Keith LaMar (voice, poetry), Albert Marquès (piano), Erin Corine (vocals, flute), Manel Fortià (double bass), Mark Ayza (drums)

With the title of Freedom First, Catalan Jazz pianist Albert Marquès brings a live rendering of his album recorded with Keith LaMar, a prisoner sentenced to death in 1993 in the United States and whose execution is scheduled for 16 November 2023 after decades of solitary confinement. Conceived and produced by Marquès, recorded in Girona and Brooklyn between 2020 and 2022, Freedom First (2022) is the first album ever to feature an artist playing from death row.

The project started in 2020 with a series of concerts that saw dozens of musicians perform in the streets of New York, playing the Jazz standards that helped LaMar to survive these long decades of imprisonment and isolation, with the participation of LaMar himself reciting poetry live from prison over the phone. The project is part of the campaign “Justice for Keith LaMar”, seeking to raise awareness on the death penalty and stop LaMar’s execution.

The concert is played in the classic quartet format fronted by Albert Marquès on stage with another four musicians. All are joined, from a distance, by the voice of Keith LaMar, who will be there with us thanks to recording of his voice and who will also perform from prison, again over the phone.

During all these years in prison, Keith LaMar has studied single-handed and is now an intellectual with an interesting discourse, fan of John Coltrane and a Jazz expert, poet and speaker of great elegance and eloquence.

On 16 November 2023, after almost three decades of solitary confinement, he will be executed, despite always having maintained his innocence, and this project aims to get him off death row by raising funds for the “Justice for Keith LaMar” campaign and drawing attention to his case.


Albert Marquès is a pianist, composer and political activist who graduated from the Higher Conservatory of Music at the Liceu in Barcelona. He has played with the leading musicians in Barcelona’s Jazz scene. On moving to Paris he played with musicians including Remi Vignolo and Pierre Perchaud, becoming the pianist of the quartet fronted by the Afro-American drummer Leon Parker. At the age of 25 he moved to New York where he met his mentor Arturo O’Farrill, who hired him to teach at his organisation, the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, a nonprofit body offering free Latin Jazz music classes at New York’s most disadvantaged public schools.

Marquès has recorded four albums as a leader and regularly collaborates with musicians such as Ario Hoenig, Antonio Lizana, Roy Nathanson, Matthew Garrison, Brian Jackson, William Parker and Adam O’Farrill, among others.






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