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John Zorn

Drawing upon his experience in classical, jazz, rock, hardcore punk, klezmer, film, cartoon, popular, world and improvised music, John Zorn has created a controversial and influential body of work that often defies academic categories. He has earned great respect within his own community and beyond by going his own way without compromise, developing a large network of supporters world wide, often in unexpected places.

Born in 1953 and raised in New York City, Zorn has been a central figure in the Downtown Scene since 1975, incorporating a wide variety of creative musicians into various compositional formats. He is an indefatigable worker and highly prolific: he has composed over 120 works for classical ensembles including 8 string quartets, vocal music, chamber music, concerti, operas, symphonic and dance works, improvisational game pieces, studio based compositions, and has released over 150 cds under his own name, 99% of which are on his own Tzadik label.

He has led and written music for dozens of bands including Naked City, News for Lulu, Masada, Bar Kokhba, Electric Masada, Moonchild, Painkiller, Nova Express, The Dreamers, Simulacrum, Gnostic Trio, Insurrection, scored over 50 films, and written over 600 tunes (divided into 3 books) for his popular Masada project as well as a book of 300 Bagatelles which has been performed by over 30 different ensembles all over the world.

Recent projects include museum residencies where he presents short acoustic chamber concerts in various galleries in front of art that directly relates to the music. This has happened at METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, MoMA, LOUVRE, ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, LACMA and the FRICK. Beginning in 2013 he has performed solo organ recitals, many of which are documented on The Hermetic Organ CD series on Tzadik. His work is diverse and remarkably eclectic and draws inspiration from Art, Literature, Film, Theatre, Philosophy, Alchemy and Mysticism as well as Music.

In addition to his composing, recording and performing Zorn is a firm believer in community and a tireless champion of experimental music, film, art, poetry and theatre, organizing festivals, recordings and concerts, and helping to establish venues and opportunities for performance. He founded the Tzadik label in 1995 (which has released over 800 recordings of new and adventurous music); runs the East Village performance space The Stone (which has presented over 8000 concerts and 100 musical workshops since 2005) and has edited and published eight volumes of musician’s writings under the title ARCANA.

Honors include the Cultural Achievement Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and the William Schuman Prize for composition from Columbia University. He was inducted into the Long Island Hall of Fame by Lou Reed in 2010 and is a MacArthur Fellow. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Ghent, SUNY Purchase and New England Conservatory.

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Radio & Podcasts

A Few More of My Favorite 2023 Jazz Things - Part 2

Read "A Few More of My Favorite 2023 Jazz Things - Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


It's that time of the year when we look back at the past twelve months and realize that jazz continues to be possibly the only thing that doesn't let us down, while the world is getting crazier by the hour. So here we are again, sharing a few mores tunes we've loved the most in the past few months.Happy listening!Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00 Idris Ackamoor & The ...

Live Review

John Zorn@70 a Modena, Reggio Emilia e Bologna

Read "John Zorn@70 a Modena, Reggio Emilia e Bologna" reviewed by Mario Calvitti


John Zorn Teatro Storchi e Teatro Valli John Zorn @70 Modena e Reggio Emilia 30-31.10.2023 Nella ricorrenza del suo settantesimo compleanno (coincidente quest'anno con l'anniversario di mezzo secolo di carriera professionale, iniziata con le prime incisioni nel 1973), e analogamente a quanto fatto in precedenza per i suoi 50 e 60 anni, il sassofonista e compositore John Zorn ha organizzato una serie di concerti celebrativi in giro per il mondo per proporre una ...

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Live Review

John Zorn at 70 at Great American Music Hall

Read "John Zorn at 70 at Great American Music Hall" reviewed by Roy Strassman


Zorn at 70 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA August 30-September 3, 2023 Day One, August 30, 2023 “Breaking Ground" with John Medeski and Dave Lombardo Last night, the intergalactic Starship John Zorn descended from New York into San Francisco for a five- night residency at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall to celebrate Zorn's 70th birthday. Zorn, a legendary avant-garde composer and saxophonist whose Promethean and prolific output of ...

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Album Review

John Zorn and Bill Laswell: Memoria

Read "Memoria" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski


John Zorn and Bill Laswell, two towering figures of the New York Downtown scene, have once again joined forces to deliver a captivating musical experience, entitled Memoria. Following the success of their previous collaboration, The Cleansing, (Tzadik, 2021) this new release pays tribute to three artistic visionaries whose legacies continue to inspire and shape the realms of creativity and artistic integrity. The album title, Memoria, serves as a heartfelt tribute to three influential figures who have passed away: ...

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Liner Notes

Butch Morris: Current Trends in Racism in Modern America

Read "Butch Morris: Current Trends in Racism in Modern America" reviewed by Howard Mandel


When a full house of ardent downtown music followers flocked to the old Kitchen, a performance loft on Broome Street in Manhattan's artsy Soho district on the cold night of February 1, 1985 to hear Current Trends in Racism in Modern America by Lawrence Douglas “Butch" Morris--I don't recall if it was advertised as “Conduction No. 1"--no one knew what to expect. At that time, as now, Butch was an inspired and productive presence on a diversified music ...

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Album Review

John Zorn: Gnosis: The Inner Light

Read "Gnosis: The Inner Light" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski


John Zorn's album Gnosis: The Inner Light serves as a poignant memorial and homage to the creative genius of one of modern music's most visionary composers, Ennio Morricone, who played a vital role in shaping Zorn's musical path. Decades ago, Zorn captivated audiences with The Big Gundown (Nonesuch, 1986), a groundbreaking release that boldly reimagined Morricone's compositions. Now, with Gnosis: The Inner Light, Zorn once again pays tribute to the maestro's enduring influence, delving into mystical realms and creating a ...

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Jazz AI

Influential John Zorn

Read "Influential John Zorn" reviewed by DIG 9000


John Zorn is a highly influential American composer and musician who has released over 200 recordings spanning a wide range of genres, including jazz, rock, classical, and experimental music. His work is highly regarded for its innovation, eclecticism, and improvisation. It's difficult to pinpoint a single “most important" album by John Zorn, as his work is so diverse and influential that different listeners may have different favorites. However, some of his most highly regarded and influential works include: ...

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Performance / Tour

Premier Marimbist Mika Stoltzman Premieres Works By Geoffrey Keezer, Joel Ross, And John Zorn At Carnegie Hall May 2nd

Premier Marimbist Mika Stoltzman Premieres Works By Geoffrey Keezer, Joel Ross, And John Zorn At Carnegie Hall May 2nd

Source: AMT Public Relations

Premier Marimbist Mika Stoltzman Returns to Carnegie Hall for the Eleventh Time in One-Night Only Concert May 2, 2023 Including world premiere by Geoffrey Keezer, U.S. premiere by Joel Ross, and New York premiere by John Zorn Featuring special guest clarinetist Richard Stoltzman “high-wire jazz marimbist…an amazing, energetic performer” –The Los Angeles Times “Mika brings a joyful enthusiasm to the marimba that is captivating.” –Chick Corea “She’s a brilliantly borderless artist…one-of-a-kind musician.” –All About Jazz Hailed as a “Japanese marimba ...

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Festival

October Revolution 2018: John Zorn, The music of Legendary Hasaan with Christian McBride, Wolf Eyes & Marshall Allen, and more!

October Revolution 2018: John Zorn, The music of Legendary Hasaan with Christian McBride, Wolf Eyes & Marshall Allen, and more!

Source: Ars Nova Workshop

ACCLAIMED PHILADELPHIA FESTIVAL EXPANDS LINEUP The October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music, a four-day international music festival presented by Ars Nova Workshop, in partnership with FringeArts, has confirmed several additional artists for its 2018 lineup as well as announcing single-day tickets. Featuring some of the most groundbreaking and uncategorizable artists in modern music, Ars Nova is pleased to announce that John Zorn, Tomeka Reid Quartet with Mary Halvorson, Christian McBride, as well as Wolf Eyes featuring Marshall Allen all ...

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Festival

35th Edition Of Jazz Em Agosto - John Zorn Special Edition

35th Edition Of Jazz Em Agosto - John Zorn Special Edition

Source: Gulbenkian Musica

Jazz em Agosto celebrates its 35th edition this year with a program entitled “John Zorn Special Edition”, for 10 days, from 27 July to 5 August, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. For the first time in the festival’s history, the entire program of Jazz em Agosto is organised around a single musician, the North- American John Zorn, celebrating one of the most inspiring, inspired and intriguing figures, who is constantly leaving a deep personal mark on innovative music of our ...

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Performance / Tour

Jerry Granelli Holds A One-Week Residency At John Zorn's The Stone On January 3-8, 2017

Jerry Granelli Holds A One-Week Residency At John Zorn's  The Stone On January 3-8, 2017

Source: Scott Thompson Public Relations

Born in 1940, and now in his late 70s , Drummer / Composer / Professor / Sound Painter Jerry Granelli has enjoyed an incomparable career in music from the inside out... way out! The winner of the last NEA Grant awarded ascended from playing with the great pianist Vince Guaraldi at the height of his popularity while simultaneously exploring Free Jazz on San Francisco's thriving after hours sets in the early `60s to establishing academic arts curriculums to indoctrinate and ...

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Performance / Tour

John Zorn’s Masada Book III The Book Beriah At Roulette on September 10th

John Zorn’s Masada Book III The Book Beriah At Roulette on September 10th

Source: Isabelle Deconinck

Launched in 1993 with the idea of expanding the definition of what Jewish music can be, John Zorn’s Masada project has become a touchstone of New Jewish Music for the last three decades. This marathon concert will feature the world premiere of many compositions interpreted by four exciting bands from the extended Masada family: Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista and his quartet Banquet of the Spirits; the psychedelic ambient experimental rock band Cleric; the Klezmer trio Nigunim with Frank London (trumpet), ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: John Zorn

Jazz Musician of the Day: John Zorn

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating John Zorn's birthday today!

John Zorn is an American composer and saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist. As a child, Zorn played piano, guitar and flute. He studied at Webster College (now Webster University) in St. Louis, Missouri, where he discovered free jazz. Dropping out of college and moving to Manhattan, Zorn gave concerts in his small apartment, playing a variety of reeds, duck calls, tapes, etc. He eventually became a major participant in the fertile “Downtown” experimental music scene. ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: John Zorn

Jazz Musician of the Day: John Zorn

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating John Zorn's birthday today!

John Zorn (born September 2, 1953 in NYC, USA) is a Jewish American composer and saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist. As a child, Zorn played piano, guitar and flute. He studied at Webster College (now Webster University) in St. Louis, Missouri, where he discovered free jazz. Dropping out of college and moving to Manhattan, Zorn gave concerts in his small apartment, playing a variety of reeds, duck calls, tapes, etc... Read more.

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Recording

David Krakauer releases Pruflas: The Book of Angels Vol. 18 Music by John Zorn on Tzadik Records

David Krakauer releases Pruflas: The Book of Angels Vol. 18 Music by John Zorn on Tzadik Records

Source: Jensen Artists

Clarinetist David Krakauer, praised internationally for his astounding ability to play in a myriad of music genres with “prodigious chops” (The New Yorker) and “soulfulness and electrifying showiness” (The New York Times), has recorded for the Tzadik label a collection of tunes selected especially for him to play by John Zorn from his milestone work, The Book of Angels. The Book of Angels is the second book of 300 songs for Zorn’s band, Masada, composed over a period of a ...

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Recording

John Zorn - At the Gates of Paradise (Tzadik, 2011)

John Zorn - At the Gates of Paradise (Tzadik, 2011)

Source: Music and More by Tim Niland

When I was in college I had to take one humanities class to fulfill a requirement for graduation. I took a class on the visionary poet and engraver William Blake. I found it fascinating, although I admit that some of his more complex later works were a bit beyond me. Blake's work has had an effect on composer John Zorn as well, and he put together this suite performed by John Medeski on piano and organ, Kenny Wollesen on vibes, ...

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Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: John Zorn

Jazz Musician of the Day: John Zorn

Source:

All About Jazz is celebrating John Zorn's birthday today!

John Zorn (born September 2, 1953 in NYC, USA) is a Jewish American composer and saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist. As a child, Zorn played piano, guitar and flute. He studied at Webster College (now Webster University) in St. Louis, Missouri, where he discovered free jazz. Dropping out of college and moving to Manhattan, Zorn gave concerts in his small apartment, playing a variety of reeds, duck calls, tapes, etc...John Zorn (born September 2, 1953 ...

Keith Pray
saxophone
Avi Granite
guitar
Louie Belogenis
saxophone
Terry Edwards
saxophone
Ignaz Schick
saxophone
Greshka
composer / conductor
Tom Weeks
guitar, electric
Andrew Dixon
saxophone
Kyle MacLeod
keyboards
Marc Crofts
violin
Jonatan Piña Duluc
saxophone, tenor
John Notaro
multi-instrumentalist
Ben Sutin
violin

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