Program

Archie Schepp

I Hear the Sound

Event Info

Jazz at Princeton University's Creative Large Ensemble, led by Darcy James Argue, joins special guest saxophonist Archie Shepp and vocalist Amina Claudine Myers to perform music from Shepp’s Grammy-nominated recording, “I Hear the Sound.”

About the Artist:

Saxophonist, composer, pianist, singer, politically committed poet, and playwright Archie Shepp is a legend. Born in 1937 in Fort Lauderdale, he grew up in Philadelphia, majored in theater at Goddard College and in 1959 moved to New York where he associated with artists such as Leroy Jones (Amiri Baraka), Ishmael Reed, Bob Thomson and William White. Shepp also performed with some of the most important musicians of the sixties: John Coltrane, Lee Morgan, Jimmy Heath, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Frank Zappa, Chico Hamilton, and others. His professional career as a musician began in that decade when he made two recordings with Cecil Taylor. He created the New York Contemporary Five with John Tchicai and made four records for Savoy and Storyville. He recorded for Impulse and made 17 records among which Four For TraneFire Music, and Mama Too Tight are regarded as classics. His collaboration with John Coltrane materialized further with the recording of Ascension in 1965. Shepp was involved in the creation of the Jazz Composers Guild, formed by the trumpeter Bill Dixon, which was a major turning point in avant-garde music and included Carla and Paul Bley, Sun Ra, Roswell Rudd, Cecil Taylor and Albert Ayler. In 1969 he began teaching music at the State University of Buffalo where he was the first acting director of their Black Studies program. In 1971 he began teaching at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and retired as Professor Emeritus in 2002. Since 2000 Mr. Shepp has performed frequently in Europe. Since 2004 he has released a number of albums including the 2013 GRAMMY-nominated I HEAR THE SOUND, a new recording of the renowned Attica Blues. In 2016, Shepp received the NEA Jazz Master Award. He continues to compose and record and is preparing a new album to be released in 2018.

Amina Claudine Myers is a pianist, organist, vocalist, composer, master improvisor, actress, and educator. She has performed nationally and internationally throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and North America. Myers began singing and playing jazz in college and moved to Chicago in the sixties, where she taught in the public schools for six years and composed her first choir for a musical, “I Dream.” In 1976 she moved to New York City and began writing music for theater, acting and composing for a number of off-Broadway productions. Myers has recorded with Archie Shepp, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra, James Blood Ulmer, Lester Bowie, Sonny Stitt, Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, and others. She has released eleven recordings and composed many pieces for chamber orchestra, chorus, vocal and chamber ensembles, and big band. In 2010 she was commissioned by the Chicago Jazz Institute to compose a jazz orchestra piece in honor of Mary Lou Williams. Recent endeavors include performing original works of jazz, blues, gospel, spirituals, and improvisations for the pipe organ. Myers has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame in 2010.