2017 MacArthur Fellow Sorey Joined by Acclaimed Bassist Christopher Tordini and Pianist Cory Smythe

CHICAGO, IL (September 6, 2018) – On Thursday, November 8, the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago will host the Tyshawn Sorey Trio. The performance, the first act of the 2018-2019 Experimental Music Series, will feature 2017 MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey, a virtuosic multi-instrumentalist and composer, as well bassist Christopher Tordini and pianist Cory Smythe.

The Experimental Music Series showcases music on the edge, by artists whose work falls between the cracks of historically defined categories of composition, improvisation, jazz, and electronic music. Programming for this series highlights two specific musical approaches: composer-led bands that create experimental new music by fusing elements of composition and improvisation, and music that focuses on electronics and technology to expand what is artistically possible.

For this installment of the series, the Tyshawn Sorey Trio will play selected work, including pieces from the trio’s most recent record, Verisimilitude (Pi Recordings, 2017), which combines Sorey's intricate compositions with improvisation.

"The three musicians of Sorey’s trio are some of the most innovative and versatile musical creators performing today,” said Sam Pluta, Assistant Professor of Composition and Director, Computer Music Studio. “Drawing on their experience in everything from classical music to new music to jazz to electronics, this group creates sounds that defy categorization and cut to the very definition of what it means to be experimental.”

Composer and drummer Sorey (b. 1980) is celebrated for his effortless mastery and memorization of highly complex scores and an extraordinary ability to blend composition and improvisation in his work. Recipient of a 2017 MacArthur “Genius” grant, Sorey has performed nationally and internationally with his own ensembles, as well as with artists such as John Zorn, Vijay Iyer, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams, Wadada Leo Smith, Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, Claire Chase, Steve Coleman, Anthony Braxton, and Myra Melford, among many others.

The New York Times has praised Sorey for his instrumental facility and aplomb, stating that “he plays not only with gale-force physicality, but also a sense of scale and equipoise”; The Wall Street Journal says Sorey is, “a composer of radical and seemingly boundless ideas.” The New Yorker recently noted that Sorey is “among the most formidable denizens of the in-between zone…An extraordinary talent who can see across the entire musical landscape.”

Bassist Christopher Tordini is based in New York City, where he performs with established jazz icons as well as a diverse range of emerging musicians, including Andy Milne, Greg Osby, Jeremy Pelt, Ari Hoening, Steve Lehman, Jim Black, Andrew D’Angelo, and the Becca Stevens Band.

Pianist Cory Smythe has played with pioneering artists in new, improvisatory, and classical music, including violinist Hilary Hahn and multidisciplinary composers from Anthony Braxton to Zosha Di Castri. He has been featured at the Newport Jazz, Wien Modern, Nordic Music Days, Approximation, Takts, and Darmstadt festivals, as well as at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart.

This performance is part of the Experimental Music Series and is co-presented by the Arts, Science + Culture Initiative, the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, the UChicago Department of Music, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, and the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition.

Event info:
Experimental Series: Tyshawn Sorey Trio
Thursday, November 8, 7pm
Logan Center, Performance Penthouse
915 E 60th Street / Free

Julie Marie Lemon
Program Director and Curator, Arts, Science + Culture Initiative
Office of the Provost
jmlemon@uchicago.edu | 773.702.8029