From the Sarajevo Jazz Festival to the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland, Anthony Coleman’s musical odyssey has taken him through many cultures and led him to wear many hats as composer, improvising keyboardist, and teacher.
Commissioners and performers of Coleman’s work include clarinetist David Krakauer/Concert Artists Guild (The Kaspar In Me, 1985), accordionist Guy Klucevsek (Below 14th Street/Above 125th Street, 1987), Relâche (The King of Kabay, 1988), pianist Joseph Kubera (the hidden agenda, 1989), The Crosstown Ensemble (Latvian Counter-Gambit, 1992), Neta Pulvermacher and Dancers/Meet The Composer (Goodbye and Good Luck, 1993), Bang on a Can All-Stars/Jerome Foundation, (Mise en Abîme, 1997), Kitchen House Blend (Lapidation, 2002), guitarist Marco Cappelli/Associazione Alessandro Scarlatti (The Buzzing In My Head, 2003), TILT Brass Band (Set Into Motion, 2005), the Ruhr Triennale (Dubistmeinichbindein, 2007), the Brecht Forum (Artifacts for String Quartet, 2008), Merkin Concert Hall (Flat Narrative, 2008).
Other key works include the cycle by Night (1987–1992), a series of works inspired by Coleman’s experiences in (the ex-) Yugoslavia (CD Disco by Night, Avant 1993). Coleman has presented his own work at the Sarajevo Jazz Festival (Bosnia), North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), Saalfelden Festival (Austria), and the Krakow and Vienna Jewish Culture Festivals. In 2003, his music was the subject of a three-day festival, “Abstract Adventures,” in Brussels, Belgium. During the 2007–2008 concert season, he presented a concert of his music as part of the “Interpretations” series at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall.
Ensembles led by Coleman have recorded extensively for Tzadik and include the trio Sephardic Tinge (Sephardic Tinge, 1995; Morenica, 1998; Our Beautiful Garden is Open, 2002) and Selfhaters Orchestra (Selfhaters, 1996; The Abysmal Richness of the Infinite Proximity of the Same, 1998). Coleman has also toured and recorded with John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Marc Ribot, Shelley Hirsch, Roy Nathanson, and many others.
Coleman has recorded 13 CDs under his own name, and he has played on more than 100 CDs. His most recent CDs are Shmutsige Magnaten (Tzadik), a live solo performance from the 2005 Krakow Jewish Culture Festival that features interpretations of the songs of Mordechai Gebirtig; Pushy Blueness (Tzadik) and Lapidation (New World), both recordings of his chamber music, and Freakish: Anthony Coleman Plays Jelly Roll Morton (Tzadik, 2009). He has produced records by Marc Ribot, Pharoah’s Daughter, Romanian singer Sanda and With Every Breath: The Music of Shabbat at B’nai Jeshurun.