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Jazz At Atlas Presents: Saft/Morris/Jones/Downs

Jazz at Atlas is proud to present as part of its ongoing 2019 season the all-star quartet: Saft/Morris/Jones/Downs featuring acoustic bassist, Brad Jones, Jamie Saft on electric piano, Joe Morris on upright bass and Charles Downs on drums. Ticonderoga will perform on Saturday, June 22 at 8 PM at Atlas Studios, located at 11 Spring St. in Newburgh, NY. Ample onsite parking is available.

Tickets will be $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Advance tickets are available for sale at

Upcoming concerts as part of J@A's 2019 season include:

7/27: Darius Jones' Shades of Black — Called "the most visceral and distinctive alto saxophonist of this era" by The New York Times, composer/altoist Jones convenes a quartet of outstanding talents featuring Sam Newsome on soprano saxophone, Cooper-Moore on organ and Michael Wimberly on drums.

10/5: Karen Borca Quartet — The innovative, criminally under-recognized bassoonist, with decades of experience in the ensembles of such major artists as Cecil Taylor, Jimmy Lyons, William Parker and others, leads this thrilling quartet of veteran creative musicians including Warren Smith on vibes, Hilliard Greene on bass and Jackson Krall on drums.

Biographical details about Ticonderoga follow below.


Jamie Saft is a keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist, composer, sound engineer and producer living in Upstate New York. Saft was born in New York City, New York in 1971 and is a graduate of both Tufts University and the New England Conservatory of Music. He has performed and recorded with an eclectic variety of notable artists including John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, Roswell Rudd, Iggy Pop, Bad Brains, B-52s, Beastie Boys, Donovan, Steve Swallow, Bobby Previte, Marc Ribot, Marshall Allen, Bernard Purdie, Joe Morris, Derek Bailey, Dave Lombardo, Bill Laswell, Cyro Baptista, Chuck Hammer, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Dave Douglas & Merzbow. He has also written several original film scores including Murderball and God Grew Tired of Us.


Originally from New Haven, Conn., guitarist and composer Joe Morris began playing in 1969 and is self-taught. He considers Cecil Taylor, Eric Dolphy, Leroy Jenkins, Thelonious Monk, Jimi Hendrix, and West African string music as major influences. He has performed with Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Joe Maneri, Ken Vandermark, Mat Maneri, Rob Brown, John Butcher, Eugene Chadbourne, DKV Trio, Dewey Redman, Lawrence "Butch" Morris, Andrew Cyrille, Ivo Perlman, Andrea Parkins, Hamid Drake, Thurman Barker, Fred Hopkins, Bern Nix, Joe McPhee, Billy Bang, Lowell Davidson, Peter Kowald, Raphé Malik, Whit Dickey, Mats Gustufsson, Aaly Trio, Roy Campbell Jr., and many others.

He currently leads the Joe Morris Trio and Quartet, the electric sextet Racket Club, and Many Rings Ensemble; and performs solo, in duos, and as a freelance guitarist. He is featured on 30 recordings, many of which have been named among Writer’s Choice (best of the year) in The Village Voice, The Chicago Tribune, The Wire, Coda, and Jazziz. He was among those listed in the "Best Guitarist" category in the 1999 and 2000 Down Beat Critics’ Poll; listed in the "Best Guitarist — Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" category in the 1998 and 2000 Down Beat Critics’ Poll; was nominated "Best Guitarist" at the 1998 New York Jazz Awards; and nominated for the Cal/Arts Alpert Award in 2001.

He has taught guitar and improvisation privately since the early 1970s, and has performed and conducted workshops in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He began playing acoustic bass in 2000 and has since performed with the quartet Ticonderoga, cellist Daniel Levin, drummer Whit Dickey and recorded with pianist Steve Lantner.

Former faculty of Tufts University Experimental College. Recordings on Riti Records, AUM Fidelity, Knitting Factory, Okka Disc, OmniTone, Soul Note, Avant, Incus, Hat Hut, ECM, Leo, Homestead, NoMore, About Time.


Charles Downs was born in Chicago, and his family moved to the Bronx when he was four. He became a musician because of the profound influence John Coltrane had on him, and because Charles’s uncle was the great “Papa” Jo Jones, the father of modern drumming. As a child, Charles remembers that Art Blakey and Max Roach visited the family, and the former gave him his first set of sticks; one of his early playing memories is sitting in with his uncle in a Dixieland band at the World’s Fair. Later drum heroes for Charles included Andrew Cyrille, Elvin Jones, Sunny Murray, and Milford Graves (who also gave him other mystical healing arts besides music, including acupuncture and herbology). But Charles also loved to immerse himself in the playing of Kenny Clarke (wanting to “get some of those fine chops”), and his present favorite is Tony Williams (“for playing up top a lot”). Charles went to Queens College to study chemistry and psychology, and to graduate school for clinical psychology at Brooklyn College. As a fan in college, he went to every John Coltrane and Miles Davis concert, and his father bought him his first drum set.

After college and an Army stint, it was saxophonist Bobby Zankel who took Downs to audition for the Cecil Taylor big band in ‘73, and he played two concerts with Cecil Taylor at the time, one at Columbia University and the other at Carnegie Hall. William Parker was also in that band and told him about Jemeel Moondoc, who had moved to New York in ‘76, and Charles joined Jemeel’s Ensemble Muntu from 1975 to 1981; one of the great legendary loft~era bands, Muntu recorded five albums & toured extensively. By the early ‘8O’s, Charles Downs was also playing with Billy Bang, Roy Campbell, Jr., Raphé Malik, David Murray, David S. Ware, Frank Wright, and others. In ‘81 Charles rejoined Cecil Taylor for three more years, playing mostly in Europe in a quartet setting with Jimmy Lyons and William Parker.

Back in New York again from ‘83~’9O, Mr. Bakr continued working in particular with many powerhouse saxophonists, including Peter Brötzmann, Arthur Doyle, Charles Gayle, and Glenn Spearman. Charles credits Charles Gayle with getting him into playing tunes and helping him realize the time side of his playing. In this period Charles Bakr also became a member of the seminal quartet Other Dimensions in Music, along w/ Roy Campbell, Jr., Daniel Carter, and William Parker. Another stretch with Cecil Taylor from ‘9O to ‘95 took Charles all over Europe “and everywhere,” also bringing him opportunities to play with special guests in the band including Lester Bowie, David Murray, and James Newton.


Jazz at Atlas is a cooperative project of musician, writer and multimedia artist James Keepnews, and music researcher, radio host and Triple Point Records owner/producer Ben Young. Along with presenting performances by world-renowned creative musicians, J@A will also be offering listening sessions, dialogues with artists and classes covering the entire spectrum of creative music in all its varied manifestations around the world and throughout its history.

Earlier Event: June 15
Principia: Origins and Destinies
Later Event: June 27
Blooming Hill Farm Stand