Pharoah Sanders, bona fide jazz legend, graces Colorado Springs 

click to enlarge Pharoah Sanders, whose Coltrane collaborations are legendary, will play Colorado College’s Armstrong Hall Sept. 28.
  • Pharoah Sanders, whose Coltrane collaborations are legendary, will play Colorado College’s Armstrong Hall Sept. 28.
While you can generally find a good amount of musical diversity in the Colorado Springs area on any given week (perhaps with a little effort), upcoming feature appearances by three strikingly individual artists will occupy spaces exceptionally far out on the fringes of their respective genres.

On Sept. 28, Colorado Springs will be graced with a bona fide jazz legend in saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, who was once described as “probably the best tenor player in the world” by none less than Ornette Coleman.

Over the course of his nearly six-decade career, Sanders has released more than 30 LPs as a band leader, in addition to recording with the likes of Coleman, John and Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra, Don Cherry, Sonny Sharrock, Norman Connors, Cecil Taylor, and many more. His mid-’60s works with John Coltrane are considered to be masterworks in avant-garde and free jazz, while his own solo discography is littered with classics, including the peerless 1969 album Karma. In 2016, Sanders was granted a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master award, the highest jazz honors in North America.

Sanders and his quartet (pianist William Henderson, bassist Nat Reeves and drummer Jonathan Blake) will take the stage at Colorado College’s Kathryn Mohrman Theatre in Armstrong Hall, and the performance will be filmed for a documentary written and co-produced by Assistant Professor of Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies Michael Sawyer in collaboration with director Kevin Wilmott, who co-wrote Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq and, most recently, BlacKkKlansman.

Meanwhile, off in another realm, Manitou Springs will host another singular voice in the form of singer-songwriter Diane Cluck, who performs at the Red Crags Art & Agricultural House on Sept. 23, with Wolfgang Farrell and Ma Tackett of Vegan Wolf in support. Cluck, one of the central figures of the New York City “anti-folk” scene of the early 2000s, now based in Charlottesville, Virginia, has received critical acclaim for her brand of “intuitive folk music.” NPR has described her voice as “an unlikely mix of Aaron Neville, the Baka people and Joni Mitchell ... unaffected yet unusual.”

Cited as an influence by Sharon Van Etten and Florence Welch (of Florence + The Machine fame), Cluck’s arresting voice, complex, idiosyncratic guitar work and multi-instrumental facility always make for an affecting and engrossing performance.

At the same venue on Sept. 24, Cluck will also lead a workshop titled “Singing as Self-Care and Embodied Expression,” leading attendees in exercises of improvisation and “spontaneous song-making.” The workshop is free to the public.

Send news, photos, and music to reverb@csindy.com.


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