The Museum of Modern Art, Floor 1, Sculpture Garden
Photo: Anna Yatskevich

Matthew Shipp, piano; Michael Bisio, bass; Newman Taylor Baker, drums

Matthew Shipp (b. Wilmington, DE, 1960) played as a sideman in the David S. Ware Quartet and Roscoe Mitchell’s Note Factory before deciding to concentrate on his own music. His trio has performed throughout North America, South America, and Europe. The current line-up debuted with sold-out sets at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in 2014. Its first album was The Conduct of Jazz (Thirsty Ear, 2015), followed by Piano Song (Thirsty Ear, 2017). As Downbeat wrote, “More than a band, the Matthew Shipp Trio is a time-bending transport to spaces uncannily familiar and recognizably unknown.”

Shipp writes of his Summergarden premiere, “Sphere is an exploration of the geometrical shapes and forces that generate the expansion of the trio’s unique musical language and grammar. That is not meant to sound like we are exploring math in any way, or linguistics—we are a jazz trio, and intuition and feeling are at the root of how we make music. . . . The written material is meant to be a prod to catapult the trio to certain mind spaces, and from there we give it over to nature and take off. . . . The piece is in six movements and in some ways presents a jazz trio as one big geometric brain and web.”

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 and the Ansonia Quartet, under the artistic direction of Joel Sachs. Mr. Sachs has assembled two distinctive programs of recent compositions, which are enjoying their New York premieres. Jazz at Lincoln Center has selected two stylistically different jazz ensembles whose concerts emphasize original works, each with one world premiere.

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, located on the northeast end of the Sculpture Garden, features a selection of homemade snacks, draft beer, wine, and nonalcoholic beverages. In the event of rain, the Garden Bar is closed.

This event is part of Summergarden: New Music for New York.