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Somewhere east of downtown Fort Worth lies the Bethlehem of free jazz. That’s where the innovative, avant-garde sax player Ornette Coleman grew up, in a modest little house near I. M. Terrell High School, which produced jazz greats Charles Moffett, John Carter, King Curtis, Prince Lasha, and Dewey Redman. Since leaving Texas in the early fifties, however, Coleman has rarely performed in the state, the last time being in the mid-eighties at the renowned Caravan of Dreams nightclub, in Fort Worth. So it’s fair to say that Austin’s UT Performing Arts Center surprised his fans when it announced an engagement at Bass Concert Hall with the Ornette Coleman Quartet, featuring Greg Cohen and Tony Falanga on bass and Ornette’s son, Denardo Coleman, on drums. Though the PAC had pursued a concert date with Coleman for six or seven years, program manager Cynthia Patterson says there was no special arrangement, no key to the feat other than persistence. “This has been a long, long labor of love for us,” she explains. “And I think he was finally ready to do it.” KATY VINE.
See Austin: Music/Dance for details and directions.