This concert and The Shape of Jazz series are made possible by The Joyce and George Wein Foundation in memory of Joyce Wein.
Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Absolutely Live Entertainment LLC.
Support for The '60s: The Years that Changed America is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation.
With his unique and recognizable style, pianist Matthew Shipp worked and recorded vigorously from the late 1980s onward, creating music in which free jazz and modern classical intertwined. He first became well known in the early ’90s as the pianist in the David S. Ware Quartet and soon began leading his own dates—most often including Ware bandmate and leading bassist William Parker—and recording a number of duets with a variety of musicians, from the legendary Roscoe Mitchell to violinist Mat Maneri. Through his range of live and recorded performances and unswerving individual development, Shipp has come to be regarded as a prolific and respected voice in creative music into the new millennium.
The new Matthew Shipp Trio premiered with two sold-out sets at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in November 2014. The members’ individual lists of collaborators include Charles Gayle, Ahmad Jamal, Ivo Perelman, Sonny Simmons, Carter Jefferson, McCoy Tyner, Evan Parker, Joe McPhee, and Wadada Leo Smith, to name a few. The Matthew Shipp Trio performs in concerts and at clubs across the US, Canada, and Europe. A performance at the 2012 London Jazz Festival was hailed as the highlight of the festival in the city’s most prestigious newspapers, The Guardian and the Financial Times, as well as in the UK’s premier jazz magazine, Jazzwise. Other performance highlights include Jazzfestival Saalfelden, the Jazz Standard, Bennington College, Earshot Jazz Festival, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Jazz em Agosto, A38, Bunker Ulmenwall, Marlboro College, Jazzforum Bayreuth, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the highly acclaimed Vision Festival.
The trio’s recorded output began with Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear), a live set released in 2011 that figured prominently on an astonishing 38 “best of” lists. The following year, their critically acclaimed studio effort Elastic Aspects (Thirsty Ear) appeared on another 16 “best of” lists. Root of Things (Relative Pitch) is the trio’s lauded 2014 release, with The Conduct of Jazz (Thirsty Ear) following in 2015.
Roscoe Mitchell—internationally renowned musician, composer, and innovator—began his distinguished career in Chicago during the spirited 1960s. His role in the resurrection of long neglected woodwind instruments of extreme register, his innovation as a solo woodwind performer, and his reassertion of the composer into what has traditionally been an improvisational form have placed him at the forefront of contemporary music for more than four decades. A leader in the field of avant-garde jazz and contemporary music, Mitchell is a founding member of the world-renowned Art Ensemble of Chicago, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and the Trio Space.
Mitchell has recorded 87 albums and has written more than 250 compositions that range from classical to contemporary, from wild and forceful free jazz to ornate chamber music. His instrumental expertise includes the saxophone family, recorder family, flute, piccolo, clarinet, and transverse flute. Also, for over 35 years, he has designed an elaborate percussion instrument called the Percussion Cage, consisting of instruments from America, China, Tibet, Africa, Australia, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, and Turkey, as well many found instruments.
Mitchell is the recipient of many awards, including honors from the American Music Center, DownBeat magazine, National Association of Jazz Educators, Smithsonian Institution, and NAACP. He has also received numerous composition and performance grants/commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, ASCAP, Foundation for Contemporary Arts (John Cage Award), Meet the Composer, and IRCAM in Paris, among many others. Mitchell was artist-in-residence for the 2003 Chicago Jazz Festival, where he was commissioned to write three works.
Mitchell’s teaching credits include the University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin–Madison, California Institute of the Arts, AACM School of Music, Creative Music Studio, New England Conservatory, University of Wisconsin–Platteville, Oberlin College and Conservatory, and numerous workshops and artists-in-residence positions around the world. In August 2007, he assumed the Darius Milhaud Chair at Mills College in Oakland, California.