The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Art After 5 series fuses the worlds of modern art and modern jazz this spring with the world premiere of an original composition inspired by the Museum’s collection of works by Spanish surrealist Joan Miró, one of the most ingenious artists in the history of modern art. The original music by Grammy-nominated saxophonist David Liebman will premiere on Friday, April 28, in the Great Stair Hall, and highlights a diverse spring lineup of Friday night concerts, including a Cinco de Mayo celebration with Trio Cristol, Rolling Stones sideman Michael Davis (May 19), Blue Note recording artist Robert Glasper (May 26), and the prolific poet/playwright/rapper Carl Hancock Rux (June 2).
David Liebman is a renaissance man in contemporary music. He has played with Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, Chick Corea and others; authored books and instructional videos acknowledged as classics in the field of jazz; recorded as a leader in styles ranging from classical to rock to free jazz; and founded the International Association of Schools of Jazz. A multiple Grammy nominee, he was inducted into the International Association of Jazz Educator's Hall of Fame in 2000. The succession of groups Liebman has led or co-led has been well documented. His first was the Open Sky Trio with the protean drummer Bob Moses. Next came Lookout Farm, followed by the Dave Liebman Quintet, which introduced the young guitarist John Scofield. After the Quintet came Quest with pianist Richie Beirach, and in 1991 he formed the Dave Liebman Group. Each band had its own music but in general reflected various aspects of Lieb's eclectic interests.
For nearly a year, Liebman has immersed himself in Miró, exploring the relationship between music and the visual arts. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the quintessential place to experience the range of Miró’s artistic achievement. The Museum owns fourteen major paintings by Miró, including Horse, Pipe, and Red Flower (1920), The Hermitage (1924), Nude (1926), and Dog Barking at the Moon (1926). The Museum also holds an impressive collection of lithographs, etchings, pochoirs, and illustrated books, spanning a period from 1933 to 1966.
This program, including the commissioning and presentation, is made possible by a grant from the Philadelphia Music Project, an Artistic Initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts, administered by The University of the Arts.
This spring’s Art After 5 lineup:
April 7, Turkish Celebration
Bill Koutsouros of the world-fusion ensemble Animus and folk dancer Bulent Dogan celebrate the beauty and depth of Turkey’s music and dance traditions.
April 14, Lou Lanza
Philadelphia-based jazz vocalist Lou Lanza has fashioned a distinctive style that unites the vulnerability of Chet Baker, Mel Tormé, and a young Frank Sinatra with the hard-bop risk-taking of Mark Murphy and Jon Hendricks.
April 21, Tom Lawton
Jazz pianist/composer Tom Lawton is a “musician’s musician,” who performs solo, with his own groups, and as a sideman. Well schooled in classical piano, Lawton also teaches jazz piano at Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance.
April 28, David Liebman
Grammy-nominated saxophonist David Liebman presents an original jazz composition that reflects his appreciation and study of the Museum’s collection of modern and contemporary art, specifically focusing on Spanish artist Joan Miró.
May 5, Trio Crisol
The Museum celebrates Cinco de Mayo with Trio Crisol, Spanish for ‘melting pot.’ The ensemble, which has been performing in the Philadelphia area for over a decade, is dedicated to the interpretation of a variety of folk and traditional music genres from Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and other parts of Latin America.
May 12, Warren Oree: The History of Jazz
Warren Oree & the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble presents an interactive performance that focuses on the growth and development of jazz, using vivid musical descriptions to make the history and people behind the music come alive.
May 19, Michael Davis
One of today’s premier instrumentalists, trombonist-composer Michael Davis has established himself as a sideman for the Rolling Stones, Tony Bennett, Nelly, and Bob Dylan. He has also authored a numbed of highly esteemed instructional books and band arrangements.
May 26, Robert Glasper
“There isn't a young musician with more buzz at the moment than Glasper,” says The New York Times. The 27-year-old Blue Note recording artist combines a mesmerizing melodic sense with outstanding technique. Influenced by McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Keith Jarrett, this pianist/composer exhibits a delicate touch and harmonic sense as recognizable as any of the aforementioned masters. When summarizing Canvas, his major label debut of 2005, two words come to mind: immediacy and serendipity.
June 2, Carl Hancock Rux
Carl Hancock Rux is an Obie Award-winning playwright, poet, novelist, and rapper whose music mixes jazz, hip-hop, R&B, rock, and gospel with violins and cellos, Tibetan prayer, sitars, and electronic keyboard samples. Paste Magazine called his most recent album, Apothecary Rx, “unclassifiable, truly beautiful and moving.” The Washington Times describes Rux as “a mixture of protest-rapper Chuck D. and public intellectual Cornel West.” In 1994, The New York Times selected Hancock Rux as “One of 30 Artists Under the Age of 30 Most Likely to Influence Culture Over the Next 30 Years.”
June 9, Rachael Price
Australian-born Rachael Price has been wowing audiences and critics with her exceptional voice. The nineteen-year-old jazz vocalist has created a reputation at international venues, causing a major buzz with her unique take on jazz standards. She recently recorded her first album, Dedicated to You, a compendium of standards from the heyday of "girl jazz singers" like Doris Day and Anita O'Day.
June 16, Matt Wilson: Arts and Crafts
The witty and innovative drummer Matt Wilson leads Arts and Crafts, an exciting band that includes trumpeter Terell Stafford, pianist/organist Larry Goldings, and bassist Dennis Irwin. Their second album, Wake Up! (To What’s Happening), was released in 2004 on Palmetto.
June 23, Vince Herring
Saxophonist Vince Herring has worked with Nat Adderly, Dizzy Gillespie, and Nancy Wilson, and has appeared as a special guest soloist with Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center. He has developed into a virtuoso with a voice that is uniquely intense and vigorous.
June 30, Denise King
Denise King sings pop and jazz standards with touches of the blues, soul, and gospel in a voice steeped in a sophisticated style much like one of her idols, Sarah Vaughan.
About Art After 5
Art After 5 offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy evening hours to explore the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s 200 galleries, housing a vast collection of art from around the world. The experience is enhanced each Friday by a program of music, dance, food, and drinks in the Great Stair Hall. Performances are presented in two sets: 5:45–6:45 p.m. and 7:15–8:15 p.m., with guided tours of the galleries offered throughout the evening. A full cash bar and à la carte menu of appetizers, light entrées, and desserts is available with table service in the Great Stair Hall. Admission is $12 for adults; $9 for senior citizens (62 and over); and $8 for students with I.D. and children 13–18. Children 12 years old and younger are admitted free at all times.