A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Ziga Koritnik via

Without question, Henry Threadgill is one of the most innovative and singular artists working today. You don’t have to take our word for it: as early as 1988, The New York Times refers to Henry as “perhaps the most important jazz composer of his generation.” Briefly summarizing Henry’s history and contributions to music is a daunting task, but the All Music Guide makes a good effort here.

Henry’s current flagship ensemble, Zooid, specializes in a highly unique blend that might be described as “fractured funk,” to borrow the words of The New York Times critic Nate Chinen. “It’s as if you took a hypnotic James Brown bass line and drum part, and then you kind of chopped it up, applied almost a sort of deconstruction to it, and then reassembled it to look like some kind of strange new creation.”

Henry has been an important part of The Jazz Gallery since our inception: he’s performed and led workshops here, and even donated a piano to us. Henry also personally mentored the artists selected to participate in our very first composers series in 2002. We very much look forward to presenting Zooid for three nights this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

We hope to feature an in-depth interview with Henry soon, but in the meantime, we highly recommend two recent conversations that can be found at Do The Math and NPR.