PRISM Quartet

Heritage/Evolution 1: PRISM Quartet with Steve Lehman & Rudresh Mahanthappa at Symphony Space

The PRISM Quartet presents Heritage/Evolution, a groundbreaking three-concert series featuring world premieres of new works composed and performed by today’s most inventive jazz saxophonists: Steve Lehman, Dave Liebman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Greg Osby, Tim Ries, and Miguel Zenón.

Heritage/Evolution 1 features The PRISM Quartet with Steve Lehman and Rudresh Mahanthappa in world premiere performances of new works by Lehman and Mahanthappa, as well as music by Fabien Lévy and Kaeli Mogg.

Since the saxophone’s invention by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1840, it has captured the imaginations of artists and audiences worldwide. Heritage/Evolution charts fresh musical territory, drawing on the saxophone’s cross-cultural heritage to blend jazz with everything from Western and South Indian classical music to Romani and Latin American folkloric music. Join us for an unprecedented saxophone summit as PRISM, a “bold ensemble that set the standard for contemporary-classical saxophone quartets” (The New York Times) partners with six master artists who defy convention.

Please check the Symphony Space website for information on Heritage/Evolution 2: PRISM with Tim Ries and Miguel Zenón on May 9, and Heritage/Evolution 3: PRISM with Dave Liebman and Greg Osby on June 12.

Rudresh and Steve Talk About Their Commissions

Rudresh Mahanthappa is one of today’s most innovative jazz composers and performers, fusing jazz and the culture of his Indian ancestry to break new musical ground. Down Beat’s alto saxophonist of the year for the past three years, he was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the coveted Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. He leads several groups, including Samdhi and the Indo-Pak Coalition, and has collaborated with Bunky Green, Jack DeJohnette, and Kadri Gopalnath.

Described as “one of the transforming figures of early 21st century jazz” by The Guardian (UK) and as “a quietly dazzling saxophonist” by The New York Times, Fulbright scholar Steve Lehman is the first composer to integrate jazz and Spectral music, a form of classical music in which the physics of sound inform compositional decisions. His 2009 recording, Travail, Transformation & Flow was chosen as the #1 Jazz Album of the year by The New York Times.

Intriguing programs of great beauty and breadth have distinguished the PRISM Quartet as one of America’s foremost chamber ensembles. Two-time winners of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, PRISM has been presented by Carnegie Hall, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and as soloists with the Detroit Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra. Champions of new music, PRISM has commissioned over 150 works, many by internationally celebrated Pulitzer Prize-winning composers. PRISM’s discography includes eleven recordings for the Albany, Innova, Koch, Naxos, New Dynamic, and New Focus labels. PRISM may also be heard on the soundtrack of the film “Two Plus One” and has been featured in the theme music to the weekly PBS news magazine “NOW.” PRISM performs exclusively on Selmer saxophones and mouthpieces.

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:30 pm
$22 general admission / $17 students (with ID)
This event is all ages
Buy tickets @ Symphony Space

Subscriptions Pricing: all three concerts (April 12, May 9, June 12): $57 general admission, $42 students (with ID)


Concerts are supplemented by free residency programs for the benefit of music students and professional artists. For complete information on the concert series and residency, please visit PRISM’s web site.

Heritage/Evolution is dedicated to the memory or Michael Whitcombe (1962-2013), PRISM’s founding alto saxophonist whose artistry and vision shaped the quartet for over 20 years. We cherish our memories of Michael, and the bonds that were borne out of our musical collaborations. -PRISM Quartet

Heritage/Evolution is presented with funding from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Aff airs in partnership with the City Council; the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University; and Conn-Selmer, Inc. New works have been commissioned with support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and the Presser Foundation. PRISM Quartet, Inc. also receives generous annual support from the Amphion Foundation, New Music USA’s Cary New Music Performance Fund, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., and individual donors.

Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025-6990

April 12, 2014
Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

22 general/$17 students

Box office contact info:
(212) 864-5400