Sun Ra Arkestra
Sun Ra Arkestra

Sculpture Garden Jazz Concerts Held June 2, July 7, and July 28

“Jazz is the ultimate expansion of freedom…. And in the black communities in particular, it has been our safety line.”— Jack Whitten

BALTIMORE, MD (May 23, 2018)— The Baltimore Museum of Art’s (BMA) popular summer jazz series returns with three concerts inspired by artist Jack Whitten’s passion for jazz. The series includes performances by Ravi Coltrane (June 2), The Sun Ra Arkestra (July 7), and Lafayette Gilchrist Quartet (July 28). General admission tickets are $50 for a single concert or $135 for the three-concert series. BMA Member tickets are $35 for a single concert or $90 for the three concert series. Tickets sell out quickly, so advance reservations are highly recommended. Each ticket includes evening access to the Odyssey: Jack Whitten Sculpture, 1963-2017 exhibition from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

If the weather is good, these casual concerts will be held in the BMA’s beautiful Janet and Alan Wurtzburger Sculpture Garden. Designed by George E. Patton and opened in 1980, the garden presents 19 early modernist works by artists such as Alexander Calder, Jacques Lipchitz, Isamu Noguchi, and Auguste Rodin amidst a flagstone terrace and fountain. Concert-goers can choose intimate concert seating provided by the BMA or bring their own chairs or blankets for a picnic. Gertrude’s restaurant offers Jazz+Dinner tickets, which include an elegant three-course meal served on the terrace during the concert. Call 410-889-3399 for reservations.

Odyssey: Jack Whitten Sculpture, 1963–2017 is the first exhibition devoted to the renowned artist’s sculpture. The exhibition features 40 works inspired by the materials and traditions of Africa and ancient Greece, plus Whitten’s Black Monolith paintings honoring prominent African Americans such as Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Ornette Coleman.

Saturday, June 2 – Ravi Coltrane Quartet
Praised for his music’s “elusive beauty” (DownBeat), and for his “style informed by tradition but not encumbered by it” (Philadelphia City Paper), Coltrane is a critically acclaimed Grammy nominated saxophonist, bandleader, and composer. He has released six albums and performs internationally.

Saturday, July 7 – The Sun Ra Arkestra
Founded by legendary experimental jazz pioneer, Sun Ra, the Arkestra now performs under the direction of long-time band member Marshall Allen. Their outer space-inspired music has been heard at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, NYC Winter Jazzfest, Lincoln Center, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Saturday, July 28 – Lafayette Gilchrist Quartet
With breath-taking command of the piano, Lafayette Gilchrist is widely regarded as one of the area’s most prolific and original composers. He has performed with Carl Grubbs, Cassandra Wilson, and Macy Gray. His compositions, Assume the Position and Coded Sources, are a part of the original score from David Simon’s The Wire and Treme.

About the Baltimore Museum of Art

Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 97,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.

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Press Contacts

For media in Baltimore:

Anne Brown
Baltimore Museum of Art
Senior Director of Communications

Sarah Pedroni
Baltimore Museum of Art
Communications Manager

For media outside Baltimore:

Alina Sumajin
PAVE Communications