Carla Bley at the Hop

Carla Bley Trio

with the Coast Jazz Orchestra at Dartmouth
October 19, 2019

This event occurred as part of the 19/20 Hop Presents season. This is an archived view.

A jazz legend performs in a double bill with Dartmouth musicians playing her music.

19/20 Hop Presents

In the '50s, Carla Bley dropped out of high school, headed for New York, and took a job as a cigarette girl at the jazz club Birdland so she could soak up the music. At 82, the legendary composer, pianist and NEA Jazz Master still tenaciously pursues beautiful and interesting sound. In an event sure to go down in Dartmouth music history, the all-student Coast opens with a set of Bley's unforgettable big-band compositions, with the help of Bley's daughter Karen Mantler, a pianist and composer. Then Bley will take the stage joined by British saxophonist Andy Sheppard and the revered jazz bassist Steve Swallow.

For six-plus decades, Bley has been a pioneer in jazz. Inspired by the work of Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, and Erik Satie, she first made her mark in the 1960s, penning tunes that were recorded by Gary Burton, Jimmy Giuffre and Charlie Haden. Her landmark 1971 triple album jazz-rock opera Escalator Over the Hill, featuring artists ranging from Linda Ronstadt and Jack Bruce to Gato Barbieri and John McLaughlin, cemented her reputation for stylistic diversity and restless creativity. Later, she and bassist Charlie Haden co-created the seminal Liberation Orchestra, for which she wrote thrilling arrangements. With a remarkable body of work stretching across dozens of albums, Bley was recognized as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2015, one year before turning eighty.

Access a press kit (including promotional photos) for Carla Bley.

Read an account by Coast member Lucas James '20 of what it's been like to learn Bley's music, full of "passages of monumental beauty and religious solemnity alongside the wild and weird."


“One of the most beguiling artists in jazz for more than half a century.”

 —Denver Post

"No album by the legendary composer, pianist, and bandleader sounds like anyone else could have created it."

 —The New Yorker

In the News

The New Yorker logo

A Lifetime of Carla Bley

May 13, 2018: Pianist Ethan Iversen writes about his meeting with Carla Bley at her house in upstate New York.

The Coast at Dartmouth
Coast Jazz Orchestra at Dartmouth

"For me, the Coast was a refuge from the rigidity and pressure of academia, where creativity, freedom, and individual voice could flourish." —Mali Obomsawin '18 A Portrait of the Coast Video of A...

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Hopkins Center
12 Lebanon Street
Hanover, NH

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