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June 2011

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Venue:
Philadelphia Art Alliance251 S. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $10 General Admission/$60 Festival Pass (link in event description)
Sponsored by:
Saturday, June 4, 2011 - 8:00pm

Wadada Leo Smith

AACM | Great Black Music

Wadada Leo Smith, trumpet

"As a leading general in free jazz's post-Fire Music surge, Wadada Leo Smith continues to show an omni-musical openness to new forms and compositional languages...there's a spacious quality to his composition and instrumental approach that creates a Zen-like calm in the listener." - The Wire

"You learn a lot about yourself when you play solo music because focusing on a solo requires the same kind of energy as focusing on an ensemble. It's just that the ensemble gives you a multiplicity of things to look at, while a solo gives you this intense involvement that amounts to the same thing.” - Wadada Leo Smith

Please join Ars Nova Workshop for this special solo peformance by Wadada Leo Smith, a trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser who has been active in creative contemporary music for over 40 years. A free pre-concert public discussion will be held at 6pm with music writer and scholar John Szwed and Smith: they will discuss the AACM's legacy and future, as well as Smith's current work.

AACM Festival Passes for admission to all five events are available for $60. You can purchase them here.

In 1967, Wadada Leo Smith became a member of the AACM and was also a co-founder of the Creative Construction Company, a trio with Leroy Jenkins and Anthony Braxton. He has worked with many creative musicians throughout his musical career, including Henry Threadgill, Oliver Lake, Derek Bailey, Cecil Taylor, Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Andrew Cyrille, Don Cherry, Ed Blackwell, and ICP Orchestra co-founders Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg. In 1993, he began teaching at Cal Arts, where he is currently the Coordinator of the African-American Improvisational Music program. Smith currently leads three ensembles - Golden Quartet, Silver Orchestra, and Organic – and his compositions have been performed by numerous contemporary music ensembles, such as the AACM-Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Player, New Century Players, SEM Ensemble, Del Sol String Quartet, New York New Music Ensemble, ne(x)tworks, and California E.A.R. Unit.

Pre-Concert Public Discussion with John Szwed (6pm)

John Szwed is Professor of Music and Jazz Studies at Columbia University, Editor-in-Chief of the web site JazzStudiesOnline.org, and Acting Director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University. He has received fellowships from the John M. Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and was awarded a Grammy in 2005 for Doctor Jazz, a book included with Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax on Rounder Records. He has authored or edited 15 books, and as a journalist has written for The Village Voice, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wire, and many other publications in the US and Europe. His many books include Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra, So What: The Life and Times of Miles Davis, and, most recently, Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World.