Ways to Freedom

Kyra Gaunt, voice
Bob Gluck, piano & keyboards
Christopher Dean Sullivan, bass and electric bass
Tani Tabbal, drums


A riveting jazz quartet breaking away from the bar lines and the binaries.

"Ways to Freedom" is a quartet of virtuosic jazz musicians dedicated to the creative expression of hopes and aspirations for freedom. The band - Kyra Gaunt (voice), Bob Gluck (piano), Christopher Dean Sullivan (bass), Tani Tabbal (drums) - translates this rallying cry into inspirational song, open improvisation, and spirited musical interplay. The striving to be free, to hold the individual and collective power to shape one's own destiny is a timeless theme. It is also a rally cry of our own time. Songs of freedom, songs inspired by hopes of freedom, songs that motivate actions towards freedom, have captivated musicians throughout the ages. This band is dedicated to the many "ways to freedom" as voiced through musical expression.

Ways to Freedom Ways to Freedom
Photographs by Susanna Ronner

Kyra Gaunt, ethnomusicologist, author, and critical social media researcher, joined the faculty in music at University at Albany in 2017. She is a TED Fellow and a Senior Ford Fellow who voices the unspoken through song, scholarship, and social media. Classically-trained for 12 years, she studied voice with tenor George Shirley at The University of Michigan and studied jazz with pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs, saxophonist Patience Higgins, and the legendary pianist/pedagog Barry Harris. Gaunt has appeared on stage with Bobby McFerrin, Bob James, and Graham Haynes among others, and she continues to perform jazz, poetry, and record as a R&B singer-songwriter. Her album "Be the True Revolution" is available on iTunes and CDBaby.

Bob Gluck, pianist, electronic musician, author, and Professor of Music at the University at Albany, has released ten CDs, most recently including “At This Time” with Tani Tabbal, and “Infinite Spirit: Revisiting Music of the Mwandishi Band” (FMR, 2016, with Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, and Christopher Dean Sullivan). His books include “You’ll Know When You Get There: Herbie Hancock and the Mwandishi Band” (2012) and “The Miles Davis ‘Lost’ Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles” (2016) are both published by University of Chicago Press. Collaborators have included include Michael Bisio, Jane Ira Bloom, Billy Hart, Aruan Ortiz, Andrew Sterman, Neil Rolnick, Ken Filiano, Christopher Dean Sullivan, Eddie Henderson, Ken Filiano, Joe Giardullo, Eddie Allen, Ras Moshe Burnett, and Dean Sharp.

Christopher Dean Sullivan is a renowned bassist of many musical languages: Jazz, Funk, Reggae, Latin, Fusion, Caribbean, Indian, African, and Eurocentric perceptions, rock, country, and more. He has shared the stage with Stanley Jordan, Pete Seeger, Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef, Grant Green, Horace Parlan, Joe McPhee, Sonny Simmons, Cecil Payne, Joe Lovano, Roy Campbell Jr., and recorded with Michael Marcus, Joe Giardullo, Sheila Jordan, Odean Pope, Newman Taylor Baker, and others. Sullivan played on Gluck’s 2011 recording “Something Quiet” with Giardullo (FMR Records). Sullivan also performs with the Cotton Club All Star Orchestra and he has toured with 50's/60's groups including the Marcel's, The Drifters, and the Sharelles. Sullivan is also an educator and actor.

Tani Tabbal is known as a dynamic, lyrical and energetic drummer. He began playing drums professionally as a teen, performing with Oscar Brown Jr., Phil Cohran, and Sun Ra and his Arkestra. Tabbal has recorded, performed and toured with a wide range of musicians, including Roscoe Mitchell, David Murray, Geri Allen, Cassandra Wilson, James Carter, Karl Berger, Dewey Redman, David 'Fathead' Newman, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, Douglas Ewart, Oliver Lake, Muhal Richard Abrams, Henry Threadgill, Richard Davis, Leroy Jenkins, Milt Jackson, and Jackie McLean. As a recording artist, he is on over 70 cd’s and has released three CDs as a bandleader: "Before Time After," "Wizards" and "Mixed Motion."

Representation: TMO Entertainment, 908-868-1322, email