Skip to main content


JAM MUSIC LAB mourns the loss of Carla Bley 

Carla Bley, the American composer, pianist and one of jazz's outstanding artists, has died aged 87. 

Carla Bley first distinguished herself in the 1960’s. She entered the realm of modern creative music – then known as free jazz - producing numerous genre-bending works that stand as touchstones in the development of modern music. Her efforts forged new modes of expression that both reflected and expanded jazz’s conventions. 

She has shaped generations of music-makers, and her work serves as a model for utilizing jazz’s important innovations in the context of contemporary music. Bley's work continues to inspire artists in jazz to arrange and compose, and to help nurture the expansion of groundbreaking ideas.

The winning piece of the composition competition “Spheres of a Genius”, which was initiated in her honor in 2022, has just been premiered by the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien - RSO Wien. Randall Smith's composition "Blue Bongo Fever Dreams" can be heard on Ö1 in the coming days. JAM MUSIC LAB

Authored on October 20th, 2023