This award was generously supported by the Prudential Foundation. _
Muhal Richard Abrams is a pianist, composer, and cofounder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), the influential Chicago-based free-jazz musicians’ collective. In 1961 he formed the Experimental Band with some of Chicago’s greatest jazz talents, including Eddie Harris and Roscoe Mitchell, which eventually led to the founding of AACM in 1965. AACM played a crucial role in the development of jazz and has launched many distinguished members, including Anthony Braxton and Henry Threadgill. In 1975 Abrams moved to New York, where he established a local AACM chapter in 1983. He has performed with Max Roach, Dexter Gordon, Art Farmer, and many other musicians and has released more than 25 recordings.
Portrait photo courtesy Anthony Barboza.
Muhal Richard Abrams in concert, New York City, 2007; photo courtesy Alan Nahigian