Vijay Iyer photo by Lena Adasheva
with Tyshawn Sorey, Howard Wiley, Vijay Iyer, & Ambrose Akinmusire
Friday, March 2, 7:30pm
201 Mercer St
Co-presented by Town Hall & Cornish College
No need to make any other plans for your Friday, March 2: The wildly impressive collective of Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), Tyshawn Sorey (drums and trombone), Vijay Iyer (piano), and Howard Wiley (drums and saxophone) premiere together for a spectacular night of musical risk-taking and creative collaboration. This Stranger-recommended event takes place at 7:30pm at the Seattle Center, Cornish Playhouse (201 Mercer St). As part of Town Hall Seattle’s Arts & Culture and Global Rhythms series, this concert is co-presented by Town Hall and Cornish College of the Arts.
This is the first time this unique meeting of master musicians has linked up onstage, though we’ve been hearing a lot from each of them recently. But tonight is not about individual accomplishment or personal virtuosity; this night is about mutual discovery, equal partnership, and a rarely invoked spirit of communal creation.
Among the top creative artists in any genre, these four artists posses a similarly open intellect, that exercises its fluency in the split-second dialogue of output and input. That acute openness to the moment that guides their individual creativity, has the potential to make this night of open collaboration one for the ages.
Recent recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and a Doris Duke Impact Award, Tyshawn Sorey has established a distinctively boundless presence on the New York scene. As a jazz drummer, his work on complex projects — like Steve Lehman’s trio and octet, and Vijay Iyer’s new sextet — have almost redefined the form; while as a conceptual artist, he is receiving increasingly prestigious invitations from institutions around the world.
“Thrilling young trumpeter and astute bandleader” (The New Yorker) Ambrose Akinmusire, is a Blue Note recording artist who won the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition and is also a recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Award. He has toured internationally, earned a master’s degree from the University of Southern California, and even contributed to famed hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly.
Bay Area saxophonist Howard Wiley is a jazz traditionalist without traditional constraints. Wiley has recorded and performed with Lauryn Hill, and honed his texture and intense sound under mentorship by sax-veteran Jules Broussard (Santana).
New York-born pianist, composer, Vijay Iyer is one of the leading voices in American jazz and new music. A MacArthur Fellow, Grammy nominee, and Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, and 2016, Iyer has released 21 albums to date. His latest release “Far From Over” (ECM 2017) topped numerous year-end critics polls and was cited by Rolling Stone as “2017’s jazz album to beat”. Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University and the director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.
This will be the start to this year’s Global Rhythms Series, a Town Hall project that prides itself on curating musical styles and genres from around the globe, from Native American funk to Appalachian-inspired ballads. Future concerts will include an April 19 double-bill at Triple Door with Kiran Ahluwalia and Souad Massi, two incredible foreign vocalists. Pakistani Ahluwalia brings her five-piece ensemble for intoxicating elements of African desert blues and jazz; complementing her is Algerian-born Massi, lauded as one of the most successful female singer-songwriter in the Arabic world. Past concerts from the series have included Grammy-winning Bulgarian vocal ensemble Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares (co-presented with Earshot Jazz), a John Coltrane birthday tribute by Brooklyn Raga Massive, and a Seattle debut performance by praised 2017 Earshot Jazz Festival artist Ranky Tanky.
— Halynn Blanchard and editor
For tickets and more information, visit townhallseattle.org.