Dave Douglas and French pianist Frank Woeste are 1 of 5 selected duos to take part in the French-American Jazz exchange program. The French-American Jazz Exchange (“FAJE”) celebrates the shared passion for jazz in France and the United States. A partnership of FACE Foundation and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the program is designed to foster the creative and professional development of jazz artists from France and the United States through their collaborative investigation of artistic practice and exposure to new audiences, music concepts, and professional relationships.
French pianist Frank Woeste will collaborate with trumpeter Dave Douglas to create a new repertoire for a jazz quartet comprised of trumpet, bass, piano, and drums based on the work of Man Ray, the influential American modern artist who was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements of the 20th Century. Influenced by Ray’s works known as “readymades,” which were pieces created out of ordinary, everyday objects, the project, entitled, “The Art of Reinvention,” will include time for composition and rehearsals followed by a recording session in New York.
Here are some words about the program from Greenleaf Music Chief Officer, Dave Douglas:
The French American Jazz Exchange is the kind of crazy idea that miraculously erupts in crazy new music! I am so grateful to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and the other organizations involved in making these musical dreams a reality. This is a project that should occur across all sorts of boundaries geographical, political, and human.
Look at the projects this year alone: Nicole Mitchell with Sylvan Kassap, Steve Lehman with Maciek Lasserre, Somi with Herve Samb, and Yosvany Terry with Baptiste Trotignon. My project this year will be a new collaboration with French pianist Frank Woeste. Our project will be in dedication to French American surrealist, Man Ray. We will produce new music for a quartet including Matt Brewer, bass, and Clarence Penn, drums. I met Frank when I was introduced to him in another French-sponsored project, a collaboration with Ibrahim Maalouf.
We are both writing music now. Man Ray is a rich font of inspiration, and the cross-cultural aspects of his program speak to both Frank and myself.