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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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Billy Harper Andrew Cyrille


Andrew Cyrille (NYC)
- drums
Billy Harper (NYC)
- saxophone


Saturday, April 18, 2020


at the historic ElDorado Ballroom
2310 Elgin Street

General seating. Pay what you can/pay what you will. Everyone under 18 gets in for free.



Nameless Sound and Project Row Houses present the first-ever duo collaboration between two of jazz’s living legends.

The careers of Andrew Cyrille and Billy Harper both feature associations that span generations of modern jazz, with both musicians initially earning their reputation as a sideman of one of the most influential musical leaders of the 1960’s: Cyrille as a pioneering member of The Cecil Taylor Unit and Harper with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.  

Every major shift in the development of jazz has depended on the role of important drummers. The stylistic advances of swing were steered-in by Joe Jones and Chick Webb. The bebop revolution could not have happened without Kenny Clarke and Max Roach as its rhythmic architects. Andrew Cyrille is among the pioneering percussionists of the 1960’s who finally freed the drums from the limits of its timekeeping duties, 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 moment that allowed his pan-metrical approach to the drum kit to truly blossom, paving the way for a new kind of drummer. Behind the drums, Cyrille is a total musician. Rhythm, color, melody, texture continuously shape the music’s form; with a relaxed economy of physical gesture that belies the totality of the music being crafted from behind the kit.

Raised in Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood, Billy Harper was playing in the city’s blues clubs by the age of 16. While a student at North Texas State University, his powerful and probing sound was cultivated off campus while performing alongside formidable Texas saxophone giants like Dewey Redman, Julius Hemphill, James Clay, and David “Fathead” Newman. When Harper hit the New York scene in the late 1960’s, he quickly established himself in the pantheon of tenor saxophone greats. His authority on the instrument was attested by his membership in the bands of three of the music’s most important drummers: Art Blakey, Max Roach and Elvin Jones. Harper was also establishing himself as an emerging leader in the music with now classic LP’s such as Capra Black and Black Saint. Not easily swayed by trends, Billy Harper has always been an artist defined by musical integrity. At a time when many jazz musicians compromised their voice in a search for opportunities, Harper declined a lucrative offer that few young musicians would have passed up, a spot in Miles Davis’ band. He stuck to his guns and remained in the band of Max Roach, playing music that meant something to him and following a path closer to his personal calling. That unwavering commitment can be heard and felt to this day, every time he puts his horn to his mouth.