The October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music, a four-day (Oct. 5-8, 2017) music festival presented by Ars Nova Workshop, in collaboration with FringeArts, has confirmed several additional artists for its inaugural lineup. More artists will be added in the coming weeks. The current performers are listed below.

The October Revolution 2017 Festival Lineup

  • Anthony Braxton: a solo performance by the NEA Jazz Master and AACM founding member
  • Sun Ra Arkestra: the legendary Philadelphia ensemble performs “Space is the Place” in its entirety
  • The Art Ensemble of Chicago: a rare appearance from the influential ensemble that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary
  • So Percussion: this award-winning percussion quartet has worked with Steve Reich and Bang on a Can
  • Cortex: an extremely rare stateside appearance by this “high-velocity” (Chicago Reader) Norwegian jazz quartet
  • Karuna: a longstanding duo featuring Chicago percussionist Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph with special guest and Eternal Wind member Ralph Miles Jones III
  • John Luther Adams: a performance of the Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winning artist’s “Across the Distance” featuring members of Orchestra 2001
  • Claire Chase: MacArthur Fellow, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) founder, and “young star of the modern flute” (The New Yorker)
  • Zeena Parkins / Brian Chase Duo: a new duo featuring the acclaimed harpist and drummer best known for collaborations with Bjork and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Tim Berne’s Snakeoil: performing material from their upcoming ECM release
  • David Torn’s Sun of Goldfinger: the guitar virtuoso, best known for his work with David Bowie, hits the stage with Tim Berne and Ches Smith
  • Mike Reed’s Flesh & Bone: the drummer’s all-star Chicago septet debuts a composition reflecting on race and identity in the changing Western world
  • Ballister: the explosive trio of Dave Rempis, Fred Lonberg-Holm, and Paal Nilssen-Love


The festival will be held at FringeArts’ waterfront headquarters (140 N. Columbus Blvd.), as well as several additional nearby Philadelphia venues, including the Race Street Pier, Christ Church Neighborhood House, and the Christ Church Sanctuary.

Four-day Festival Tickets

Full festival passes are now available in limited quantities for $200. All early bird tickets sold out very quickly so move fast. Tickets can be purchased by phone (215-413-1318) or online at

VIP Experience Package

This special VIP package includes at least one secret show at an intimate location, receptions with artist meet & greets, rare jazz ephemera giveaways, guaranteed seating at all events, and free beer and wine at most events. VIP Experience tickets are available for $400 by phone (215-413-1318) or online at

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Festival attendees can stay at the Holiday Inn Express Penn’s Landing for a special rate of $109/night. The hotel is just steps away from FringeArts and all other venues. Call 1-800-843-2355 and ask for “the OctRev room block” in October.

History (and future) of The October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music

In 1964, jazz legend Bill Dixon pioneered a seminal DIY jazz festival in New York City called The October Revolution in Jazz. The festival featured many artists ultimately presented by Ars Nova Workshop (ANW) and representative of its foundational curatorial focus, such as Dixon, John Tchicai, Paul Bley, Alan Silva, Giuseppi Logan, and Sun Ra. Namely musicians who interrogated and redefined the conventions of jazz.

In 2017, ANW, Philadelphia’s premier experimental jazz presenter, carries that torch with a four-day “listening” festival, The October Revolution (OctRev). OctRev is a dynamic festival experience constructed out of a variety of sonic adventures and revelations, led by musicians and artists who are pushing boundaries and opening borders. It has been made possible by funding from the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation, the Arthur Judson Foundation, and Jacobs Music.

Imagine a city attuned, a fellowship of listeners actively exploring an aural landscape. Composer Pauline Oliveros (ANW presented her last two Philadelphia appearances) referred to this as “deep listening” – the act of becoming aware of the vast range of sounds that we live within. “Listening” is the watchword of the OctRev Festival. The entire infrastructure of the festival will be focused on supporting that experience, to ensure that audiences have the comfort, freedom, time, and access to interact fully with the performances.

“In this kind of landscape, in which music of all kinds can play a central role, the participants do not listen for something,” says Mark Christman, Executive and Artistic Director of ANW. “They are focusing instead on the experience of listening itself—tuning in.”

The inaugural OctRev takes place October 5-8 on the FringeArts campus, and will include performances at neighboring sites and venues. ANW is curating a line-up of the most thoughtful, adventurous music inventors and performers of our time, from across a diverse range of genres that span jazz, free improvisation, and contemporary classical and radiate outward.