Wadada Leo Smith Featured In The New Haven Advocate

April 15, 2009
Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

Bill Carbone previews Wadada Leo Smith’s April 17th performance at New Haven’s Firehouse 12 in this week’s New Haven Advocate.

Smith will perform with his newest ensemble, Organic Resonance, featuring guitarists Brandon Ross and Michael Gregory, cellist Okkyung Lee, bassists Skuli Sverisson and John Lindberg and drummer Pheeroan akLaff. 

Guitarist Lamar Smith will join the group as a special guest for this two-set performance, which serves as a warm-up for its debut recording session at Firehouse 12 the following day.


Firehouse 12 To Present Wadada Leo Smith’s Organic Resonance April 17th

March 18, 2009


On Friday, April 17th, veteran trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith will perform with his newest ensemble, Organic Resonance, as part of Firehouse 12’s ongoing 2009 Spring Jazz Series.  Formed in early 2008, the band’s current line-up features guitarists Brandon Ross and Michael Gregory, cellist Okkyung Lee, bassists Skuli Sverisson and John Lindberg and drummer Pheeroan akLaff.  Guitarist Lamar Smith will join the group as a special guest for this two-set performance, which serves as a warm-up for its debut recording session the following day.

“Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith remains as ambitious and creative as ever,” wrote the All Music Guide‘s Thom Jurek in his review of Smith’s latest release, May 2008’s Tabligh (Cuneiform Records).  “Smith, in his 60s, is not only as inventive and adventurous as he was when he was a younger player, but his creativity and ability to direct a band into new territory is actually farther reaching than ever before.  This is brilliant work.”  AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins adds, “A powerful document, Tabligh is a welcome reminder of Smith’s continued importance in the continuum of creative improvised music.”

Smith’s long and storied career as an acclaimed musician, award-winning composer and revered educator spans the past 40 years.  An integral part of New Haven’s creative music scene in the mid-1970’s, the longtime member of the legendary Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) has appeared on more than 70 recordings, including 30 as a leader.  His eclectic résumé includes collaborations with a long list of notable jazz figures, including Muhal Richard Abrams, Lester Bowie, Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry, Andrew Cyrille, Oliver Lake, Roscoe Mitchell and Cecil Taylor.  He is currently a professor of music at the California Institute of the Arts, where he directs the MFA program in African American Improvisation.  

2009 Spring Jazz Series schedule:

03/20: Julian Lage Group
03/27: Jimmy Greene Quartet
04/03: Pete Robbins/Mario Pavone/Tyshawn Sorey
04/10: George Colligan Trio
04/17: Wadada Leo Smith’s Organic Resonance
04/24: Noah Preminger Quartet
05/01: Michaël Attias Quintet
05/08: Peter Brötzmann/Nasheet Waits
05/15: James Carney Group
05/22: Michael Musillami Trio + 3
05/29: Ben Allison & Man Size Safe
06/05: Carl Maguire’s Floriculture
06/12: Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher

Tickets and more information available at:
http://firehouse12.com/performance_space_calendar.asp


Hartford Courant Previews Firehouse 12’s Spring Jazz Series

February 20, 2009

In this week’s edition of his column, Riffs, the Hartford Courant‘s Owen McNally previews Firehouse 12’s 2009 Spring Jazz Series, which he calls “an ambitious program of 13 consecutive Friday night shows featuring some of the best musicians in improvised music.”


Firehouse 12’s 2009 Spring Jazz Series Begins March 20th

February 11, 2009

Firehouse 12 logo

New Haven’s Firehouse 12 is proud to announce the schedule for its fourth annual Spring Jazz Series, a 13-week program of performances by some of the most active, innovative and respected musicians in creative improvised music today. 

The series, which begins on Friday, March 20th with two performances by the Julian Lage Group, will feature 8:30 and 10:00 p.m. sets every Friday night through the June 12th season finale featuring Dutch jazz heavyweights, Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher.

Tickets for all events are $15 for the opening set and $10 for the second set.  Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at (203) 785-0468, or at the box office beginning at 7 p.m. the night of the show (subject to availability).  A season pass for both sets of every show will be available for $150 through March 20th.

2009 Spring Jazz Series schedule:

03/20: Julian Lage Group
03/27: Jimmy Greene Quartet
04/03: Pete Robbins/Mario Pavone/Tyshawn Sorey
04/10: George Colligan Trio
04/17: Wadada Leo Smith’s Organic Resonance
04/24: Noah Preminger Quartet
05/01: Michaël Attias Quintet
05/08: Peter Brötzmann/Nasheet Waits
05/15: James Carney Group
05/22: Michael Musillami Trio + 3
05/29: Ben Allison & Man Size Safe
06/05: Carl Maguire’s Floriculture
06/12: Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher

Firehouse 12 is an award-winning bar, state-of-the-art recording studio and unusually intimate music venue located at 45 Crown Street in New Haven’s historic Ninth Square District.  For its semi-annual jazz concert series, the striking, acoustically engineered studio space transforms into an incomparable 80-seat venue critics have hailed as “New England’s premier improvised music venue” (Bill Carbone, New Haven Advocate) and “New Haven’s acclaimed avant-garde bastion of the bold and experimental” (Owen McNally, Hartford Courant).

Since early 2007, the organization has also released a series of acclaimed recordings through its label arm, Firehouse 12 Records.  Known for its “fast-developing reputation for left field offerings recorded in luminous sound that handsomely repay in-depth listening” (John Sharpe, AllAboutJazz.com), the label’s distinctive output includes releases by Anthony Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, Peter Evans, Mary Halvorson, Nicole Mitchell and Tyshawn Sorey.  Six new releases are tentatively scheduled for 2009.


Vision Festival XIII Reviewed in the December Issue of Jazz Improv NY

December 11, 2008

This just in from our better-late-than-never bureau, writer Ken Weiss’ extensive review of Vision Festival XIII, held in New York this past June, graces the pages of the December issue of Jazz Improv NY.  

The review, which spans four pages, including an entire page of original photos, covers a wide range of performances from three of the six nights of the festival, as well as the Saturday afternoon Emerging Artist Showcase.

It’s a great way to get a feel for the diversity of this seminal week-long event, which Weiss calls “New York City’s premier annual avant-garde mystical happening.”  He adds, “this festival continues to serve as the foundation that stabilizes the city’s creative jazz music scene, offering a meeting place for fans (many of whom come from Europe each year) and fellow musicians to experience some of the current integral soundshapers and also for industry types to congregate and make new connections with artists.”

If you don’t live in New York, where the magazine is distributed free at venues and other jazz-related sites, you can download this month’s issue, with Jimmy Heath on the cover, here (PDF).  The review begins on page 10.