Jazz, the Creative Music:
I just attended a NEC, the New England Conservatory, Boston, Jorden (concert) Hall, a full and great evening of nearly (3) hours of New Music—doesn’t necessarily mean recently written or recorded—by Jazz drummer, composer & educator Tyshawn Sorey performed by ensembles of quality music students of his very contemporary, and more than fascinating compositions. The center piece was dedicated to great Jazz guitarist A. Spencer Barefield from Detroit http://spencerbarefield.com/#music and legendary trumpeter actually from Vermont by way of New York, born in Massachusetts, Bill Dixon, just celebrating his 94th birthday (deceased), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Dixon.
Tyshawn Sorey was a McArthur Foundation Genius for very good reasons. https://necmusic.edu/events/contemporary-improvisation-tyshawn-sorey.
Dixon actually attended Boston University studying art. He later worked at the UN and co-founded the United Nations Jazz Society, still in existence.
He created the four-days of the “October (Jazz) Revolution” in NYC in 1964, in response to being locked out from other even non-commercial Jazz gigs. The festival featured many artists…and representative of its foundational curatorial focus, such as Dixon, John Tchicai, Paul Bley, Alan Silva, Burton Greene (still alive and played in Cambridge in 2017), Cecil Taylor, Giuseppi Logan, and Sun Ra. Namely musicians who interrogated and redefined the conventions of jazz. Essentially the first Free-Form Jazz festival of its kind. A sign outside the Cellar Café read, “Press, double the cover (of $1.00)”. A panel discussion also occurred after each evening’s performance.
Amongst his musical community activities was to form the Jazz (Black Musician’s) Composer’s Guild, to affect the public image of the music and create a bargaining chip towards clubs.
To close, in Philadelphia, PA, now during the entire month of October, the freedoms of Jazz and other improvisational music is celebrated, and annually, in a festival dedicated to that historical event, including the re-appearance of pianist Burton Greene one of the original participants in 1964, performing in a 4tet lead by vocalist Patty Watters. http://www.theoctoberrevolution.org.
Strength, peace through Music!
Alex, the Creative Music Series, Cambridge