Pianist Cecil Taylor at Le Poisson Lounge in NYC

(All of Cecil Taylor's shows at Le Poisson Rouge for June 2011 have been cancelled)

Experimental pianist Cecil Taylor will be performing every Thursday night throughout the month of June in 2011 at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, New York City. At the age of 82, Taylor continues on his quest to show that the capabilities of the piano keys bridges beyond what the conscious imagination had in store for the instrument.

A world renown performer, a Guggenheim and a MacArthur recipient, as well as honored with the Kennedy Center’s Jazz Legends Award bestowed on him in 2007, Taylor’s accomplishments incite awe but it is the way he tackles the piano which is most awe-inspiring about the maestro. Taylor began his profession performing at the Corona, Queens nightspot Big George’s when he was 16 years old. He graduated from the New England Conservatory and returned to New York City in 1951 where he played in such piano bars as Club Harlem and the Village Gate. His youth and gusto warranted him a gig performing with the jazz orchestra led by tenor player Johnny Hodges who had acquired Duke Ellington’s trombonist Lawrence Brown at the time. It was Brown whom Taylor says informed him, “Young man, the piano has 88 keys, you might try playing more than three.”

Indeed Cecil Taylor has gone on to playing not only the other keys but the piano strings that are inside the instrument. His collaborations have included jazz combinations with alto player Jimmy Lyons (1960 - 1986) drummers Sunny Murray, Andrew Cyrille and Tony Oxley, trumpeters Bill Dixon (1954 - 2004) and Amir ElSaffar, bassists Henry Grimes and Alan Silva, flautists Sam Rivers and Ramsey Ameen, and multi-cultured orchestras such as the Orchestra of Two Continents, Sound Vision, and the Italian Instabile Orchestra. Taylor has performed on stage with such dance troupes as Diane McIntyre’s Sounds in Motion and ballet dancers Mikhail Baryshnikov and Heather Watts. Currently, Taylor has embarked on the Diction and Contradiction concert tour with poet Amiri Baraka enabling Taylor to demonstrate his prowess as an ardent poet as well as.

Clubs have come and gone since 1951, but Cecil Taylor has been nonstop. At 82 years old, he is experiencing a new wave of vitality as both a pianist and a poet, and finding an appreciative audience who are keeping him on his toes.

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 505-3474
Dates: June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2011
Time: 6:30 pm
Cost: $30 in advance, $35 at the door

For more information on Cecil Taylor and upcoming concert dates, go to: www.ceciltaylor-art.com

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Susan Frances