The October Revolution returns! | Ars Nova Workshop
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The October Revolution returns!

Ars Nova Workshop is excited to unveil the complete line-up for the 2019 October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music. The festival’s third annual incarnation is its most ambitious and diverse to date, expanding from four days to an entire month of programming and featuring an eclectic mix of legendary artists and modern-day innovators. “We started this festival two years ago, hoping to bring a critical mass of the outstanding musicians that Ars Nova Workshop presents throughout the year together, in one place, around a single event that celebrates the spirit of improvisation, experimentation, and freedom, and provides an opportunity to settle in for deep listening that can cleanse our minds and refresh our souls,” states Mark Christman, Executive & Artistic Director of Ars Nova Workshop. The festival also marks the beginning of Ars Nova Workshop’s 20th Anniversary Season, which is sure to include must-see performances throughout 2020.

The October Revolution, which The New York Times has called “a State of the Union for free improvisation and avant-garde composition,” has been committed to exploring the furthest edges of contemporary and experimental music in its myriad forms. The 2019 edition is no exception, with iconic figures who have helped shape the evolution of modern music for half a century alongside emerging stars altering its progression in distinctive new ways. The events will take place at venues across Philadelphia, with 13 ground-breaking performers and ensembles, more than half of them led by women, an indication of the festival’s (and the music’s) dedication to diversity and inclusion.

The October Revolution 2019 Festival Lineup

The festival opens with a generation-bridging duo performance pairing NEA Jazz Master Roscoe Mitchell (founding member of the influential Art Ensemble of Chicago, which recently celebrated its 50thanniversary) and Philly-based poet and musician Moor Mother (a member of the Art Ensemble’s latest manifestation). The month also includes the first Philly performance by Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Naked City) in three decades, leading a trio featuring a special surprise guest; Chicago drummer Makaya McCraven, a genre-blurring envelope-pusher whose ensemble will feature Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker and Blue Note rising star Joel Ross on vibes; drone explorers Sarah Davachi, Matchess, Lea Bertucci and Angel Deradoorian (the latter a former key member of the Dirty Projectors); former Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson and his quartet with a rare Philly appearance by trumpeter Tom Harrell, celebrating their new ECM release; and an ultra-rare appearance by vocal legend Patty Waters in her first local concert in more than half a century.

The festival will also allow audiences to experience what may well be the landmark performance one of the city’s most beloved institutions, The Painted Bride Art Center: an awe-inspiring performance bringing together Adam Rudolph’s improvisatory Go: Organic Orchestra with the forward-looking Indian classical musicians of Brooklyn Raga Massive. Drummer Charlie Hall of indie-rock darlings The War on Drugs will assemble a special ensemble to pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis’s immortal album In a Silent Way. And the festival draws to a jaw-dropping close with the return of two long-dormant ensembles forged by vibraphone great Khan Jamal and now led by guitarist Monnette Sudler: Sounds of Liberation, which made a triumphant return to the stage earlier this year, this time with special guest saxophonist David Murray stepping in for the late, great Byard Lancaster; and the Creative Arts Ensemble featuring drummer Chuck Treece, recreating Jamal’s dizzying psych-jazz classic Drum Dance to the Motherland for the first time since its release in 1972.

Enjoy ALL ten events of the 2019 October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music with the purchase of a Festival Pass for $150, a savings of $70! Individual festival event tickets are also available. View ticketing info at Ars Nova Workshop or The October Revolution.

The October Revolution