New Orleans saxophonist and jazz patriarch Kidd Jordan has been invited to perform at the 15th Other Minds Music Festival in San Francisco. Other Minds, in cooperation with the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Eugene and Elinor Friend Center for the Arts of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, and the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, is bringing together some of the most innovative musical minds at work in the world today. Three days of public performances from March 4-6, 2010 at San Francisco's Kanbar Hall will be preceded by a private five-day retreat for the composers on the verdant grounds of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in the hills of Woodside, California, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Pre-concert discussions will be held at 7pm, concerts commence at 8pm.
In addition to Jordan, the festival features highly influential senior composers: Chou Wen-chung, the first modern Chinese composer to emigrate to the US, and a mentor to such composers as Tan Dun and Chen Yi; composer and former Village Voice music critic Tom Johnson.
Local favorites include Carla Kihlstedt, and Gyan Riley. Other guests include Lisa Bielawa, winner of this year's prestigious Rome Prize, Poland's rising star Pawe Mykietyn, Switzerland's radical minimalist Jrg Frey, and prize-winning electronic music composer Natasha Barrett. Featured performers include bassist William Parker, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Quatuor Bozzini, the Del Sol String Quartet, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and the Gyan Riley Trio with Michael Manring.
Charles Amirkhanian, Executive Director of Other Minds says This year's Festival represents the culmination of years of planning, and we expect an extraordinary week of shared exploration, discovery and delight, for our composers, performers, and most importantly, our audiences."
Each year Amirkhanian, together with OM Associate Director Adam Fong, invites composers of differing age, gender, nationality, technique, and philosophy to the annual Festival . . ., We try to make the group as diverse as possible, to get them out of their comfort zones and generate some energy in the discussions." says Mr. Fong. Every year we have nine composers with completely different backgrounds, but they always find unexpected interests in common, and leave the retreat with a feeling of camaraderie. It's special because these friendships are new: so many other festivals bring together composers who see each other all the time - Other Minds makes space for unexpected connections."
Indie Jazz aptly describes Sir Edward Kidd" Jordan as a genteel man" who is probably the single most under-documented jazz musician of his generation, a fact that is even more remarkable when you consider that he is also one of the busiest musicians in the world."
He has performed and recorded with such legends as Cannonball Adderley, Fred Anderson, Ornette Coleman, Ed Blackwell, Ellis Marsalis, Ray Charles, Cecil Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Ed Blackwell, The Temptations, Big Maybelle, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, Peter Korvald, William Parker, Alan Silva, Louis Moholo, Sunny Murray, Harnid Drake, and Ellis Marsalis, just to name a few.
A big part of Mr. Jordan's rsum is the Improvisational Arts Ensemble a group he founded with drummer Alvin Fielder, trumpeter Clyde Kerr, Jr. and bassist London Branch. The inclusion of the late Alvin Thomas transformed the group into the Improvisational Arts Quintet. Kidd developed a close musical relationship with innovative pianist Joel Futterman back in the early 90's and they continue to perform and record together. His first recording was titled, No Compromise" and that very accurately expresses his personal conviction about his music.
Kidd organized the first World Saxophone Quartet in 1976 that included Julius Hemphill, David Murray, Harniet Bluiett, and Oliver Lake. His work has been documented by CBS News 60 Minutes and he was honored with Offbeat magazine's first Lifetime Achievement Award for Music Education. In 1985 the French Ministry of Culture bestowed knighthood on Mr. Jordan as a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the French government's highest artistic award for his work as an educator and performer. In 2008 Mr. Jordan was also named a Lifetime Achievement Honoree at the Vision Festival XIII in New York City.
This virtuoso unselfishly shared his gift of and passion for music for 51 years, 36 of which he spent at Southern University at New Orleans. In June of 2009, he received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Preservation Resource Center during their 9th Annual Ladies in Red Event, and NOLA.TV's Asante Awards respectively.
Jordan has been known to practice by playing musical phrases in response to bird's and other sounds of nature. For Kidd creating music is all about developing one's ear. As he says, you have to hear what you're trying to get at." Asked to define his work, he calls it creative improvisational music."
During the San Francisco Bay Area swing, Jordon will also perform at the Douglas Beach House in Half Moon Bay, home to the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society on March 7 from 4:30 - 7:00 pm. Jordon will be accompanied by Eddie Gale on trumpet, William Parker on bass, and Warren Smith on drums for all performances.