Charlie Parker Jazz Festival featuring Archie Shepp Quartet / Madeleine Peyroux / Anat Cohen / The Gerald Clayton Trio
Tompkins Square Park, Manhattan

Saxophone player, composer, pianist, singer, politically committed poet, playwright, Archie Shepp is a legend.

He has entertained audiences around the world for nearly 50 years with his multi-instrumental talents. Shepp’s music emulates the themes and stylistic elements provided by the greatest voices of jazz. His music highlights the juxtaposition of original black American music: blues and spirituals. At the head of the Avant-Garde Free Jazz movement, Shepp combines his own unique style with his inspirations: the wild raspiness of his attacks, his massive sound sculpted by a vibrato mastered in all ranges, his phrases carried to breathlessness, his abrupt level changes, and the intensity of his tempos, but also the velvety tenderness woven into a ballad.

Inspired by the cornerstones of jazz, songstress Madeleine Peyroux began her music career as a teenage busker on the quaint, acoustic streets of Europe, where she enhanced her vocal and guitar skills. The New York Times said she “could inhabit Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf, doing the tragic, pinched-voice thing perfectly.” Peyroux is best known by her fans for intimately arranged covers of the early American blues and jazz repertoire. With her latest album Bare Bones, she explores a different realm of expressing herself through a collection of self-penned compositions and collaborations.

An established bandleader and prolific composer, idiomatically conversant with modern and traditional jazz, classical music, Brazilian choro, Argentine tango, and an expansive timeline of Afro-Cuban styles, Anat Cohen has established herself as one of the primary voices of her generation on both the tenor saxophone and clarinet. The New York Times has said of her work, “In many ways she’s an ideal: well prepared, passionately literate in music far outside her local circle, [and] an improviser with gusto.”

Grammy nominated Gerald Clayton, born in the Netherlands to a musical family, was exposed to a variety of music styles at an early age. His passion and talent on the piano was immediate and allowed him to cultivate his dynamic sound with audiences nationally and internationally, while sharing the stage with numerous jazz greats. His sophisticated yet modern style has been praised by the Jazz Times and Los Angeles Times. Clayton’s trio, with Justin Brown (drums) and Joe Sanders (bass), allows him to explore and expand his creativity in music. Their “arrangements, full of broken and stuttered rhythm, pinpoint dynamics and classically ordered introductions” give audiences an experience of “three dimensions…focused down to one,” according to the New York Times.