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Bassist Charlie Haden will bring an all-star ensemble of Latin musicians to Lafayette’s Williams Center for the Arts for a jazz concert 8 p.m. tomorrow. The concert was originally scheduled for Feb. 5.

Tickets cost $20 and may be ordered by calling the box office at 610-330-5009.

Prior to the concert, Haden will give a talk at 7 p.m. about his career in music and the creation of the “Nocturne Project” in room 108 of the Williams Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Haden will honor the bolero tradition of lyrical and sultry ballads in Cuban culture and in Caribbean music, performing with pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, violinist Federico Britos Ruiz, saxophonist David Sánchez , and percussionist Ignatio Berroa. They will present music from the Verve album, Nocturne, the 2002 Grammy winner for best Latin jazz recording.

“In a perfect world,” writes Billboard, “the sun would never rise without some jazz radio station having played Nocturne in its entirety.”

Admirers of Haden, a bandleader and composer, know that his recordings are expressions of reverence for subjects that have personal meaning for him. Whether he’s paying his respects to his Missouri roots, the film noir genre, much-loved classic songs, spirituals, or Latin boleros, the end result is always a heartfelt tribute to the source of inspiration.

Throughout a career that now spans five decades, Haden has always fostered the philosophy that music — and the arts in general — should be appreciated without regard to category or classification. From his early forays into ’60’s “free jazz” with Ornette Coleman and his ventures into humanitarian causes with his grandly conceived Liberation Music Orchestra (its 1993 Lafayette performance still a landmark in local jazz lore), to stylish and elegant recordings of Quartet West and duo outings with the likes of Hank Jones, Kenny Barron, and Larry Coryell, Haden has set a standard for musical integrity and creative independence that few in American music can match.

Haden has consistently refused to limit his talent to any one specific musical genre, as proven by his lengthy history of collaborating with a wide array of artists such as James Cotton, Jim Hall, Lee Konitz, Carlos Paredes, Ginger Baker, Beck, Rickie Lee Jones and classical composer Gavin Bryars.

Two years ago, Haden turned his focus to the music of Cuba, immersing himself in the bolero traditions of Spain that have flourished in the Caribbean diaspora. He mined the riches of the Cuban ballads — elegant, soulful, and hauntingly beautiful — with sensuous ensemble blending of bass, piano, violin, and percussion.

Haden was the Down Beat critics’ poll winner for “#1 Acoustic Bass'” from 1982-1996, “#1 Jazz Acoustic Group” from 1995-1997, and “Album of the Year” in 1984, 1991, and 1994. In the Down Beat readers’ poll, he received “Album of the Year” honors in 1991 and was named “#1 Acoustic Bass” from 1985-1994. He has earned numerous other honors, including a Grammy Award, eight other Grammy nominations, and recognition from Newsday as “Jazz Artist of the Year – 1991.” He received a Guggenheim fellowship and has been awarded four grants for composition from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Born in Shenandoah, Iowa, in 1937, Haden sang on the radio, and later on television, every day with his family’s country and western group from the time he was two years old until age 15. He learned to play the bass during his teens and after graduating from high school, moved to Los Angeles where he met and worked closely with Art Pepper, Hampton Hawes, Dexter Gordon, and Paul Bley. It was in Los Angeles in 1957 that he also met Ornette Coleman. Haden became the bass player for Coleman’s adventurous new quartet, which included Don Cherry on pocket trumpet and Billy Higgins on drums. This group caused a revolution in the jazz world by liberating the soloist from conventional, pre-determined structures, both harmonic and rhythmic.

Charlie played a vital role in this revolutionary new approach, evolving a way of playing that sometimes complemented the soloist, and sometimes moved independently. In this respect, like musicians Jimmy Blanton and Charles Mingus, he helped to change the role of the bass from the player being strictly an accompanist to becoming a more direct participant in music making and thus an important individual voice.

In addition to working with Coleman throughout the 1960s, Haden recorded with John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, and Pee Wee Russell. In 1966, he began touring with Keith Jarrett. In 1969, Haden and composer Carla Bley assembled 11 musicians, including Don Cherry, Gato Barbieri, and Roswell Rudd, under the banner of Liberation Music Orchestra to make a record that has become a milestone in recorded jazz. It won France’s Grand Prix Charles Cros as well as Japan’s Gold Disc Award from the magazine Swing Journal. It also received a Grammy nomination. In the same year, Charlie was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for composition.

In 1976, Haden, Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, and Ed Blackwell — all of whom had worked closely with Coleman — formed the group Old and New Dreams to keep alive Coleman’s compositional and improvisational approaches, as well as his music. A debut album was recorded for Black Saint and several subsequent albums were done for ECM.

Haden reorganized Liberation Music Orchestra in 1984 with many of the original members and some new faces, recording Ballad of the Fallen that year. In 1986, Haden and Jack DeJohnette, playing with Coleman and Pat Metheny, recorded Song X, and in 1987, Haden contributed to The Michael Brecker Album and participated in the historic reunion tour of the original Ornette Coleman Quartet, which produced the album In All Languages. Haden’s first venture as a small group leader was Quartet West, which debuted in 1987 with Quartet West (Polygram/Verve), and performed to high critical acclaim throughout the world.

The Montreal Jazz Festival in 1989 devoted eight consecutive concerts to Haden, each night featuring Haden and a different artist or ensemble with whom he had performed in the past, including Liberation Music Orchestra, Pat Metheny, Egberto Gismonti, and Gonzalo Rubalcabo. In American Dreams, a recent Haden recording, he performs with saxophonist Michael Brecker, pianist Brad Mehldau, drummer Brian Blade, and a 34-piece orchestra for a poignant reflection on the ideals and inherent promise of our nation. Haden is founder of the Jazz Studies program at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.

The nationally recognized Performance Series attracts more than 10,000 people each season. It has been cited for performing excellence by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, Chamber Music America, Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund, Pennsylvania Arts and Humanities Councils, and Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

The Nocturne Project is funded by an ArtsConnect touring grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. The 2002-03 Performance Series at Lafayette is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by the F.M. Kirby Foundation; by provisions of the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, and New England Foundation for the Arts.

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