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Jazz: The Second Century — Night One — Watch Party
October 21, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
Top Row: Leanna Keith photo courtesy of the artist, Josh Hou photo by Jose De la Torre
Bottom Row: Sarah Yates & Melanie Sehman photos courtesy of the artists, Francesco Crosara photo courtesy of the artist
The Jazz: The Second Century series has always been about exploring the fundamental question: “One-hundred years into the art-form, what sonic shape does jazz take in its second century?” This question has never felt more relevant—or urgent—during these times of physical distancing, where musicians are being forced to explore new and innovative ways to develop and present their art.
Things are a little different in this edition of the Jazz: The Second Century series. Working with the Racer Sessions team, we’ve adapted the format from a live concert to a pre-recorded audio or video performance, which will be presented as two watch parties. Jazz: The Second Century is the continuation of Earshot’s first programming initiative. 2020 marks the first time the series is presented as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival.
Leanna Keith is a flutist, composer, and improviser. This piece (untitled) is largely a response to performance in isolation. Keith’s practice is one of listening, which has obvious implications in a band setting, but far less obvious in practice when alone in a room.
In the months since quarantine began, Hou has discovered remote recording as a powerful way to create music as well as maintain and build community. This is a video of a Chinese concerto, reharmonized and rearranged for jazz trio featuring Sara Heng, a guzheng player from Kuala Lumpur, all recorded in separate locations.
Combining two strikingly different musical backgrounds, Melanie Sehman (drums, percussion) and Sarah Yates (double bass) form an improvising duo that approaches jazz as an exploration of the common ground between their diverse musical languages.
Crosara’s personal brand of jazz has become more focused in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it reflects the collective anxiety of the moment while providing greater introspection in the purpose of music as a powerful source of comfort and escape.
These are challenging times for artists, please give them your support!