Music Program

Thursday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Hallwalls & Colored Musicians Club Jazz Fest 2018 present

Let Me Be Free!: A Piano Tribute to Free Jazz Pioneer Cecil Taylor

Cecil Taylor
Tickets & Festival passes here

Four pianists, in a "round robin" format—Simona Premazzi, George Caldwell, Walter Kemp 3, and Michael McNeill—will survey the works of Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman, in the spirit of the great Cecil Taylor (March 15, 1929-April 5, 2018).

"To me, the piano in itself, is an orchestra.…When you think about musicians who are reading music, my contention has always been the energy that you're using deciphering what the symbol is is taking away from the maximum creative energy that you might have had if you understood that it's but a symbol.…I discovered very early that it wasn't quite enough for me to imitate people" (Cecil Taylor).

"The groundbreaking music of Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor—three Black Americans known to a broad-based audience by their first names alone—have impacted successive waves of musicians, not only in jazz but across the musical spectrum. Born within four years of each other, but with dissimilar family backgrounds and distinctly different personal temperaments, Miles, Ornette, and Cecil are individually and collectively American originals. Each has transcended the musical field to influence African-American culture" (Howard Mandel).

Hallwalls was privileged to present a rare solo concert by Cecil Taylor himself in Asbury Hall on April 18, 2009. His first appearance for Hallwalls was back in November 1985, part of that year's New York State New Music Network Tour.


Saturday, July 28 at 8:00 p.m.

Hallwalls & Colored Musicians Club Jazz Fest 2018 present

Francisco Mela Crash Trio

In Asbury Hall at Babeville

Francisco Mela
Tickets & Festival passes here

Francisco Mela is a favorite amongst jazz's elite instrumentalists, including Joe Lovano, John Scofield, JoAnne Brackeen, Kenny Barron, Gary Bartz, Bobby Watson, and McCoy Tyner, all of whom cite his charisma, sophistication, and life-affirming spirit as an extension of his incredible talents as a composer and drummer.

Francisco Mela was born in 1968 in Bayamo, Cuba. He moved to Boston in 2000 to pursue a degree at the acclaimed Berklee College of Music and, quickly thereafter, the faculty recognized that Mela had much to offer students and promptly hired him to teach at the school. Mela rapidly made a name for himself on the Boston scene, becoming the house drummer at the legendary Wally's Café Jazz Club. It was at Wally's that Mela began developing a concept for his own band, one that would feature the sounds of modern jazz with the traditional music he grew up with in Cuba.

FE (2016) is Francisco Mela's fourth and most recent project as a leader. The self-released album spotlights two standout musicians that join him to form The Crash Trio: pianist Leo Genovese and bassist Gerald Cannon. Appearing as a featured guest on the recording is legendary guitarist, John Scofield. Early response to the album has been overwhelmingly positive, and the trio received tremendous support when they toured parts of Europe earlier this year. FE is of particular significance to Mela and is a tribute to his late parents.