The Bad Plus
On Sacred Ground: Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’

The Bad Plus

On Sacred Ground: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring

The Bad Plus premiering On Sacred Ground

Photos by Darryl Pitt


At this world premiere event, America’s most “audacious, rule-breaking jazz trio” (Billboard), The Bad Plus, unveiled its take on a notorious work: Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Stravinsky’s modernist ballet draped Russian folk rites in jolting polyrhythms, dissonant and unnerving. Its 1913 premiere broke into upheaval and fist-fights, but the score remains a touchstone of revolutionary music.

Its 2011 rebirth was co-commissioned by Duke Performances and Lincoln Center for The Bad Plus, an experimental jazz trio “about as badass as highbrow gets” (Rolling Stone). The trio’s arrangement of The Rite of Spring, entitled On Sacred Ground, was accompanied by a haunting, whirling montage of projected video from Cristina Guadalupe and Noah Hutton. On Sacred Ground premiered on March 26, 2011 at Reynolds Industries Theater. The Bad Plus went on to release the studio recording, The Rite of Spring, on Sony Masterworks in March 2014.

“With the most distinctive sound of any three-piece outfit since Nirvana, The Bad Plus… demonstrate vitality few bands — rock, jazz, or whatever — can match.”




Presented in association with Duke University’s Music Department.

The Bad Plus’ residency at Duke was funded, in part, with a visiting grant from the Council for the Arts, Office of the Provost, Duke University.

On Sacred Ground was co-commissioned Duke Performances and Lincoln Center Out of Doors.


  • NPR, The Bad Plus Tackles Stravinsky’s ‘Spring’
  • Politico, Jazz trio the Bad Plus discuss wrestling with an avant-garde icon
  • Chicago Tribune, Can the Bad Plus find jazz in ‘The Rite of Spring’?
  • Chicago Reader, The Bad Plus tackle Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
  • Arts and Culture TX, Review: The Bad Plus On Sacred Ground
  • CVNC, The Bad Plus, On Sacred Ground
  • Ethan Iverson, The Bad Plus Plays The Rite of Spring