Groundbreaking composer/trumpeter & friend of the proGram, Mr. Wadada Leo Smith celebrate his 80th birthday with a year of special events including “A Dialogue: Creativity and Mercy with a Reflection on the Role of the Artist in Today’s World,” Harvard University’s Louis C. Elson Lecture delivered virtually at 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 14. The event features the world premiere of Mr. Smith’s new work “Mercy,” composed in honor of essential hospital workers and performed by Smith, Vijay Iyer, and Andrew Cyrille. Smith and Iyer will also participate in a virtual conversation followed by a Q&A session. Wadada’s year-long celebration of his 80th birthday includes the release of six major projects comprising twenty-two CDs on TUM Records, two world premieres, inclusion in a film and concerts, and numerous residencies culminating in an 80th birthday celebration concert to be broadcast on his birthday, December 18, 2021.
2021-22 TUM Recordings
• May 21, 2021 – Sacred Ceremonies, a 3-CD box set featuring Wadada with Milford Graves and Bill Laswell in duets and a trio.
• May 21, 2021 – Trumpet, a 3-CD box set featuring 14 new compositions for solo trumpet.
• November 19, 2021 – Wadada Leo Smith’s Great Lakes Quartet: The Chicago Symphonies
Box set with 4 CDs. Smith on trumpet, Henry Threadgill and Jonathon Haffner on saxophones, John Lindberg on double bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums.
• November 19, 2021 – Wadada Leo Smith, Vijay Iyer, and Jack DeJohnette: A Love Sonnet for Billie Holiday
This brings the three artists together for the first time in this meeting of creative giants.
• February 18, 2022 – Wadada Leo Smith: String Quartets No. 1 – 12
Box set with 7 CDs featuring RedKoral Quartet plus featured soloists including Smith, Anthony Davis, Alison Bjorkedal, Thomas Buckner, and more.
• February 18, 2022 – Wadada Leo Smith: Emerald Duets
Box set with 4 CDs, one each with Pheeroan akLaff, Han Bennink, Andrew Cyrille and Jack DeJohnette. This set adds to Smith’s long history of duo recordings with some of the greatest drummers in the history of creative music.
This event in it’s entirety, help me, as a human doing, fill in some of the cracks in my foundational concreate that have been slowly eroding away in the past couple of years.