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Dia Art Foundation Presents Composer and Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith at Dia Beacon

The performance is on Saturday, December 3 at 2 p.m.

Dia Art Foundation Presents Composer and Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith at Dia Beacon

Trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith, one of the foremost figures in contemporary music, will perform a musical interpretation of artist Jack Whitten's Greek Alphabet paintings on Saturday, December 3 at 2 p.m. at Dia Beacon, 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, New York. For more information, log on to https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2211866®id=177&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.diaart.org%2Fprogram%2Fcalendar%2Fwadada-leo-smith-performance-special-event-12032022%2F?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1

The exhibition, Jack Whitten: The Greek Alphabet Paintings, is on view at Dia Beacon through July 10, 2023. Whitten had a lifelong interest in experimental music.

Composer, trumpeter and author Wadada Leo Smith is one of the creative music world's most heralded artists. Born December 18, 1941 in Leland, MS, he grew up steeped in the musical traditions of the South performing in Delta Blues and other traditional bands, eventually moving to Chicago where he joined the legendary AACM collective. Smith defines his music as "Creative Music," and his diverse discography reveals a recorded history of music centered in the idea of spiritual harmony and the unification of social and cultural issues of his world. Among his major recordings are Ten Freedom Summers, America's National Parks and String Quartets Nos. 1-12.

A finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Ten Freedom Summers, Smith has received numerous other awards and honors including a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Hammer Museum's 2016 Mohn Award for Career Achievement "honoring brilliance and resilience," the UCLA Medal, the University's highest honor, and the 2022 Vision Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award, among many others. He was selected as a 2021 United States Artists' USA Fellow and has also been named a 2022 Mellon Arts & Practitioner Fellow at the Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration. Smith has earned the #1 spot in DownBeat Magazine's International Critics Poll as Composer of the Year, Jazz Artist and Trumpeter of the Year, and the Jazz Journalists Association has honored Smith as their Musician of the Year, Composer of the Year and Trumpeter of the Year, as well as Duo of the Year for his work with Vijay Iyer.

Smith is the creator of Ankhrasmation, a symbolic image-based language for performers or musicians which has played a significant role in his development as an artist, ensemble leader and educator. His Ankhrasmation language scores have been exhibited in major American museums including The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, the Hammer Museum and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. His compositions have been performed by contemporary music ensembles worldwide. For over two decades he has has been creating music for multiple ensembles, including works that take several days to perform.

An esteemed educator, from 1994-2013 Smith was on the faculty at The Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts, where he served as director of the African-American Improvisational Music program. He continues to give workshops and masterclasses worldwide.

About Dia Art Foundation

Taking its name from the Greek word meaning “through,” Dia was established in 1974 with the mission to serve as a conduit for artists to realize ambitious new projects, unmediated by overt interpretation and uncurbed by the limitations of more traditional museums and galleries. Dia’s programming fosters contemplative and sustained consideration of a single artist’s body of work and its collection is distinguished by the deep and longstanding relationships that the nonprofit has cultivated with artists whose work came to prominence particularly in the 1960s and ’70s. 

In addition to Dia Beacon, Dia Bridgehampton, and Dia Chelsea, Dia maintains and operates a constellation of commissions, long-term installations, and site-specific projects, notably focused on Land art, nationally and internationally. These include: 

·       Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), and Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, inaugurated in 1982 and ongoing), all located in New York City

·       De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977), in western New Mexico

·       Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970), in the Great Salt Lake, Utah

·       Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels (1973–76), in the Great Basin Desert, Utah

·       De Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977), in Kassel, Germany 

About Dia Art Foundation

Taking its name from the Greek word meaning “through,” Dia was established in 1974 with the mission to serve as a conduit for artists to realize ambitious new projects, unmediated by overt interpretation and uncurbed by the limitations of more traditional museums and galleries. Dia’s programming fosters contemplative and sustained consideration of a single artist’s body of work and its collection is distinguished by the deep and longstanding relationships that the nonprofit has cultivated with artists whose work came to prominence particularly in the 1960s and ’70s. 

In addition to Dia Beacon, Dia Bridgehampton, and Dia Chelsea, Dia maintains and operates a constellation of commissions, long-term installations, and site-specific projects, notably focused on Land art, nationally and internationally. These include: 

·  Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), and Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, inaugurated in 1982 and ongoing), all located in New York City

·  De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977), in western New Mexico

· Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970), in the Great Salt Lake, Utah

· Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels (1973–76), in the Great Basin Desert, Utah

· De Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977), in Kassel, Germany 

 

 



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