All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Muhal Richard Abrams

Muhal Richard Abrams Muhal Richard Abrams

Muhal Richard Abrams is an NEA Jazz Master

Muhal Richard Abrams..... World renowned pianist and composer

has been in the forefront of the contemporary music scene for well over forty years. Muhal is a co-founder of The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), founder of The AACM School of Music and President of The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, New York City Chapter. Muhal was the first recipient of the grand international jazz award, “The JazzPar Prize”, which was awarded to him in 1990 by the Danish Jazz Center in Copenhagen, Denmark.. In 1999 Muhal was presented a proclamation by Richard M. Daley, Mayor of the City of Chicago, declaring April 11, 1999 as Muhal Richard Abrams Day in Chicago.

Except for a brief period of study at Chicago Musical College and Governors State University in Chicago, Illinois where he studied electronic music, Mr. Abrams is predominately a self-taught musician who, as a result of many years of observation, analysis, and practice as a performing musician, has developed a highly respected command of a variety of musical styles both as a pianist and composer. The versatile Mr. Abrams and members of The AACM are responsible for some of the most original new music approaches of the last three decades.

Some recent compositions of Mr. Abrams are: Transversion I OP. 6 for Symphony Orchestra, “NOVI” For Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quartet, Variations for Solo Saxophone, Flute, and Chamber Orchestra, commissioned by the City of Chicago for the 1982 New Music America Festival; Quintet for Voice (Soprano), Piano, Harp, Cello, and Violin, commissioned by The Kitchen and performed at Symphony Space in April, 1982; Improvisation Structures I- II-III-IV-V-VI performed in a series of six solo piano concerts for the 1983 New York State New Music Network Tour; TRIO,” a three-part composition for solo piano, performed at the New Music America Festival in 1984 in Hartford, Conn. July, 1984, and hosted by Real Artways; “Odyssey of King” performed by The Brooklyn Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra at Brooklyn's Botanical Garden, February, 1984 and “Celebrate Brooklyn” at the Prospect Park Bandshell, Brooklyn, New York on June 23, 1984; “String Quartet #2” was performed by The Kronos String Quartet on November 22, 1985 at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City; “Piano Duet #1” performed by Ursula Oppens and Frederic Rzewski for Music at the Crossroads on February 11, 1986, and sponsored by The Philip Morris Co. at the Whitney Museum; “Saturation Blue” performed on March 14, 1986, by The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Ensemble at Freeport High School, Freeport, NY, Tania Leon, Conductor; “Folk Tales 88'” commissioned by The Brooklyn Philharmonic and performed by The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra at Fort Hamilton Base, Brooklyn, NY on July 9, 1988, Tania Leon, Conductor; “Transversion I OP. 6” performed February 22 & 23, 1991 by The Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the Unisys Corporation Classical Roots series in Detroit, Michigan; “What A Man” commissioned for the Black Repertory Ensemble by the Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago and the Friends of the Chicago Public Library in honor of the Late Mayor Harold Washington and to commemorate the opening of The Harold Washington Library on October 7, 1991; “The String Quartet III” commissioned by Bang On The Can and performed by The Cassatt String Quartet in May, 1992; “Strings and Things” commissioned by The String Trio of

Read more




Album SoundDance by Muhal Richard Abrams


Black Saint

Album Spectrum by Muhal Richard Abrams


Mutable Music

Album Afrisong by Muhal Richard Abrams


Black Saint

Album Vision Towards Essence by Muhal Richard Abrams

Vision Towards Essence

Pi Recordings

Album Streaming by Muhal Richard Abrams


Pi Recordings

Album Vision Towards Essence by Muhal Richard Abrams

Vision Towards Essence

Pi Recordings




Anthony Braxton Anthony Braxton
Albert Ayler Albert Ayler
saxophone, tenor
Archie Shepp Archie Shepp
Paul Bley Paul Bley
Tim Berne Tim Berne
saxophone, alto
Steve Lacy Steve Lacy
saxophone, soprano
David Murray David Murray
saxophone, tenor
Ken Vandermark Ken Vandermark
Sam Rivers Sam Rivers
saxophone, tenor

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.

Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers
CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more
Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads
Specializing in music, movies and video games
Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.