National Public Viking

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Leroy Jenkins (1932-2007)

Painting by Bruni

I was sad to hear that avant-garde jazz violinist and composer Leroy Jenkins had passed away on February 22nd. I only had the opportunity to see him perform once at the Vision Festival in 2005. He meditated microtonally on his violin and someone danced interpretively. (I was definitely more interested in Jenkins.) That was probably my first exposure to such music and would subsequently introduce me to Indian ragas and Western composers like Harry Partch and La Monte Young.

WKCR, the phenomenal Columbia University station which I've been meaning to highlight here, will do a full day's tribute to Leroy Jenkins on February 28th. These musician festivals are always a real treat (I still remember Lennie Tristano day) as the station DJs play through the entire discography in chronological order especially including sessions when the artist was merely a sideman. I will be listening to WKCR all day tomorrow for sure.


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