December 5, 2021, 3pm
Please join Artists Space in conjunction with Ars Nova Workshop and the family of Milford Graves for a very special memorial celebrating Graves’ incredible life and work. The event will be broadcast via Artists Space's website for the public to join, and will be attended in-person by Graves' family and close friends.
Among numerous performances and remarks will be contributions by Hugh Glover, Tatiana Graves-Kochuthara, Shahzad Ismaily, Jake Meginsky, William Parker, Toshi Tsuchitori, Yara practitioners, John Zorn, and more.
Born in Jamaica, Queens in 1941, Graves was a force of interdisciplinary artistic and intellectual output during his nearly 60 year career; incorporating insights from his knowledge and experience in martial arts, herbalism, pedagogy, sculpture, and data sonification. Early recordings with The New York Art Quartet, Giuseppi Logan, and Paul Bley in the mid 1960s cemented his status as one of New York's most talented percussionists and improvisers. Solo output included milestone free improvisation sessions with Don Pullen, Hugh Glover, and Andrew Cyrille. He performed on the landmark Black Woman by Sonny Sharrock, and alongside Albert Ayler during his mythical Coltrane funeral performance in 1967. In 1973 Graves became a professor at Vermont's Bennington College, where he taught for 39 years and became Professor Emeritus of the Black Music Division. Later work focused on the exploration of the music of the human heart, and the connections between music and medicine. When diagnosed with amyloid cardiomyopathy or "stiff heart syndrome" in 2018, his art and research provided pioneering insights. His talent and curiosity were seemingly inexhaustible, and his influence cannot be understated. He was the subject of critically acclaimed film Milford Graves: Full Mantis, and exhibits Milford Graves: A Mind Body Deal and Milford Graves: Fundamental Frequency.