January 10, 2010, 2:30 PM
Mixed Marriage: Jazz and the Post-Klezmer Revolution in NYC
Music Performance & Discussion
Participants: Lewis Porter & Greg Wall
The last decade of the 20th century witnessed the development of a new musical language, combining jazz improvisation with klezmer, Hasidic, and cantorial music, as well as funk, R&B, and experimental forms. Jazz musician and ordained rabbi Greg Wall, co-leader of the group Hasidic New Wave, was one of the first musicians to combine a highly literate Jewish perspective with new music, and has produced work based on classic biblical and talmudic texts. For his event, Wall will join pianist, musicologist, and series moderator Dr. Lewis Porter to outline the history and development of this new genre. The two will demonstrate the various melodic, scalar, rhythmic, and harmonic elements that make up this new language, playing classic, original, and spontaneous compositions.
Dr. Lewis Porter is a jazz pianist, author, and educator. He is Professor of Music at Rutgers University in Newark, where he is the founding Director of the Master's Program in Jazz History and Research. Porter is the author or coauthor of six books, including the acclaimed study John Coltrane: His Life and Music. In addition, he has written numerous articles and liner notes, and edits a book series and a scholarly journal. Porter has performed recently with such artists as Wycliffe Gordon, Ravi Coltrane, Dave Liebman, and Jeff Coffin. His latest CD, recorded live at Siena Jazz, is Italian Encounter. Jazz Times recently described Porter as "a helluva pianist."
Greg Wall is a saxophonist, clarinetist, and rabbi. Wall grew up in the Boston area and attended the New England Conservatory of Music in the late seventies, before settling in the New York area. A pioneer in blending Jewish music with jazz, Wall performs frequently at venues throughout North America and Europe with Later Prophets, Hasidic New Wave, the New American Jazz Quartet, Klezmerfest, and the Unity Orchestra. He was the musical voice of James Earl Jones in the feature film On the QT. He has been collaborating with choreographer Carolyn Dorfman since 1999, resulting in 5 full-length commisioned scores. Wall's latest recording, "Ha'Orot: The Lights of Rav Kook," was recently released on John Zorn's Tzadik label.
This program is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
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