August 26, 2012 |
Byard Lancaster, 70, the Philadelphia jazz musician who earned an international reputation as an avant-garde musical explorer in the 1960s and 1970s, died of cancer Thursday, Aug. 23, at KeystoneCare in Wyndmoor, according to his sister, Mary Ann Lancaster Tyler. In the decades that followed his early fame, he became a local institution, playing saxophone and flute on the streets, in subway concourses, and at clubs around the city. Mr. Lancaster played alto, soprano, and tenor saxophones, as well as flute, clarinet, and piano.
January 12, 2001 |
Jazz great Byard Lancaster fought the law, and his music won. On the eve of a full-blown trial for disorderly conduct, the Philadelphia Police Department requested the charge against the musician be withdrawn - and it was. Lancaster, 58, was handcuffed and arrested the morning of Nov. 7, accused of playing music in front of a Center City Wawa convenience store. Yesterday, sporting a black-and-white keyboard scarf at the Criminal Justice Center, the Germantown man said he had not even been playing at the store when he was arrested at 17th and Arch Streets.
January 12, 2001 |
A defiant Byard Lancaster, one of the city's premier jazz musicians, says he's going to continue playing in the streets after a criminal charge against him was dropped yesterday. "If we don't write a law or improve the climate for the musicians, then the city loses, the state loses, the vibe is gone," said Lancaster, 58. "The street becomes sterile. " The versatile Lancaster, who plays many instruments but is known for his expertise with flute and saxophone, was arrested Nov. 7 outside a Wawa market at 17th and Arch streets and accused of disturbing the peace.
September 5, 1986 |
The Jamaican Express has come and gone and deposited Byard Lancaster back in our midst, somewhat the worse for wear. The Germantown reed virtuoso came home recently from a 2 1/2-year teaching commitment in the land of reggae with a smashed left ankle, suffered when a car flipped him for a loop on a street in Kingston. The cast is off but another eight weeks must pass before he can stow the crutches. The accident in no way diminished his embouchure or contiguous parts due southward, as he proved conclusively by ripping off a few cadenzas on his soprano saxophone in my presence.
June 26, 1992 |
A funny thing happened to Monnette Sudler on her way to becoming a folk singer. Early on, she concluded that there was more to the guitar she was strumming than picking out a few chords. The outcome: She became one of the hottest jazz guitarists in the business. Sudler, who will appear Saturday at the Baci Bistro in Center City, was reared in Germantown. Her musical leanings became evident at a young age, when she began piano lessons. The youngster soon switched to guitar, prompting her to begin writing and singing folk songs - but it turned out that jazz was her true calling.
November 7, 1986 |
Guitarist Scott Johnson, drummer Louis Bellson and the combination of alto saxophonist Byard Lancaster and pianist Dave Burrell should provide this week's high notes. I suspect that most jazz listeners are unfamiliar with Johnson, whose music, truth be told, has very little to do with jazz in any conventional sense. Even so, his first album, John Somebody (Nonesuch), released earlier this year, combines rock-and-roll jangle with art-music structural smarts in a beguiling manner that should appeal to intrepid music fans regardless of party affiliation.
March 2, 2004 |
If the idea was to move beyond the blues, then the roots-and-ribs emporium Warmdaddy's succeeded with the Reggae Jazz Explosion on Sunday night. The four-hour Old City concert was anchored by reggae but spun around the globe to take in the striking but limited jazz bagpipes of Rufus Harley, the wild keenings of saxophonist Byard Lancaster, and Harold E. Smith blowing on a hollowed-out log from Australia. Timi Tanzania and the Dubway Reggae Band held down the bandstand most of the night.
September 24, 1993 |
John Coltrane's birthday - the late tenor saxophone exemplar would have been 67 years old yesterday - is a better excuse than most for one of those ad hoc weekend jazz festivals that seem to sprout at certain times of the year, unplanned and unheralded, often to outdo those that are hammered together with considerable sweat and hoopla. We have, this weekend, not one, but two events that invoke the name of this oft-honored jazz votary in their inducements to join the celebratory process.
September 23, 1997 |
CULTURAL CAFE, 2239 N. Broad St., 5 tonight. Tickets: $5 and $10. Info: 215-765-5055. When vibraphonist Khan Jamal appears tonight with poet Sonia Sanchez, he'll have a kindred spirit sharing his passion for the beat. "She has a very beautiful rhythmic quality" to her writing, Jamal said of Sanchez, an award-winning poet, writer and instructor at Temple University. Jamal, himself an award-winning musician, will be playing solo and accompanying Sanchez as she delivers "the spoken word.
September 2, 1988 |
At historic Vernon Park in Germantown, the People's Musical Festival will offer a wide assortment of entertainment - with the emphasis on jazz - on Sunday and Monday. On hand for the free Labor Day weekend event, scheduled from 1 to 9 p.m. each day, will be a heavy lineup of performers influenced by such genres as reggae, Latin, contemporary and gospel in addition to traditional jazz. Scheduled to entertain Sunday are Byard Lancaster, Michal Beckham, Foster Child, Bill Lewis, Ruh, Doctor Gibbs, Rufus Harley, Joe Jefferson, Middy Middleton, Sid Simmons, Birchel Canty Quintet, the Marion Salaam Unit and the Double Portion Ensemble.