Songs of Freedom


First presented under the auspice of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the 1960s are explored through the work of three prolific artists: Joni Mitchell, Abbey Lincoln, and Nina Simone – all of whom have made an indelible mark in music. Each artist expressed freedom in various ways. Joni composed and sung about the freedom of love, Abbey expressed freedom of her individuality and race through her lyricism, and Nina Simone demanded freedom politically through song.  The project is under the musical direction of Grammy Award-winning drummer, Ulysses Owens Jr.


THREE originated in 2016, and features the dynamic young virtuoso “Joel Ross” on vibraphone and veteran Reuben Rogers, who is one of the most in demand bassist in the Jazz world. Their chemistry is highlighted on Ulysses’ 4th Record as a leader, “Falling Forward”, recorded for the “Spice of Life” Japanese Label. Release May 24th, 2017 in Japan, and August 9th, 2017 in the USA with a CD Release Event at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in New York City. 

Ulysses Owens Jr. & Friends

Ulysses Owens Jr. & Friends is a group in which he works with some of his favorite musicians and singers from around the world. This group has been featured at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Hilton Head S.C., and has performed at Newark Museum of Art in association with WBGO.


Jazz At Lincoln Center Collective

In 2016 Ulysses met with Jason Olaine, who is the Director of Programming at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and created a concept ensemble featuring the top musicians of his generation; Melissa Aldana, Etienne Charles, Elio Villafranca and Yasushi Nakamura , led by Ulysses Owens Jr. This new generation ensemble, performs compositions that have been composed by all of the members, and from all aspects of the Jazz Genre stylistically. It’s dynamic group comprised of the dynamic musicians and performing to further the Jazz at Lincoln Center Brand, globally. The group premiered in November 2016, and will be featured on the 2017-18 season in the Appel Room at JALC.