Legendary jazz bassist, composer, producer and bandleader Charlie Haden was passionate about teaching. As the founder of the Jazz Program at California Institute of the Arts, Haden devoted himself to encouraging a new generation of exceptional musicians.
The concert at CalArts honors Haden’s multi-faceted musical legacy and celebrates his enduring influence through the music of those who knew and learned from him.
The lineup includes esteemed musicians such as Ernie Watts from Haden’s band Quartet West, a selection of former students performing with Jazz Program faculty; his daughters Petra, Tanya and Rachel Haden, The Haden Triplets, and the CalArts Liberation Music Orchestra — an homage to Haden’s groundbreaking Liberation Music Orchestra. Performances will be introduced by Haden’s wife and collaborator Ruth Cameron Haden.
Haden was an NEA Jazz Master, a Guggenheim Fellow, a recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a conferee of the French distinction of the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.
The outdoor concert in his memory takes place on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Wild Beast music pavilion on the CalArts campus. Hosted by The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, the Wild Beast Concert Series is free and open to the public. RSVP suggested.
Haden mentored hundreds of musicians during his 32-year tenure at CalArts. This tribute reflects aspects of his rich and varied life—as one of the most important bassists in the history of jazz; a brilliant bandleader, producer and composer; an inspiring teacher and mentor; and a supportive husband and father of a phenomenally talented musical family. His legacy continues through the innumerable artists he inspired—many of whom have gone on to become acclaimed musicians in their own right and who will be performing at the event.
The theme of musical families, both biological and artistic, runs though the event. Haden’s wife, Ruth, who was also his manager and co-producer, will emcee. The concert opens with a set of duets and trios in which Quartet West member Ernie Watts and former students and faculty will perform Haden’s compositions. Jazz Program faculty David Roitstein and Blue Note artist and alumnus Ravi Coltrane perform “For Turiya,” a composition written by Haden for Ravi’s mother Alice Coltrane, with whom Haden performed many times. The Haden Tripletswill lend their harmonies to American country and traditional songs. Bringing the music of social justice to the concert, the CalArts Liberation Music Orchestra will conclude its set with “We Shall Overcome.” All those present who studied with Haden will be invited to sit in.