The Shape of Jazz to Come: Downtown Jazz in 1959 and Now

Co-sponsored by The New School for Public Engagement & Part of Lower East Side History Month

In the 1950s and 60s, the Five Spot Café (in two locations on Cooper Square) was a major nexus, not only of top-notch jazz, but also of racial integration and artistic ferment. Leonard Bernstein, James Baldwin and Norman Mailer were all in the mix alongside Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane. When saxophonist Ornette Coleman and his band played for several weeks in 1959, they disrupted the scene’s social status quo as well as altering the sound of jazz. What is the downtown jazz scene like today – are there any parallels?

This promises to be a fascinating conversation at the crossroads of sociology and musicology, with a performance by the Ornette Coleman Ensemble of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, directed by Jane Ira Bloom. The Ornette Coleman Ensemble features: Allison Philips, trumpet; Alex Silver, tenor saxophone; Idan Morim, guitar; Antonio Mazzei Ocampo, piano; Daniel Durst, bass; Michael Dei Cont; bass; and Carter Bales, drums.

Village Preservation’s Karen Loew will moderate a panel discussion with David Lee, author of The Battle of the Five Spot: Ornette Coleman and the New York Jazz Field; Stacy Dillard, saxophonist and composer; and jazz critic Howard Mandel. Lee will also sign and sell his books.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
6:30 pm

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center at The New School
55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor