Feb 23

The Science of Jazz

Music & The Structure of the Universe

Jazz at Lincoln Center

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Ever wonder why jazz moves you?

Join us for our annual Science of Jazz! Lecture series

The Science of Jazz: Linking Music & The Structure of the Universe


For the third year, Jazz at Lincoln Center presents one of our most popular events: Science of Jazz. This unique and intimate evening explores the dynamic connection between the sciences and jazz in this special lecture series. This year’s edition will feature physicist and musician Stephon Alexander in conversation with saxophonist/composer María Grand. Alexander and Grand will use musical samples to illustrate how a physicist – or a jazz musician - approach the process of experimentation. Attendees will discover how some leaps in Physics operate like Jazz solos.  

Ticket Price: $75/person (includes feature presentation, drinks, and bar snacks).

Jazz at Lincoln Center Member Price: $50/person (includes feature presentation, drinks, and bar snacks).  

Become a member today to unlock this special $50 price and other exclusive benefits including ticket discounts, pre-sale access, and more.



Stephon Alexander

Physicist and Musician Stephon Alexander has straddled the two worlds of theoretical physics and jazz music over the last two decades. He obtained his Bachelors of Science from Haverford College and Doctorate from Brown and was a research physicist at Imperial College, London and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University.


On the physics front Alexander’s works on the connection between the smallest and largest entities in the universe pushing Einstein’s theory of curved space-time to extremes, beyond the big bang with sub atomic phenomena. Alexander is a specialist in the field of string cosmology, where the physics of superstrings are applied to address longstanding questions in cosmology. In 2001, he co-invented the model of inflation based on higher dimensional hypersurfaces in string theory called D-Branes. In such models the early universe emerged from the destruction of a higher dimensional D-brane which ignites a period of rapid expansion of space often referred to as cosmic inflation.


Stephon Alexander is also a Jazz saxophonist and has been mentored by Ornette Coleman and Will Calhoun. He has expanded his repertoire to an avant-garde electronic medium as seen in a critically acclaimed Album with RIOUX entitled Here Comes Now. Alexander recently completed his first trade book that delves into the secret link between music and the structure of the universe, The Jazz of Physics.


As a professor, now at Brown University, Alexander has spent most of his career being an advocate of first generation and historically underrepresented groups in the sciences. He was formerly the Director of Dartmouth College’s EE Just STEM Scholars Program. He also does volunteer public speaking in inner city schools and teaches mathematics in prisons and sees these activities as essential parts of his scholarship.



María Grand

Saxophonist, composer, and educator María Grand was born in Switzerland in 1992, to a Swiss mother and an Argentinian father. Upon her moving to New York in 2011, she became the protégée of legendary musicians such as Steve Coleman, Billy Harper, and Antoine Roney, as well as NEA Jazz Master Von Freeman. She has since toured extensively with MacArthur Awardee Steve Coleman and his small ensemble, the Five Elements, as well as Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance and Steve Coleman and Natal Eclipse. She is a regular member of free funk/avant-garde jazz drummer, composer, poet, producer and professor Doug Hammond’s Quintet and of mridangam artist and scholar Rajna Swaminathan’s RAJAS. She also performs with Grammy Award winner Román Filiú in his groups Ouroboros and Quartería. María can be heard on Steve Coleman’s latest and critically acclaimed album, Synovial Joints.


A composer on her own right, María recently completed her first orchestral work; she has composed for saxophone quartet as well as numerous pieces for her ensembles. As a leader she has performed at The Jazz Gallery; Seeds; Three Concentric Sections; Shapeshifter Lab; in New York, and AMR Jazz Club and The Walden in Switzerland.


María has performed alongside musical luminaries Julian Priester, Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn, Jen Shyu, Dafnis Prieto, Matt Mitchell, Marcus Gilmore, Adam Cruz, Anthony Tidd, Sean Rickman, Arthur Hoyle, Eric Alexander, Miles Okazaki, Damion Reid, among others; she has toured Europe, the United States, and South America, playing in venues and festivals such as the Village Vanguard in New York, La Villette Jazz Festival in Paris, Saafelden Jazz Festival in Austria, the Half Note Club in Athens, Millennium Park in Chicago, Roulette in Brooklyn, the Blue Whale in Los Angeles, the Northsea Jazz Festival (Netherlands), Porgy and Bess (Austria), Bird's Eyes (CH), IloJazz Festival in Guadeloupe, Millennium Park in Chicago, and more.


For more information on this event, please call CenterCharge at 212-721-6500 any time from 10am to 9pm. 

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