For three decades, Alonzo King has collaborated with some of the world’s most distinguished artists. This spring he is joined by tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd and jazz pianist Jason Moran as they bring their acclaimed musical partnership to dance for the first time. King’s choreography is fertile creative ground for the trailblazing duo − two generations of jazz masters who share “an unerring ability to get to the emotional heart of a song,” according to JazzTimes. Forever rooted in the canonical structures of the past, ballet dancers and jazz musicians mine the depths of the present moment, and boldly forge ahead.
Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran will perform live for the first four performances, April 21-24.
King’s critically acclaimed Shostakovich also returns to the stage this season. Set to four of the composer’s string quartets, the piece showcases the ardent and electric dancing of LINES company members recognized by the San Francisco Chronicle for their “spectacular” partnering.
Thu, April 21, 8pm – with Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran performing live
Fri, April 22, 8pm – with Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran performing live
Sat, April 23, 6pm – special Gala performance, with Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran performing live
Sun, April 24, 5pm – with Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran performing live, post-performance talk with Alonzo King, Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran
Wed, April 27, 7:30pm
Thu, April 28, 7:30pm – post-performance talk with Alonzo King
Fri, April 29, 8pm
Sat, April 30, 8pm
This world premiere collaboration is supported by the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund and Marcia and Richard Grand.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet’s Shostakovich
A Preview of Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran
Our Spring Season collaborators:
Charles Lloyd began playing the saxophone at the age of 9. Pianist Phineas Newborn became his mentor, and took him to Irvin Reason for lessons. Lloyd worked in Phineas Sr’s band, and from the age of 12 worked as sideman in the blues bands of B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnnie Ace, Bobbie “Blue” Bland, and others. His closest friend in high-school was trumpeter, Booker Little. In 1956 Lloyd moved to Los Angeles and earned a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California. During this period Lloyd played in Gerald Wilson’s big band and he also had his own group that included Billy Higgins, Don Cherry, Bobby Hutcherson, and Terry Trotter. Lloyd joined Chico Hamilton in 1960, though the band was known for playing “chamber jazz” at the beginning of Lloyd’s tenure. His influence as a composer and a player quickly pushed it in a more progressive post-bop direction especially after Hamilton asked him to be the group’s “music director.”
Through 1965- 1969 Lloyd led a quartet with pianist, Keith Jarrett, bassist, Cecil McBee (later, Ron McClure), and drummer, Jack DeJohnette. The quartet’s music was an interesting fusion of straight-ahead post-bop, free jazz and world music which quickly caught the attention of both jazz fans and critics. They also achieved a fair amount of crossover success with young rock fans and became the first jazz group to play at The Fillmore. Lloyd’s album Forest Flower, Live at Monterey, became a big commercial hit, largely on the strength of the title track. Other noteworthy albums include Dream Weaver, Soviet Union, and In Europe.
In 1970, after the quartet disbanded, Lloyd moved back to California and entered a state of semi-retirement. He practically disappeared from the jazz scene, but can be heard on recordings with the Doors, Canned Heat, and the Beach Boys. Occasionally during the 1970s Lloyd played with The Beach Boys; both on their studio recordings and as a member of their touring band. Upon his recovery from a near death experience in 1986, Lloyd decided to rededicate himself to music. He started performing occasionally in 1987 & 88.
In 1989, Lloyd reestablished an active touring schedule and began recording for ECM Records. The first ECM release was Fish Out of Water with Bobo Stenson, Palle Danielsson, and Jon Christensen. The ECM recordings showcased his sensitivity as a ballad player and composer.
Lloyd maintains an active recording and tour schedule. His “new” quartet with Jason Moran on piano, Reuben Roger, bass and Eric Harland, drums is well matched with Lloyd’s creative and adventurous spirit. They have two recordings on ECM, Rabo de Nube (2008) and Mirror (2010).
“Jason Moran [is] shaping up to be the most provocative thinker in current jazz.” – Rolling Stone
Since his formidable emergence on the music scene in the late 90s, jazz pianist Jason Moran has proven more than his brilliance as a performer. The Blue Note Records recording artist has established himself as a risk-taker and innovator of new directions for jazz as a whole.
In almost every category that matters – improvisation, composition, group concept, repertoire, technique and experimentation – Moran, and his group The Bandwagon – with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits – have challenged the status quo, and earned the reputation as “the future of jazz.”
Frequently influenced by the wider world of art as his muse, Moran has found inspiration in edgy 20th century painters like Jean-Michel Basquiat; Egon Schiele (whose painting “Facing Left” provided the eponymous title to Moran’s second album); and Robert Rauschenberg, whose chaotic refinement inspired Moran’s third album Black Stars, featuring the legendary Sam Rivers.
In 2005, his blues homage, Same Mother was released. This same year he received the first ever Playboy Jazz Artist of the Year award. Artist in Residence debuted in 2006 and showcased Moran’s signature brilliance with ambitious undertakings. In the span of one year, Moran accepted and recorded three separate commissions from three pre-eminent and very diverse American arts institutions: The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Dia Art Foundation, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
In 2007, Moran was commissioned to create IN MY MIND: Monk at Town Hall, 1959, the critically-acclaimed multi-media performance investigating Thelonious Monk’s famous recording, Monk at Town Hall. IN MY MIND examines Monk’s process of creating this seminal concert using audio of conversations with Monk and the arranger Hal Overton. Not surprising, the legendary Monk had a pivotal role in influencing young Moran to become a jazz musician. In 1981, at the age of six, the Houston native began studying the piano, but longed to quit until he first heard the sounds of Monk, an experience that established an early role model in Moran’s creative development. Moran later honed his musical education at New York’s Manhattan School of Music.
His ongoing visionary collaborations in the art world have brought him additional fans and respect. Moran’s music is in the collections of both the MOMA and Whitney Museum of American Art. He scored a ballet for renowned Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, as well as scoring video works for contemporary American artists Glenn Ligon and Kara Walker. Moran also has worked with pivotal visual/performance artists Joan Jonas and Adrian Piper. A future collaboration with Grammy-nominated neo-soul artist Meshell Ndegeocello – a dance party centered on the music of Fats Waller – premiered in 2011.
Join Us for Our Spring Gala:
& Honorary Chairs
Lisa and John Pritzker
request the pleasure of your company at the
ALONZO KING LINES BALLET SPRING GALA
benefiting LINES Ballet’s artistic and education programs
Saturday, the twenty-third of April
two thousand sixteen
six in the evening
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
The Theater and Forum
700 Howard Street, San Francisco, California
A world premiere performance that unites tenor saxophonist, Charles Lloyd and jazz pianist, Jason Moran with Alonzo King LINES Ballet
8:00pm Dinner and live auction
Passover friendly option available