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The October Revolution

A four-day deep listening Festival in jazz and contemporary music.


140 N. Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA
+ Google Map

Tickets: Select a date/time

$400 VIP 4-Day Passes
$155 Super Duper Early Bird 4-Day Passes SOLD OUT
$175 Early Bird 4-Day Passes SOLD OUT
$200 4-Day Passes


Thu, Oct 4–Sun, Oct 7, 2018

A jazz and contemporary music festival unlike anything Philadelphia has ever seen—or heard. The October Revolution of Jazz and Contemporary Music shines a light on the future of the contemporary avant-garde being charted by storied veterans and young pros alike. This four day festival, with performances at FringeArts and down the street at Christ Church Neighborhood House, previously featured such storied legends as the Sun Ra Arkestra, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, and Anthony Braxton—in a rare solo appearance—as well as modern innovators like Claire Chase, So Percussion, and Moor Mother. Taking place October 4-7, 2018, the second annual festival spans the worlds of avant-garde jazz, contemporary classical, electronic, and spiritual music, covering a vast landscape of innovative sound.

The 2018 October Revolution builds on the foundation of last year’s hugely successful inaugural edition, which The New York Times called a festival that “makes history” and DownBeat hailed or its “curatorial brilliance.” Selling out three of its four days, the festival immediately established itself as a vital destination for adventurous listeners, with WBGO stating, “Experimental music fans have a new festival to look forward to.” The second year expands on the mission of the first, with rare performances, legendary artists, and unique collaborations.

“OctRev is already promising to become a huge international draw to Philadelphia,” says Ars Nova Workshop founder and Artistic Director Mark Christman. “The eclectic and expansive mix of pioneering music helps us open our minds, and our arms, to the world—in a spirit of welcome and inclusivity that is sorely needed these days.”


VIP 4-Day Pass $400
Get VIP 4-Day Passes

Super Early Bird Pass $155

Early Bird 4-Day Pass $175

4-Day Pass $200
Get 4-Day Passes

VIP Ticket Holders Receive

+ Reserved seating at all events
+ Exclusive access to at least one secret concert
+ Meet and greet receptions with artists
+ Rare collectible giveaways
+ Free drinks at most events

Confirmed artists include (with many more to follow!):

Annette Peacock
A true original who rarely performs in public, Annette Peacock’s compositions are among the most enduring in modern jazz, while she is also considered a formative influence on electronica, rap, and synth-pop. Over the course of her stunningly diverse career Peacock has worked with such wide-ranging musical innovators as Paul Bley, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Albert Ayler, and Mick Ronson and crossed paths with such original thinkers as Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Salvador Dalí, Robert Moog, and Michio Kushi.

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
A Philadelphia premiere nearly 50 years in the making! Chicago-based alto saxophonist Ackamoor co-founded The Pyramids in 1972 while a student at Antioch College, where his teachers included iconic pianist Cecil Taylor. The sextet, which absorbs influences from avant-garde jazz and African music traditions, recently released the acclaimed album An Angel Fell (Strut), evoking such forebearers as Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, and Fela Kuti.

Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda: The Ashram Experience
When Alice Coltrane, widow and pianist of the iconic saxophonist John Coltrane, founded the Sai Anantam Ashram in the mountains of Santa Monica, the move was perceived by many as a move away from music and into spiritual pursuits. The release last year of the remarkable collection World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (Luaka Bop) proved otherwise: Coltrane continued to create music as transcendent and profound as ever as part of her religious practice. That music remained largely unheard by the general public during Coltrane’s lifetime, but now the Sai Anantam Singers are sharing her astounding devotional music in live performance.

Tiger Trio with Myra Melford, Joëlle Léandre & Nicole Mitchell
The inspired union of pianist and Guggenheim fellow Myra Melford, French bassist Joëlle Léandre (who has worked with Merce Cunningham, John Cage, and Anthony Braxton), and AACM flutist Nicole Mitchell, Tiger Trio brings an uncommon lucidity to the art of spontaneous composition.

OGJB Quartet with Joe Fonda, Oliver Lake, Graham Haynes & Barry Altschul
Four boundary-pushing innovators converge in this collective quartet: saxophonist Oliver Lake, cornetist Graham Haynes, bassist Joe Fonda, and drummer Barry Altschul. All four are ground-breaking musicians in their own rights and can boast collaborations with many of the most acclaimed voices in the history of jazz.

Dave Burrell Full-Blown Trio with Darius Jones & Chad Taylor
The lifetime achievement honoree at this year’s Vision Festival, Philadelphia piano great Dave Burrell returns home at the helm of his explosive, era-spanning trio. Burrell’s expansive pianism ranges from the stride era through bop to the harshest of avant-garde angles, all blended seamlessly through his restless imagination. The latest incarnation of the group includes the ferocious saxophonist Darius Jones and the inventive drummer Chad Taylor, a recent transplant to the city.

For more details, visit the official October Revolution website.


Festival attendees can stay at the Holiday Inn Express Penn’s Landing for a special rate of $109/night. The hotel is just steps away from FringeArts and all other venues. Call 1-800-843-2355 and ask for “the OctRev room block” in October.

2017 October Revolution

Press Commentary

  • “Jazz fest tests boundaries” PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
  • “An avant-garde festival makes history” THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • “[Ars Nova Workshop is] Philadelphia’s most reliable and ambitious presenter of new jazz and improvised music” THE WIRE
  • “Curatorial brilliance” DOWNBEAT
  • “A high-caliber festival” JAZZ TIMES
  • “Pushing musical boundaries” WHYY
  • “It’s easily the jazz event of the season” THE KEY
  • “I love it. This is a post-genre musical world that we’re living in.” JOHN LUTHER ADAMS
  • “Experimental music fans have a new festival to look forward to” WBGO

Audience Commentary

  • “The listening was supreme.”
  • “The most memorable part was the energy from the performers.”
  • “It was an exceptionally tight performance by [Sun Ra] Arkestra in a venue that the musicians clearly enjoyed.”
  • “All I can say is that Ars Nova knocked it out of the park by bringing 4-days of really superb, non-mainstream, truly interesting musical experiences to Philadelphia.”

october revolution