- Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
- Ornette Coleman
Presented by the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in partnership with the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society and the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad
A brilliant and uncompromising innovator, saxophonist/composer Ornette Coleman is recognized as one of the most remarkable musicians in jazz history. Few creative artists of our time have displayed greater originality or influence. Entertainment Weekly’s Larry Blumenfeld calls him “a fountain of sublime ideas”. Steve Futterman for the New Yorker writes, “Fifty years after he astonished the musical world with his initial forays into free jazz, Ornette Coleman remains astounding.”
Coleman belongs to that rare breed of artist/thinker whose influence extends far beyond the realm of his chosen idiom. Always putting virtuosity at the service of melody and emotion, he has had a powerful impact on how musicians play, improvise, and compose, and how music aficionados listen. Many of his compositions (Lonely Woman, Peace, Turnaround, The Blessing, and When Will The Blues Leave?) have become jazz standards. While Ornette has led a wide variety of formations from duos to symphony orchestras, electric to acoustic groups, his basic musical concept has remained consistent. He is interested in performing music that allows all voices equal weight; all musicians are free to make deeply individual contributions while listening closely to one another. He calls this system “harmolodics”, which he now refers to as “sound grammar”.
For his vision and innovation, Coleman has been rewarded with numerous awards and accolades including the MacArthur “Genius” Award, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Music. His current band features Tony Falanga and Charnett Moffett (acoustic bass), Al McDowell (electric bass), and son Denardo Coleman (drums).
"Music is a language of sounds that transforms all human languages"Ornette Coleman