February 17, 2009
Contact: Sara R. Leonard
Concert and Production Manager

AMHERST, Mass.— The yearlong Amherst College Music festival Faultlines: Mapping Jazz in the 21st Century continues Thursday, Feb. 26, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 7 of the Arms Music Center with a performance workshop by the legendary New Orleans saxophonist and educator Edward “Kidd” Jordan, who will be joined by acclaimed bassist William Parker and percussionist Hamid Drake. The event, which is open to the public, is free of charge.

An accomplished performer, Jordan has collaborated with an astonishing number of jazz greats, including Ed Blackwell, Ellis Marsalis, Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley, Cecil Taylor and many others. He has also performed with various soul, Motown and popular music figures, such as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and the Supremes. Long known by European audiences (he was recognized by the French government in 1985 with a knighthood for his contribution to performing arts), Jordan was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Vision Festival in New York.

Described by The Village Voice as “the most consistently brilliant free-jazz bassist of all time,” Parker entered the New York music scene in 1972 and soon started performing with many leading jazz avant-gardists, including Bill Dixon, Milford Graves, Billy Higgins and Sunny Murray. In 1980, he joined the Cecil Taylor Unit, beginning a 10-year association with the iconoclastic pianist. Since 1995, he has produced more than 25 albums as a leader and currently directs the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, The Curtis Mayfield Project and other small groups.

Chicago percussionist Drake is a leading figure in contemporary improvised music. A virtuoso hand percussionist and drumset player, he blends influences from Afro-Cuban, African, South Asian and African traditional music with jazz. He has collaborated extensively with top free-jazz improvisers, including Peter Brotzmann, Fred Anderson, Ken Vandermark, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Foday Muso Suso and many others others. Born in Monroe, La. in 1955, he emerged on the Chicago jazz scene in the 1970s.

The Faultlines festival includes concerts, performance workshops, talks and roundtable discussions, all free and open to the public and all guaranteed to generate passionate debate about the nature of jazz and its relationship to American cultural identity. The festival is made possible through the generous support of the Amherst College Arts Series Fund; the Amherst College Departments of Music, English and American Studies; the Amherst College Mead Art Museum; the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center’s Solos and Duos Concert Series and Magic Triangle Concert Series; and the Northampton Center for the Arts’ A World of Piano Concert Series.

For more information about Jordan’s performance workshop, or any events associated with Faultlines: Mapping Jazz in the 21st Century, visit the festival Web site at www.amherst.edu/faultlines or call 413/542-2195.