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Paradise Jazz

Double Bill: Ravi Coltrane – Cosmic Music | Thana Alexa

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Double Bill: Ravi Coltrane – Cosmic Music | Thana Alexa

Sunday, January 22, 2023—8:00pm

Sunday, January 22, 2023—8:00pm
Orchestra Hall
2 hours

Critically acclaimed Grammy Award-nominated saxophonist, bandleader, and composer Ravi Coltrane explores the groundbreaking, mystical, and spiritual music of his late parents: the legendary jazz musicians and composers John Coltrane and Detroit native Alice Coltrane.

Downbeat cover artist and fellow Grammy Award nominee Thana Alexa is an extraordinary creative force: an awe-inspiring composer, producer, and vocalist—for whom the voice is both a lyrical and experimental instrument. Her music pushes the boundaries of jazz into new and unexplored territory with deep-seated roots and overtones of contemporary soul and world music.

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Artists

Ravi Coltrane

saxophone

Ravi Coltrane is a critically acclaimed Grammy Award-nominated saxophonist, bandleader, and composer. In the course of a twenty plus year career, Coltrane has worked as a sideman to many, recorded noteworthy albums for himself and others, and founded a prominent independent record label, RKM.

Born in Long Island, the second son of John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane, Ravi was named after Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar. He was raised in Los Angeles where his family moved after his father’s death in 1967. His mother, Alice Coltrane, was a significant influence on Ravi and it was he who encouraged Alice to return to performance and the recording studio after a long absence. Subsequently, Ravi produced and played on Alice Coltrane’s powerful Translinear Light which was released in 2004.

Ravi has released six albums as a leader. His latest, Spirit Fiction, was released in June of 2012 for the Blue Note label. Additional credits include performances as well as recordings with Elvin Jones, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Baron, Steve Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Matt Garrison, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Geri Allen, Joanne Brackeem, The Blue Note 7, among others. He is a co-leader of the Saxophone Summit with Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman.

Ravi lives in Brooklyn, NY and maintains a fast paced touring, recording, composing, and performance schedule. He leads the effort to restore the John Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, Long Island thecoltranehome.org and presides over important reissues of his parent’s recordings.

Thana Alexa

vocalist

Surprising is the word that perhaps best describes Grammy Award-nominated and Downbeat cover artist, Thana Alexa, an extraordinarily creative force in music. An awe-inspiring vocalist, composer, arranger, and producer – for whom the voice is both a lyrical and experimental instrument – her music pushes the boundaries of the genre into new and unexplored territory with deep seeded roots in jazz and overtones of contemporary soul and world music.

Her latest album, ONA (self-release, March 2020), which earned her two Grammy Award-nominations (Best Jazz Vocal Album and Best Instrumental Jazz Solo for Regina Carter’s performance), is Alexa’s focus, her mission statement. Translated to "SHE" from her family's native Croatian, ONA was inspired by the cross generational and cross-cultural stories of the immigrant women in her family and evolved into an exploration of the experiences of contemporary women everywhere. Its premise crystalized in 2017 after her attendance at the Women's March on Washington, DC after which she was inspired to learn more about the stories of the women in her own family and the influences that their life experiences have had on her own existence, growth, and sense of freedom.  The album speaks to us musically about every facet of womanhood, conveying a message of strength and empowerment.

ONA has spawned more female-focused projects: Alexa, together with Grammy Award-nominated artist, Nicole Zuraitis, and bassist, Julia Adamy, formed SONICA, a trio that fuses electronics, three-part harmonies, electric bass, keyboards, and percussion into their unique original music and arrangements. Their upcoming release - fully produced, mixed and engineered by Alexa - will be out in September 2022 on Outside In Music. Alexa also created the project Founding Mothers of Jazz in conjunction with MusicTalks Concerts to celebrate and honor the powerhouse women who helped build the jazz genre from the ground up, many of whom are not historically recognized for their contributions because of their gender.

During the 2020 Coronavirus lockdown, Alexa made headlines as a co-founder of what Rolling Stone called the first “virtual jazz festival” and fundraising initiative, Live From Our Living Rooms. Over the course of their three series (including a partnership with the DC Jazz Festival to present their FromHome Summer Session), Alexa, together with co-founders Owen Broder and Sirintip, contracted over 120 artists, raised over $140,000, and helped facilitate grants to over 80 US based musicians in need. Live From Our Living Rooms received attention from Rolling StoneForbesThe Wall Street Journal, the Financial Timesthe BBC, and more. Live From Our Living Rooms became an official 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2021, with Alexa serving as its Executive Director.

Perhaps Alexa’s most important and ongoing collaboration has been with her husband, five-time Grammy Award-winner Antonio Sanchez (composer for the Oscar winning Birdman film and drummer with Pat Metheny for 20 years). Together with his band Migration they have recorded three critically acclaimed albums including the most recent CAM Jazz recording Lines in the Sand, a protest record about the immigrant experience. The group has toured worldwide and electrified audiences throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Alexa also sings lead vocal in Sanchez's newest project, which features the music of 12 guest artists including Trent Reznor, Dave Matthews, Meshell Ndegeocello, Lila Downs, Thana Alexa, and others. The album is set for release on August 26, 2022 under the Warner Germany Music Label.

 

Ravi Coltrane Quartet: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

It’s easy to understand why a crowded room fell to a hush. ”

-Chicago Tribune

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