Still The New Thing Festival

The Painted Bride Art CenterArs Nova Workshop, Warriors of the Wonderful Sound, and the Philadelphia Jazz Project are excited to announce a three-show collaboration paying homage to jazz legends Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, and Sun Ra.  Scheduled to coincide with the artists' respective birthdays, these one-of-a-kind all-star evenings feature musicians who, over the last five decades, have had key professional and personal relationships with Cecil, Ornette and Sun Ra. These special performances will celebrate the lives and work of these challenging, uncompromising composer-performers.

The inimitable Cecil Taylor has received the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has been named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. In March, to celebrate both his remarkable contributions to jazz and his 85th birthday, saxophonist Bobby Zankel will lead a one-night only quintet featuring some of Taylor's closest and most longstanding colleagues, including bassists Henry Grimes and William Parker, Philadelphia pianist Dave Burrell, and drummer Andrew Cyrille.

To celebrate the 84th birthday of Ornette Coleman, the artist who coined the term “Free Jazz,” two unique ensembles will be presented.  The first, the Denardo Coleman Group, is led by the saxophonist's son (who first recorded with his father as a 10-year-old boy) and will feature members of the elder Coleman's unique current quartet. Additionally, bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, best known for his work in Ornette’s Prime Time ensemble, will perform with a group hand-selected for this special night.

The series will culminate in a double-header celebrating not only the work and lives of Ornette and Cecil, but also Sun Ra, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. Two big bands with extraordinarily rich Philadelphia histories will be featured: the Sun Ra Arkestra led by Marshall Allen, and “Still The New Thing” curater Bobby Zankel with his Warriors of the Wonderful Sound.