Pianoscapes: Frederick Experimental Music Association

PianoscapesPianoscapes is a three-concert solo piano series, with performances by Alexander Hawkins, Angelica Sanchez, and Matthew Shipp.

All performances will be given at Frederick YMCA Arts Center at 8pm, doors at 7:30.  The Y Arts Center is located at 115 East Church Street; Frederick, Maryland 21701.

Tickets are $20 at the door.

Saturday, March 16:  Alexander Hawkins

Pianoscapes concert Alexand HawkinsAlexander Hawkins is an Oxford UK-based composer, pianist, organist, and bandleader. Working in a vast array of creative contexts, he seeks to reconcile both a love of free improvisation and a fascination with composition and structure.

His writing has been said to represent “a fundamental reassertion of composition within improvised music,” and his voice one of the “most vividly distinctive … in modern jazz.” As a pianist, he has been praised for “possessing staggering technical ability and a fecund imagination as both player and composer.” Brian Morton, co-author of The Penguin Guide to Jazz, calls Hawkins “the most interesting Hammond [organ] player of the last decade and more.”

In addition to his solo concerts, Hawkins performs in duos with Nicole Mitchell, Evan Parker, and Tomeka Reid. His trio, quartet co-led with vocalist Elaine Mitchener, and larger ensembles receive enthusiastic reviews throughout Europe. Togetherness Music, released in January 2021, has been called a masterpiece that stands next to the best works of Roscoe Mitchell and Anthony Braxton.

In 2012, he was chosen as a member of the first edition of the London Symphony Orchestra’s “Soundhub” program for young composers. He has been widely commissioned by the likes of the BBC, and has performed festivals in Berlin, Chicago, and London and venues such as the South Bank Centre and the Pierre Boulez Saal. He was named “Instrumentalist of the Year” in the 2016 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. In 2018, he was elected a fellow of the Civitella Ranieri.

Hawkins’ concert will be his first on the East Coast.

Saturday, April 13: Matthew Shipp

Pianoscapes concert Matthew ShippMatthew Shipp possesses a unique style that is entirely his own, one of the few pianists in jazz that can say so. Down Beat cited Shipp as a “musician who deserves a place of choice in the jazz piano pantheon … he is the connection between this past, present and future for jazz heads of all ages.” The Wall Street Journal stated that “Shipp has helped define, with uncommon distinction, a fresh range of possibilities for contemporary pianism grounded in jazz tradition – raise complex questions and yet invites listeners in.”

With his unique and recognizable style, pianist Matthew Shipp worked and recorded vigorously from the late ’80s onward, creating music in which free jazz and modern classical intertwined. He first became well known in the early ’90s as the pianist in the David S. Ware Quartet, and soon began leading his own dates — most often including Ware bandmate and leading bassist William Parker, and recording a number of duets with the legendary Roscoe Mitchell, who later performed with Shipp’s trio at a historic 1997 Carnegie Hall concert.

After establishing a new trajectory in chamber jazz through a series of recordings for the Swiss, Hat Hut label, Shipp was the curator and director of the acclaimed “Blue Series” of recordings issued on the Thirsty Ear label in the 2000s, a body of work that set a benchmark for 21st Century jazz. Shipp has continued to be a prolific recording artist, leading or co-leading nearly 100 titles, and counting.

Shipp maintains a vigorous performance schedule, regularly performing at major jazz festivals throughout North America and Europe.

Friday, May 10:  Angelica Sanchez

Pianoscapes Angelica SanchezPianist/Composer/Educator Angelica Sanchez moved to New York from Arizona in 1994. Since moving to the East Coast Sanchez has collaborated with such notable artists as Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Motian, and Richard Davis, among others. Sanchez leads numerous groups, the most recent being her Trio with Michael Formanek and Billy Hart and her Nonet.

Her music has been recognized in national and international publications including Jazz Times, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune. She was also the 2008 recipient of a French/American Chamber Music America grant, the 2011 Rockefeller Brothers Pocantico artist residency, and the 2021 Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, Italy.

Sanchez’s recordings have won critical praise since Sanchez’s debut solo CD A Little House was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition. More recently, her piano duo How to Turn the Moon with Marilyn Crispell was voted as one of the top 50 best recordings in the 2020 NPR critics poll. Sparkle Beings, featuring her trio with Michael Formanek and Billy Hart, was chosen by The New York Times as one of the top ten Jazz recordings of 2022. And the recently issued Night Creatures, the debut album of her Nonet, was enthusiastically reviewed by NPR’s Kevin Whitehead.

Angelica Sanchez has a Masters Degree in Arranging from William Paterson University. She is currently on faculty at Bard College.

FEMAPianoscapes is part of the Frederick Experimental Music Association’s Spring SeasonFor further information, contact Bill Shoemaker: admin@pointofdeparture.org