Maxine Gordon

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 @ 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Free RSVP 2019-02-06 7 p.m. 2019-02-06 8:30 p.m. America/New_York Maxine Gordon 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

Join us for a reading with Maxine Gordon as she discusses her book Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon. This discussion will be moderated by Pittsburgh artist and cultural producer, Alisha Wormsley.

Sophisticated Giant presents the life and legacy of tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon (1923–1990), one of the major innovators of modern jazz. In a context of biography, history, and memoir, Maxine Gordon has completed the book that her late husband began, weaving his “solo” turns with her voice and a chorus of voices from past and present. Reading like a jazz composition, the blend of research, anecdote, and a selection of Dexter’s personal letters reflects his colorful life and legendary times. It is clear why the celebrated trumpet genius Dizzy Gillespie said to Dexter, “Man, you ought to leave your karma to science.”

Dexter Gordon the icon is the Dexter beloved and celebrated on albums, on film, and in jazz lore–even in a street named for him in Copenhagen. But this image of the cool jazzman fails to come to terms with the multidimensional man full of humor and wisdom, a figure who struggled to reconcile being both a creative outsider who broke the rules and a comforting insider who was a son, father, husband, and world citizen. This essential book is an attempt to fill in the gaps created by our misperceptions as well as the gaps left by Dexter himself.

Maxine Gordon is an independent scholar with a lifetime career working with jazz musicians. As an oral historian and archivist in the fields of jazz and African American cultural history, Sophisticated Giant fulfills the promise she made to her late husband, jazz saxophonist and Academy Award-nominated actor Dexter Gordon, to complete his biography.

 

 

Moderator:

Alisha Wormsley, Carol Brown Award, Emerging Artist

Alisha B. Wormsley is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural producer. Her work is about collective memory and the synchronicity of time, specifically through the stories of women of color. Wormsley’s work has been honored and supported with a number of awards and grants to support programs: The People Are The Light ( part of the Hillman Photography Initiative), afronaut(a) film and performance series, Homewood Artist Residency (recently received the mayor’s public art award), the Children of NAN film series and archive, There Are Black People in the Future body of work. These projects and works have exhibited widely. Namely, the Andy Warhol Museum, Octavia Butler conference at Spelman University, Carnegie Museum of Art, Johannesburg SA, Studio XX in Montreal, Project Row House, the Houston Art League, Rush Art gallery in NY, the Charles Wright museum in Detroit and most recently the Mattress Factory.  Currently working on: a public park design around community and sustainable water, a temporary installation in Pittsburgh’s Market square, and creating a public program to put her  text “There Are Black People In the Future” in residence to open up discourse around displacement and gentrification. Wormsley has an MFA in Film and Video from Bard College and is an adjunct professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University.

Event Details

February 6, 2019 @ 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212
Readings

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