William Parker Quartet: A Summer Solstice Celebration | Ars Nova Workshop
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New Grass

William Parker Quartet

A Summer Solstice Celebration

Sunday, June 20 3:00–7:00PM

Join Ars Nova Workshop and The Woodlands for a celebration of the summer solstice and the kickoff of New Grass, a collaborative series of programs celebrating rebirth, healing, community, and music.

This daylong event will take place throughout the historic grounds of The Woodlands in West Philadelphia, featuring performances led by Philadelphia percussionist Karen Smith, vendors, yoga and mindfulness activities with Spirits Up!, and a special performance from iconic bassist and composer William Parker with an all-star quartet.

Program Schedule

(Meadow) / Weez the Peeples

(Neighborhood Welcome Landscape) / Spirits Up!

(Center Circle) / William Parker Quartet

(Meadow) / Weez the Peeples & Open Mic

William Parker Quartet

With a career now spanning five decades, William Parker has cemented his place as one of the most pioneering, influential and inventive voices in creative music. Renowned as a formative figure in improvised music — he’s been hailed by the Village Voice as “the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time” — Parker is also a prolific and boundless composer. Within the past year alone, he released a 10-album collection of new compositions for a wide-ranging variety of ensembles, followed that with a pair of stunning trio albums, and was the subject of Cisco Bradley’s new book-length biography, Universal Tonality: The Life and Music of William Parker (Duke University Press).

Reviewing that immense new box set, Migrations Into and Out of the Tone World (AUM Fidelity), the Vancouver Sun recently declared that Parker “has carved out a legacy as one of the most adventurous, grooving and humanist musicians performing today.”

A longtime friend of Ars Nova Workshop, Parker recently performed a very special invocation for the organization’s second annual fundraiser in honor of Maestro Marshall Allen. For this performance, he’ll be joined by three fellow innovators, all of whom share long and rich musical relationships. Steve Swell is a versatile trombonist who has recorded and toured with not only avant-gardists like Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor, but in the more traditional context of bands led by Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich. Upon moving to NYC in 1984, alto saxophonist Rob Brown quickly integrated into the city’s creative music scene and established lifelong collaborations with the likes of Parker, Matthew Shipp and Whit Dickey. Now based in Philadelphia, drummer Chad Taylor was formerly a linchpin of the Chicago scene who co-founded the Chicago Underground Duo and its myriad iterations with trumpeter Rob Mazurek.

Cover: William Parker. Photo by Anna Yatskevich (AUM Fidelity)
Sunday, June 20 3:00–7:00PM


  • Festival
  • Mindfulness
  • Performance

Program Info

Free with RSVP
All Ages


William Parker Quartet

  • Steve Swell – trombone
  • Rob Brown – alto saxophone
  • William Parker – bass
  • Chad Taylor – drums

Weez the Peeples

  • Karen Smith – percussion
  • Vanessa Taylor – saxophone
  • Nick DiFalco – guitar
  • Dan McCain – bass

Spirits Up!

  • Yoga with Markyta W.
  • Music from Dahi Divine


The Woodlands
Philadelphia, PA

  • The Woodlands, Philadelphia

Presented by

The New Grass program series is presented by Ars Nova Workshop in collaboration with The Woodlands, Philadelphia.

summer 2021

New Grass

  • Series

New Grass

In collaboration with The Woodlands historic site in West Philadelphia, Ars Nova Workshop presents an exploration of fostering spaces where the creativity, thoughtfulness, and joy of everyday life in West Philadelphia can be shared.