Music Program

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.

$15 general, $10 members/students/seniors

To learn more about the benefits of becoming a member, please click here.

This concert is made possible through the generous support of Robert D. Bielecki.

William Parker Trance Quartet


William Parker (contrabass, shenai, flute, douson gouni, sintir)
Bill Cole (double reeds, didjeridu)
Steve Baczkowski (tenor/baritone sax, didjeridu, winds)
Ravi Padmanabha (drums, percussion)

As Steve Greenlee of the Boston Globe stated in July 2002, "William Parker has emerged as the most important leader of the current avant-garde scene in jazz." He is working in many of the more important groups in this genre, some of the most prestigious being his own, i.e. The Curtis Mayfield Project, Little Huey Creative Orchestra, In Order to Survive, William Parker's Quartet and other groups. Mr. Parker is one of the most important composers in our time period, he is also a poet whose words are beginning to be heard in various media: in print, in song and in his theatre piece, "Music and the Shadow People."

In '95 the Village Voice characterized William Parker as "the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time." However from the beginning of his career Mr. Parker has commanded a unique degree of respect from fellow musicians. In 1972 at the age of 20, Parker quickly became the bass player of choice among his peers. Within a short time he was asked to play with older, established musicians such as Ed Blackwell, Don Cherry, Bill Dixon, Milford Graves, Billy Higgins, Sunny Murray, etc. In 1980 he became a member of the Cecil Taylor Unit, in which he played a prominent role for over a decade.

Mr. Parker has released over 20 albums under his leadership. Not surprisingly, most of his albums have hit #1 on the CMJ charts. In 1995 after years of obscurity as a leader, he released Flowers Grow In My Room, on the Centering label. This was the first documentation of the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra. This CD hit #1 on the CMJ charts and The Little Huey began to travel. They have performed in the Verona Jazz Festival and Banlieues Bleues among others. William Parker's new Quartet has hit with rave reviews for both albums "O'Neals Porch" and "Raining on the Moon."

These releases and their success highlight William Parker as an outstanding composer and band leader. From the beginning of his musical career, William Parker has been prolific; composing music for almost every group with whom he has performed. His compositional skills span a range including operas, oratorios, ballets, film scores, and soliloquies for solo instruments. He has also successfully explored diverse concepts in instrumentation for large and small ensembles. William Parker is a poet, with three volumes published thus far: "Music Is," "Document Humanum," and "The Shadow People."

"He (William Parker) is something of a father figure" stated Larry Blumenfeld in a New York Times article this past May. He has looked for and encouraged young talent and has been a mentor to some of the younger musicians. Most importantly, for Mr. Parker has been the workshops/ performances for young people that he has conducted, both in the USA and in Europe. This has been for him amongst some of his most important work and greatest successes."

Bill Cole is an American jazz musician, composer, and educator. Cole specializes in non-Western wind instruments, including the Ghanaian atenteben, Chinese suona, Korean hojok and piri, South Indian nagaswaram, North Indian shehnai, Tibetan trumpet, and Australian didjeridu. Cole is the founder and leader of the Untempered Ensemble and has performed with Ornette Coleman, Jayne Cortez, Julius Hemphill, Sam Rivers, James Blood Ulmer, Fred Ho and others at Town Hall, Symphony Space, Lincoln Center and other venues around the country. He records for the Boxholder label. He served as professor of music at Amherst College from 1972 until 1974 and Dartmouth College from 1974 until his retirement in the 1990s. He currently is chairman of the Department of African American Studies at Syracuse University. Cole, a musician, composer, educator and author, is an admired innovator in the music world, successfully combining Eastern sounds with an American art form - jazz. His use of traditional instruments from a variety of cultures has enabled him to research both their style and meaning within the culture. These instruments include Asian double reed horns like the Chinese sonas, Korean hojok and piri, Indian shenai and nagaswarm, the Ghanaian bamboo flute, Tibetan trumpet and the Australian didgeridoo. In 1992 Cole founded the Untempered Ensemble, a septet recorded by Boxholder RecordsCole. He has authored books about two jazz legends: "Miles Davis: The Early Years" (1994, Da Capo Press), and "John Coltrane" (2001, Da Capo Press).

Ravi Padmanabha is a percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, improviser/composer. His initial interest was in drum set which later led to a variety of world instruments. From an early age, Ravi was exposed to Indian Classical music. At age 18, he began his formal Tabla studies with Pandit Ananda Gopal, and later with Pandit Samar Saha of Calcutta. He then continued with Tabla Maestro Pandit Sharda Sahai. He worked for Trivini, an Indian Classical Music organization, which allowed him to meet and learn more about his rich musical heritage. While living in Buffalo Ravi spent many years performing in a wide variety of musical styles, including jazz, world, and experimental music. He has helped form many groups, such as Hylozoa with Steve Baczkowski on winds, Tala Rasa with Ron Locurto on guitar, and Omkara with Naryan Padmanabha on santoor and Aneal Padmanabha on guitar. Ravi has performed at Buffalo's Drum Day and Maelstrom Percussion Ensembles Master Drummers Program. In 1995 Ravi was diagnosed with a tumor in his ear called an Acoustic Neuroma. After successful removal of the tumor Ravi was left with little hearing in one ear. This condition has not hindered his musical ability,but has enhanced his awareness of sound and interaction with fellow musicians. Since moving to NYC in August 2001, Ravi has performed in various groups including the Howling Makams, with Brandon Terzic and Tomchess. He has performed with many musicians including, Robert Dick, Willam Parker,Peter Kowald, Pauline Oliveros, Daniel Carter, Adam Lane, Blaise Siwula,Steve Swell and Bern Nix. Ravi has several unique recordings to his credit including "MOORSING" a CD that features compositions based mainly on the Moorsing (jaw harp/jews harp). In 2005 the Buffalo Suicide Prevention unit was formed with Mike Allard, Steve Baczkowski, Mike Hermanson, Leif Nicklas and Ravi Padmanabha. The units first release has captured the deep improvising history shared by all its members. In 2005 Omkara has collaborated with Josh Geisler to create a live soundtrack for a Projectile Arts film titled "Take me to the river" In 2006 Ravi and fellow Buffalo Musicians performed in the William Parker Buffalo Orchestra which inaugurated the new Righteous Babe Records/Hallwalls performance space. Also in 2006 Ravi and NYC multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter released "Nivesana".

Steve Baczkowski: baritone/tenor saxophonist, multi-wind instrumentalist. Born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., Baczkowski began studying music playing alto saxophone at age eight and switched to baritone by the time he was twelve. He began studying jazz in earnest in high school at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts and went on to study music, saxophone performance, literature and ethnomusicology at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1994-99.

In addition to organizing several ensembles, such as The Buffalo Improvisers Orchestra, and the quintet Buffalo Suicide Prevention Unit, Baczkowski also works with the Baczkowski/Padmanabha Duo, The 12/8 Path Band, The Genkin Philharmonic, Baczkowski/Ranallo Duo, Hylozoa, Baczkowski/Corsano/Flaherty Trio, and various other ensembles. He has collaborated and/or performed with many accomplished musicians including William Parker, Tony Conrad, Paul Flaherty, Thurston Moore, John Bacon, Joe McPhee, Robert Dick, Douglas Ewart, Tatsuya Nakatani, Will Redman, Eddie Gale, Chris Corsano, Roswell Rudd, Koji Tambata, Omar Tamez and numerous others. Steve has appeared at festivals in North America, Mexico and Europe including a performance at the 22nd annual International Festival Musique Actuelle in Victoriaville, Quebec with Thurston Moore's Dream Aktion Unit in 2005 and in 2006 in duo with Ravi Padmanabha at the Instal festival in Glasgow, Scotland, and at the Suoni Per Il Popolo festival in Montreal 2008. In 2009 he spent three weeks as artist-in-residence in Monterrey, Mexico. He has appeared at CBGB's and Tonic in NYC, at The Velvet Lounge in Chicago, at The Tranzac in Toronto and has an upcoming performance in March 2010 at The Stone in NYC.

Steve Baczkowski frequently performs many varieties of music in a multitude of contexts in and around Buffalo, from loft parties, clubs and street parades to galleries and concert halls. Although interested in many forms and styles of music performance, Steve is most at home improvising. He has lectured on improvisation, didjeridu techniques, and overtone-based music at The State University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, Villa Maria College, and The State University at Fredonia. He can often be seen riding his bicycle on the streets of his beloved hometown Buffalo, N.Y. - more info at:

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April and May, 2010 - 2010