Ornette Coleman: Tomorrow is the Question

Perhaps it was a premonition. More likely it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Either way, saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman’s assertion that the controversial music he was making in the 1960s would shape the future of jazz became truth. Of his father, drummer and collaborator on this series Denardo Coleman said: “It’s not that he thought outside the box. He didn’t accept that there were any boxes.” This series shines a light on Ornette’s singular aesthetic approach, which continues to inspire artists and listeners who seek to dissolve limits to their own imaginations.

Two years after Ornette’s death and 20 years after Lincoln Center Festival presented him in ? Civilization: A Harmolodic Celebration, we honor his lifelong quest for unrestricted expressive freedom.

Ornette Coleman Events

Ornette Coleman and William S. Burroughs

Naked Lunch

Film with live orchestral accompaniment

Alice Tully Hall

A live performance of Coleman and Shore’s shadowy score brings new dimensions to Cronenberg’s hallucinatory film. Learn More 

Ornette Coleman

Ornette: Made in America (1985)

Documentary film by Shirley Clarke

Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse

Acclaimed filmmaker Shirley Clarke’s fascinating portrait of Ornette’s pioneering originality. Learn More 

Prime Time
Photo by Elena Caminati

Alice Tully Hall

A celebration of Ornette’s legendary jazz-funk fusion band. Learn More 

Ornette Coleman
Photo by Stephanie Berger

Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse

Explore Ornette’s lesser-known classical side during this intimate afternoon encounter. Learn More