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Carla Bley


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Cully Jazz Festival, 2012


The "Carla Bley Trio" perform at the 2012 Cully Jazz Festival.


Carla Bley, piano
Steve Swallow, bass
Andy Sheppard, saxophones

Born and raised in Oakland, California where she taught piano by her father, Carla Bley moved to New York in 1953 and found work as a cigarette girl at the famous jazz club "Birdland."

She met her future husband Paul Bley who encouraged her to focus on her talent as a piano composer.

George Russell recorded her original number "Bent Eagle" for his 1960 album "Stratusphunk" and her husband released "Barrage" an LP consisting entirely of her works.

She organized the Jazz Composers Guild in 1964 bringing together New York's best and brightest, co-leading the "Jazz Composers' Orchestra" with Michael Mantler.

Carla Bley came to gain importance in the 1960s free jazz movement.

Of her recordings among the most popular is the jazz opera "Escalator Over The Hill" released on three LPs produced between 1968 and 1971.

In 1972 Carla Bley received a Guggenheim Fellowship award for music composition and continues to perform and record with her own big band throughout the world.

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