Through the exceptional generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Library for the Performing Arts’ Music and Dance Divisions and the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive have been awarded two years of funding to present, document, and preserve jazz, contemporary dance, and theater performances and related oral histories. Those of us on the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Project have the distinct pleasure of leading these efforts.
Doris Duke was an avid jazz fan. In her honor, the Library is kicking off this fall a run of exciting programs focused on jazz, the Duke Jazz Series, Duke Jazz Talks, and Duke Jazz Histories. The Duke Jazz Series features eight live jazz performances from Chamber Music America award-winning ensembles and oral histories with each ensemble leader. Duke Jazz Talks put the spotlight on four GRAMMY-nominated and -award winning jazz artists and are hosted live by music curator and scholar Bob Santelli, Executive Director of The GRAMMY Museum. Jazz at Lincoln Center is our partner in producing the Duke Jazz Histories, private interviews with ten musicians performing in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 Jazz at Lincoln Center seasons.
Most of our energy over the past few weeks has been directed toward preparing for jazz icon McCoy Tyner’s Duke Jazz Talks program here this coming Wednesday, October 29. Tyner will be discussing his career with Bob Santelli and then performing on the piano. His blues-based piano style, replete with sophisticated chords and an explosively percussive left hand has transcended conventional styles to become one of the most identifiable sounds in improvised music. McCoy Tyner achieved fame playing alongside John Coltrane in the famed John Coltrane Quartet. After leaving the band, he went on to have major success as a solo artist. He has released over 80 albums, won four GRAMMYs, and was named a Jazz Master from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002.
This is not the first time that Mr. Tyner has given of his time to The New York Public Library; Billy Taylor conducted a private video interview with him in 1995 for the Schomburg Center's Louis Armstrong Jazz Oral History Project. But McCoy Tyner has been quite busy these 13 years hence, and we are eager to catch up with and continue to document this living jazz legend!
McCoy Tyner’s program will be held on Wednesday, October 29 at 8:00 p.m. in the Bruno Walter Auditorium at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, 111 Amsterdam Avenue @ 65th Street. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the program begins at 8:00 p.m. There is an admission charge; for ticket reservations, email RSVP_ny@grammy.com, or call 212-245-5440. I hope to see you there!
Related: McCoy Tyner, NYPL Schomburg Center jazz oral history, interviewed 24 April 1995: