The next show will air on Sunday, November 1, 2015 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast will feature an interview with composer and trombonist Craig Harris as we celebrate the anniversary of an afternoon Jazz series in Harlem, which he is one of the curators.
When Craig Harris exploded onto the jazz scene in 1976, he brought the entire history of the jazz trombone with him. From the growling gutbucket intensity of early New Orleans music through the refined, articulate improvisation of the modern era set forth by J.J. Johnson, and into the confrontational expressionism of the ’60s avant-garde, Harris handled the total vernacular the way a skilled orator utilizes the spoken word.
He has performed with a veritable Who’s Who of progressive jazz’ most important figures – including Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, Abdullah Ibrahim, Jaki Byard, Muhal Richard Abrams, David Murray, Henry Threadgill, Lester Bowie, The WORLD Saxophone Quartet, The Roots, RAKIM and the list goes on and on – his own projects displayed both a unique sense of concept and a total command of the sweeping expanse of musical expression. And it’s those two qualities that have dominated Craig’s past 15 years of activity, bringing him far beyond the confines of the jazz world and into the sphere of multimedia and performance art as composer, performer, conceptualist, curator and artistic director. Harris’ innovative approach to composition reflected in projects like Souls Within the Veil, composed to commemorate the centennial of W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk; Brown Butterfly, a multi-media work based on the movement of Muhammad Ali with video, dance, and music; and God’s Trombones based on James Weldon Johnson’s classic collection of poems that refigure inspirational sermons by itinerant Negro preachers. These works represent various strands of the African American folk tradition.
Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
This is a fund drive show and supporting WBAI Radio helps keep us on the air! Contributing as little as $5 supports the station and sends the message that people want to hear jazz and our show. If you like what you hear or are feeling generous, you can pledge for our exclusive “Who Owns Music” DVD with the full conversation with the above guests.
Harris will the headliner for for two lunchtime sets at his weekly Tuesday afternoon jazz series at Harlem’s Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church on November 3.
Watch a live excerpt from Harris’s God’s Trombones.
Watch a live performance of Harris’s Brown Butterfly suite.
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.