Music Program
 


Monday, December 12, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.

$15 general admission, $12 students/seniors, $10 members

William Parker & Patricia Nicholson Parker

Studies in Freedom



William Parker: contrabass, winds, voice
Patricia Nicholson Parker: dance, voice

"Studies in Freedom combines music, words and dance to tell a story of the collective heart yearning for Freedom. It expresses our greatest visions, our desire to attain what is best not only for ourselves, but for all. We will speak in the language of physical gesture and the motion of energy as music and as dance. We will use words that escape from our souls to speak of our hearts."

NYC creative power-couple bassist-composer William Parker and dancer-choreographer Patricia Nicholson Parker, do not mince words when it comes to artistic vision. In a 2008 interview in All About Jazz, Nicholson says "We need to take our visions seriously. The idea is to give birth to your own vision, and make it a reality in this world…So when you have a brilliant and beautiful idea you should try to make it happen. You should take it out of the world of dreams and you should bring it into the world of reality because we need them."

Early in their careers, Nicholson and Parker created a huge repertoire of composed music for multiple ensembles, directing and organizing "A Thousand Cranes Peace Opera," for the opening of the UN Special Sessions on Disarmament and working with bassist Peter Kowald to help organize the artist-run Sound Unity Festivals between 1984 and 1988. Nicholson successfully initiated the Improvisers Collective, which morphed into the Vision Festival, and together they have worked meticulously to bring the Vision Festival to New York for the over 20 years. Parker emphasizes performance and Nicholson works tirelessly behind the scenes. Progressive jazz lovers in New York know the annual Vision Festival as a marker of endurance, emphasizing a sense of community as it continues to profile free jazz and avant-garde music in the face of more commercial musical enterprises.

Arts for Art, an organization Nicholson founded in 1995, also coordinates a weekly Vision Club series, and each year the Vision Festival honors the lifetime achievement of a particular artist. In 2007, in keeping with this emphasis on the links between music, community, and justice, Parker released The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield with poet Amiri Baraka, a project that sought to see what was happening to the people by investigating the music. more info at: http://www.artsforart.org/
"It is the role of the artist to incite political, social, and spiritual revolution, to awaken us from our sleep and never let us forget our obligations as human beings, to light the fire of human compassion. Sounds that enlighten are infinite. We can put no limit to joy, or on our capacity for love." - William Parker

William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City. He has recorded over 150 albums, published six books, and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists.

He has been called "one of the most inventive bassists/leaders since [Charles] Mingus," and "the creative heir to Jimmy Garrison and Paul Chambers...directly influenced by '60s avant-gardists like Sirone, Henry Grimes and Alan Silva." The Village Voice called him, "the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time" and Time Out New York named him one of the "50 Greatest New York Musicians of All Time."

Parker's current active bands include the large-band Little Huey Creative Orchestra, the Raining on the Moon Sextet, the In Order to Survive Quartet, Stan's Hat Flapping in the Wind, the Cosmic Mountain Quintet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore, as well as a deep and ongoing solo bass study. His recordings have long been documented by the AUM Fidelity record label and on his own Centering Records, among others.

Over the decades, Parker has developed a reputation as a connector and hub of information concerning the history of creative music, recently culminating in a two hefty volumes of interviews with over 60 avant-garde and creative musicians, Conversations I & II. He is also the subject of an exhaustive 468-page "sessionography" that documents thousands of performances and recording sessions, a remarkable chronicle of his prolificness as an active artist.

He has been a key figure in the New York and European creative music scenes since the 1970s, and has worked all over the world. He has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Peter Brotzmann, Milford Graves, Peter Kowald, and David S. Ware, among many others.

William Parker works all over the world but he always returns to New York's Lower East Side, where he has lived since 1975.

www.williamparker.net

This concert of music and dance was made possible in part by a new 2016–2017 grant for live music and other performing arts programming from The Cullen Foundation of Buffalo, NY, and, as always, by ongoing annual support from the Music Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

 
 
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