NYC Winter Jazzfest Presents
with special guest Geri Allen & arrangements by Carla Bley
Tue January 10th, 2017
Minimum Age: 18+
Doors Open: 6:00PM
Show Time: 6:45PM
Event Ticket: $30
Day of Show: $40
Music & Environmental Justice panel (guests TBA) at 6:45pm
Concert begins promptly at 8:00pm
Note: Tickets are required for entry to the panel discussion and permit entry to the concert portion.
IN SPIRIT OF SOCIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
we pay tribute to CHARLIE HADEN
CHARLIE HADEN’S LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA
with special guest GERI ALLEN piano, conductor
“I have always dreamed of a world without cruelty and greed; of a humanity with the same creative brilliance of our solar system; of an America worthy of the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the majesty of the Statue of Liberty.” – Charlie Haden
Geri Allen piano
Tony Malaby tenor sax
Chris Cheek tenor sax
Loren Stillman alto
Michael Rodriguez trumpet
Seneca Black trumpet
Vincent Chancey Fr. horn
Curtis Fowlkes trombone
Earl McIntyre tuba
Steve Cardenas guitar
Darek Oles bass
Rodney Green drums
Panelists will discuss topics including global climate change and clean energy, generational justice, vulnerable communities, and biodiversity to show how musicians have and can use their art to expose environmental issues to their fans and aid causes important to us all as inhabitants of planet Earth. Speakers will include Franz Matzner (Natural Resources Defense Council, All About Jazz), Ruth Cameron Haden (widow of Charlie Haden & ardent environmentalist), and three musicians dedicated to environmental themes in their work and through various forms of activism: trumpeter, composer and label founder Dave Douglas, composer and pianist Fabian Almazan and violinist/composer Dana Lyn.
TABLE SEATING POLICY Table seating for all seated shows is reserved exclusively for ticket holders who purchase “Table Seating” tickets. By purchasing a “Table Seating” ticket you agree to also purchase a minimum of two food and/or beverage items per person. Table seating is first come, first seated. Please arrive early for the best choice of available seats. Seating begins when doors open. Tables are communal so you may be seated with other patrons. We do not take table reservations.
A standing room area is available by the bar for all guests who purchase “Standing Room” tickets. Food and beverage can be purchased at the bar but there is no minimum purchase required in this area. All tickets sales are final. No refund or credits.
Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra
In 1969 Charlie Haden assembled eleven musicians, including composer/arranger
Carla Bley, and other iconic musicians of the day Don Cherry, Gato Barbieri, Sam Brown and Roswell Rudd) et al under the banner of Liberation Music Orchestra to make a record that has become a milestone in recorded jazz.
He asked his good friend Carla Bley to write the arrangements and continued to work with her on all subsequent recordings because her vision matched Haden’s vision of how the music should sound.
The very first recording was a heartfelt and emotional statement about freedom from oppression and repression. With compositions by Charlie and Carla and arrangements by Carla, it won the Grand Prix Charles Cros (the French equivalent of the Grammy) as well as Japan’s Gold Disc Award from the magazine Swing Journal and worldwide acclaim. This was the first jazz album devoted to overarching themes of social justice that went beyond the theme of racism as this recording was Haden’s response to the U.S. involvement in VietNam.. “After the bombing of Cambodia, I thought, I had to do something and I had all these old songs from the Spanish civil war. I called Carla and said let’s do an album about the tragedy of what this administration is doing in the world.”
It was in 1969 while on tour with the Ornette Coleman Quartet that Haden caused an international furor when he was arrested for dedicating his “Song For Che” to the people’s liberation movements in Mozambique, Guinea Bisseau and Angola- three colonies of Portugal which were being severely oppressed. Haden was arrested and grilled by the Portuguese secret service until finally after intervention by Ornette and other musicians who had been forced to leave the country and the US cultural attache came to save Haden.
In 1982, Charlie reorganized the Liberation Music Orchestra with many of the original members – Carla Bley, Paul Motian, Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, , and Michael Mantler. The group was joined by some new faces – Mick Goodrick, and Jim Pepper among them. Says Charlie, “It was recorded in response to U.S. involvement in El Salvador…
The whole underlying theme was to communicate honest, human values, and in doing that, to try to improve the quality of life.” The Ballad of the Fallen (MCA/Impulse), was named “Record of the Year” in the 1984 Down Beat Critics’ Poll.
In 1991, Charlie Haden went on to record with his Liberation Music Orchestra the album Dream Keeper (Blue Note), which had the unique distinction of winning both the Down Beat Critics’ and Readers’ polls as “Album of the Year”, in addition to earning a Grammy Award nomination and appearing on more than 30 “Top 10 Jazz Albums of 1991” lists throughout the world.
This recording was inspired by a poem by Langston Hughes called “As I Grew Older”.
With the ANC National Congress Anthem it makes an impassioned statement about racism throughout the world.
Despite the difficulties of touring with this many musicians, the Liberation Music Orchestra, because of its popularity, has performed many times over the years in Europe, Japan, the United States and Canada.
In , in 2004, Haden and Carla Bley are reunited for the fourth time to perform the Liberation Music Orchestra tour and subsequent recording of all new music for the album Not In Our Name. It was the first time that Charlie and Carla will have performed together live on stage in twenty years. Both Haden and Bley again felt compelled to express their feelings about the oppression and injustice that prevails: “It’s time again to express in music how we feel about human rights and dignity and peaceful resolutions to conflict.”
The new band consisted of a brilliant cadre of players, some of whom have previously toured and recorded with The Orchestra, as well as some of the newer musicians who making their name on the jazz scene. Together with Charlie and Carla, , Miguel Zenon, Tony Malaby, Chris Cheek, Michael Rodriguez, Seneca Black, Curtis Fowlkes, “Ahnee” Sharon Freemen, Joe Daley, Steve Cardenas and Matt Wilson performed on that album.
Most of that personnel have remained together and become a close-knit musical family and this November the latest album encompassing Charlie Haden’s vision has been released with the focus on the environment.
The inspiration for Charlie to make this new album was his observation of the increasingly disastrous state of our environment, and how unconsciously we humans are treating each other, our planet, as well as all living beings on this earth. Loss of livable habitat for all forms of life, a result of sheer human greed and ignorance, is tearing away at the very essence of our existence. This had been concerning both Charlie I for many years. In fact, Charlie wrote “Song For the Whales” in 1979.
Throughout these past 40 years, Charlie Haden through his Liberation Music Orchestra continued to draw its inspiration and repertoire from liberation struggles throughout the world.
“I have always dreamed of a world without cruelty and greed; of a humanity with the same creative brilliance of our solar system; of an America worthy of the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the majesty of the Statue of Liberty.”
By translating that deeply felt sentiment into music, Charlie Haden pursued his dream to create a testament to beauty and resiliency of this planet and in some humble way help keep the hope alive that it’s possible for the people of the world to live in peace. This message remains alive and more true and relevant today thus Haden’s message is kept alive and the band plays on.
special guest Geri Allen
Professor Allen is currently Director of the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a masters degree in ethnomusicology.
Geri Allen, pianist/composer, bandleader, educator and Guggenheim Fellow, is the first recipient of the Soul Train, Lady of Soul Award for Jazz. In 2011 Geri Allen, was nominated for an NAACP Award for her Timeline, Tap Quartet Project. Allen is the first woman, and youngest person to receive the Danish Jazz Par Prize. She is a cutting edge performing artist, and continues to concertize internationally.
She is a product of the Detroit Public School System, Howard University and the University of Pittsburgh. Allen moved to NYC in 1982 after she completed her advanced degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh, and for the past thirty years has recorded, performed and collaborated with some of the most important artists of our time including Ornette Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, George Shirley, Dewey Redman, Jimmy Cobb, Sandra Turner-Barnes, Charles Lloyd, Marcus Belgrave, Betty Carter, Jason Moran, Lizz Wright, Marian McPartland, Roy Brooks, Vijay Iyer, Charlie Haden and Paul Motion, Laurie Anderson, Terri Lynn Carrington and Esperanza Spalding, Hal Wilner, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Dr. Billy Taylor, Carrie Mae Weems, Angelique Kidjo, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, S. Epatha Merkerson, Farah Jasmin Griffin, Howard University’s Afro-Blue and many others.
Allen a recent recipient of the Howard University, Pinnacle Award presented by Professor Connaitre Miller and Afro Blue. Ms. Allen has been a faculty member at Howard University, the New England Conservatory, and the University of Michigan where she taught for ten years.
In 2014, Allen was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Music Degree by Berklee College of Music in Boston. The Honorable Congressman John Conyers Jr. presented the 2014 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Jazz Legacy Award to Ms. Allen.
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra commissioned Geri Allen in 2013, to compose new works for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Dr. Martin Luther Kings iconic I Have a Dream speech. She composed a piece Stones & Streams a work for orchestra, chorus, piano and narrator.
She is the musical director of the Mary Lou Williams Collective, recording and performing the music of the great Mary Lou Williams, including her sacred work, Mass For Peace. Allen collaborated with S. Epatha Merkerson and Farah Jasmin Griffin on two music theatre projects, “Great Apollo Women”, which premiered at the legendary Apollo Theatre, and “A Conversation with Mary Lou”, which premiered at the Harlem Stage, as an educational component for the Harlem Stage collaboration. The featured artist was Carmen Lundy, and Allen’s long time trio members Kenny Davis and Kassa Overall). The University of Pittsburgh hosted the first ever Mary Lou Williams Cyber Symposium where ViJay Iyer, Jason Moran, and Allen performed a three piano improvisation from Harvard, Columbia and the University of Pittsburgh, in real time using Internet 2 technology.
Farah Jasmin Griffin, PHD from Columbia, and Dwight Andrews, PHD from Emory, Eugene Rogers PHD, from the University of Michigan, and Opera Icon Professor George Shirley, along with Fr. Peter O’Brien from the Mary Lou Williams Foundation who presents from The San Francisco Jazz Center in San Francisco, CA, Father OBrien served as the distinguished panelists for the symposium.
Mount V. Allen, Geri Allen’s brother introduced her to this important IT2 technology. Jazz is of course a potent vehicle for expression, and creative exploration. “We are engaged in the process of developing a framework for education equity in the digital place.” The Mary Lou Williams Cyber Symposium and a recent Master Class collaboration with renowned master drummer, Terri Lyne Carrington held a Berklee College of Music, and Pitt in real time, are the first two projects of their kind. We look forward to advancing this important work.
Both Allen’s are the product of a family of educators. Her father Mount V. Allen Jr is a retired Detroit Public School Principal, and her mother Barbara Jean was a defense contract administrator for the U.S. Government. “Our parents insisted my brother and I go to college. We took their advice. I pursued a career as a jazz performer, and completed my undergrad degree at Howard, and my master’s at Pitt. Mount pursued a career as a jazz advocate and presented, completing his masters at Lehigh University. He is currently Director of Operations, at the San Francisco Jazz Center.”
Geri Allen, a mother of three, acknowledges her family for making it possible for her to sustain longevity in a sometimes challenging and always changing field of the music industry.
Allen has enjoyed a very successful thirty-year performing career as a NYC jazz musician. She has now returned to Pittsburgh to continue her legacy as a cutting edge pianist/composer, recording/concertizing artist. Allen is just as passionate about her work with her undergrad and graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh, and she firmly believes that “meaningful access to music is one of the keys to success in any field, and music informs our sensitivity to others”. She is a fierce advocate for all children of all ages to have direct hands on access to music, and the creative and empowering process jazz inspires.
“My Detroit Public School education afforded me the best possible training, and all children deserve the opportunities we had access to. I look forward to continuing to give back in effective and meaningful ways.”
arrangements by Carla Bley
One of the premier composers of the last 50+ years, Carla Bley has written music for big bands, choirs, chamber orchestras, and small combos. Her work demonstrates a wide compositional range as well as a healthy sense of humor. Bley’s skills have been in demand even outside of jazz, including performing and recording with Jack Bruce, Robert Wyatt, and Pink Floyd’s drummer Nick Mason.
Bley’s father, Emil Borg, was a church organist and piano teacher—he first introduced her to music when she was three, and she first heard jazz when she was 12. She moved to New York at age 17, working as a cigarette girl at the jazz club Birdland, where she met pianist Paul Bley, whom she married in 1957. Immersed in the city’s jazz scene, she began to write compositions, which Paul Bley and a number of other musicians, such as Art Farmer, Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell, and Tony Williams, began to record.
In 1964, with her second husband, trumpeter Michael Mantler, she formed the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra and subsequently founded the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra Association, an independent record label focusing on more avant-garde forms of jazz, such as Bley’s collaboration with poet Paul Haines on the groundbreaking work Escalator over the Hill.
Bley’s compositions and arrangements reached wider audiences through such recordings as Gary Burton’s A Genuine Tong Funeral, an album dedicated to Bley’s first extended composition, and Charlie Haden’s The Liberation Music Orchestra.
In 1972, Bley and Mantler started a new record label, Watt, on which she has since issued recordings of her work. She also began experimenting outside of jazz, joining Jack Bruce’s band in 1975, writing all the compositions for and performing on Nick Mason’s 1981 album Nick Mason’s Fictitious Sports, and recording the soundtrack to the 1985 film Mortelle Randonnée. In 1997, a live production of Escalator over the Hillwas staged in Germany, then toured Europe the following year.
Among the awards bestowed upon Bley are a Guggenheim Fellowship for music composition (1972), the German Jazz Trophy “A Life for Jazz” (2009), and honorary doctorates from l’Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail (2012) and the New England Conservatory (2014).
Bley has toured all over the world, including Brazil, Japan, South Korea, and just about everywhere in Europe. She continues to perform and record frequently, both with her own big band and a number of smaller ensembles, notably the Lost Chords (including bassist Steve Swallow, saxophonist Andy Sheppard, and drummer Billy Drummond.