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Roscoe Mitchell Trio featuring Tyshawn Sorey & Hugh Ragin
October 28, 2012
prolific jazz and contemporary music composer / saxophonist, founding member of the world renowned Art Ensemble of Chicago & Mills College composition chair Roscoe Mitchell leads a groundbreaking new trio
Roscoe Mitchell - alto and soprano saxes
Hugh Ragin - trumpet
Tyshawn Sorey - drums
Sunday, Oct 28
7pm $24 / $12 students
Roscoe Mitchell, internationally renowned musician, composer, and innovator, began his distinguished career in the spirited 1960s of Chicago, Illinois. His role in the resurrection of long neglected woodwind instruments of extreme register, his innovation as a solo woodwind performer, and his reassertion of the composer into what has traditionally been an improvisational form have placed him at the forefront of contemporary music for over four decades. A leader in the field of avant-garde jazz and contemporary music, Mr. Mitchell is a founding member of the world renowned Art Ensemble of Chicago, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and the Trio Space. Mr. Mitchell is the founder of the Creative Arts Collective of East Lansing, Michigan, The Roscoe Mitchell Sextet, The Roscoe Mitchell Quartet, The Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble, The Sound Ensemble, The Roscoe Mitchell New Chamber Ensemble, and Roscoe Mitchell and the Note Factory.
Mr. Mitchell has recorded over 100 albums and has written hundreds of compositions. His compositions range from classical to contemporary, from wild and forceful free jazz to ornate chamber music. His instrumental expertise includes the saxophone family, from the sopranino to the bass saxophone; the recorder family, from sopranino to great bass recorder; flute, piccolo, clarinet, and the transverse flute. Also, for over 35 years, he has designed an elaborate percussion instrument called the Percussion Cage, consisting of instruments from America, China, Tibet, Africa, Australia, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, and Turkey, as well many found instruments.
Tyshawn Sorey is an active composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across an extensive range of musical idioms. As a percussionist, trombonist, and pianist, Tyshawn has performed and/or recorded nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and with artists such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Coleman, Butch Morris, Peter Evans, Misha Mengelberg, John Zorn, Vijay Iyer, Wadada Leo Smith, Dave Douglas, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lehman, and Tim Berne, among many others. Tyshawn’s work has been favorably reviewed in Traps, National Public Radio, JazzTimes, The Village Voice, The Wire, The New York Times, Modern Drummer, The Wall Street Journal, and Downbeat Magazine.
As a scholar, Tyshawn received his B.M. in Jazz Studies and Performance from William Paterson University in 2004, where he studied under John Riley, James Williams, and Kevin Norton, while concurrently studying composition with Anton Vishio and John Link, in addition to working in various settings under Peter Jarvis, director of the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble. In 2009, Tyshawn began his studies with composer-performers Anthony Braxton, Jay Hoggard, and Alvin Lucier, which culminated in earning his M.A. in Composition from Wesleyan University. He is currently a Faculty Fellow in Columbia University’s Doctor of Musical Arts program with a concentration in Composition, studying primarily under George Lewis. Sorey has also conducted and participated in various lectures, panel discussions, and master classes on improvisation, composition, and critical theory at venues such as the Chamber Music America conference in New York City, International Realtime Music Symposium in Norway, Hochschule für Musik Köln, School of Improvisational Music, Musikhochschule Nürnberg, Berklee College of Music, Birmingham Conservatory of Music in England, The Stone in New York City, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and Cité de la Musique in Paris.
As a composer, Tyshawn has composed over 160 works of all genres to date and received commissions from Van Lier Fellowship, Roulette, and most recently the International Contemporary Ensemble, whose large-scale work will premiere in its entirety in November 2012. Tyshawn is currently a private instructor in composition and improvisation for The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the School of Improvisational Music.
A strikingly gifted post-bop trumpeter, Hugh Ragin's work as performer and composer was held in high esteem by his fellow musicians throughout the 80s and 90s. It was only at the end of the 90s, however, that word began to spread to a wider audience.
Hugh Ragin, inspiring teacher, creative composer and trumpet virtuoso, has been named “a trumpeter with very few peers in terms of imagination or technical command” by jazz biographer Francis Davis in his notes for the “Live At The Knitting Factory” recording with Roscoe Mitchell. Ragin has also collaborated with musicians such as David Murray,
Anthony Braxton, Dizzy Gillespie, Spencer Barefield, Fred Wesley, Leo Smith, Sun Ra, Maynard Ferguson, D.D. Jackson, Andrew Cyrille and poet Amiri Baraka, on both recorded and live jazz performances that range from bebop and freebop to the most “out” of avant-garde improvising.
His compositions have been recorded by David Murray, Roscoe Mitchell, D.D. Jackson and Fred Wesley, and yet despite his success as a performer and composer, Ragin insists on “being an educator first.” His life has formed as a compassionate gesture “to share the knowledge, and bring more people into music.” For all areas of his teaching, Ragin puts a strong emphasis on the fundamentals.
“I like to give enough material so that students can absorb what�'s useful, disregard what is unnecessary, and add what is uniquely their own.” says Ragin. It is like Charlie Parker said, “first you learn the scales, then you forget them.”
Drawing from personal experience, Ragin also says, “technique includes the knowledge of the instrument as well as knowledge of the language.” He attributes his astounding control of the trumpet to studying the basics.