John Tchicai Memorial Concert at ShapeShifter Lab

John Tchicai
John Tchicai
On Friday, Oct 18th at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn, NY, I will be performing on the memorial concert for John Tchicai. The concert which goes from 7PM to 10PM is a collaborative effort put together by Rosi Hertein and includes a wonderful array of musicians and poets: Amiri Baraka, Alexander Weiss, Ben Young, Dmitry Ishenko, Garrison Fewell, Lou Grassi, Ches Smith, Alan Roth, John Ehlis, Charlie Kohlhase, Adam Lane, Peter Apfelbaum, Steve Swell, Warren Smith, Steve Dalachinsky, Charles Gayle, Larry Roland, Charlie Hunter, Golda Solomon, Will Connell, Phylisha Villanueva, E.J. Antonio, Perry Robinson, Max Johnson, John O’Brien, Michael T. A. Thompson, Reggie Nicholson, Adam Rudolph, Rosi Hertlein and more. Also on the event; film sequences, interspersed between the music, poetry and various speeches about the life of John Tchicai.
John Tchicai (April 28, 1936-October 8, 2012) was a Danish free Jazz saxophonist and composer. After moving to New York City in 1963, he joined Archie Shepp’s New York Contemporary Five (rotating members included Don Cherry, Don Moore, J.C. Moses, Ted Curson, Ronnie Boykins and Sunny Murray) and the New York Art Quartet (Rosewell Rudd, Milford Graves, Reggie Workman, Lewis Worrell, Finn Von Eyben). He also played on John Coltrane’s recording “Ascension” and on Albert Ayler’s recording “New York Eye and Ear Control”. He returned to Denmark in 1966, and in 1969 he played on the recording of John Lennon’s “Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions”. He also worked with Cecil Taylor, Dollar Brand, Carla and Paul Bley, Misha Mengelberg, Irene Schweizer and Lee Konitz, just to name a few.
JT 2John Tchicai’s music is a balance of composition and improvisation. He liked working with music from other cultures, and often included poetry, electronics and film. He wrote for his own ensembles, and received many commissions to write for string quartet, percussion ensembles and orchestra.
He was also an avid teacher, working in elementary up through higher education schools, workshops in prisons and master classes around the world. He also practiced yoga, pranayama and meditation.
To me, his music is filled with tenderness, playfulness and soulfulness, with a deep respect for the Jazz tradition.
I’ll be performing two of his compositions, “Lost Time” and “Detour” with bassist Max Johnson and drummer John O’ Brien. I’ll also be performing “I want this and that, too” in a larger ensemble conducted by Charlie Kohlhase.
JT 3
To learn more about the life and music of John Tchicai, please go to his home page at
For information on this concert at ShapeShifter Lab please go to…