May 12, 2024 at 7PM
5212 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19139

Fieldwork, co-presented by J. Michael Harrison, host of WRTI’s The Bridge, celebrating Harrison’s 30 years in radio

Award-winning musicians Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman, Tyshawn Sorey re-unite as “Fieldwork” for a rare live performance in advance of their upcoming recording session, as part of Painted Bride’s Jazz on Market event series.

Doors at 6:30PM.

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Fieldwork is an occasional, but long-time collaboration of Vijay Iyer (piano), Steve Lehman (sax) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums) – each of whom has tremendous critical acclaim and stature in jazz and the performing arts.

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Described as “a virtuoso alto saxophonist” and a “state-of-the-art musical thinker” by The New York Times, Steve Lehman is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. Lehman’s pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, So Percussion, JACK Quartet, and the PRISM Saxophone Quartet. His recent recording, The People I Love, was cited as one of the “Top 10 Jazz Albums” of 2019 by NPR Music, Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. His previous recordings include, Ex Machina (2023) with France’s National Jazz Orchestra, Xaybu (2022) with the avant-rap collective Sélébéyone, Mise en Abîme (NPR #1 Jazz Album of 2014), and Travail, Transformation & Flow (NY Times #1 Jazz Album of 2009).

The recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, Lehman is an alto saxophonist who has performed and recorded nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Vijay Iyer, George Lewis, Bennie Maupin, Jason Moran, Georgia-Anne Muldrow, Meshell Ndegeocello, Tyshawn Sorey, and High Priest of Antipop Consortium, among many others. He has taught undergraduate courses at Columbia University and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, and is currently a professor of music at the California Institute of the Arts near Los Angeles.

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Described by The New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway,” Vijay Iyer has carved out a unique path as an influential, prolific, shape-shifting presence in twenty-first-century music. A composer and pianist active and revered across multiple musical communities, Iyer has created a consistently innovative, emotionally resonant body of work over the last twenty-five years, earning him a place as one of the leading music-makers of his generation.

He received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a United States Artist Fellowship, three Grammy nominations, the Alpert Award in the Arts, the Greenfield Prize, and two German “Echo” awards, and was voted DownBeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year four times in the last decade. He has been praised by Pitchfork as “one of the best in the world at what he does,” by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star,” and by Minnesota Public Radio as “an American treasure.”

Iyer’s musical language is indebted to the great composer-pianists from Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk to Alice Coltrane and Geri Allen, the rhythmic traditions of South Asia and West Africa, and the African American creative music movement of the 60s and 70s. February 2024 brings the release of Compassion (ECM Records), the second recording by Iyer’s much-admired trio with drummer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist Linda May Han Oh. The New York Times writes, “It’s as if this band wants to both seduce you and discomfit you, stripping you of everything but the ability to think and see for yourself.” Other recent releases include Love In Exile (Verve, 2023), a Grammy-nominated collaboration with vocalist Arooj Aftab and bassist Shahzad Ismaily; Uneasy (ECM Records, 2021), the acclaimed first trio session with Sorey and Oh; Far From Over (ECM, 2017) with the award-winning Vijay Iyer Sextet; and A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) a suite of duets with visionary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith.

Iyer is an active composer for classical ensembles and soloists, with works premiered by Brentano Quartet, Imani Winds, Parker Quartet, Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Sō Percussion, International Contemporary Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, East Coast Chamber Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, and virtuosi Matt Haimowitz, Mishka Rushdie Momen, Claire Chase, Inbal Segev, Sarah Rothenberg, Shai Wosner, and Jennifer Koh. He recently served as composer-in-residence at London’s Wigmore Hall, music director of the Ojai Music Festival, and artist in-residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. A tireless collaborator, he has written big-band music for Arturo O’Farrill and Darcy James Argue, remixed classic recordings of Talvin Singh and Meredith Monk, joined forces with legendary musicians Henry Threadgill, Reggie Workman, Zakir Hussain, and L. Subramanian, and developed interdisciplinary work with Teju Cole, Carrie Mae Weems, Mike Ladd, Julie Mehretu, and Prashant Bhargava. Iyer is a tenured professor at Harvard University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Music and the Department of African and African American Studies. He lives in New York City. He is a Steinway artist.

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Composer and multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey is celebrated for his extraordinary
ability to blend composition and improvisation in his work, while also offering
incomparable virtuosity, and effortless mastery of highly complex scores. He has
performed globally with his own ensembles, as well as alongside industry titans
including John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano, Vijay Iyer, Jason Moran, King Britt, Claire
Chase, Roscoe Mitchell, and Steve Lehman, among many others.
As a 2017 MacArthur Fellow and a 2018 United States Artists Fellow, the bar is set
high for Sorey’s continued evolution and success. His composition Monochromatic
Light (Afterlife) was honored as a Finalist for the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Music, and has
been recorded with the Houston Chamber Choir and DaCamera for release in 2024.
Adding to his reputation as a multi-faceted talent, Downbeat Magazine recently
recognized Sorey with its 2023 Critics Poll Award as a Rising Star Producer, while
frequently placing him near the top of its Composer and Drum Set performance lists.
Other recent accolades include the Fromm Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts
and Letters’ Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, and the Koussevitzsky Prize.
Sorey has composed works for the International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea
Ensemble, soprano Julia Bullock, PRISM Quartet, JACK Quartet, TAK Ensemble, cellist
Seth Parker Woods, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, bass-baritone
Davóne Tines, Alarm Will Sound, pianist Awadagin Pratt and vocal group Roomful of
Teeth, violinist Johnny Gandelsman, and tenor Lawrence Brownlee, as well as for
countless collaborative performers. His music has been performed in notable venues
such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing
Arts, the Hollywood Bowl, the 92nd Street Y, Park Avenue Armory, the Donaueschinger
Musiktage, Lucerne Festival, and the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. His
compositions are published by Edition Peters.

Sorey joined the composition faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in the Fall of
2020, where he maintains a vigorous touring schedule in addition to his academic
duties. He was selected as a Peabody Resident at Johns Hopkins University for Fall
2023, and has taught and lectured on composition and improvisation at an impressive
assortment of institutions, including: Columbia University, Harvard University,
Darmstadter Ferienkurse, Wesleyan University, The New England Conservatory,
University of Michigan, The Banff Centre, Berklee College of Music, Mills College,
University of Chicago, and The Danish Rhythmic Conservatory.

In spring 2023, Sorey debuted a musical collaboration with percussion ensemble
Yarn/Wire titled “Be Holding,” a multimedia adaptation of the book-length poem by
Ross Gay about the beauty and cultural significance of Julius Erving’s momentous sky
hook dunk during the 1980 NBA Finals. The production included performances by
professional wordsmiths Yolanda Wisher and David A. Gaines, along with students
from Girard College, and was featured in the New York Times. In the future, Sorey
plans to continue pushing boundaries, extending cultural norms, and reformulating
public perceptions of modern Black/Afrodiasporic creative practice through the
breadth and depth of his works.

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