Sherman Irby, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s stalwart alto and soprano saxophonist, leads a gravity-defying exploration of the universe with the world premiere of his new commission Musings of Cosmic Stuff on October 27-28, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater.
Performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, with narration by astrophysicist and writer Neil deGrasse Tyson, Musings of Cosmic Stuff leads audiences on a sonic journey spanning billions of years. From the smallest particles to full-on supernovas, the work explores how we relate to our cosmos—and how our cosmos relate to us.
“I have always been in awe of outer space, and all the ‘stuff’ in it,” said Irby. “When I was a child, I immersed myself in science fiction short stories in Readers Digest, and the latest Silver Surfer comic book, and I imagined things that were so vast and unimaginable.” Irby continued, “At these concerts, as one of the greatest minds of the subject, Neil deGrasse Tyson, describes the birth of the universe and the phenomena it contains, audiences will experience my aural paintings as performed by the JLCO.”
Musings of Cosmic Stuff marks Irby’s newest commission by Jazz at Lincoln Center, performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Irby’s earlier works include Twilight Sounds, which premiered in 2010, and was released on the Blue Engine Records album Jazz and Art II in 2019. Irby’s Dante-inspired ballet Inferno was recorded live in 2012 and released on Blue Engine Records in 2020. Irby’s compositions “A Hot Jam on Grand,” from the collective commission Of Thee I Sing, premiered on the Portraits of America concert in 2019. “The Truth (for Paul Pierce)”and “The Ponderous Pachyderm of the Planks (for Clyde Lovellette),” co-commissioned by Kansas University, appears on Rock Chalk Suite, the album released on Blue Engine Records in 2020.
Rose Theater in Frederick P. Rose Hall, the home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, is located on Broadway at 60th Street in New York, NY.
Visit jazz.org/concert/sherman-irbys-musings-of-cosmic-stuff/ for tickets and information.
Sherman Irby was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As a high school student, he played and recorded with gospel immortal James Cleveland, later graduating from Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor of Arts in music education. In 1991, he joined Johnny O’Neal’s Atlanta-based quintet and, in 1994, moved to New York City and recorded his first two albums on Blue Note Records. Irby toured the United States and the Caribbean with the Boys Choir of Harlem in 1995. His first stint with the JLCO was from 1995 to 1997. A Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead alum, Irby recorded and toured with Marcus Roberts, and has served as a member of Roy Hargrove’s ensemble, Elvin Jones’ ensemble, and Papo Vazquez’s Pirates Troubadours. He has served as regional director for Jazz Masters Workshop, artist-in-residence for Jazz Camp West, an instructor for Monterey Jazz Festival Band Camp, and former board member for the CubaNOLA Collective. In the early aughts, Irby formed Black Warrior Records, releasing five acclaimed recordings. Since rejoining JLCO in 2005, Irby has become a key arranger and been commissioned to compose new works including Twilight Sounds, his Dante-inspired ballet Inferno, and Musings of Cosmic Stuff, inspired by his interest in science fiction.
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2023-24 season focuses on the concept of community; the broader community of jazz; the numerous communities that nurtured its master practitioners across its timeline; the communities of consciousness that influenced these practitioners; the music’s power to bridge divides and coalesce these distinct communities; and the role of jazz – and the arts writ large – in maintaining the human connection in the digital era. Throughout its 2023-24 season, Jazz at Lincoln Center explores these subjects with concerts featuring the forward-thinking composers, virtuosic improvisers, and ingenious conceptualists that populate the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Implicitly or explicitly, season concerts, education programs, advocacy initiatives, and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra tours directly evoke themes that illuminate, as Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis puts it, the notion that, “Our music has the exceptional ability to bring people together.”
The organization’s 36th season runs from Sept. 21, 2023, to June 8, 2024 in Rose Theater, The Appel Room, and Dizzy’s Club – all at Frederick P. Rose Hall, the home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, located on Broadway at 60th Street in New York, NY. In addition to 24 unique live concerts throughout Frederick P. Rose Hall and more than 350 nights of music at Dizzy’s Club, the organization will offer webcast performances via the Jazz Live app, in-person and virtual education programs, and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis tour dates worldwide.
For a complete listing of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2023-24 season concerts, please visit jazz.org/2324season.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Health and Safety Guidelines
We believe in the power of music to uplift, inspire, and create a sense of community. We very much look forward to welcoming you to the House of Swing at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall this season and are committed to employing all measures to ensure your safety as well as the safety of our artists and staff. Learn more about our health and safety guidelines, COVID-19 Liability Waiver, and enhanced refund policy on jazz.org.
Ticket prices for Rose Theater are $30 and up depending upon seating section. Family concert tickets in Rose Theater are $10, $20, and $25.
Note: Hot Seats—$10 seats for each Rose Theater performance (excluding Jazz for Young People® concerts and other performances as specified) are available for purchase by the general public on the Wednesday prior to each performance. Tickets are subject to availability; please call 212-258-9877 for available Hot Seats performance dates.
Hot Seats are available only in person at the Box Office, with a maximum of two tickets per person. Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Hot Seats Ticket Discount Program is supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
*Please note that a $3.50 Jazz at Lincoln Center Facility Fee applies to ALL ticket purchases, with the exception of $10 Hot Seats. A $7 handling fee also applies when purchasing tickets from CenterCharge or when purchasing tickets online via jazz.org.
All single tickets for Rose Theater can be purchased through jazz.org 24 hours a day or through CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office, located on Broadway at 60th Street, Ground Floor.
Box Office hours:
Monday-Saturday: 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (or 30 minutes past curtain)
Sunday: 12:00 p.m. noon to 6:00 p.m. (or 30 minutes past curtain).
A very special thanks to Jody and John Arnhold for their extraordinary support of Jazz at Lincoln Center
and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
This program is presented as part of the Ertegun Jazz Concert Series.
Leadership support for Jazz at Lincoln Center is provided by America’s Cultural Treasures, a sponsored project of
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
through the leadership and support of Senator Charles E. Schumer and the New York Congressional Delegation.
Leadership support is also provided by Howard Gilman Foundation, Inc.; the Estate of Robert Menschel;
and Mellody Hobson and George Lucas.
Leadership support for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is provided by Michele and Mark Mandel,
the Perry and Donna Golkin Family Foundation, and the Zou Family Fund.
The Movado Group Foundation is The Official Timekeeper of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Jazz at Lincoln Center proudly acknowledges its major corporate partners: Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Movado Group Foundation
and The Coca-Cola Company.
Artists, schedules, pricing, and venues are subject to change.
Zooey Tidal Jones
Senior Director, Public Relations and External Communications
Jazz at Lincoln Center