The Matthew Shipp Trio

Date(s) - Saturday 03/15/2014 - 03/16/2014
11:00 pm - 2:00 am

The Matthew Shipp Trio launches the Spring 2014 season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media while celebrating the release of their new recording, “Root of Things” (Relative Pitch Records), and the Sanctuary’s newly donated 9 foot Baldwin concert grand, with Matthew Shipp, piano, Michael Bisio, bass, and Whit Dickey, drums.  

Matthew Shipp TrioThe acquisition of this Baldwin is a major addition to the Sanctuary; manufactured in 1984, it spent the first few years of its life on loan to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.  In 1987, with the help of the New York State Council on the Arts, the piano was obtained by the IMAC Theater in Huntington, Long Island and remained there until its move this year to The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY.

During its lifetime, it has been played by many illustrious pianists including Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Dr. John, Elaine Elias, Joe Sample, Marsha Ball and Sun Ra, to name a few.  The great pianist Matthew Shipp will be will be added to this elite list on March 15th!

The Matthew Ship Trio features Matthew Shipp on piano, Michael Bisio (native of Troy, NY) on bass, and Whit Dickey on drums.

More about Matthew Shipp:

Mathew Shipp was 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 has been very active since the early 1990s, appearing on dozens of albums as a leader, sideman or producer.  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.”

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, Mat Maneri, High Priest and Beans of Antipop Consortium, and El-P.

The Matthew Shipp Trio last played Troy in April 2010, in an effort spearheaded by The Sanctuary for Independent Media that resulted in the trio’s landmark recording “Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear).” This CD was featured on an astounding 37 Best of 2011 lists and Culture Catch’s “Jazz Starter Kit – 50 Albums” ( along with recordings of Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker.

Brooklyn-based editor, poet, and composer Steve Holtje had this to say about “Art of the Improviser”:

“Arguably the most important pianist of his generation, Shipp has become a major figure on the New York avant-jazz scene. His playing is more pan-harmonic than atonal and rarely sounds like his avowed influences Andrew Hill and Bill Evans, more often suggesting harmonically adventurous 20th-century classical composers, especially Scriabin. His lines rumble and swirl in a thoughtful, organic way, sometimes punctuated by massive chiming chords. This two-CD set, recorded at 2010 concerts, has a solo disc and a trio disc and provides the most up-to-date documentation of his ever-evolving style, notably the suite-like way he frames his solo improvisations amid compositions and the occasional standard. The quicksilver shifting of textures makes it seem like a particularly interactive sort of listening experience.”

As an added bonus, the trio will be celebrating the release of their newest recording, “Root of Things” (Relative Pitch Records), which will be available to purchase at the concert.