7th Jazztopad Festival NYC presents two world premieres: Craig Taborn’s premiere of the 1st part of “Luminous Grid,” written for piano and the Lutosławski Quartet, and a premiere of Don Davis' "Screeming into the Void" written for Lutoslawski Quartet

June 24, 2023
7:30 pm
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7th Jazztopad Festival NYC presents two world premieres: Craig Taborn’s premiere of the 1st part of “Luminous Grid,” written for piano and the Lutosławski Quartet, and a premiere of Don Davis' "Screeming into the Void" written for Lutosławski Quartet (commissioned by the Polish Cultural Institute New York). Craig Taborn will also perform solo & as a duo with Polish musician Ksawery Wójciński.

Luminous Grid is the first part of a concert length work in progress for string quartet and improvising pianist by Craig Taborn. The piece is inspired in part by the work of Agnes Martin, whose abstract work strikes a balance between what at first seems meditative, static and balanced lines and grids but upon closer examination reveals a secret dynamism and beautiful instability. The piece involves the interaction between the string quartet and piano in an unfolding sound tapestry that seeks to both cleave to and escape from the condition of balance.  

Screaming Into The Void was written for the Lutosławski Quartet, and is dedicated to Krzysztof Penderecki and in memory of the many victims of the disastrous war in Ukraine. It is my fourth string quartet, intended as a display of virtuosity in the tradition set forth by Penderecki and of course Witold Lutosławski, who is recognized in eponymous homage. Screaming Into The Void was commissioned by the Polish Cultural Institute New York. - Don Davis

About Craig Taborn

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, CRAIG TABORN has been performing piano and electronic music in the jazz, improvisational, and creative music scene for over twenty-five years. He has experience composing for and performing in a wide variety of situations including jazz, new music, electronic, rock, noise and avant-garde contexts.

Taborn has played and recorded with many luminaries in the fields of jazz, improvised, new music and electronic music including Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Lester Bowie, Dave Holland, Tim Berne, John Zorn, Evan Parker, Ikue Mori and many others.

Taborn is currently occupied creating and performing music for solo piano performance (Shadow Plays), piano trio (Craig Taborn Trio), electronic ensemble (Junk Magic), the Daylight Ghosts Quartet, a piano/drums/electronics duo with Dave King (Heroic Enthusiasts) and a new trio with Tomeka Reid and Ches Smith as well as piano duo collaborations with Vijay Iyer (The Transitory Poems), Kris Davis (Octopus). 

Taborn is a 2014 Doris Duke Artist, and a 2022 United States Artist Fellow.

His conceptual work 60 x Sixty is now available worldwide, for free at 60xSixty.com

Craig lives in Brooklyn.

About Don Davis

A native of Anaheim, California, Don Davis began playing trumpet and piano at the age of nine, and started writing music at twelve. As his affinity for music grew, so did his aspirations, and soon he was composing and arranging music for the local jazz ensembles that he often performed with. Davis furthered his study of music at UCLA, majoring in music theory and composition, playing trumpet in college jazz ensembles and orchestras. Although Davis' primary interest had been jazz and rock, he found himself enamored with the avant-garde side of modern music. 

UCLA introduced Davis to a new world of musical possibilities, and he soon began to plan his future as a composer with an eye toward film music. Most prominent among his film music accomplishments would be The Matrix, a the high-tech, virtual-reality action thriller which turned out to be one of the biggest blockbuster of its day and retains a permanent place in popular culture.

Concurrently, Davis has always maintained a compositional life away from film. His body of concert works includes the recently recorded Critical Mass for Orchestra, four string quartets, four trios for flute/harp/viola, works for one and two pianos, an oratorio, choral works, and various chamber works. His full length three act opera "Río de Sangre" premiered in October, 2010 at the Florentine Opera Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His work has been released on a number of CD’s by artists including the Arditti Quartet, the Debussy Trio, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

About Ksawery Wójcinski

Double bassist and composer, versatile musician with great sensitivity to sound. He is not afraid of experimentation. His interests range from early music to the most sophisticated improvised contemporary music.  

He has collaborated with such musicians as Charles Gayle, Uri Caine, Mikołaj Trzaska, Michael Zerang, Satoko Fuji, Nicolle Mitchell, Tim Sparks, Klaus Kugel, Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson, Gaba Kulka, Robert Rasz, Wacław Zimpel, Paweł Postaremczak, Raphael Roginski, Robert Kusiołek, Krzysztof Dys, Szymon and Maurycy Wójciński.  

Co-founder of such formations as the legendary Emergency, Hera. He performs in the country and abroad. He is also known for his vocal experiments, which bring to mind the spirit of such artists as Tom Waits, Frank Zappa. 

About Lutosławski Quartet

The ensemble whose name refers to the great composer of the 20th century – Witold Lutosławski – was created in 2007 and is currently one of the leading string quartets in Poland. Lutosławski Quartet quickly established its high position. During ten years of activity, it has already visited such prestigious festivals as Warsaw Autumn, Wratislavia Cantans, Klarafestival in Brussels, Ankara Music Festival in Turkey, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Tongyeong International Music Festival in South Korea, World Music Days and Jazztopad. It has also appeared in many renowned concert halls, including Kioi Hall in Tokyo, YST Conservatory of Music in Singapore, Hangzhou Theatre, Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Megaron in Athens, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Bozar in Brussels, SESC halls in São Paulo, Warsaw Philharmonic and the Witold Lutoslawski Studio in Warsaw.

The ensemble has often performed with outstanding artists such as Garrick Ohlsson, Piotr Anderszewski, Kevin Kenner, Bruno Canino, Michel Lethiec, Tomoko Akasaka, Eugen Indjic, Ryszard Groblewski, Andrzej Bauer, and excellent jazzmen: Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Uri  Caine, Benoît Delbecq, Vijay Iyer, Charles Lloyd. The quartet's musicians have also collaborated with IRCAM in Paris.

Lutosławski Quartet has recorded for Naxos, DUX and CD Accord, and some of its recordings have been released by the NFM. It mainly performs music of the 20th and 21st centuries, devoting a lot of attention to the popularisation of Polish music, including works by Witold Lutosławski, Karol Szymanowski, Paweł Mykietyn, and Marcin Markowicz - one of the ensemble members. The album 2016 – contains pieces composed and dedicated specially for the quartet. Since 2007, Lutosławski Quartet has been active as a resident ensemble of the National Forum of Music in Wrocław.

Jun 24

Craig Taborn with Lutosławski Quartet “Luminous Grid” premiere