Free concerts: “Creative Music Convergences”

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On Thursday, April 7, and Friday, April 8, the Fromm Concerts at Harvard assemble some of the finest musicians in creative music for a series of free concerts, “Creative Music Convergences,” in John Knowles Paine Concert Hall.

“These are musicians who just go up there and create,” says Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts Vijay Iyer, who curated the 2016 Fromm concerts. “Every night is different, every time is different, and each has its own integrity and power.”

The Thursday lineup features 7:30 p.m. performances by Wadada Leo Smith and Vijay Iyer and Nicole Mitchell with Tomeka Reid and Mike Reed. At 9 p.m. Okkyung Lee and the Steve Lehman Octet take the stage.

On Friday at 7:30 p.m., hear Craig Taborn and Wadada Leo Smith with Ikue Mori. The 9 p.m. show features Courtney Bryan and the Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio.

“Improvisation really builds something. It’s not contra to composition; it’s another way of putting music together.”

The musicians in this year’s Fromm concerts span generations, geography, and style. “What we call creative music, experimental music that involves improvisation, has an astonishingly diverse range of expression,” says Iyer. “Tyshawn Sorey plays the Village Vanguard but studied with Stockhausen; Steve Lehman is one of the transforming figures of 21st century jazz; Ikue Mori plays solo cello with a rock band [the legendary DNA], Craig Taborn is the most admired keyboardist of my generation.

“They’re all here,” says Iyer, “because they’re innovative and unique.”

All four concerts are free and open to the public.