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Roscoe Mitchell New Quintet – Vision Festival XX World Premiere

"What I do is study extremes." - Roscoe Mitchell

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Roscoe Mitchell Double Trio

Posted on August 4, 2015 by Arts for Art

Roscoe Mitchell brought his band to Vision Festival 20 on Tuesday July 7, 2015. They played to a packed house, exploring any number of dynamic, textural and timbral variations. From Mitchell, Hugh Ragin and Tyshawn Sorey’s horn trio to the full blown finale featuring all five members, including Craig Taborn and Kikanju Baku, the concert was an unforgettable success. (note photo by Dave Kaufman)

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Roscoe Mitchel Quintet

Posted on October 31, 2014 by Arts for Art

Performance July 7, 2015


Arts for Art will commission a new work “Peak/Abyss” from internationally renowned musician, composer, and innovator, Roscoe Mitchell. “Peak/Abyss” will have its world premiere at the Vision Festival 2015, and will be performed by a double trio that includes: Roscoe Mitchell, Hugh Ragin, Craig Taborn, Tyshawn Sorey, and Kikanju Baku.

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Vision Festival, the world’s premier FreeJazz showcase, and New York City’s longest continuously running jazz festival. Roscoe Mitchell will perform the world premiere of  “Peak/Abyss”. Roscoe Mitchel is one of the giants and originators of the FreeJazz movement and it is AFA’s privildge to present him for the opening night of VISION 20.

His performance celebrates the core musical value shared by both the composer, the AACM & ARTS FOR ART / VISION: that is – a dedication to constantly pushing creative boundaries utilizing the expansive effect of improvisation / spontaneous composition. Music critic John Sharpe wrote that after 19 years, “the Vision Festival remains the pre-eminent avantjazz gathering across the globe.” The Vision Festival has been honored with a CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in 2012, and in 2013 and Arts for Art has been awarded with Producer of the Year award from the Jazz Journalists Association in 2003, 2007 and 2008 for their work on this groundbreaking festival.

A founding member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, as well as Trio Space, Roscoe Mitchell has been a pioneer in the field of avant-garde jazz and contemporary music. He dedicated his life and his art to the re-arrangement of the space of sound, allowing himself limitless associations. His role in the resurrection of long neglected woodwind instruments of extreme register, his innovation as a solo woodwind performer, and his reassertion of the composer into what has traditionally been an improvisational form have placed him at the forefront of contemporary music for over four decades.

“Peak/Abyss” is the forced and unexpected collision of two radically different trios Mitchell has been leading for the past two years. With trumpeter Hugh Ragin and drummer and percussionist Tyshawn Sorey, he’s pushed his experiments on space and spacing, and the instability of pitch and texture to the point of molding palpable sonic matter, its density fluidly contracting and expanding between void and infinity.  Mr Mitchell’s  project, with keyboardist Craig Taborn and drummer, percussionist Kikanju Baku, is in stark contrast to the former. Here is Mitchell’s foray into so-called “noise music”.  It sees his venturing within and outside the sound, spacing and scarceness that he is known for, to explore the possibilities of a concept of spontaneity that builds upon sound and space into intense and rapid-fire delivery, into a progressive abandonment of all restraint.

This project is an opportunity for the composer to explore more deeply, music’s realm of possibilities. The starting concept cannot be summarized by the addition of two musical trajectories, but rather by the contained collision of opposed, paradoxical, and unstable compositional forces that are likely to produce a radical sonic plane – a musical big bang.

Start and End Dates



New York, New York

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Last update on August 4, 2015

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New York, New York
Founded in 1996, Arts For Art (AFA) is a New York City based tax exempt organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of FreeJazz — an American indigenous art form in which improvisation is principle.  FreeJazz embodies music, dance, poetry and visual arts. It is recognized for its variety of highly developed and personalized improvisational languages. AFA works not only…

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