Legendary Jazz Icon Archie Shepp Returns to Goddard College

PLAINFIELD, Vt. – Jazz legend Archie Shepp will be playing at Goddard College in mid-January. Shepp, a 1959 alumnus of Goddard, will also receive the Goddard Award for Excellence at the show.

The 75 year-old world-renowned saxophone player, composer, pianist, politically committed poet and playwright rarely performs in the United States and typically plays before thousands at venues like the Ford Theater in Los Angeles rather than a 250 person show at a converted barn in rural Vermont.

Shepp’s importance in the jazz canon is indisputable. He was a leader in the ‘60s black jazz avant-garde or free jazz movement, and has played with the likes of John Coltrane and other jazz greats.

In 1965, six years after graduating Goddard with a degree in theater, Shepp released the album “Fire Music” which included the reading of an elegy for Malcom X. Later albums spoke out about civil rights and the Attica Prison riots.

The Goddard Award for Excellence has been awarded three times in the college’s history, and recognizes individuals who exemplify the highest ideals and aspirations of the college, as stated in its mission: “to advance cultures of rigorous inquiry, collaboration and lifelong learning, where individuals take imaginative and responsible action in the world.”

“Since his time studying drama here at Goddard in the late 50s, Shepp has become a
legend on the stage as well as a heroic icon of social equality,” said Goddard President Barbara Vacarr. “His work, as a founding father of free jazz, his teachings on subjects ranging from Revolutionary Concepts in African-American Music to Black Musician in Theater, and his social activism make him an ideal candidate for this award. And, we are thrilled to present this performer of international renown onstage at the historical Haybarn Theatre for a very special evening of jazz music.”

The concert at the Haybarn Theatre on January 19th is presented by Goddard College and WGDR/WGDH radio. Archie Shepp will play with musicians Tom McClung, Ronnie Burrage and Nicolas Letman Burtinovic. The show begins at 8:00 pm, and doors open at 7:00 pm. Tickets are on sale now at Buch Spieler in Montpelier and online atwww.goddard.edu/archieshepp.

For more information contact Goddard College Events Manager, Meg Hammond atmeg.hammond@goddard.edu or 802.595.2233.


About Goddard College

Initially founded in 1863 as the Goddard Seminary in Barre, Vermont, Goddard College later moved to its current Plainfield campus and was chartered in 1938 by founding President Royce “Tim” Pitkin. In 1963, Goddard became the first U.S. college to offer low-residency adult degree programs. Now offering accredited MA, MFA, BA and BFA degree programs from the main campus in Plainfield, Vermont and sites in Seattle and Port Townsend, Washington, Goddard’s low-residency education model offers the best of on-campus and distance education, with experienced faculty advisors, rigorous on-campus residencies, and the freedom to study from anywhere.  http://www.goddard.edu.


Lauren Geiger Moye