Patricia Nicholson

Dancer, Improviser, Poet, Choreographer, Organizer

Studies in Freedom



  • William Parker – bass, ngoni, double reeds, shakuhachi
  • Patricia Nicholson Parker - dance, text


“Studies in Freedom combines music, words and dance to tell a story of the collective heart yearning for Freedom. It expresses our greatest visions, our desire to attain what is best not only for ourselves, but for all. We will speak in the language of physical gesture and the motion of energy as music and as dance. We will use words that escape from our souls to speak our hearts.

William will play his shakahachi and dosengoni.  This collaborative set will be followed by a Q&A  focusing on “the role of the artist in our community and the importance of maintaining our humanity.” In light of current events, William and Patricia invite artists and audience members to join their discussion.

NYC creative power-couple bassist-composer William Parker and dancer-choreographer Patricia Nicholson Parker, do not mince words when it comes to artistic vision. In a 2008 interview in All About Jazz, Nicholson says "We need to take our visions seriously. The idea is to give birth to your own vision, and make it a reality in this world…So when you have a brilliant and beautiful idea you should try to make it happen. You should take it out of the world of dreams and you should bring it into the world of reality because we need them."

Early in their careers, Nicholson and Parker created a huge repertoire of composed music for multiple ensembles, directing and organizing "A Thousand Cranes Peace Opera," for the opening of the UN Special Sessions on Disarmament and working with bassist Peter Kowald to help organize the artist-run Sound Unity Festivals between 1984 and 1988. Nicholson successfully initiated the Improvisers Collective, which morphed into the Vision Festival, and together they have worked meticulously to bring the Vision Festival to New York for the over 20 years. Parker emphasizes performance and Nicholson works tirelessly behind the scenes. Progressive jazz lovers in New York know the annual Vision Festival as a marker of endurance, emphasizing a sense of community as it continues to profile free jazz and avant-garde music in the face of more commercial musical enterprises.

Past Performances

  • December 12, 2016 @ Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY 
  • December 13, 2016 @ Bop Stop, Cleveland, OH
  • December 14, 2016 @ City of Asylum, Pittsburg, PA
  • December 15, 2016 @ Trinosophes, Detroit, MI