Of Jamaican and Cajun descent, self-taught improviser of sound, video, and ink, Jayve John Montgomery has been based in Chicago since 2003 after teaching English in Toyoura, Japan. He is a religious attendant and sometimes host of the avant-garde session hosted weekly at Café Mestizo by David Boykin and Nicole Mitchell. The ceremonial sound of this circular-breather is produced by his explorative multi-instrumentalism on reeds (tenor and soprano sax, clarinet, shenai, and reed trumpet), winds (didgeridoo, sopranino recorder, Native South and North American flutes, and conch shell), strings (cura cumbus, k cello, and zither), percussion (gend?r, Ghanaian and Tibetan bells, cymbals, gongs, peddled djembe and snare, and the homemade kitchen-bowl stick, springnailscrew board, and homemade bows with which percussion is bowed), and electronics (loop machine, multi-effects box, and amplitude panner). He has a B.A. in Japanese Studies (self-designed) and Anthropology, completed the First Year Program of the School of the Art Institute, having two mixed media works selected, one receiving a top honor, to be in the year ending Art Bash, and is currently getting his Master's of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education from National-Louis University. One can find Mr. Montgomery performing his nomadic ambient music in front of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Ways & Means Trio (Joel Wanek, Jayve Montgomery, and Daniel Godston) explores ambient soundscapes of rituals that involve centering and searching, droning, and electro-acoustic explorations. Ways & Means has performed at the SpareRoom, Lucid Artists Co-Op Gallery, Muse Café, Hotti Biscotti, and other venues in the Chicago area. Since December 2005, the trio has been hosting The Lower & Upper Limits Series at Muse Café, which explores collaborations between poets and musicians and relationships between language and music; so far, Ways & Means has collaborated with these poets in the series—Lisa Hemminger, Michael C. Watson, Mars Gamba-Adisa Caulton, Philasoph, Sterling Plumpp, Al DeGenova, Toni Asante Lightfoot, and members of the Neighborhood Writing Project.