Thu, Mar 23|
Joe Morris (bass), Sam Newsome (soprano saxophone), Francisco Mela (drums)
Time & Location
Mar 23, 7:30 PM
Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376
About The Event
Downbeat Magazine called guitarist Joe Morris, “the preeminent free music guitarist of his generation.” Will Montgomery, writing in WIRE magazine, called him, “one of the most profound improvisers at work in the U.S.” He was born in New Haven Connecticut in 1955. He began playing guitar at the age of 14 first playing rock music, progressing to blues, then to jazz, free jazz and free improvisation. He released his first record Wraparound (riti) in 1983. He has composed over 200 original pieces of music. In 2000 he began performing and recording on double bass in addition to guitar.
Morris has performed and/or recorded with many of the most important artists in jazz and improvised music including, Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, John Zorn, Ken Vandermark, Mary Halvorson, Tyshawn Sorey, Tomeka Reid, Fay Victor, Tim Berne, William Parker, Sylvie Courvoisier, Agusti Fernandez, Peter Evans, David S. Ware, Joe Maneri, Dewey Redman, Fred Hopkins, Sunny Murray, Wadada Leo Smith, Leroy Jenkins, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Marshall Allen, Alan Silva, Karen Borca, Joe McPhee, Suzie Ibarra, Gerald Cleaver, Mat Maneri, Lowell Davidson, Barre Phillips, Barry Guy, Matthew Shipp, Billy Bang, Andrew Cyrille, Nate Wooley, Mark Dresser, Jamie Saft and many others.
Morris is featured on guitar or bass as a leader, co-leader, or sideman on more than 180 commercially released recordings on the labels ECM, ESPdisk, Clean Feed, Hat Hut, Aum Fidelity, Avant, OkkaDisk, Not Two, Soul Note, Knitting Factory, Leo, No Business, Rogue Art, Relative Pitch, Incus, RareNoise, Fundacja Sluchaj, Corbett and Dempsey, and his own labels Riti and Glacial Erratic.
New York-based saxophonist and composer Sam Newsome often works in the medium of solo saxophone, an approach for which he gained world-wide critical acclaim with his 2009 recording, Blue Soliloquy: Solo Works for Soprano Saxophone. This recording received a five-star review in Downbeat magazine. Newsome has since released several critically acclaimed solo saxophone CDs. Ed Enright, from Downbeat magazine, called one of them, The Straight Horn of Africa, “a modern masterpiece.”
Newsome has received numerous accolades for his work, including the 2020 Instant Award in Improvised Music, along with fellow avant-gardists Peter Brotzmann and John Butcher. He was also named a nominee for Soprano Saxophonist of the Year by the 2020 Jazz Journalist Association. Past recognitions include the 2018 New Music USA Grant, the 2018 Alpert/Ragdale Prize in Music Composition and the 2016 NYFA Fellowship for Music Composition.
In addition to his solo work, Newsome leads a trio with Hilliard Greene and Reggie Nicholson. He is a frequent collaborator with drummer Andrew Cyrille, vocalist Fay Victor, and tours regularly with Pepperland, a music and dance work by Mark Morris and Ethan Iverson that pays tribute to The Beatles.
Francisco Mela is a favorite among jazz's elite instrumentalists, including such luminaries as Joe Lovano, McCoy Tyner, John Scofield, Ingrid Laubrock, and Esperanza Spalding, among many others, all of whom cite his charisma, sophistication, and life-arming spirit as an extension of his incredible talents as a composer and drummer.
Born in 1968 in Bayamo, Cuba, Mela moved to Boston in 2000 and quickly thereafter made a name for himself on the Boston scene, becoming the house drummer at the legendary Wally’s Café Jazz Club. It was at Wally’s that Mela began developing a concept for his own band, one that would feature the sounds of modern jazz with the traditional music he grew up with in Cuba. World-renowned saxophonist Joe Lovano heard Mela and was immediately impressed, hiring him shortly after to play in his quartet. Since 2005, Mela has been an integral part of Lovano’s quartet and his new group, Us Five, a two-drummer quintet. Their 2009 Blue Note Records recording, titled Folk Art, was considered by many critics to be Lovano’s most adventurous to date. In 2009, he was tapped by jazz legend McCoy Tyner to join his trio. Said Tyner of his new drummer, “Mela is just a fantastic player. He has his own style and his own sound, which is what I look for in a drummer.”
Joe Morris/Sam Newsome/Francis
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