Jazz on A High Floor in the Afternoon:
Archie Shepp

Sep 27–28, 2019

Floor 8

Curated by celebrated jazz pianist, composer, and visual artist Jason Moran and Whitney performance curator Adrienne Edwards, Jazz on a High Floor in the Afternoon is a series of live in-gallery performances presented over nine weekends. The series features cross-generational artists performing within Moran’s three mixed-media “set sculptures”—STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1 (2015), STAGED: Three Deuces (2015), and STAGED: Slugs’ Saloon (2018). Each installation pays homage to an iconic New York jazz venue.

Archie Shepp is a legendary saxophone player, composer, pianist, poet, and playwright. During his early years in New York, he participated in Amiri Baraka’s circle and recorded with major figures, such as Cecil Taylor and John Coltrane. Shepp played on Coltrane’s pivotal album, Ascension (1965–66), and the two split a record—the first side a Coltrane set, the second a Shepp set—titled New Thing at Newport (1965). Shepp was at the forefront of the movement that brought African musical and cultural traditions into freeform jazz. His 1967 album The Magic of Ju-Ju combines Shepp’s avant-garde saxophone lines with an African percussion ensemble. In 1969 he began teaching ethnomusicology at the University of Amherst, Massachusetts. He founded his own record label, Archieball, together with Monette Berthomier, in 2004 and continues to compose and record. In 2016, Shepp received the NEA Jazz Master Award. He is preparing a new album to be released in 2020.

Friday, September 27
7 pm
Tickets for performances during Pay-What-You-Wish hours (Fridays, 7–10 pm) will be distributed day-of, on a first come, first served basis at the Museum starting at 7 pm.

Saturday, September 28
4 pm
This event has reached ticketing capacity. A limited number of standby tickets may be available at the admissions desk on a first-come, first-served basis. The standby line will open one hour prior to the program’s start time.

See all performances from the Jazz on A High Floor in the Afternoon series.

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