Syracuse Symposium features evening of new jazz music by Bill Cole, with Billy Bang, Jayne Cortez, the Untempered Ensemble
Syracuse Symposium features evening of new jazz music by Bill Cole, with Billy Bang, Jayne Cortez, the Untempered EnsembleOctober 10, 2007Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
The 2007 Syracuse Symposium, presented by Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, will offer an evening of new jazz, “A Journey Toward Justice,” on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. in the Rose and Jules R. Setnor Auditorium in Crouse College.
The event, co-sponsored by SU’s Department of African American Studies, will feature new music by SU faculty member Bill Cole with Billy Bang, Jayne Cortez and the Untempered Ensemble, and is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Irving Garage for $3.50.
In addition to the performance, a display of various items, including a volume of jazz transcriptions of the music of John Coltrane by Andrew White (a gift that Cole made to Syracuse University Library’s Special Collections Research Center) will be shown the fourth floor of E.S. Bird Library through Oct. 10-21. A book that Cole authored on Coltrane and poetry by Jayne Cortez will be among the items on display.
Cole is a professor in the Department of African American Studies in The College of Arts and Sciences with teaching and research interests in ethnomusicology, music of the African Diaspora and performance music.
A musician, composer, educator and writer, Cole is the leader and artistic director of the Untempered Ensemble and Shadrack Inc. His use of traditional instruments from a variety of cultures has enabled him to research both their style and meaning within the culture. These instruments include the Asian double reed horns like the Chinese sonas, Korean hojok and piri, Indian shenai and nagaswarm, Ghanaian bamboo flute, Tibetan trumpet and the Australian didgeridoo.
Cole has performed in such venues as Town Hall and Symphony Space in New York, Broadway Performance Hall in Seattle, and Hopkins Center in Hanover, N.H. Cole has served as jazz critic for top music publications and has authored two works on John Coltrane and Miles Davis.
Bang started playing violin and then percussion instruments in junior high school. Bang returned to the violin as his primary instrument after serving in Vietnam, an experience that profoundly affected his life. Heavily inspired by John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy, Bang became a key member of the New York avant garde during the 1970s. He co-founded the String Trio in 1977 and toured and recorded with the ensemble as well as others.
His highly acclaimed album “Vietnam — The Aftermath” was released in 2001 and earned him the 2003 Indie Award for best mainstream jazz recording. Its 2005 sequel, “Vietnam Reflections,” continues Bang’s healing process by transforming experiences of war and the nightmares they spawned into the refined substance of profound musical artistry.
Cortez, a poet, is the author of 10 books of poetry and has performed her poetry with music on nine recordings. Her voice is known for its political, surrealistic and dynamic innovations in lyricism and visceral sound. She has presented her works at universities, museums and festivals around the world, and her works have been widely published in several languages in anthologies, journals and magazines.
The Untempered Ensemble, an improvisational jazz ensemble, came together in 1992 and first performed at Dartmouth College in fall 1993. Since 1996, the ensemble has played every year at the Vision Festival in New York, in addition to performing nationally. The Untempered Ensemble released its first CD in 2000; the group’s fourth CD, “Seasoning the Greens,” a Boxholder Records recording, was released in October 2002.
The Syracuse Symposium, presented by The College of Arts and Sciences, is a semester-long intellectual and artistic festival that celebrates interdisciplinary thinking, imagination and creation. This year’s theme is “Justice.” For more information on symposium events, visit http://symposium.syr.edu.