Home » Events » Wadada Leo Smith’s Quintet & Thurman Barker’s Quintet – Celebrating 50 Years of Artistic Dedication | AACM New York Chapter

Wadada Leo Smith’s Quintet & Thurman Barker’s Quintet – Celebrating 50 Years of Artistic Dedication | AACM New York Chapter

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Date(s) - 10/16/2015
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Community Church of New York


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Wadada Leo Smith’s Quintet

  • Wadada Leo Smith — composer, trumpet
  • Bobby Naughton — vibraharp
  • Yuko Fujiyama — piano
  • Brad Jones — bass violin
  • Reggie Nicholson — percussion
  • Thurman Barker — drums, percussion

Wadada Leo Smith: trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser has been active in creative contemporary music for over forty years. His systemic music language Ankhrasmation is significant in his development as an artist and educator.

Born in Leland, Mississippi, Smith’s early musical life began in the high school concert and marching bands. At the age of thirteen, he became involved with the Delta Blues and Improvisation music traditions. He received his formal musical education with his stepfather Alex Wallace, the U.S. Military band program (1963), Sherwood School of Music (1967-69), and Wesleyan University (1975-76). Mr. Smith has studied a variety of music cultures: African, Japanese, Indonesian, European and American.

Thurman Barker’s Quintet

  • Thurman Barker — drums, percussion
  • James Emery — guitar
  • J.D. Parran — tenor saxophone, clarinet
  • Noah Barker — piano
  • Dean Torrey — bass

Thurman Barker’s first professional experience was at age sixteen with Mighty Joe Young. Barker took his bachelor’s at Empire State College, then studied at the American Conservatory of Music under Harold Jones and at Roosevelt University under Edward Parimba. He next served as an accompanist for Billy Eckstine, Bette Midler, and Marvin Gaye. He was house percussionist at the Schubert Theater in Chicago in the 1960s. In 1968 he joined Joseph Jarman’s first ensemble, and soon after became a member of the AACM in its early days. Aside from Jarman, he played in the late 1960s and 1970s with Muhal Richard Abrams, Pheeroan akLaff, Anthony Braxton, Billy Bang, Henry Threadgill, and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre. He recorded and toured again with Braxton in 1978-80 and with Sam Rivers in 1979-80. In 1985 he played in a trio with Jarman and Rivers, and in 1987 he played marimba with Cecil Taylor.

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