26–28 April 2018
“Hawkins improvises with the strength and conviction that come from combining an advanced technique with a teeming imagination…[i]t isn't always cosy, but this is state-of-the-art contemporary piano” – The Guardian
Delighted to welcome one of the great contemporary pianists, Alexander Hawkins, to OTO for a specially curated three-day residency covering an eclectic cross-section of Hawkins' expansive musical output. Whether it's performing his own compositions with ensemble, playing with regular collaborators such as Elaine Mitchener and John Edwards, or guesting with the likes of Joe McPhee, Louis Moholo and Evan Parker, Hawkins has provided a huge array of standout moments at OTO over the years and it's a pleasure to play host to him for several performances across three days.
“Hawkins draws favorable comparisons to some of the great innovative pianists of our time” – All About Jazz
Alexander Hawkins is musician who is ‘unlike anything else in modern creative music’ (Ni Kantu) and whose recent work has reached a ‘dazzling new apex’ (Downbeat).
As a pianist, he has been described as ‘remarkable...possessing staggering technical ability and a fecund imagination as both player and composer.’ Concerning his organ playing, critic Brian Morton recently commented that ‘[t]he most interesting Hammond player of the last decade and more, [Hawkins] has already extended what can be done on the instrument.’
His writing has been said to represent ‘a fundamental reassertion of composition within improvised music’ (Point of Departure), and his voice one of the ‘most vividly distinctive...in modern jazz’ (The Jazzmann).
An in-demand collaborator as well as soloist, composer, and bandleader, Hawkins continues to be heard live and on record with vast array of contemporary leaders of all generations, including the likes of Evan Parker, John Surman, Joe McPhee, Mulatu Astatke, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Marshall Allen, Han Bennink, Hamid Drake, Rob Mazurek, Taylor Ho Bynum, Harris Eisenstadt, Matana Roberts, and Shabaka Hutchings, amongst many others. He has also been noted for a number of years for his performances in the bands of legendary South African drummer, Louis Moholo-Moholo.
Concert appearances have taken him to major club, concert and festival stages worldwide.
“…Hawkins is a really vital link in a long historical chain, and his ability to sculpt his own language from a deeply rooted creative bedrock is compelling” - Jazzwise
“Sounds like all the future jazz you might imagine without ever being able to conceive of the details” - The Guardian