads the band Bell Dance Songs which released its eponymously-titled debut album in 2014. He is also a member of the groups Hanging Hearts, with whom he recently completed a three-week tour of Europe, Sons of Daughters, the Lesser Lakes Trio, and the Johannes Wallmann Quintet. A proponent of improvised music, Drobka founded and curates the music series unrehearsedMKE. He teaches at the West End Conservatory. Devin Drobka endorses Dream Cymbals and Rat Rod Drums.