Two Upcoming Performances.


August 12, 2017, 8:00 & 10:00PM
An die Musik LIVE!
409 North Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Photo by Michael Wilderman/

Joel Futterman and Steve Swell are dedicated to exploring new directions in the art of “in the moment” collectively improvised music. They combine skilled musicianship with a celebration of improvisational conversations that take the listener on musical journeys spanning the emotions and musical genres. Their shared goal is artistic freedom and devotion to the unexpected as they stretch and push the boundaries of tonality, rhythm, and harmony. They are determined to push the limits and redefine the genre of improvisational music. This is a tight improvisational unit whose hearts and ears are open to each other, and whose music is always fresh and new.


Friday, August 25, 8:30PM
3111 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

Photo by Michael Wilderman/

Internationally acclaimed creative (jazz) pianist Joel Futterman, recognized as one of the foremost adventurous and imaginative pioneers shaping the progressive music scene today, is returning to Chicago for his first concert in nearly 22 years for one night at the open performance space Constellation. Futterman, known for his astonishing technique and profoundly inventive musical explorations, has compiled a discography of over 70 recordings and performed with such notable jazz innovators as Jimmy Lyons, Joseph Jarman, Richard Davis, Fred Anderson, William Parker, Steve Swell, Paul Murphy and others as well as Edward “Kidd” Jordan and Alvin Fielder with whom he has had a highly productive association. He is also the author of three books The Question The Design and Creative Patterns. Futterman, originally from Chicago, lives in near seclusion in Virginia Beach, VA where he replenishes his musical energies between performances. For this performance he will be joined by another former Chicagoan his long-time collaborator multi-reed player Ike Levin. This duo can be expected to showcase their resourceful approach to spontaneously composed jazz rooted music. While their integrated improvisations often go far afield and stretch the boundaries of tonality, harmony, and rhythm, they are always sharply centered, focused and deliberate in guiding the evolution of each musical composition. This duo recently co-composed the musical score for the newly released documentary film Birthright: A War Story, have recorded a dozen CDs together, and performed across North America.

New Recording - PATHWAYS

“This is a tour-de-force, and works as a whole. It is nearly symphonic in the way it moves, sweeping like a sea of strings. One of the best solo piano discs I’ve heard in a long while."
Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

“Futterman’s genius is that of the epic maker immersed in the most important music of and around his age. One of the clearest, most present and fullest piano recordings I’ve heard makes it possible for you to let the music open different and myriad pathways on every listen.”
Marc Medwin

Hear a sample or order this CD, by clicking on the cover image or HERE

The Question, A New Book by Joel Futterman

Pianist Joel Futterman's creative energies have burst forth in this unique and compelling volume. Joel's empathy for humanity is paramount. For a world with great economic disparities, and in social, political, and spiritual turmoil; Joel provides a series of dialogues of questions and parables that advance the search for inner and outer peace.
The Question could be the answer.
Michael Wilderman, Music Historian and Photographer

The Question is available for direct purchase (click) from this web site. Support the artist and purchase here using PayPal!

For the first time, Joel Futterman's earlier book,The Design, is now available directly (click) from this web site using PayPal.

Remembering Dolphy, is Joel's special solo piano CD of Eric Dolphy compositions. Check out the musical samples and great commentaries.

Remembering Dolphy

Recent Performances

The Masters of Improvisation quartet consisting of
Kidd Jordan, Joel Futterman, Steve Swell and Alvin Fielder
performed January 24, 2017 in New Orleans.
There was a great audience for the concert of “in the moment” collectively improvised music, which was recorded for future release by Vital Records.

Kidd Jordan Ensemble was the closing band at
Vision Festival 21 on Sunday, June 12, 2016,
at Judson Hall in NYC.

Kidd Jordan – sax
Joel Futterman – piano
Harrison Bankhead – bass
Alvin Fielder – drums
guest Marlon Jordan – trumpet

Photos by Michael Wilderman/

The Joel Futterman New Alchemy Trio appeared April 20, 2016 at the Center For New Music in San Francisco.
The Trio featured reed player Ike Levin and drummer Donald Robinson exploring new directions in the art of “in the moment” collectively composed and improvised music.

Watch the video on youtube here.

Joel in performance with Kidd Jordan, William Parker, Alvin Fielder, and Maynard Chatters played on April 24, 2015 at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Kidd's 80th birthday was celebrated.

Photo by Michael Wilderman/

Recent Recording:

Reflection, a two-CD set of 2014 solo recordings demonstrating multiple musical perspectives of Joel.

Marc Medwin wrote:

If his Creation series is a compendium of his pianistic techniques, Reflection distills and augments them, documenting the continued development of a master technician, a probing intellect and a spirit whose adventurousness and creativity know no boundaries and who accepts only the freedom that comes from music born of dedication and created in the moment.

Reflection I & II

Newly Available Recording:

Joel's 1993 solo recording on the Progressive label is now available through Joel.

Rick Mitchell wrote in his Houston Chronicle review:
Silhouettes consists mostly of original ballads and blues based on standard melodic motifs. Futterman displays a lyricism worthy of Bill Evans while still pushing the envelope harmonically on a stunning interpretation of John Coltrane’s Naima. This guy must be heard to be believed.

Paul Niles wrote:
...this recording presents us with yet another face of his music. He has always performed the standards and his own ballads as an emotional release...but never until this recording has he allowed this music to be released...I was not prepared for the emotional intensity that he brought forth using the most basic of jazz forms: the traditional ballad, the blues, and the waltz.


To hear a sample or order the Silhouette CD, click on the cover image or HERE

Previous Appearances

The Grand Opening Concert of the new George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center on December 12, 2014 in New Orleans featured music by saxophonist Edward "Kidd" Jordan, who founded the Jazz & Heritage Foundation's Heritage School of Music in 1990. Joining him was Joel Futterman, William Parker, and Alvin Fielder. (The Creative Collective)

Kidd Jordan and Joel Futterman performed and
participated in a symposium at Jyderup Højskole, a castle and school for the arts outside Copenhagen, October 27-30, 2013

Photo by Michael Wilderman/

On October 31 Joel Futterman, Kidd Jordan, Matt Maneri, Randy Peterson, Kresten Osgood, and Peter Friis Nielsen
were at The Jazz House Copenhagen, Denmark.

And on November 5 Krestens Osgoods American Dream with:
Kidd Jordan/Joel Futterman/Kresten Osgood/Wadada Leo Smith
performed in Stockholm, Sweden at the Club Fasching.

The Joel Futterman/Alvin Fielder/Ike Levin Creative Music Trio performed at Duende, in Oakland, California on October 3, 2013.
They also made a studio record that will be released as a CD.

The Creative Collective featuring Kidd Jordan, Joel Futterman, William Parker, and Alvin Fielder played at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 2, 2013 at the WWOZ Jazz Tent.

The Creative Collective played next at the Yellow Scarf, in Jackson Mississippi on May 3, 2013.

The Creative Collective at the Yellow Scarf

Creative Collective in Jackson, MS
Photo by Michael Wilderman/

On November 16, 2012 Joel appeared with Kidd Jordan, William Parker, and Alvin Fielder (Creative Collective) at the IV International Jazz Festival "SibJazzFest" in Novosibirsk, Siberia.

The September 11, 2011 Guelph Jazz Festival performance by the quartet featuring saxophonist Kidd Jordan, pianist Joel Futterman, bassist William Parker, & drummer Alvin Fielder was recorded and is available now. To listen to a sample or order this CD, click on the cover image or HERE

Live at the Guelph Jazz Festival 2011
The photographs from the Guelph performance are by Susan O'Connor/

This is music of and for the ages.
The great artists can evoke histories in moments, a few soulful gestures that anticipate things to come, or resolve what has gone before. The quartet performing this music engage history repeatedly, displaying encyclopedic knowledge in the service of intensive listening and interaction.
Hearing it unfold is to witness the inexorability of history in motion.
Marc Medwin

Do you believe in magic? You will once you hear this recording of Kidd Jordan, Joel Futterman, William Parker, and Alvin Fielder in concert at the Guelph 2011 Jazz Festival.
As an instinctive unit they are unparalled, uncannily reading the minds of each other to form seamless waves of otherworldly emotion, but the mystic atmosphere is present during the individual spotlights as well.
Frank Rubolino

“Joel Futterman invents both aesthetic and composition, his work is entirely his own.  His artistry is a symphony of brilliance.”
Swedish Public Radio

“Intellect connects with feelings and desire… a musician in full communication with himself  and others.”
Nat Hentoff

“Futterman's music is indelibly his own.  When an artist of such range focuses on making a music that is continually new to his vision and capabilities, it is clear that such art is completely of necessity.”
William T. Young

“For those who value jazz experimentation at its most audacious and fiercely committed”
Chicago Tribune