Hyde Park Jazz Festival: Andrew Cyrille & Bill McHenry

Lecture Series

September 23, 2017


Assembly Hall

Since the 1960s, avant-garde drummer ANDREW CYRILLE has been “reshaping jazz’s rhythmic syntax while engaging with its lineage… helping to unlock a freer pulse and purpose in the music, slipping away from a metronomic framework while preserving a rigorous attention to form” (New York Times). Born in New York City, he studied with Philly Joe Jonas, at Juilliard, and at the Hartnett School of Music. At the same time, Andrew performed with the likes of Mary Lou Williams, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Babtunde Olatunji, and the June Taylor Dancers. In 1964, he began an eleven-year association with Cecil Taylor, which would bring him new acclaim and established him at the vanguard of jazz drumming. Andrew continues to perform and record, releasing two albums, the Declaration of Musical Independence and Proximity, a duo recording with saxophonist Bill McHenry, in 2016. Nate Chinen writes for the New York Times, “A pair of albums with divergent sonic features but a similar ethos of discovery, they highlight Mr. Cyrille’s insight, ingenuity and subtle mastery of touch.”

Describing saxophonist and composer BILL MCHENRY’s sound, Ben Ratliff of the New York Times writes, “he can play with unorthodox structure and can get as free as you want, but he maintains a ripe, lovely tone straight out of the 1950's. Lyrical is probably the most overused word in jazz criticism, but if anybody deserves the word, Mr. McHenry is the one.” Born in Maine, Bill studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy and New England Conservatory of Music. He has released seven albums as a leader and has worked with Paul Motian, Eric Revis, and Rebecca Martin, among others. including Andrew Cyrille on 2016’s duo recording, Proximity. “The album is lean and dry but hardly austere: It feels dynamic and fully realized, a product of intense real-time exchange” (New York Times).


All Hyde Park Jazz Festival events are free and open to the public. Jazz Passes, which provide access to preferred seating in select indoor venues, are available for purchase at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival website.


The Hyde Park Jazz Festival is a collaborative platform dedicated to supporting the presentation and ongoing development of jazz, particularly on the South Side of Chicago.  It does this by creating opportunities for a diverse community of listeners to engage with the music and its creators, and by working with artists, organizational partners and networks to celebrate the rich tradition of jazz and to support the development of new work and ideas.


This performance is co-sponsored by the Global Voices Performing Arts and Lecture Series and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival.