Saxophonist, bandleader, and composer Ravi Coltrane performs music of John and Alice Coltrane on a double bill with composer, producer, and vocalist Thana Alexa at Orchestra Hall on the DSO’s Paradise Jazz Series
Tickets on sale now at dso.org/jazz
Detroit, (January 9, 2023) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will continue its Paradise Jazz Series with a double bill by two Grammy Award-nominated artists: saxophonist, bandleader, and composer Ravi Coltrane and composer, producer, and vocalist Thana Alexa. The one-night-only performance will take place on Sunday, January 22 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall. Before the performance, Alexa will conduct a masterclass for the DSO’s Civic Youth Ensembles jazz students.
Coltrane will explore the groundbreaking, mystical, and spiritual music of his late parents: the legendary jazz musicians and composers John Coltrane and Detroit native Alice Coltrane. Alexa is a DownBeat magazine cover artist who pushes the boundaries of jazz into new and unexplored territory with deep-seated roots and overtones of contemporary soul and world music.
Please note: the DSO does not appear on this performance.
Double Bill: Ravi Coltrane – Cosmic Music | Thana Alexa will take place on Sunday, January 22 at 8 p.m. in Orchestra Hall. Tickets for this performance start at $19. Tickets can be purchased at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Subscriptions for the 2022-2023 Paradise Jazz Series can be purchased at dso.org/jazz
Currently in its 23rd season, the Paradise Jazz Series is named for and honors the legacy of the Paradise Theatre, the historic Detroit jazz venue that was on the site of Orchestra Hall from 1941-1951. The DSO is one of few major American orchestras to present regular jazz programming on its main stage. Acclaimed trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and educator Terence Blanchard has served as the DSO’s Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair since 2012. Learn more about the series at dso.org/jazz.
2022-2023 SEASON DSO SAFETY POLICIES: The DSO no longer requires audiences to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances. Masks are optional although strongly recommended at DSO performances, particularly when Wayne County and surrounding communities are in the high or "red" category as defined by the CDC. The DSO asks audience members to do their part to create a safe environment for everyone and encourages those who are not feeling well to stay home.
The Paradise Jazz Series is supported by Huntington, MGM Grand Detroit, and DownBeat magazine.
DOUBLE BILL: RAVI COLTRANE – COSMIC MUSIC | THANA ALEXA
Paradise Jazz Series
Sunday, January 22 at 8 p.m.
Ravi Coltrane, saxophone
Thana Alexa, vocals
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 magazine 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.
About Ravi Coltrane
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, and recorded noteworthy albums for himself and others.
Coltrane has released six albums as a leader. His albums include Moving Pictures, From The Round Box, Mad 6, In Flux, Blending Times, and Spirit Fiction. He also has collaborated on various albums, including Seraphic Light with Joe Lovano and David Liebman, In Movement with Jack DeJohnette and Matthew Garrison, and The Blue Note’s 70th Anniversary recording, Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note. 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, and The Blue Note 7, among others.
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 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 and presides over important reissues of his parent’s recordings.
About Thana Alexa
“Surprising” is the word that perhaps best describes Grammy Award nominee, DownBeat magazine cover artist, and winner of the International Songwriting Competition 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.
Alexa’s two-time Grammy Award-nominated album, ONA, (self-release, March 2020) is her 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 in 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 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 first-call bassist Julia Adamy—formed SONICA, a dynamic trio that incorporates intricate vocal harmonies, electronics, vocal loops, percussion, electric bass, and keyboards over a blend of original music and modern arrangements. The trio’s self-titled debut album—fully engineered, produced, and mixed by Alexa—was released on September 30, 2022 via 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.
In 2020, 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 series), 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 Stone, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the BBC, and more.
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 and have toured worldwide. Alexa also sings lead vocal in the live production of Sanchez's newest project, Bad Hombre, which features the music of 12 guest artists who appear on his album, including Trent Reznor, Dave Matthews, Meshell Ndegeocello, Lila Downs, Kimbra, Silvana Estrada, Thana Alexa, her trio SONICA, and others. The album, SHIFT (Bad Hombre Vol. II) was released on August 26, 2022 on Warner Music.
Alexa graduated from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and Eugene Lang College with dual bachelor’s degrees in jazz and contemporary music and psychology, respectively.
About the DSO
The most accessible orchestra on the planet, the acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while Oscar-nominated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair.
Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings.
A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a live radio broadcast of a concert and continues today with the groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series of free webcasts, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.