Celebrating Cecil


Celebrating Cecil
Sat March 8th | 8 pm
$20 in advance, $25 day of show | Members $15/$18.75
This show is available for Student Rush tickets. Click here to learn about our student rush program.
Bobby Zankel, alto saxophone | Dave Burrell, piano | Henry Grimes, double-bass | William Parker, double-bass | Andrew Cyrille, drums

Ars Nova Workshop, the Painted Bride Art Center, and the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound are pleased to present this very special collaboration in celebration of Cecil Taylor’s 84th birthday and the 56th anniversary of his historic debut at the Newport Jazz Festival.

Brought together for one night only, this all-star quintet features many of Taylor’s closest and longstanding colleagues, including saxophonist Bobby Zankel, who performed in the 1971 debut of the Cecil Taylor Big Band; bassist William Parker, a member of Taylor’s Feel Trio with Tony Oxley; pianist Dave Burrell, who’s approach often employs the high-speed lyricism of Taylor; and bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Andrew Cyrille, who both appeared on the seminal Blue Note recordings, Unit Structures and Conquistador!

In response to, “How do you pay respect to Cecil Taylor?” The New York Times in 2013 responded to its own question: “You honor Cecil Taylor by being yourself.” Five of today’s most respected improvisers will take the stage and do just that.

Since the mid-1950s, pianist Cecil Taylor has been an uncompromising trailblazer. His blending of jazz and modern classical sensibilities has transformed the jazz vocabulary, not unlike the work of Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane, with whom he recorded Coltrane Time (Blue Note Records) in 1958. By the early 60s, Taylor co-founded the Jazz Composers Guild, and was performing frequently with longtime associates, Jimmy Lyons and Sunny Murray, with whom he recorded Nefertit, The Beautiful One Has Come at Cafe Montmartre, one of the greatest live recordings in jazz. The alumni from his ensembles include jazz greats such as Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Max Roach, Derek Bailey, and Evan Parker. In addition, he has collaborated with the Art Ensemble of Chicago and drummer Tony Williams. One of the most uncompromising and challenging musicians of all time, Taylor has received the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has been named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master.

Made possible with generous support from the Philadelphia Jazz Project.