Taylor Ho Bynum: On a bicycle built for tunes

Freewheeling musician Taylor Ho Bynum brings bike tour to Miami.

Jazz composer Taylor Ho Bynum has been creating freewheeling music for the past two decades. But when he performs this week in South Florida, he'll do so literally.

Starting Wednesday, April 8, and continuing through Sunday, April 12, the cornetist and bandleader will be pedaling some 150 miles through Miami on a bicycle, stopping to perform improvisational jazz at venues such as New World Center's SoundScape Park and Koubek Center Theater.

"Proselytizing for weird music is what I'll be doing," Bynum says with a laugh, describing his roving joy ride of jazz.

Bicycling is a metaphor that proved apt for Bynum when he created his Acoustic Bicycle Tour last fall, when he pedaled 2,000 miles from Vancouver, British Columbia, to the Mexico border, visiting towns and cities just long enough to perform concerts with area musicians.

"I got lost a lot," recalls Bynum, who lives in New Haven, Conn. "There ended up being a lot of diversions, so the trip was just as improvisational as the music I play. I see jazz as navigation through form, and it's about the trip along the way. It's human. It's raw and vulnerable expression."

Bynum says one of his performances, Friday's show at WDNA Jazz Gallery in Coral Gables, will draw on his 2014 album "Navigation (The Complete Firehouse 12 Recordings)," a blend of complex harmonies and avant-garde wit that pays tribute to his "heroes" Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman and trumpeter Bill Dixon.

Other highlights will include an Emerge Miami Bike Ride that will depart Saturday from the Douglas Road MetroRail Station, which will end at Koubek Center Theater for a performance with his seven-piece band and eight Miami musicians. On Sunday, as part of the ongoing O, Miami Poetry Festival, Bynum will do the Peddling Poets Bike Ride, a 16-mile loop that will stop at the Standard Spa in Miami Beach and other locations for site-specific poetry.

"We'll read six poems at different locations," Bynum says. "Standard Spa will have a poem about spa services, for example. It all fits into the idea of putting art in different contexts."

Taylor Ho Bynum will appear 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, at Audiotheque, 924 Lincoln Road, Studio 201, in Miami Beach (free); 8 p.m. Friday, April 10, at WDNA Jazz Gallery, 2921 Coral Way, in Coral Gables ($15); for an Emerge Miami Bike Ride departing 10 a.m. Saturday, April 11, from Douglas Road MetroRail Station, 3100 S. Douglas Road, in Coral Gables (free); 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at Koubek Center Theater, 1508 SW Eighth St, in Miami (free); and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 12, for a Peddling Poets Bike Ride at SoundScape Park, 500 17th St., in Miami Beach (free). Go to MDCLiveArts.org.

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