22nd Annual Vision Festival


Judson Memorial Church

The 22nd annual Vision Festival presents the world’s premier talents in Free Jazz music, dance, poetry, and visual art. Arts for Art is proud to honor multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his uncompromising artistic vision over the past four decades.

The festival kicks off with an evening of social-political and music films at Anthology Film Archives, followed by 6 nights of music, dance, poetry, visual art, and community at Judson Memorial Church. 

Born during segregation in Southern Virginia, Cooper-Moore came of age playing his music on piano in church.  Upon moving to New York in the late 1960s, Cooper-Moore became a pivotal member of the free jazz movement. His tenure with the late saxophonist and visionary David S. Ware began in 1970s as part of the Jazz Loft at 501 Canal Street. Cooper-Moore’s primary instrument is the piano, but he has become well-known for the many instruments he has designed and built, most notably the diddley-bow, a long-necked single string bass or dulcimer played horizontally while seated.

Also featured throughout Vision 22 are undeniable living legends of this music: drummer Andrew Cyrille whose influence on successive generations is immeasurable; saxophonists David Murray, Joe McPhee, Charles Gayle, Odean Pope, Oliver Lake, all of whom possess wildly different, singular approaches to the instrument and the visionary drummer Hamid Drake, among others.

The rest of the festival’s days will be packed with a veritable who’s who of free jazz from across the world – the multifaceted, chameleonic Miya Masaoka; the fire-breathing alto warrior Darius Jones; the celebrated collective Farmers by Nature featuring William Parker, Gerald Cleaver and Craig Taborn; former AACM president and flute innovator Nicole Mitchell in a collaborative trio alongside cellist and recent New York transplant Tomeka Reid and drummer, composer and impresario Mike Reed, playing the music of AACM forbears such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve McCall; French upright bass pioneer Joelle Leandre; drummer and bandleader Tomas Fujiwara’s recently convened Double Trio; BassDrumBone the 40-year-old collective featuring Gerry Hemingway, Mark Helias and Ray Anderson; and the iconoclastic pianist, Matthew Shipp.

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