An Evening of Jazz and Healing


In response to these difficult times, artist Justin Freed, former owner and programmer of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, has created An Evening of Jazz and Healing with live music, photography, drawings, projection and film.

It is an affirmation of the power of beauty and connection to help us overcome the difficulties of being a human being. It is most apt for our perilous times.

The evening begins with celebrated pianist and composer Donal Fox, followed by a screening of Justin Freed's film, Jazz Saved My Life. Justin Freed’s film will feature music composed and played by Guillermo Nojechowicz and his superb group El Eco. His profoundly moving music speaks to the theme of the film: healing through art. After the film, composer and activist Maria Schneider will talk about her journey of healing through music and nature. She will then introduce the final musical group, four members of her important orchestra. They will open with music from Winter Morning Walks, her Classical Grammy winning album.

Please note that all ticket sales for OnStage at the Coolidge events are final; no refunds will be issued

About Justin Freed:

At 86, Boston native Justin Freed continues to explore the interconnection of art and healing. He is a photographer and videographer, group facilitator and teacher of jazz appreciation. He was a jazz dj at WMBR, Cambridge in the 1970’s. As a multimedia artist at Galatea Fine Art, Boston, his experiential installations were about the sacredness of water and trees. His film, Jazz Saved My Life, completes that trilogy in a personal story of healing.

He is the former owner and programmer of the Coolidge Corner theater, known for his inventive programs. His theaters were the only ones to play films about jazz. At the same time he has been a group facilitator for a variety of healing organizations including the Opening the Heart workshop and the Age-ing to Sage-ing organization. He also worked with groups of men in prison who wished to grow spiritually. His installations at Galatea Fine Art led to his becoming an artist in residence at the Mass General Hospital’s Cancer wing.

About Donal Fox:

Donal Fox tackles both jazz and baroque repertoire with visionary takes on  Gibbons, Scarlatti, Bach, Monk, Coltrane, Silver, and more. Internationally acclaimed as a composer, pianist, and improviser, Fox expertly fuses jazz, Afro-Latin, and classical idioms into intricate new works and electrifying performances. Praised by NPR’s All Things Considered as “one of our country's great composers and performers,” and The Boston Globe as "unique and utterly commanding," Fox de- and reconstructs Bach, Piazzolla, Schumann, Monk, Schoenberg, and more, adding propulsive grooves and using composed themes as springboards for glorious improvisational flights that blend baroque with bebop, twelve-tone techniques with twelve-bar blues.

A Steinway Artist, Fox has premiered his works at such prestigious venues as Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, and has served as the first African-American composer-in-residence with the St. Louis Symphony. Fox's fluency across genres has led to collaborations and recordings with the likes of Oliver Lake, David Murray, Quincy Troupe, Regina Carter, Terri Lyne Carrington, Maya Beiser, and Hilary Hahn, along with the Richmond Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra. Among his many accolades, Fox is a Guggenheim Fellow and a recipient of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters Academy Award in Music.

About Maria Schneider: 

Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, imaginative, revelatory, riveting, daring, and beyond categorization.” Blurring the lines between genres, her varied commissioners stretch from Jazz at Lincoln Center, to The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, to the American Dance Festival, and include collaboration with David Bowie. She is among a small few to receive GRAMMYS in multiple genres, having received the award in jazz and classical, as well as for her work with David Bowie.

Schneider’s many honors also include: 14 GRAMMY-nominations, 7 GRAMMY Awards, numerous Jazz Journalists Association awards, Downbeat and Jazztimes Critics and Readers Polls awards, an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, the University of Minnesota, ASCAP’s esteemed Concert Music Award (2014), the nation's highest honor in jazz, “NEA Jazz Master” (2019), and election into the 2020 American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

About Guillermo Nojechowicz

Argentinean drummer and composer Guillermo Nojechowicz grew up in Buenos Aires, listening to Astor Piazzolla, Luis Alberto Spinetta, and Oscar Peterson. His ensemble EL ECO has been called a Latin jazz pioneer. Guillermo’s latest disk, Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933, chronicled his family’s flight from Warsaw in the years leading up to the Holocaust. Reacting to the album, composer Osvaldo Golijov said “there is something very powerful about these compositions” and jazz vocalist Luciana Souza called it “a beautiful and important record.”

Over the years, Guillermo has played with Romero Lubambo, Donny McCaslin, Brian Lynch, Hendrick Meurkens, and Airto Moreira, the master Brazilian drummer who played with jazz legend Miles Davis. He was fortunate to have trumpeter extraordinaire Claudio Roditi as a dear friend, mentor, and featured performer on his earlier CD, Two Worlds. His music has been featured on NPR’s Jazz Set, PRI-NPR-The World, and WGBH. Guillermo’s latest project is the Jazz World Trio, featuring South African pianist Witness Matlou.