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Downtown Avant Garde

Composer, label owner and multi-instrumentalist John Zorn is one of the most beloved (and provocative) American masters of free jazz, improvisation, and musical innovation.

2011 / Steve Shepherd / BBC Radio 3, UK

Composer, label owner and multi-instrumentalist John Zorn is one of the most beloved (and provocative) American masters of free jazz, improvisation, and musical innovation.

Back in 2000, producer Steve Shepherd brought Zorn's quirk, energy and uncompromising vision to the airwaves, through anecdotes, interviews with Zorn and his peers, and - of course! - considerable noise. The full program lasts two full hours; here's part one - Soho Music Gallery.

Please note! This program contains colorful language.

Downtown Avant Garde was produced in 2000 for the Somethin' Else production company, and was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The program is presented by Steve Beresford (a friend and musical collaborator of Zorn's) and written and produced by Steve Shepherd.

Click on the EXTRA link below to see program notes, hear parts 2, 3 and 4, and to read an interview with Steve Shepherd.


produced by

Steve Shepherd

Steve Shepherd began his career at the BBC in 1990. Between 1998 and 2002 he was Head of Jazz at independent production company Somethin' Else, and produced hundreds of hours of live music and sessions, and dozens of documentaries about seminal jazz musicians. Since 2002, Shepherd has been an occasional presenter on jazz for the BBC and has made a three part profile of sax legend Evan Parker. He currently runs the True Stories Told Live club in Cardiff and has just started The Real Record Club, celebrating extraordinary vinyl albums.


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