Join us today for a special in-studio performance from Wadada Leo Smith on Leonard Lopate at Large, and a conversation about his storied career. Trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser Wadada Leo Smith has been a member of Chicago’s legendary AACM collective for the past five decades.
A finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, he received the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award and earned an honorary doctorate from CalArts, where he was also celebrated as Faculty Emeritus. A regular selection of the DownBeat International Critics Poll, In 2017 he topped three categories: Best Jazz Artist, Trumpeter of the Year and Jazz Album of the Year.
Smith has released more than 50 albums as a leader on labels including ECM, Moers, Black Saint, Tzadik, Pi Recordings, TUM, Leo and Cuneiform. His diverse discography reveals a recorded history exploring the social, natural and political environment of his times with passion and fierce intelligence. His 2016 recording “America’s National Parks” earned the trumpeter-composer rave reviews and a place on numerous best-of-the-year lists including the New York Times and NPR Music.