Thurman Barker (born January 8, 1948, Chicago, Illinois) is an American jazz drummer.
Barker's first professional experience was at age sixteen with Mighty Joe Young. Barker took his bachelor's at Empire State College, then studied at the American Conservatory of Music under Harold Jones and at Roosevelt University under Edward Parimba. He next served as an accompanist for Billy Eckstine, Bette Midler, and Marvin Gaye. He was house percussionist at the Schubert Theater in Chicago in the 1960s. In 1968 he joined Joseph Jarman's first ensemble, and soon after became a member of the AACM in its early days. Aside from Jarman, he played in the late 1960s and 1970s with Muhal Richard Abrams, Pheeroan akLaff, Anthony Braxton, Billy Bang, Henry Threadgill, and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre. He recorded and toured again with Braxton in 1978-80 and with Sam Rivers in 1979-80. In 1985 he played in a trio with Jarman and Rivers, and in 1987 he played marimba with Cecil Taylor.
In the 1990s, Barker concentrated more on composition. His 1994 work Dialogue was premiered at the Merkin Concert Hall in New York City. He composed Expansions (1999) and Time Factor (2000) for the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. Since 1993 he has been an associate professor at Bard College. In 1999 he was guest professor at the University of St. Petersburg.
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.
Muhal Richard Abrams was an American educator, administrator, composer, arranger, clarinetist, cellist, and jazz pianist in the free jazz medium. He recorded and toured the United States, Canada and Europe with his orchestra, sextet, quartet, duo and as a solo pianist. His musical affiliations constitute a "who's who" of the jazz world, including Max Roach, Dexter Gordon, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Art Farmer, Sonny Stitt, Anthony Braxton, and The Art Ensemble of Chicago.
The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) is a non-profit organization, founded in 1965 in Chicago by pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, pianist Jodie Christian, drummer Steve McCall, and composer Phil Cohran. The AACM is devoted "to nurturing, performing, and recording serious, original music," according to its charter. It supports and encourages jazz performers, composers and educators. Although founded in the jazz tradition, the group's outreach and influence has, according to Larry Blumenfeld, "touched nearly all corners of modern music."
Roscoe Mitchell is an American composer, jazz instrumentalist, and educator, known for being "a technically superb – if idiosyncratic – saxophonist". The Penguin Guide to Jazz described him as "one of the key figures" in avant-garde jazz; All About Jazz states that he has been "at the forefront of modern music" for the past 35 years. Critic Jon Pareles in The New York Times has mentioned that Mitchell "qualifies as an iconoclast". In addition to his own work as a bandleader, Mitchell is known for cofounding the Art Ensemble of Chicago and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).
Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith is an American trumpeter and composer, working primarily in the fields of avant-garde jazz and free improvisation. He was one of three finalists for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Music for Ten Freedom Summers, released on May 22, 2012.
Joseph Jarman was an American jazz musician, composer, and Shinshu Buddhist priest. He was one of the first members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
Craig S. Harris is a jazz trombonist who has been a major figure in avant-garde jazz since working with Sun Ra in 1976. He also has worked with Abdullah Ibrahim, David Murray, Lester Bowie, Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Charlie Haden. He has recorded since 1983 as leader for India Navigation, Soul Note and JMT. For the latter he recorded with two groups. The Tailgaters Tails was a quintet with clarinetist Don Byron, trumpeter Eddie Allen, Anthony Cox on double bass, and Pheeroan akLaff on drums. His large ensemble Cold Sweat was a tribute to the music of James Brown.
Marty Ehrlich is a multi-instrumentalist and is considered one of the leading figures in avant-garde jazz.
Fred Hopkins was a Chicago double bassist who played a major role in the development of the avant-garde jazz movement. He was a member of the avant garde jazz trio Air and David Murray's Low Class Conspiracy; he frequently worked with the cellist Diedre Murray. Hopkins played with other musicians including Muhal Richard Abrams, Don Pullen, Hamiet Bluiett, Andrew Cyrille, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, Sunny Murray, Kahil El'Zabar, Malachi Thompson, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Anthony Braxton and Marion Brown.
Douglas R. Ewart is a multi-instrumentalist and instrument builder. He plays sopranino and alto saxophones, clarinets, bassoon, flute, bamboo flutes, and didgeridoo; as well as Rastafarian hand drums.
Discography for jazz saxophonist Anthony Braxton.
Malachi Favors was an American jazz bassist who played with the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
Amina Claudine Myers is an American jazz pianist, organist, vocalist, composer, and arranger.
Kahil El'Zabar is a jazz multi-instrumentalist and composer. He regularly records for Delmark Records. He attended Lake Forest College and joined the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the early 1970s, and became its chairman in 1975. During the 1970s, he formed the musical groups Ritual Trio and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, both of which remain active. Musicians with whom Kahil EL'Zabar has collaborated include Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Simon, Pharoah Sanders, and Billy Bang. In 2017 the film "Be Known - The Mystery of Kahil El Zabar" by filmmaker Dwayne Johnson-Cochran was released. The documentary follows El' Zabar and band on their 2007 Black History Month tour. The film is currently available on Amazon Prime.
Pheeroan akLaff is an American jazz drummer. Pheeroan akLaff began playing in his hometown of Detroit, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Travis Biggs, Ars Nova, The Ebony Set, The Last Days, and Rod Lumpkin, recorded with Major Lansky. He moved to New Haven, Connecticut, and formed DejaVu with Dwight Andrews. He debuted with Bill Baron in 1975, followed by tenure in Leo Smith's New Dalta Ahkri.
Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre was an American free jazz tenor saxophonist.
Steve McCall was an American jazz drummer.
Ari Brown is an American jazz tenor saxophonist and pianist.
James Emery is an American jazz guitarist. He grew up in Willoughby, Ohio and Shaker Heights, Ohio. Emery plays archtop guitar, semi-acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and soprano guitar.
Kabalaba is a live album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1974 and released on their AECO label in 1978. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut, and Don Moye along with Muhal Richard Abrams.