Art&Network | Adam Rudolph
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Adam Rudolph

Born in 1955, Rudolph grew up in the Hyde Park area of the Southside of Chicago. From an early age he was exposed to the live music performances of the great blues and improvising artists who lived nearby. As a teenager, Rudolph started playing hand drums in local streets and parks and soon apprenticed with elders of African American improvised music. He performed regularly in Chicago with Fred Anderson and in Detroit with the Contemporary Jazz Quintet. In 1973 Rudolph played on his first record date with Maulawi Nururdin and with the CJQ at the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz festival.
In 1977 he lived and studied in Ghana, where he experienced trance ceremonies. In his travels throughout West Africa he saw how music can come from a cosmological grounding beyond music itself and can also be about something beyond music itself. In 1978 he lived in Don Cherry’s house in the Swedish countryside. Cherry inspired him to start composing and showed him about Ornette Coleman’s concept and the connection of music to nature.
Photo by Keith Getter © 2022

Rudolph is known as one the early innovators of what is now called “World Music”. In 1978 he and Gambian Kora player Jali Foday Musa Suso co-founded The Mandingo Griot Society, one of the first groups to combine African and American music. In 1988, he recorded the first fusion of American and Gnawa music with Sintir player and singer Hassan Hakmoun. Rudolph intensely studied North Indian Tabla for over 15 years with Pandit Taranath Rao. He learned hundreds of drum compositions and about how music is a form of Yoga – the unity of mind, body and spirit. In 1988 Rudolph began his association with Yusef Lateef, with whom he has recorded over 15 albums including several of their large ensemble collaborations. Lateef introduced Rudolph to the inspirational practice of Autophysiopsychic Music – “that which comes from one’s spiritual, physical and emotional self”. Rudolph still performs worldwide with Dr. Lateef. Their performances have ranged from their acclaimed duet concerts to appearances as guest soloists with the Koln, Atlanta and Detroit symphony orchestras.


Rudolph continues to also create visual art – painting, drawing, photography – and to write. In 2006, his rhythm repository and methodology book, Pure Rhythm was published by Advance Music, Germany. In 2010 Rudolph’s article Music and Mysticism: Rhythm and Form was published in Arcana V, edited by John Zorn. Other essays have been published by Parabola Magazine and Morton Books.

Rudolph has been on the faculty of Creative Music Studio (New York and Istanbul) Esalen Institute, California Institute of the Arts and the Danish Jazz Federation Summer Institute. Rudolph has received grants and compositional commissions from the Rockefeller Foundation, Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, Mary Flagler Cary Trust, the NEA, Arts International, Durfee Foundation, Phaedrus Foundation and American Composers Forum.


Adam Rudolph page on + Adam Rudolph: language of rhythm on + Moving Pictures on + Hu Vibrational on Go: Organic Orchestra on


“Ragmala (A Garland of Ragas)”


This ambitious project brings together “Two of the most interesting bands in the USA” (London Jazz Times) Brooklyn Raga Massive and Go: Organic Orchestra into a synergistic exploration of raga, India’s classical music and contemporary creative music.  Composer Adam Rudolph’s hypnotic polyrhythmic explorations propel a spontaneous conducted group of over 27 musicians.


The Go: Organic Orchestra with Adam Rudolph has been pushing the boundaries of large ensemble creative music for over 20 years, collaborating with musicians such as Yusef Lateef, Bennie Maupin, Don Cherry,  Sam Rivers, Pharaoh Sanders, and L. Shankar.


Brooklyn Raga Massive has been making waves for their role instigating what the New York Times, New Yorker, and Wall Street Journal have called a “Raga Renaissance.”


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FOCUS AND FIELD is Rudolph‘s new eight-piece ensemble which takes yet another unexpected turn into elusive territory, of a piece with the arc of Rudolph‘s work but wholly distinctive. Given the instrumentation, which combines western classical instruments like viola, bassoon and clarinet with Japanese and Asian instruments (shinobue, taiko drums, piri, saenghwang, shakuhachi, etc.), it would be tempting for the uninitiated to characterize the album as a meeting of eastern and western traditions. But Rudolph is quick to reject such “travelogue” intentions; the ensemble was inspired by what the composer hoped would be a scintillating chemistry between the individual musicians and the unique palette provided by the collected sounds – but always with his own singular compositional/conducting concept to direct them.


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Even while receiving ancestral codes from the ancient aboriginal past and generating thought/feeling patterns which point to the multi-dimensional future unknown, this music resides completely in the present moment.  The now is always new and sounds have their own reason for being. The music manifests the latency of the spiritual (wonderment) and takes on it’s meaning through the collective experience of all who played, and witnessed it; as well as you, dear listener, who hears it now.


Dave Liebman, Soprano Sax, Piano, Wooden Flute

Adam Rudolph, Handrumset (Kongos, Djembe, Tarija) Live Electronic Processing, Multiphonic Vocal, Thumb Pianos, Percussion

Tyshawn Sorey, Drum Set, Piano



Composer/percussionists Adam Rudolph and Tyshawn Sorey began their creative association in 2018 with a series of percussion duet concerts at The Stone. For this collaborative program, they will dedicate the first half to a set of duo improvisations utilizing drum kit, handrumset, electronic processing, piano, and other percussion instruments from around the world.


Time permitting, for the second half of the program, they would be joined by 3 guest percussionists chosen and agreed up by the local presenter and the artists.who will form a percussion ensemble that Rudolph and Sorey will take turns playing and directing. Each will utilize their own spontaneous conducting methodology to bring forth a new composition.

Moving Pictures


The music of Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures heralds a new and vital direction in the evolution of American music. Grounded in the American improvisational tradition, the ensemble embraces music forms, languages, instrumentation, and cosmologies of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the African diaspora. Decades of performance and research into these music cultures have given the artists the background and experience to create a unique and unprecedented improvisational art form.

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hu vibrational


Deep percussive African rhythms and Afro – Jazz with elements of hip-hop and electronica. Recorded and mixed at Bill Laswell’s state of the art studio, this is the fourth album by Hu: Vibrational and for those who bought the previous 3 releases this will not disappoint! Produced and mixed by Adam Rudolph together with longtime Laswell engineer James Dellatacoma, the album features 7 world percussionists along several special guests including Bill Laswell hitting the deep pockets on bass plus Norwegian guitar whiz Eivind Aarset creating ethereal electronic palettes.

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