Max Roach 100

A Joyce Theater Production
Tue Apr 2 - Sun Apr 7

The Joyce Theater joins the nationwide centennial celebration of the iconic drummer, composer, and activist Max Roach with an evening of commissioned works made in tribute to this legendary Jazz pioneer. Curated by Richard Colton, this special program brings Joyce artists together in conversation with Roach’s lasting legacy set to recordings of the late musician performing his greatest works.

Characterized by its Afro-Cuban percussion, the 1961 album Percussion Bitter Sweet becomes the soundscape for choreographer Ronald K. Brown and Arcell Cabuag’s latest work for dancers from Havana-based Malpaso Dance Company and Brown’s own EVIDENCE, A Dance Company. In The Dream/It’s Time, Roach’s band joins a recording of Martin Luther King Jr. in an aspirational and urgent conversation, now amplified by the streetdance storytelling of Rennie Harris Puremovement. Ayodele Casel approaches her solo dance performance as a "trio," adding her singular percussive improvisation to the free jazz duet by Max Roach and fellow jazz pioneer pianist Cecil Taylor. The program opens with Max Roach Live: Video Art by Kit Fitzgerald, a short film by video artist Kit Fitzgerald with footage from her decade-long collaboration with Roach, highlighting Roach's influence across artistic disciplines.

Digital Program


Content Warning: This show contains gunshot sound effects and simulated violence.

Special Performances

Curtain Chat: Wed, Apr 3

Family Matinee: Sat, Apr 6 at 2pm


Run Time

Approx. 1 hour and 45 mins

Funding Credits


Lead Production Sponsor: Ann & George Colony

Presenting Sponsor: Virginia & Timothy Millhiser

This production was supported by a Joyce Creative Residency awarded to Rennie Harris made possible by generous funding provided by Mellon Foundation. Major support generously provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and additional residency support provided to Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE by a partnership project with Catskill Mountain Foundation. Residency support for Ayodele Casel provided by Summer Stages Dance @ The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. Additional support provided by Jane E. Goldberg. 

Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE is a 2023 NDP Grant Award recipient. Support was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project with funding from the Doris Duke Foundation and the Mellon Foundation in support of Max Roach 100 - Percussion Bitter Sweet and to address continued sustainability needs.

Additional creation support for Max Roach 100 generously provided by Anonymous, Deborah & Charles Adelman, Carol & Tony Friscia, Emi Gittleman, Olivia Howard & Greg Griffith, David Hughes, Jr., Christopher Jones & Deborah McAlister, Jane Kendall, Dana & Michael Robinson, and Susan Sillins.