Joe Morris & Tyshawn Sorey//Chris Cretella & Zach Rowden
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
The State House (map)
310 State Street
New Haven, CT 06450
Innovators of the avant garde jazz scene collaborate for a night of amazing sounds
Originally from New Haven, Conn., guitarist, composer and bassist Joe Morris began playing in 1969 and is self-taught. He considers Cecil Taylor, Eric Dolphy, Leroy Jenkins, Thelonious Monk, Jimi Hendrix, and West African string music as major influences. He has performed with Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Joe Maneri, Ken Vandermark, John Zorn, Mat Maneri, Rob Brown, John Butcher, Eugene Chadbourne, DKV Trio, Dewey Redman, Lawrence "Butch" Morris, Andrew Cyrille, Ivo Perlman, and many others.
He has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the US and Europe. He is currently on the faculty at New England Conservatory in the jazz and improvisation department and is a former member of the faculty of Tufts University Extension College. He was nominated as Best Guitarist of the year 1998 and 2002 at the New York Jazz Awards. He was among those listed in the "Best Guitarist" category in the 1999 and 2000 Down Beat Critics’ Poll. He is the author of Perpetual Frontier / The Properties of Free Music.
Joe has recorded for the labels ECM, Black Saint/Soul Note, Hat Hut, Leo, Incus, Okka Disc, Homestead, About Time, Knitting Factory Works, No More Records, AUM Fidelity and OmniTone and Avant as well has his own labels Riti and Glacial Erratic.
Newark-born multi-instrumentalist and composer Tyshawn Sorey (b. 1980) is celebrated for his incomparable virtuosity, effortless mastery and memorization of highly complex scores, and an extraordinary ability to blend composition and improvisation in his work. He has performed nationally and internationally with his own ensembles, as well as artists such as John Zorn, Vijay Iyer, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams, Wadada Leo Smith, Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, Claire Chase, Steve Coleman, Steve Lehman, Robyn Schulkowsky, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, and Myra Melford, among many others.
The New York Times has praised Sorey for his instrumental facility and aplomb, “he plays not only with gale-force physicality, but also a sense of scale and equipoise”; The Wall Street Journal notes Sorey is, “a composer of radical and seemingly boundless ideas.” The New Yorker recently noted that Sorey is “among the most formidable denizens of the in-between zone…An extraordinary talent who can see across the entire musical landscape.”
Sorey has received support for his creative projects from The Jerome Foundation, The Shifting Foundation, Van Lier Fellowship, and was recently named a 2017 MacArthur fellow. The Spektral Quartet, Ojai Music Festival, and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) have commissioned his works, which exemplify a penchant for a thorough exploration of the intersection between improvisation and composition. Sorey also collaborates regularly with ICE as a percussionist and resident composer. Future commissions include a residency at the Berlin Jazz Festival and Carnegie Hall’s 125 Commissions Project in partnership with Opera Philadelphia supporting a new work for tenor Lawrence Brownlee addressing themes associated with Black Lives Matter.
As a leader, Sorey has released six critically acclaimed recordings that feature his work as a composer, multi-instrumentalist and conceptualist including his latest Verisimilitude (Pi Recordings, 2017), among many others.
In 2012, he was selected as one of nine composers for the Other Minds Festival, where he exchanged ideas with such like-minded peers as Ikue Mori, Ken Ueno, and Harold Budd. In 2013, Jazz Danmark invited him to serve as the Danish International Visiting Artist. He was a 2015 recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Award. Sorey has taught and lectured on composition and improvisation at Columbia University, The New School, The Banff Centre, Wesleyan University, International Realtime Music Symposium, Hochschule für Musik Köln, Berklee College of Music, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and The Danish Rhythmic Conservatory. His work has been premiered at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Ojai Music Festival, The Kitchen, Walt Disney Hall, Roulette, Issue Project Room, and the Stone, among many other established venues and festivals.
As of Fall 2017 he has held the role of Assistant Professor of Composition and Creative Music at Wesleyan University, where he received his Masters degree in Composition in 2011.
Chris Cretella and Zach Rowden
Chris Cretella (guitar) and Zach Rowden (bass), stalwarts of the Elm City’s burgeoning improvised music community address issues of caffeine dependency and the efficacy of falling down on purpose as a means of generating laughs in these trying times.
Chris Cretella is a guitarist, composer and improvisor working out of New Haven, CT (well…actually Meriden…but that’s close enough to New Haven…right?). He holds a BA in music from Southern Connecticut State University and an MM in Contemporary Improvisation from The New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with Joe Morris and Anthony Coleman. Since leaving NEC Chris has been working on developing a system of playing on the guitar through regular small group improvisation with frequent collaborators such as Joe Morris, Nigel Taylor, and Zach Rowden. This work on the guitar is often spit back out somewhere down the line as compositions. Very much an improvisor at heart, Chris’ written music often deals with some sort of open parameters. Chris has performed in the United States and Europe with Joe Morris, Anthony Coleman, Mary Halvorson, Gary Lucas, Rhys Chatham, Carl Testa, Nigel Taylor, Fausto Sierakowski, Andy Allen, Dave Parmelee, Colin Fisher, Adam Matlock, Mike Paolucci, Brian Slattery, Mike Tepper, Jack Wright, Peter Negroponte, Zach Rowden, Stephen Haynes, Stole Liavik Solberg, Anne Rhodes, Nathan Bontrager, Sam Weinberg, Susana Santos Silva, Trevor Saint, Nate Trier, Grant Beale and a whole bunch of others. Chris has released several albums over the past few years as a leader and/or collaborator.
Zach Rowden deals with the acoustic and performative possibilities of the upright and electric basses. Currently living in New Haven, Connecticut, and Richmond, Virginia. Collaborators and associations include Iancu Dumitrescu & Ana-Maria Avram (Hyperion Ensemble member/soloist), Michael Foster’s The Ghost, Robert Black, Matt Sargent, Leila Bordreuil, Lindsey Vickery, Gus Caldwell, Chris Cretella, and Sean Ali. He has performed at venues such as Harpa (Reykjavik), ISSUE Project Room (New York), Firehouse 12 (New Haven), Cafe Oto (London), Heimathafen Neukölln (Berlin), Real Art Ways (Hartford) and living rooms/basements throughout the United States.