The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Back to All Events

Wadada Leo Smith: Four Symphonies

8pm: Doors
8:30pm: Zeena Parkins and William Winant
9:30pm: Wadada Leo Smith with Ikue Mori, Anthony Davis, Hardedge
$20 General / $15 Members / $10 floor seats (bring your own cushion!)

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are sold out, but we will release unclaimed seats at the door at 8:25pm on a first come, first serve basis. $10 floor seats will be available starting at 8pm at the door – bring your own cushion!

Closing out the three-part Abstract Languages event series, Wadada Leo Smith performs his piece Four Symphonies. He plays the trumpet, and has invited others to join him. Ikue Mori performs on electronics, Anthony Davis plays the piano, and Hardedge does the sound design. Zeena Parkins and William Winant perform an improvised duo for harp and percussion.

“the concept that i employ in my music is to consider each performer as a complete unit with each having his or her own center from which each performs independently of any other, and with this respect of autonomy the independent center of the improvisation is continuously changing depending upon the force created by individual centers at any instance from any of the units. the idea is that each improviser creates as an element of the whole, only responding to that which he is creating within himself instead of responding to the total creative energy of the different units. this attitude frees the sound-rhythm elements in an improvisation from being realized through dependent re-action. this is the fundamental principle underlining my music, in that it extends into all the source-areas of music-making." – notes (8 pieces) source a new world music: creative music by Wadada Leo Smith © 1973

Wadada Leo Smith was born in Leland, Mississippi in 1941 and trained with the U.S. Military band program, Sherwood School of Music, and Wesleyan University. A faculty member at The Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts until his retirement in 2013, Smith also taught at the University of New Haven, the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY, and Bard College. Smith currently performs with the Golden Quartet, Silver Orchestra, and Organic ensembles, and his compositions have been performed by other ensembles including AACM Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, New York New Music Ensemble, and California E.A.R. Unit. Recent awards and commissions include MAP Fund Award for “Ten Freedom Summers” (2011), Chamber Music America New Works Grant (2010), NEA Recording Grant (2010), Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2009-2010).

This event is part of Abstract Languages: Three Musical Events, co-organized with Kadist and the Wattis. This entire week has been about music. On Wednesday, at Kadist, we saw scores by Wadada Leo Smith and heard him speak. On Thursday, at the Wattis, we heard Zeena Parkins introduce a screening by Butch Morris. Tonight, finally, both musicians perform live, at The Lab.

This is the fourth event in the Wattis' year-long season about and around the work of David Hammons.