Improvised Music
& Jazz

Created in the Moment

I like to approach music making without a lot of preconception and—

without a lot of rehearsal. This gives us a fresh, unknown reservoir to dive into. Gerald brings a great respect and knowledge of tradition to each performance along with a thirst for exploration. We both love beauty and abstraction and simplicity—it is here that we meet every night when we make music together.

Charles Lloyd

Created in the Moment

The acoustic quality of a performance space is an essential factor for any musician. But it is particularly crucial for those committed to the art of improvisation—a form of expression that flows from the desire to act on impulse and take risks. At the Pierre Boulez Saal, where the physical boundary between artists and audience is blurred through the room’s unique architecture, the creation of music in the moment can become the starting point for a truly communal, inclusive, even sublime experience.

This season’s concerts of improvised music take full advantage of these possibilities, with the piano—an instrument whose expansive sonic palette can be magical when heard in all its details—featuring prominently in duo and trio formats. The former include not only saxophonist Charles Lloyd and pianist Gerald Clayton as well as trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and pianist Vijay Iyer, but also the piano pairings of Kris Davis and Craig Taborn, and of Fred Hersch and Benoît Delbecq. With the trios led by Hersch, Sylvie Courvoisier, and Bobo Stenson, three of the most exciting and stylistically diverse ensembles from Europe and America take the stage. Pianist Tarek Yamani blends jazz with influences from his native Lebanon, while Naseer Shamma, Kayhan Kalhor, and Erdal Erzincan represent the rich, centuries-old performance traditions of oud, kamancheh, and bağlama.

Improvised Music & Jazz Throughout the 2019-20 Season