PRISM in the Parks with Melissa Aldana and Terell Stafford: Heritage/Evolution 3 (Philly)





Guest Artists
Melissa Aldana, tenor
Terell Stafford, trumpet

PRISM Quartet
Timothy McAllister, soprano
Zachary Shemon, alto
Matthew Levy, tenor
Taimur Sullivan, baritone

The intrepid PRISM Quartet launches the third phase of its colossal HERITAGE/EVOLUTION commissioning project with PRISM in the Parks, free concerts in three Philadelphia parks featuring Blue Note recording artist/tenorist extraordinaire Melissa Aldana and jazz trumpet virtuoso Terell Stafford. PRISM, Aldana, and Stafford bring their music to Gorgas Park in Roxborough (6300 Ridge Ave., at the gazebo) on September 12th @ 5 pm, FDR Park in South Philly (1500 Pattison Ave., at the Bandstand across the road from the playground parking lot) on September 13th @ 6 pm, and Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown (1301 N Beach St., at the flagpole) on September 14th @ 6 pm. Rain dates for each concert are noon the following day at the originally scheduled park. No tickets or reservations are required. Just show up with your lawn chair and blanket! (Please note that alcohol is strictly prohibited.)

The Music
Exploring saxophone’s dual lineages in classical music and jazz, concerts feature the world premiere of Aldana’s new work, Reflections. In her words, “Reflections is about transformation, a personal meditation on the stages of growth I experienced, and saw the world experience, over the course of the pandemic. My isolation and stillness enabled me to observe, clearly and for the first time in many years, the progression of the seasons, changes in the color of leaves, how they would fall just to be reborn stronger and more beautiful. My personal journey has been similar, as I worked though feelings of sadness, confusion, frustration, serenity, happiness and slowly transformed into the person I am today. I also wanted to know how other artists were expressing their feelings about nature, love, sadness, nostalgia, life… So I revisited some of my favorite poems by Julio Cortazar and Pablo Neruda, poems that resonate deeply with me and provided inspiration for my composition.”

Stafford contributes his own work to the program, “Favor,” a jazz waltz newly arranged by Jack Saint Clair. JazzTimes describes the work as “like fine whiskey, mellow but with bite” and “just a touch of churchiness.” The program includes music by Chris Potter and Matthew Levy from PRISM’s newest album, Heritage/Evolution, Volume 2 (8/13/21 release on XAS), and music by Miguel Zenon and Tim Ries from the group’s critically acclaimed 2015 album, Heritage/Evolution, Volume 1 (innova), which AllAboutJazz gave five stars and called “a phenomenal album filled with illusion, atmosphere and great music.”

About Heritage/Evolution
Launched in 2014 to celebrate PRISM Quartet’s 30th anniversary season, Heritage/Evolution is an ongoing project that partners PRISM with master saxophonists who defy convention. 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.



Melissa Aldana






The Washington Post describes Chilean saxophonist and Blue Note recording artist Melissa Aldana as representing “a new sense of possibility and direction in jazz.” In 2013, at age 24, she became the first female musician and the first South American musician to win the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. She is a recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award from Jazz at Lincoln Center and a double recipient of the Altazor Award, Chile’s highly prestigious national arts prize. Her most recent album, Visions (Motéma, 2019), connects her work to the legacy of Latina artists who have come before her, creating a pathway for her own expression. Inspired by the life and works of Frida Kahlo, Aldana creates a parallel between her experiences as a female saxophone player in a male-dominated community, and Kahlo’s experiences as a female visual artist working to assert herself in a landscape dominated by men.


Terell Stafford






Terell Stafford has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player, he combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. He has played with Benny Golson, Kenny Barron, Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath and Dizzy Gillespie, to name a few. He is a member of the Grammy-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and can be heard on over 130 albums. Stafford is the Managing and Artistic Director of The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, Artistic Director of Jazz for the Philly POPS, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Jazz, Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University.



Name Day by Tim Ries: PRISM Quartet, Melissa Aldana, and Terell Stafford

The Missing Piece by Miguel Zenon: PRISM Quartet, Melissa Aldana, and Terell Stafford

Forbidden Drive by Matthew Levy: PRISM Quartet and Terell Stafford

Reflections by Melissa Aldana (world premiere): PRISM Quartet and Melissa Aldana

Improvisations by Chris Potter: PRISM Quartet, Melissa Aldana, and Terell Stafford

Dear Lord by John Coltrane: PRISM Quartet, Melissa Aldana, and Terell Stafford

Favor by Terell Stafford (arr. St. Clair, world premiere of arrangement): PRISM Quartet, Melissa Aldana, and Terell Stafford


Covid 19 Protocols
We ask audience members to abide by current City of Philadelphia Covid 19 protocols, which may include masking to mitigate the spread of the Delta variant. Because conditions are changing, please bring and be prepared to wear a mask at the concerts, if necessary.


These programs have been made possible with lead support from the William Penn Foundation.

Gorgas Park
6300 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19128

September 12, 2021
5 PM

Free - just show up! RAIN DATE: 9/13/2021 @ noon, same location

FDR Park - Bandstand
1500 Pattison Avenue &, S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19145

September 13, 2021
6 PM

Free - just show up! RAIN DATE: 9/14/2021 @ noon, same location

Penn Treaty Park
1301 N Beach St, Philadelphia, PA 19125

September 14, 2021
6 PM

Free - just show up! RAIN DATE: 9/15/2021 @ noon, same location