Diedre Murray is an American cellist and composer specializing in jazz and musical theater. She also works as a record producer and curator.
As a performer she has worked with Leroy Jenkins, Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson, Henry Threadgill,Muhal Richard Abrams, James Brown, Julius Hemphill, Fred Hopkins, Jason Kao Hwang, and Archie Shepp, in addition to leading her ensembles.
A native of New York, Murray studied at Hunter College and the Manhattan School of Music.In 1993 she received commissions to create: a score for the inaugural concert at the Danny Kaye/Sylvia Fine Playhouse entitled "Five Minute Tango", performed by the Manhattan Brass Quintet; The Conversation for the Seattle-based New Performance Group at the Walker Art Center in Minnesota for the Music in Motion program; Flashes, a structured improvised collaboration with choreographer Blondell Cummings and musicians Jeanne Lee and Pauline Oliveros for the Firewall Festival 1993; and music for Helen Thorington's radio piece Dracula's Wives for broadcast. In 1994, Murray's works included The Voice Within, an a cappella theater piece for ten voices with text by Marcus Gardley, at Aaron Davis Hall; a tour of Flashes to the Taklos Festival in Switzerland; and, a dramatized version of Unending Pain, with text by Laurie Carlos, at P.S. 122 in New York City. Her work as a composer was intermixed with an extensive concert schedule as a band leader and concert soloist.
In 1996 her projects included: You Don't Miss the Water, a music-theater piece, in collaboration with poet Cornelius Eady produced by the Music Theatre Group; and the premiere of Women in the Dunes, a dance piece created by Blondell Cummings for the Japan Society and Mu Lan-Pi. Her dance theatrescape commissioned by District Curators and performed in Washington, D.C. by the Ajax Moving Dance Company. In 1998 Murray developed the jazz opera Running Man, for which she wrote the original story, score, and book with collaborators Cornelius Eady and Diane Paulus. Murray also conceived Songbird: The Life and Times of Ella Fitzgerald , for which she wrote the original music. She received a grant from the Commissioning Project to write Eleven Elements of Joy for orchestra, which debuted in June 1999.
In 2000 she wrote a chamber and choral piece for the Commissioning Project. In 2001 she wrote arrangements for the musical Eli's Coming, for which she won her second Obie. In 2002 she composed the score for Brutal Imagination, a verse play by Cornelius Eady. Other works include Strings Attached, a dance piece by choreographer Risa Jaroslow; Best of Both Worlds created by Randy Weiner and Diane Paulus; and a collaboration with Sonoko Kawahara on Name of the Flower, a music-theater piece; The Iliad and The Odyssey with Kathryn Walker. Murray collaborated with Paulus on the musical The Best of Both Worlds . Other projects include a collaboration with Carl Hancock Rux on The Blackamoor Angel, a full-length opera, a collaboration with Lynn Nottage on the musical "Sweet Billy and the Zooloos, and a yearlong residency at Harlem Stages with playwright Marcus Gardley. She adapted the music for Tony Award winning production of The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, directed by Diane Paulus. In 2019 she collaborated with Regina Taylor on two productions, "Crowns" and "Oo Bla Dee". In 2020 she's working with Deborah Brevoort on "Loving", a musical based on the love of Richard and Mildred Loving.
Obie Award, Eli's Comin', 2002
With Muhal Richard Abrams
With Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson
With Henry Threadgill
Henry Threadgill is an American composer, saxophonist and flautist. He came to prominence in the 1970s leading ensembles rooted in jazz but with unusual instrumentation and often incorporating other genres of music. He has performed and recorded with several ensembles: Air, Aggregation Orb, Make a Move, the seven-piece Henry Threadgill Sextett, the twenty-piece Society Situation Dance Band, Very Very Circus, X-75, and Zooid.
The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) is a professional not-for-profit theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1979 by Robert Brustein, the A.R.T. is known for its commitment to new American plays and music–theater explorations; to neglected works of the past; and to established classical texts reinterpreted in refreshing new ways. Over the past thirty years it has garnered many of the nation's most distinguished awards, including a Pulitzer Prize (1982), a Tony Award (1986), and a Jujamcyn Award (1985). In 2002, the A.R.T. was the recipient of the National Theatre Conference's Outstanding Achievement Award, and it was named one of the top three theaters in the country by Time Magazine in 2003. The A.R.T. is housed in the Loeb Drama Center at Harvard University. The A.R.T. houses the Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University and the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club.
Lynn Ahrens is an American writer and lyricist for the musical theatre, television and film. She has collaborated with Stephen Flaherty for many years. She won the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for the Broadway musical Ragtime. Together with Flaherty, they have written many musicals, including Lucky Stiff, My Favorite Year, Ragtime, Seussical, A Man of No Importance, Dessa Rose, The Glorious Ones, Rocky, Little Dancer and, recently on Broadway, Anastasia and Once on This Island.
Jeanine Tesori is an American composer and musical arranger. She is the most prolific and honored female theatrical composer in history, with five Broadway musicals and five Tony Award nominations. She won the 1999 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a Play for Nicholas Hytner's production of Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center, the 2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music for Caroline, or Change, and the 2015 Tony Award for Best Original Score for Fun Home, making them the first female writing team to win that award. She was named Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist twice for Fun Home and Soft Power.
David Lang is an American composer living in New York City. Co-founder of the musical collective Bang on a Can, he was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Music for The Little Match Girl Passion, which went on to win a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance by Paul Hillier and Theatre of Voices. He was nominated for an Academy Award for "Simple Song #3" from the film Youth.
Cornelius Eady is an American writer focusing largely on matters of race and society. His poetry often centers on jazz and blues, family life, violence, and societal problems stemming from questions of race and class. His poetry is often praised for its simple and approachable language.
Lisa D'Amour is a playwright, performer, and former Carnival Queen from New Orleans. D'Amour is an alumna of New Dramatists. Her play Detroit was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Martha Clarke is an American theater director and choreographer noted for her multidisciplinary approach to theatre, dance, and opera productions. Her best-known original work is The Garden of Earthly Delights (1984), an exploration in theatre, dance, music and flying of the famous painting of the same name by Hieronymus Bosch. In 1990, Clarke received a MacArthur Award, better known as the Genius Grant.
Dael Orlandersmith is an American actress, poet and playwright. She is known for her Obie Award-winning Beauty's Daughter and the 2002 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Drama, Yellowman.
Fred Hopkins was a double bassist who played a major role in the development of the avant-garde jazz movement. He was best known for his association with the trio Air with Henry Threadgill and Steve McCall, and for his numerous performances and extensive recordings with major jazz musicians such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Arthur Blythe, Oliver Lake, and David Murray. He was a member of the AACM, and a frequent participant in the loft jazz scene of the 1970s. He also co-led a number of albums with the composer and cellist Diedre Murray. Gary Giddins wrote that Hopkins' playing "fused audacious power with mercuric reflexes." Howard Reich, writing in the Chicago Tribune, stated that "many connoisseurs considered [Hopkins] the most accomplished jazz bassist of his generation" and praised him for "the extraordinarily fluid technique, sumptuous tone and innovative methods he brought to his instrument."
Newman Taylor Baker is a jazz drummer and a washboard player.
Jim Nolet is an American jazz violinist, artist, performer, and educator known internationally as a composer/improviser in world and jazz idioms. He has a particular interest in the music of Brazil. He has performed in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Latin America.
The Talking Band is an American Off-Off-Broadway theatre company specializing in experimental theatre, based in New York City, New York.
Running Man may refer to:
Diane Marie Paulus is a Japanese-American theatre and opera director who is currently the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University. Paulus was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for her revivals of Hair and The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, and won the award in 2013 for her revival of Pippin.
Quiara Alegría Hudes is an American playwright, lyricist and essayist. She is best known for writing the book for the musical In the Heights. Her play Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. She won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Water by the Spoonful.
The Best of Both Worlds is a musical with book and lyrics by Randy Weiner, music by Diedre Murray, and additional scenes by Diane Paulus, loosely based on William Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale.
Pam MacKinnon is an American theatre director. She has directed for the stage Off-Broadway, on Broadway and in regional theatre. She won the Obie Award for Directing and received a Tony Award nomination, Best Director, for her work on Clybourne Park. In 2013 she received the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for a revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She was named Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, California on January 23, 2018.
Marcus Gardley is an American writer from West Oakland, California. He is the recipient of a 2019 Obie Award for his play THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND and a 2019 Doris Duke Artist Award. He penned the screenplay for The Color Purple Feature Film Musical. He has written on nine TV shows including THE CHI, MIND HUNTER, TALES OF THE CITY and the upcoming I'M A VIRGO. He is an artistic associate for The Young Vic Theater in London.
Blondell Cummings was an American modern dancer and choreographer. She is known for her experimental choreography and was a fixture in the New York and Harlem dance scene for decades.