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Nameless Sound was established in 2001 to present the best of international contemporary music and to support the exploration of new methods in arts education

Nameless Sound presents concerts by premier artists in the world of creative music. In addition, Nameless Sound artists work directly with students from Houston’s public schools, community centers, and homeless shelters. Nameless Sound’s educational work helps to nurture a new generation of artists and inspire tomorrow’s creative thinkers

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Dave Burrell's Full Blown Duo
Andrew Cyrille

  Dave Burrell  

Dave Burrell's Full Blown Duo
Andrew Cyrille

Saturday May 7, 2016, 8pm

Sanders Hall, Christ Church Cathedral
1117 Texas Ave, HOUSTON, TX  77002

Free parking will be available in Cathedral Parking Garage on San Jacinto between Texas and Prairie.

$13|$10 student |FREE under 18

- Limited seating available -

Tickets for Dave Burrell's Full Blown Duo featuring Andrew Cyrille

Tickets for Both Concerts with Andrew Cyrill and Steve Swell


Dave Burrell (Philadelphia, PA) - piano
Andrew Cyrille (Montclaire, NJ) - drums, percussion

In all of its eras, American jazz has been nurtured by an integral relationship between its historical roots and future visions. Veteran pianist and composer Dave Burrell masterfully operates in a realm where rooted tradition and avant-garde freedoms function as poles of a single vision. From the craftsmanship of rag through free jazz’s radical peaks, his mastery and range through the music’s vernacular and history is unforced. It’s almost as if he is unaware these distinctions and categories, and by false designations of “inside” and “outside” that limit the rest of us.

Burrell was a key collaborator to many of the revolutionary voices of the 1960’s “New Thing” and appeared on some of the most important recordings by the likes of Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, Sonny Sharrock and Sunny Murray. His own work as a leader is equally vital. He is a composer with a distinct and thorough vision. As free as his improvisational spirit is, his work displays a determined intellect that may be most explicit in his operas and research-based projects made in collaboration with writer Monika Larsson.

In his previous Nameless Sound appearances (both solo sets), Burrell led the audience through nearly epic tours of the history of jazz piano. Jelly Roll Morton and Harlem stride segued into Duke Ellington, which in turn morphed into energy and freedom, and then back to roots again. This season, Nameless Sound presents Burrell for two nights in two different partnerships. The first will feature Burrell’s Full Blown Duo with percussion innovator Andrew Cyrille. The second, a duo with the powerfully versatile trombonist Steve Swell, will feature a performance of Turning Point. Turning Point is the third in a series of five suites, Burrell’s major work-in-progress commemorating the people and events of the American Civil War.

Every major shift in the development of jazz depended on a handful of important drummers. The stylistic advances of swing were steered-in by Joe Jones and Chick Webb. The bebop revolution would not have happened as it did without Kenny Clarke and Max Roach as its rhythmic architects. Along with the likes of Sunny Murray, Andrew Cyrille is one of the pioneering percussionists of the 1960’s who finally freed the instrument of its timekeeping role, thus liberating the music from the constraints of strict meter. Developing his craft at the Julliard and Harnett schools of music, Andrew Cyrille studied with the great Philly Joe Jones before finding work with Coleman Hawkins and Mary Lou Williams. Joining iconoclastic pianist Cecil Taylor’s group in 1964 was a key point that allowed his pan-metrical approach to the kit to truly blossom and pave the way for a new kind of drummer. Behind the drum kit, Cyrille is a total musician. Rhythm, color, melody, texture are continuously shaping form; with a relaxed economy of physical gesture that may belie the totality of music being crafted from behind the kit.

As composer-in-residence at the Rosenbach Historical Library, Burrell has been collaborating with writer Monika Larsson on an ambitious 5-part research-based suite of compositions about the American Civil War. The third part of this suite, Turning Point, features Burrell in duo with trombonist Steve Swell. In the current era, Swell is one of the trombone’s major players. Swell is technically and creatively wide ranging. Most players would lean toward one end of the instrument’s expressive range or the other, but Swell reconciles his free-braying vocalizations with fluent technical mastery. Listen to a few of his projects, and a serious case will be made for the trombone as the severely underappreciated member of the jazz instrumental family. In fact, in the hands of a master like Swell, a case can be made that the trombone contains the widest range of expression of the jazz horns, and may be the ultimate instrument to express the scope of the music’s history. An important leader in his own right, a short list of Swell’s work as a sideman is a testament to his versatility: from Lionel Hampton to William Parker to Buddy Rich to Anthony Braxton.


Dave Burrell

Andrew Cyrille