On September 9 and 10, Ars Nova Workshop will present two back-to-back nights of performances at Philadelphia Art Alliance to celebrate the 70th birthday of legendary jazz pianist Dave Burrell. For this very special occasion, Philadelphia-based Burrell will be playing with bassist William Parker and native Philadelphian and multi-instrumentalist (saxophones, flute, clarinets) Sabir Mateen. These three artists have worked together on several occasions, including with Parker's The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield project.
Since he began making music in the 1960s, Burrell has continued to be one of the most significant composers, pianists and jazz innovators, ceaselessly pushing the limits of the jazz category and sharing his love of music with audiences around the world. He is one of the most celebrated and influential artists of the post-Coltrane free jazz continuum, and has worked with a long list of jazz luminaries including Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, Sunny Murray, and Sonny Sharrock. His singular approach to his instrument, namely the way he radically challenges traditional modes of piano playing and expands the instrument's capacities, has influenced contemporary avant-garde artists across genres and disciplines. Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, whose debt to Mr. Burrell is evident through his aggressive and oftentimes improvisational guitar-playing, once stated on the pages of Grand Royal Magazine that Mr. Burrell's Echo is the greatest free jazz record of all time.
Please join us tomorrow and Friday night for these two fantastic performances as we celebrate the life and work of this great artist, especially in a space as intimate as the Philadelphia Art Alliance, which will allow us to deeply experience Burrell's superb musicianship.