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Matthew Shipp Trio

December 3, 2016 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

“It is listening to Matthew Shipp’s work that has always been a reminder to me that real Jazz music, no matter how refined or complex it can be, relies primarily on guts. Jazz, invariably, is a visceral and raw endeavor, often making Rock music seem soft in comparison. For the player and the listener, alike, it is a total experience. Matthew Shipp and his work have fascinated me since I first heard him many years ago. His originality and approach sometimes stretches the limits of what is considered Jazz music yet at the same time, describes perfectly the fierce freedom of it. It is always great to encounter such honesty in music. You know it when you hear it and it has a natural appeal but also carries a warning that you will have to deal with it on its terms. I don’t think Matthew has any other way of going about it.”

— Rock musician, writer and past producer of Matthew Shipp’s recordings Henry Rollins

“Watching Matthew Shipp play the piano is a bit like sitting ringside. Lefts and rights hit the keyboard’s midsection in steady jabs, finding a rhythm that alternately lulls and stings. Or he might work his left hand, creating a rumbling dance of low-end notes. Then it comes: An unanticipated chiming cluster, landing like a roundhouse punch. At times, his playing turns meditative. Mr. Shipp’s style knows no single pattern. Yet the boxing parallel is clear.”

— Larry Blumenfeld, Wall Street Journal

“It doesn’t seem so long ago that pianist Matthew Shipp emerged as a fiery iconoclast of the piano, a fearless experimenter whose tempestuous soliloquies ranged freely among jazz, classical and avant-garde idioms. Though not for timid ears, Shipp’s pianism sounds as galvanic as ever…Few pianists command a comparable improvisational imagination, nor the technical wherewithal to realize it.”

— Howard Reich, Boston Globe

“My tastes in piano run to five-fingered banging, my tastes in ambience to rhythm massage. I’ve admired several of Shipp’s many albums…Remember ‘acid jazz’? This is what it wasn’t tough enough for.”

— from Robert Christgau’s A- review for Matthew Shipp’s Harmonies and Abysses album, Village Voice

In a rare Hudson Valley appearance, the celebrated pianist and composer Matthew Shipp will present his trio — featuring the equally esteemed rhythm section of Michael Bisio on bass and Newman Taylor Baker on drums — in performance at St. Andrew’s Church in Beacon, NY on December 3 at 8 PM. Tickets will be $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Advance tickets for this concert may be purchased at:



Matthew Shipp was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and began playing piano at six years old. His mother was a friend of trumpeter Clifford Brown. He was strongly attracted to jazz, but also played in rock groups while in high school. Shipp attended the University of Delaware for one year, then the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with saxophonist/composer Joe Maneri. He has cited private lessons with Dennis Sandole (who also taught saxophonist John Coltrane) as being crucial to his development.

Shipp moved to New York in 1984, and has been very active since the early 1990s, appearing on dozens of albums as a leader, sideman or producer. Before making a living out of his music, he worked in a bookshop as assistant manager. He got fired, he threw some books at his boss, and he decided he wouldn’t look for a day job anymore. He was initially most active in free jazz, but has since branched out, notably exploring music that touches on contemporary classical, hip hop and electronica. At the beginning of his career Shipp was stylistically compared to some of his predecessors in the jazz piano pantheon but has since been recognized as a complete stylistic innovator on the piano – with AllMusic referring to his “unique and recognizable style”; and Larry Blumenfeld in Jazziz Magazine referring to Shipp as “stunning in originality.” Jazziz Magazine also referred to Shipp’s CD 4D as “further proof of his idiosyncratic genius.”

Shipp was a long-time member of saxophonist David S. Ware’s quartet. He has recorded or performed with many musicians, including William Parker, DJ Spooky, Joe Morris, Daniel Carter, Roscoe Mitchell, Michael Bisio, Whit Dickey, Mat Maneri, Mat Walerian, High Priest and Beans of Antipop Consortium, and El-P.

In February 2011, Shipp released a double-disc album entitled Art of the Improviser. This release is “testament to Shipp’s achievements, yet it is also a continuation of the discovery in his developmental musical language.” The Chicago Tribune called the project “monumental” and “galvanic as ever.”

Shipp has been continuously improving his repertoire from touring the world, writing new compositions and, since 2011, has been collaborating with Barbara Januszkiewicz. Together they are exploring new territory through an avant-garde film called The Composer with Matthew Shipp / Barb Januszkiewicz.

On September 24, 2013 Thirsty Ear Records released a solo piano CD by Shipp called Piano Sutras. Will Layman, writing for PopMatters, described it as:

“the kind of record we talk about and play for each other decades later… This is music that frames up a whole history: of an artist, of listeners, of the artists who formed the history of the art form, of the culture and time that allowed this art to flourish”


Michael Bisio, bassist/composer, has eighty five recordings in his discography, twenty four of these are split evenly between leader/co-leader, ten of them document his extraordinary association with modern piano icon Matthew Shipp. Michael has been called a poet, a wonder and one of the most virtuosic and imaginative performers on the double bass. Nate Chinen in the New York Times writes : “The physicality of Mr. Bisio’s bass playing puts him in touch with numerous predecessors in the avant-garde, but his expressive touch is distinctive;…”

As a composer Michael has been awarded nine grants and an Artist Trust Fellowship

Collaborators include Matthew Shipp, Joe McPhee, Charles Gayle, Connie Crothers, Whit Dickey, Ivo Perelman, Barbara Donald, Newman Taylor Baker, Rob Brown, Sonny Simmons and Sabir Mateen.

“Like Shipp, bassist Bisio projected a larger-than-life sound that nonetheless conveyed a dark tonal beauty. His bowed solos, particularly one that quoted “My One and Only Love,” suggested a burnished lyricism one sooner associates with the cello.” — Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

Master Percussionist, Composer, Vocalist and Educator, Newman Taylor Baker is originally from Petersburg, VA born to a family of scholars. His paternal grandfather was the only former slave to receive a PH.D from Yale University.

At 2 years old, Newman received his first drum on Christmas Day and never looked back. Newman grew up on the campus of Virginia State College where his parents taught and was mentored by the percussion staff on campus and visiting.

His passion for the drum and washboard would take him all around the world sharing his knowledge, experience, and innovation through his solo drumset project, Singin’ Drums and washboard explorations with The Ebony Hillbillies and beyond.

He is truly a master of the drums working internationally with truly the best of the best – a diverse array of jazz masters including Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Henry Grimes, Kenny Barron, Henry Threadgill, Billy Bang, Leroy Jenkins, Diedre Murray, Ahmad Jamal, Lou Donaldson, Kevin Eubanks, Billy Harper, Sam Rivers, Charlie Rouse, and many more.

Newman even shared the stage with the Richmond Symphony led by legendary guest Composer Aaron Copland and collaborations with critically acclaimed choreographer’s Mickey Davidson and JoAnn Tucker. He has led master classes through such organizations as Jazzmobile, Young Audiences and Arts Horizons, and served as faculty at Rutgers University-Newark, Widener College, Livingstone College and Shaw University.

Newman was also awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and grants from Meet The Composer and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is truly a drummer’s drummer – and a washboard innovator.


December 3, 2016
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm