Join us at The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy from April 1 - April 30 for the month-long gallery show "Freedom Through Collective Improvisation," featuring photos and videos from this series! Click here for more information.
This 13-part series of jazz performance videos features some of the world's most talented improvisers performing a wide spectrum of music in the genre broadly known as free jazz. These uncompromising and inventive musicians create new languages and expressive forms, with an aesthetic and conceptual edge that challenges listeners to look at the world anew.
Like freedom itself, free jazz as a term defies definition. The name most likely comes from Ornette Coleman's 1961 album Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation. This music celebrates the individual voice and collective action—and, like anyone exploring the limits of freedom, the musicians who play it sometimes find themselves on the edge of what is commercially, culturally and politically acceptable. But they endure… and their quest continues!
These concerts were recorded live between 2007-2009 at The Sanctuary for Independent Media, a historic former church in North Troy. Each show is available on DVD directly from Downtown Music Gallery or online here—just click the links below:
The featured musicians are:
The Thirteenth Assembly (Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Mary Halvorson, Jessica Pavone)
Ethnic Heritage Ensemble (Kahil El'Zabar, Ernest Dawkins, Corey Wilkes)
Fay Victor Ensemble (Ken Filiano, Anders Nilsson, Michael TA Thompson, Fay Victor)
Splatto Festival Chorus (Dave Barrett, Michael Bisio, Ed Mann, Todd Reynolds)
Weasel Walter Trio (Peter Evans, Mary Halvorson, Weasel Walter)
Trio Tarana (Sam Bardfeld, Ravish Momin, Brian Prunka)
The Ras Ensemble (Clif Jackson, Dave Miller, Ras Moshe, Tor Yochai Snyder)
Michael Vlatkovich Quartet (Christopher Garcia, Jonathan Golove, David Mott, Michael Vlatkovich)
Empty Cage Quartet (Ivan Johnson, Paul Kikuchi, Jason Mears, Kris Tiner)
From Between Trio (Michel Doneda, Tatsuya Nakatani, Jack Wright)
Sax Soup Poetry and Voice (Joe Giardullo, Pierre Joris, Nicole Peyrafitte)
This series is a co-production of NY Media Alliance and the Department of the Arts at Rensselaer. The purpose: to create a cutting-edge, professional artistic media project to further a love and understanding for this brilliant, rarely heard music.
NY Media Alliance, a 30 year-old non-profit advocate for the media arts, operates The Sanctuary for Independent Media. It’s a place where politically engaged interdisciplinary artists experiment with aesthetic form and challenging content. In this sanctuary, the overarching goal is to shed light on media arts’ vital role in the process of building a democratic society.
The Department of the Arts at Rensselaer is generally considered to be the first integrated electronic arts program within a research university in the U.S., dealing with innovative aesthetic, cultural, and technical explorations of experimental media and electronic arts.
Free Jazz from the Sanctuary was made possible in part with support from the New York State Council on the Arts Presenting Program and the NYS Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors when investigations into the practice of “payola” or “pay for play” by major recording and broadcasting companies were resolved. These settlements stipulated that funds paid by the music businesses should benefit the residents of New York State through music education and appreciation programs.
The Free Jazz from the Sanctuary series is available for worldwide non-commercial broadcast distribution. Contact us for more information!
Photos by Andrzej (Andre) Pilarczyk.