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the improvisor

The international journal of free improvisation

The improvisor was the newsletter of the Improvisors Network (1980), whose purpose was to foster community among music improvisers on a national scale. This was a period where there were only jazz magazines, and very little print or information about the rising improvised music scene. It was an important vehicle during the beginning of “independent music releases” for connecting others of similar philosophies and practice, to listen, review and to forge a network and exchange of ideas between musicians, encouraging community and a global network.

Beginning as a 4-page newsletter in 1980, it morphed into a photo-copy magazine and finally offset print & book form. In 1990, it ceased hardcopy print and went on-line at By 2010, there were many other options where articles, reviews and sales of improvised music could be found. In 2010 the improvisor was retired and celebrated the 30-year anniversary by hosting the improvisor festival, which took place in 5 cities across America.

Limited back issues available.

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the improvisor

the improvisor “Complete Collection” Volumes I-XI

Photocopied back issues plus original printed editions of Vol. X and XI book format

$150 for researchers or collectors

the improvisor – Volume XI

The international journal of free improvisation has 102 pages of essays, writings, reviews, philosophies, theories and more on the topic of free improvisation around the world. Final issue in hard-copy print, 1995. Edited by LaDonna Smith.


the improvisor – Volume X “Sun Ra edition”

Edited by LaDonna Smith & Glenn Engstrand, 1993.