Julius Eastman’s relentless compositions are among the most socially critical in music history. In the early days of minimal music, his name appeared in the same breath as Philip Glass and Terry Riley. But with titles like Evil N****r and Gay Guerilla, it’s easy to imagine why Eastman didn’t rise to the same heights. At the very least, his music was very in your face. He died in ignominy from the consequences of drugs and alcohol abuse, and is sometimes compared to (graffiti) artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Attention to overlooked or ignored voices is ever increasing. And so, Julius Eastman’s music is played more and more often. The DoelenEnsemble already put together a program with his music for de Doelen in 2022. This time they’re working together with the New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra, to honor the way in which Eastman’s music occupies the space between minimal music and improvisation.
Eastman Touch Him When | Joy Boy | Stay on it | Gay Guerilla
DoelenEnsemble | New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra