The Museum of Modern Art established Summergarden in 1971. In keeping with MoMA’s history of presenting jazz and classical music in the Sculpture Garden, this year’s concert series once again welcomes the participation of The Juilliard School and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Titled New Music for New York, the series comprises four evenings of adventurous contemporary music, with premieres each night. Juilliard concerts are performed by members of The New Juilliard Ensemble, under the artistic direction of Joel Sachs, who has assembled two distinctive programs of recent compositions, all of which are enjoying their New York premieres. Jazz at Lincoln Center has selected two up-and-coming jazz ensembles whose concerts emphasize original works, each with one world premiere.
Jazz Concert II: Helen Sung Quintet
Helen Sung, piano; Seamus Blake, tenor saxophone; Chern Hwei Fung, violin; Harish Raghavan, bass; Donald Edwards, drums
Helen Sung began as a classical pianist, but switched to jazz in college, after an epiphany “in the form of a Tommy Flanagan solo.” She has worked with such luminaries as Wayne Shorter, Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Steve Turre, and Regina Carter. For Summergarden, the Helen Sung Quintet will premiere Convergence, about which she writes, “The idea of conversation or dialogue . . . was a revelation as I became more familiar with jazz. . . . Creating dialogue between the established and the experimental, the past and the present, is central to The Museum of Modern Art’s mission. These elements, which meet in the moment (the “now”), sum up, in many ways, my personal artistic journey.”
Summergarden is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Sculpture Garden may close if attendance reaches maximum capacity. Entrance to Summergarden is through the Sculpture Garden gate on West 54 Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The Sculpture Garden opens at 7:00 p.m., and concerts start at 8:00 p.m. and run approximately one hour to 90 minutes. The Sculpture Garden closes at 10:00 p.m. In the event of rain, concerts will be held in The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby, and the Museum’s 54 Street entrance will open at 7:30 p.m. The exhibition galleries are closed during Summergarden. The Garden Bar sells savory and sweet treats, including baguette sandwiches and homemade soft pretzels with dipping sauces, locally made gelato from Il Laboratorio del Gelato, wine, beer, and specialty cocktails. In the event of rain, refreshments are not available.
Major annual support for Summergarden is provided by The Ethel P. Shein Fund for Music at MoMA, which is generously funded by Agnes Gund and by Paul D. Shein and family, in memory of Ethel P. Shein.
For more live music at MoMA this summer, visit during MoMA Nights.