WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
For the last three years, The Chris Byars Quartet has served as cultural ambassadors; the US State Department has sent them to key areas of the Muslim world to show their audiences another side of America. For this unique mission, the quartet chose to showcase the music of a Muslim-American composer from the 1950s: Gigi Gryce. Eventually using the name Basheer Qusim, he intertwined the sounds of jazz with the driving rhythms, open harmonies and twisting melodies of the Arabic tradition. In this show at Joe's Pub, the quartet presents Gryce's music, as well as details of his unique life. They will also relate stories from the recent experiences in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria.