Jason Bivins came of age in Washington, D.C., where he initially played in punk groups before moving on to funk, fusion, and the avant-garde. He played in Sweatbox and Plum Loco in Washington, then moved to Indiana to pursue graduate studies in religion. While in Indiana, he joined a variety of improv groups, including the Unstable Ensemble, the trio M, and a duo with Richard Patterson. He also founded his own Jason Bivins Trio. While in Indiana, Bivins also began writing reviews for Cadence and One Final Note magazines. Bivins became a professor of religion at North Carolina State University in 2000, but he continued to play with the Unstable Ensemble, whom he joined on 2001's 17 Ways and 2002's The Liturgy of Ghosts. He also joined the Micro-East Collective in time to play on their 2001 album Fabric, and he began playing with Slugworth, a quartet featuring Micro-East leader Ian Davis. 2003 saw the release of Benthic, a duo album featuring both Bivins and Davis.
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