Cancel all plans for the rest of the month if you’re a fan/worshipper of avant-garde composer and saxophonist John Zorn: you may have missed his 60th birthday jam at his East Village venue, The Stone (see above video for 30 seconds of him performing with Fred Frith), but worry not: a cavalcade of events will celebrate the pillar of the downtown music scene, starting with a week and a half of movies he curated for Anthology Film Archives.
Kicking off Wednesday with Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, Anthology will screen a selection of films featuring the genre-busting saxman’s favorite soundtracks, and then, starting Sept. 20, they’ll show films scored by Zorn, with the man himself performing live alongside films by Kenneth Anger and Harry Smith on Sept. 21, and then appearing for a discussion the next day.
Also this week: a marathon performance of one of Zorn’s most widely adored and enduring works, The Masada, at Skirball Center. (See above for some recently surfaced footage of him performing the klezmer-meets-Ornette masterpiece at bygone Lower East Side venue Tonic in 1999.) A dozen groups comprised of longtime Zorn collaborators like Ikue Mori (of DNA), Marc Ribot, and David Krakauer will attack the opus during a three-and-a-half-hour concert this Sunday. Then there’ll be an organ concert at Columbia University’s chapel (Sept. 23), an evening during which Mike Patton and others will turn Zorn compositions into lyrical songs at Le Poisson Rouge (Sept. 29), and, on Sept. 28, the coup de grace, a series of performances across 12 galleries at The Met, during which Zorn and legendary free-jazz drummer Milford Graves will tear it up in front of Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm (No. 30).”
Those are just some of the events lined up (the full rundown is here), and Zorn is being feted on the airwaves, as well: Columbia’s WKCR is featuring his music all month long, along with interviews and live performances with many of his collaborators (full schedule here). Zorn will pop into the studio on Sept. 18 and 30 (he also stopped by NPR recently; you can listen to the Fresh Air interview here).
Oh, and there’ll be more at The Stone, as well: David Krakauer will play selections from Zorn’s The Book of Angels on Sept. 29. That same night, Mike Patton, John Medeski, Joey Baron and Trevor Dunn will bring their supergroup Moonchild to LPR. For a taste of what to expect there, watch the video above, in which Zorn leads the group during a recent Paris concert.