Archives for posts with tag: Brandee Younger

Melvin Gibbs and JT Lewis of the band Harriet Tubman

Words by Hank Williams

This week, the annual Winter Jazz Fest is on and in full swing. The 16th edition of the popular festival has morphed slightly this year, with an additional Brooklyn “marathon” night of music and standalone events in addition to the now-traditional . In this post, we’ll take a look at the two marathon nights of music on Friday January 10th and Saturday January 11th in venues scattered around the heart of Greenwich Village and the new Brooklyn marathon on Friday January 17th. I’ll also look at the Saturday January 11th show in Brooklyn.

As we’ve done for the past few years, we’ll go through a shows with a viewers’ guide to some of our preferred picks, with an admitted lean toward former guests on the Suga in My Bowl radio show.

I’ll point you toward the artist lineup, but hopefully this will help wade through the myriad choices available each night. Obviously, there are several ways to experience the festival. You can either pick and choose key acts, take a more eclectic approach and see what you find, or some combination of the two. It’s all good.

FESTIVAL THEME AND FOCUS

Social justice is front and center with the festival: as it has been for the last few years. The #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, and #wehaveavoice are all part of the fabric surrounding the festival and it has joined the Europe-based Keychange initiative that urges festivals to achieve a 50:50 gender balance for acts by the year 2022. This follows on the discussion opened by the  We Have Voice Collective that published an open letter calling for a code of conduct, safe spaces for women, LGBTQIA, transgender, and non-binary music artists, and more opportunities for work in a field that’s often dominated by men.

This serves as an important concrete action backing up the expressed solidarity. There will again be a series of talks–this time highlighting wellness and health aspects of jazz–during the daytime on the weekend of January 11th-12th and during the following week, ending on Friday the 17th.

TICKETS AND ADMISSION

WJF has a variety of ticket options for either the Friday or Saturday Manhattan marathon nights–or both–and the new Brooklyn Marathon or standalone events. As usual, they don’t offer tickets for individual sets on Marathon nights. That said, tickets are a pretty good deal for how much music you get if you see more than a single show and there’s likely something to suit almost everyone’s taste. The one constant is that we strongly recommend getting tickets in advance, since the festival’s popularity does lead to sellouts.

LOCATIONS AND LOGISTICS

The WJF’s heart is still in the center of the Village and WJF mainstays Zinc Bar, The Bitter End, and Le Poisson Rouge return with poles in the West and East Village also.

Zinc Bar is small, popular, and perennially crowded, so be warned that seeing an act scheduled there means getting there very early, and possibly skipping something else in the process.

On the western frontier of the Village and Tribeca is SOB’s.

The Dance, the Nuyorican Poets’ Café, and Webster Hall anchor the northern/eastern ends of the Village/Lower East Side.

Nublu, Zürcher Gallery, Subculture, Mercury Lounge, and Bowery Ballroom are clustered together on the East Village/Lower East Side.

Obviously, figuring out what one wants to see also means taking into account the logistics of who’s playing where and getting between venues, which requires some planning with the larger distances between venues. It’s still very possible to venue-hop since most are a brisk walk, Citibike, or cab ride away. The projected unseasonably warm weather for the Manhattan Marathon should make the task slightly easier.

 

Photo credit: Winter Jazz Fest (screenshot)
You can download the map here and there’s a copy in the festival program. Pickup of wristbands for marathon nights is at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St).

HOT TIP: Use the WJF’s crowd estimator to see how much space a venue has before deciding to leave where you are. It’s at: https://www.winterjazzfest.com/crowds

FRIDAY JANUARY 10

The recently renovated Webster Hall plays host to a solid night of programming. Teenage piano prodigy Joey Alexander takes the stage at 7 PM, followed by trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire at 8:15 and drummer Makaya McCraven‘s “In These Times” at 9:30.

Alexander’s gained a lot of (deserved) positive press since an invitation to play at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Wynton Marsalis at age 14 and his following debut album, centered around a solidly inventive cover of My Favorite Things. Alexander’s maturing exponentially as a player and should be around for a long time. Catch him now and decades later you’ll be able to look back and recall his trajectory as an artist from your own experience.

Akinmusire and McCraven take slightly different approaches to the music, rooted in hip hop and beats as much as the jazz canon. Appropriately, perhaps, the night wraps with a DJ set by Pete Rock (yes that Pete Rock …) at midnight.

Over at SOB’s, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble hits at 7:45 PM. The band’s anchored by the sons of the late Phil Cohran, a key figure of the Chicago branch of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. They’ve successfully taken the meticulous lessons from their father and the older generation of politically and socially-conscious musicians and adapted it to the current era and the reality that much of their musical world has been shaped by hip hop. Expect a brass-heavy set with a party vibe, but don’t underestimate them: solid musicianship, not gimmicks, are the foundation of their performances. If you miss them here, fortunately, you get another shot on Saturday, when they’ll be at Mercury Lounge at 11:30 PM.

At the new venue, The Dance, Guitarist Marc Ribot and trumpeter Jaimie Branch are both worth a look.

Ribot’s Ceramic Dog ensemble hits at 11 PM. Described as a noise rock trio, Ceramic Dog is one of many ensembles the incredibly inventive and prolific guitarist has fronted at Winter Jazz Fest over the years. Expect a somewhat loud and high energy set from them.

Branch is flying high (excuse the pun) on the successful release of her 2018 Fly Or Die debut and follow-up Fly or Die 2 albums as a leader along with side projects like James Brandon Lewis’s Unruly Notes. Branch’s approach seems to pull as much from the avant garde tradition as from current influences of pop and hip hop. Branch has serious chops, though, and her musicianship will impress you. It’ll be worth staying up late for her 12:15 AM set.

Finally, at Nublu, Mary Halvorson joins fellow guitarist John Dieterich at 10:45 PM. Halvorson’s dense, looping electric guitar style’s attracting more fans, both as a side player and as a leader. Her collaborations with fellow guitarist Marc Ribot and others showcase her ability as a collaborative player capable of adding dense textures to an ensemble, which she’s continued in her own projects as a leader. For a deep dive, see our March 2018 show with Halvorson.

 

 

 

SATURDAY JANUARY 11th

The Nuyorican Poets’ Café hosts a solid night of music, poetry, film clips, and probably some personal remembrances in the honor of the late poet/journalist Steve Dalachinsky, co-curated by his partner, poet Yuko Otomo. Expect lots of regulars from the Vision Festival, including guitarist Marc Ribot, vocalist Fay Victor, pianists Matthew Shipp, Kris Davis, and Matthew Shipp, saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, and many more people in sets running from 7 PM-Midnight. Steve’s poetry was heavily influenced by free jazz and the Beat movement and he often read with musical accompaniment.

Meanwhile, over at The Dance, steel pedal guitarist Susan Alcorn’s Quintet hits at 10:45 PM.  Alcorn, originally inspired by Blues slide guitar, now blends free jazz and avant-garde European classical styles in her approach. Here, she’ll be joined by guitarist Mary Halvorson in a set that recreates a collaboration from the Vision Festival. See a version of their collaboration below.

 

 

Over on the east side, Subculture hosts The Cookers at 7:30 PM and René Marie’s Experiment in Truth at 11:15 PM. the Cookers is a supergroup of veterans Eddie Henderson, Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, Donald Harrison, George Cables, Cecil McBee, Billy Hart, George Cables, and David Weiss. Hart and Henderson are alumni of Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi formation and Harper was a trusted part of Lee Morgan’s ensembles. Expect a hard-hitting, post-bop set from them that’s likely to have a wide appeal to jazz aficionados and neophytes alike with music that’s technically challenging yet very accessible. René Marie will probably slow things down a bit for the late set, with smoother, lyrically dense ballads that will appeal to fans of vocalists.

One set stands out at the centrally-located Le Poisson Rouge: saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin’s Pursuance, which presents the music of John and Alice Coltrane with legendary bassist Reggie Workman, who was part of John’s early 60s groups. Benjamin, whose work often leans toward engagement with pop and party music, will show her range and depth here. This is a set that’s also bound to have a wide appeal. See Benjamin’s take on Coltrane’s “Liberia” in the embedded clip:

 

 

Over at SOB’s, saxophonist Tia Fuller’s 7:30 PM set is a good pick. Fuller’s supple style was on full display on last year’s Diamond Cut release and should provide much of the grist for the night’s set.

 

 

If you missed the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble’s Friday night set (or want to see them again) then they’ll be at Mercury Lounge at 11:30 PM. Mercury was a venue that had space issues last year, though, so get there early and be prepared to fight your way to the front of the room.

Finally, Webster Hall again has a solid night of programming with harpist Brandee Younger, drummer Makaya McCraven, and pianist Robert Glasper. Younger’s 7:30 PM Soul Awakening set should draw on material from her album of the same name and reflects her thorough digestion of Alice Coltrane and harpist Dorothy Ashby and her own musical voice.

McCraven’s 8:15 PM set presents work from his Gil Scott-Heron tribute, We’re New Again. Finally, Glasper’s 10:45 PM set finds the versatile pianist in an electric trio setting with a DJ as one of the members. It should be an interesting intersection of his traditional trio work and his affinity for the sampling and looping of hip hop.

SATURDAY JANUARY 11th Brooklyn Show

I’ll actually be spending much of Saturday night in Brooklyn at The Sultan Room for the standalone show of Harriet Tubman and guitarist James Blood Ulmer.

Tubman, consisting of drummer JT Lewis, bassist Melvin Gibbs, and electric guitarist Brandon Ross, is a power trio that shows elements of their various influences. Tubman’s music is deceiving though. It’s deeply layered and complex as they develop melodies that call for a response from each member. While it is music that holds greater appeal for fans of electrified sound, fusion, or avant garde, their appeal is much greater. Critics and a wider audience seemed to grasp that with their last two releases, including last year’s Terror End of Beauty.  It’s hard to tell exactly what they’ll play since nearly anything from their catalog is fair game, but anything they bring to the table will be satisfying.

Ulmer is a great match for Tubman. Joyce Jones talked to him for our last show on WBAI, where Ulmer went through his varied influences though let it be known where he comes from: “I play the blues. I call it the political blues.” Ulmer was also key in the late Ornette Coleman’s formation of his theory of Harmolodics and absorbed much of those lessons as well. He doesn’t gig as much these days and his last Winter Jazz appearance had him playing solo in a thoroughly captivating performance that showed his masterful storytelling and guitar prowess.

 

 

FRIDAY JANUARY 17th Brooklyn Marathon

Photo credit: Winter Jazz Fest (screenshot).  Map download here and there’s a copy in the program

Details are still in formation for the new Brooklyn Marathon night, but sets with DJ Logic and drummer Billy Martin, bassist Ben Williams’s I Am a Man, trumpeter Keyon Harrold catch my eye right now.

DJ Logic is one of a few who successfully works in an improvisational setting with other musicians and turns samples into true instruments and part of multi-layered performances. Paired with Martin, one of the popular long-running Medeski, Martin, and Wood trio, the set shows lots of promise.

 

Standalone Shows: through January 18th

While I don’t have space here to detail them all, you should take a look through the schedule of separate shows. From Detroit to the World on Sunday January 12 features a pre-show discussion on the history of Detroit’s jazz scene. On the same day, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington team up with the incredibly inventive DJ Val Jeanty for another set worth checking out. Remember that tickets for most of these shows are sold separately.

That’s a lot! But the nice thing about Winter Jazz is that it presents you with a good dilemma: who to choose from the sheer amount of interesting acts. We’ll check back in after it’s all wrapped up.

Are you planning to go? Who are you looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College in The Bronx.

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and back on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio every Tuesday night from 10 PM -12 midnight. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

We’re off the air this week for special New Year’s Eve programming. Be sure to tune in on Tuesday January 7 from 10-Midnight to hear our conversation with guitarist James Blood Ulmer as an intro to the 2020 Winter Jazz Fest!

Feeling like hibernating until the weather clears up? The documentary film I Called Him Morgan is streaming on Netflix. See our review for details. The documentary film Chasing Trane is also on Netflix and we reviewed that too.

Trombonist Craig Harris brings Harlem Night Songs to Harlem’s Greater Calvary Baptist Church on December 31 as part of the Harlem Jazz Boxxx Series.

Saxophonist Eric Alexander rings in the new year at Smoke with the Countdown Sextet on December 31 and returns with the Countdown Quintet from January 1-5 with trombonist Steve Turre on January 1-2.

Bassist Mimi Jones hosts the after hours Lab Session at Smalls on January 4, which is actually Sunday morning January 5 by the time she takes the stage.

Pianist Marc Cary’s Harlem Sessions series continues a late night run at Smoke from January 1-4 then settles back into a weekly Thursday schedule on January 9 and 16.

Vision Fest promoters Arts for Art present a preview of Vision 2020 (May 20-25, by the way…) with solo performances by vocalist/pianist Amina Claudine Myers and drummer Andrew Cyrille at David Gage String Instruments in Manhattan on January 7.

Vocalist Kurt Elling is at Birdland from January 7-11.

Bassist Christian McBride brings Philly Reunion with organist Joey DeFrancesco to the Blue Note from January 9-12.

Vocalist Lizz Wright is at the Jazz Standard on January 10-11.

Tubist Joe Daley is at Terra Blues with Hazmat Modine on January 11.

Guitarist Nels Cline is at The Dance on January 11 as part of the Winter Jazz Fest.

Vocalist Ms. Lisa Fischer is at Manhattan’s Sony Hall on January 13 2020.

Looking ahead, the 2020 edition of the annual Winter Jazz Fest blows back into town from January 8-18 at spots around Greenwich Village and with new outposts in Brooklyn. We’ll have our annual cheat sheet preview and more coverage coming up! Harpist Brandee Younger will be at the Winter Jazz Festival’s first Marathon Night on January 11 to present her latest release “Soul Awakening” along with other selections and on another stage with Makaya McCraven. Check back for our annual Cheat Sheet preview!

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves Tuesday January 7 in our regular 10-Midnight slot! We’ll likely be pre-empted on New Year’s Eve, but back on January 7. We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and back on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio every Tuesday night from 10 PM -12 midnight. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

We’re back on air this week! Be sure to tune in on Tuesday December 24 from 10-Midnight to hear our conversation with harpist Brandee Younger! You can see her in a tribute to Turiya Alice Coltrane as a member of Brooklyn Raga Massive on December 27 at the Rubin Museum. She’ll also be at the Winter Jazz Festival’s first Marathon Night on January 11 to present her latest release “Soul Awakening” along with other selections and on another stage with Makaya McCraven.

Feeling like hibernating until the weather clears up? The documentary film I Called Him Morgan is streaming on Netflix. See our review for details. The documentary film Chasing Trane is also on Netflix and we reviewed that too.

Saxophonist Eric Alexander is at Smoke with the Countdown Quartet II from December 23-25.

Drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts is at the Village Vanguard with Kenny Barron’s trio from December 24-29.

Saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders is at Iridium from December 27-28.

Vocalist Charenee Wade is at Ginny’s Supper Club from December 27-28.

Pianist Marc Cary’s Harlem Sessions series continues with late night runs from December 27-30 and January 1-4.

Bassist Mimi Jones hosts the after hours Lab Session at Smalls on December 28.

The Sun Ra Arkestra led by Marshall Allen returns to Earth at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on December 28.

Trombonist Craig Harris brings Harlem Night Songs to Harlem’s Greater Calvary Baptist Church on December 31 as part of the Harlem Jazz Boxxx Series.

Looking much further ahead, the 2020 edition of the annual Winter Jazz Fest blows back into town from January 8-18 at spots around Greenwich Village and with new outposts in Brooklyn. We’ll have our annual cheat sheet preview and more coverage coming up! They also have a discount code in effect until 11:59 PM on December 24! The code “SPREADJOY” nets for 15% off on Marathon night tickets so hurry on over.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves Tuesday January 24 in our regular 10-Midnight slot! We’ll likely be pre-empted on New Year’s Eve, but back on January 7. We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and back on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio every Tuesday night from 10 PM -12 midnight. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

Program note: We’re back on air after an attempt by a few members of the Pacifica Foundation’s national board to close the station! The station’s returning to fund drive mode it we really needs immediate support. Our fall fund drive was cut short and the station’ needs an infusion of cash right away to recover. Please pledge whatever you can (we suggest at least the $25 level) or become a sustaining member by signing up for a monthly pledge of $10 or more. Thanks for reading and the support over the years! -Hank

This week’s show is a memorial broadcast for the late pianist Harold Mabern. Be sure to tune in Tuesday night for our interview with him as we say farewell to one of the piano greats.

The tireless Vision Fest promoters Arts for Arts’Free Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon” series continues Sundays through December 15. Admission is free (donations accepted) and there will be drawing materials for children and an interactive part of the performance.

Pianist Marc Cary is at Nublu on November 11 as part of the Nublu Jazz Festival and his Harlem Sessions series continues with a move to weekly late Thursday night sets at Smoke on November 14 and 21.

Drummer Roy Haynes is at The Blue Note from November 11-13.

Saxophonist Marcus Strickland is at Nublu with Twi-Life on November 13 for the Nublu Jazz Festival.

Saxophonist Kenny Garrett is at The Blue Note from November 14-17.

Tubist Joe Daley is at Terra Blues with Hazmat Modine on November 15.

Vocalist Catherine Russell is at NJPAC singing Nat King Cole’s music on November 15.

Bassist Christian McBride and A Christian McBride Situation are at NJPAC with The Roots on November 16.

Harpist Brandee Younger is at Columbia University’s Miller Theater on November 16.

The Sun Ra Arkestra led by saxophonist Marshall Allen returns to Earth at Nublu on November 16 for the Nublu Jazz Festival.

Vocalist Melanie Charles is also at Nublu on November 16 for the Nublu Jazz Festival.

Trumpeter Eddie Henderson stops by Nublu on November 16 for the Nublu Jazz Festival and leads a quintet with saxophonist Donald Harrison at Smoke from November 21-24.

Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis’s Trio is at Nublu for a midnight show on November 17 for the Nublu Jazz Festival.

Poet and multi-instrumentalist Ngoma Hill is at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore in Harlem on November 19 and the third Tuesday of every month for the Fat Tuesdays poetry and music showcase.

Guitarist Bill Frisell is at the Jazz Standard leading a trio, in solo performance, and  with Harmony from November 19-24.

Trumpeter Freddie Hendrix is at Smoke on November 20.

Bassist Mimi Jones hosts the after hours Lab Session at Smalls on November 23.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Tuesday November 12 in our regular weekly 10 PM slot! We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and back on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio every Tuesday night from 10 PM -12 midnight. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

Program note: We’re back on air after an attempt by a few members of the Pacifica Foundation’s national board to close the station! The station’s returning to fund drive mode it we really needs immediate support. Our fall fund drive was cut short and the station’ needs an infusion of cash right away to recover. Please pledge whatever you can (we suggest at least the $25 level) or become a sustaining member by signing up for a monthly pledge of $10 or more. Thanks for reading and the support over the years! -Hank

This week’s show is a memorial broadcast for the late pianist Harold Mabern. Be sure to tune in Tuesday night for our interview with him as we say farewell to one of the piano greats.

The tireless Vision Fest promoters Arts for Arts’Free Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon” series continues Sundays through December 15. Admission is free (donations accepted) and there will be drawing materials for children and an interactive part of the performance.

Pianist Marc Cary is at Nublu on November 11 as part of the Nublu Jazz Festival and his Harlem Sessions series continues with a move to weekly late Thursday night sets at Smoke on November 14 and 21.

Drummer Roy Haynes is at The Blue Note from November 11-13.

Saxophonist Marcus Strickland is at Nublu with Twi-Life on November 13 for the Nublu Jazz Festival.

Saxophonist Kenny Garrett is at The Blue Note from November 14-17.

Tubist Joe Daley is at Terra Blues with Hazmat Modine on November 15.

Vocalist Catherine Russell is at NJPAC singing Nat King Cole’s music on November 15.

Bassist Christian McBride and A Christian McBride Situation are at NJPAC with The Roots on November 16.

Harpist Brandee Younger is at Columbia University’s Miller Theater on November 16.

The Sun Ra Arkestra led by saxophonist Marshall Allen returns to Earth at Nublu on November 16 for the Nublu Jazz Festival.

Vocalist Melanie Charles is also at Nublu on November 16 for the Nublu Jazz Festival.

Trumpeter Eddie Henderson stops by Nublu on November 16 for the Nublu Jazz Festival and leads a quintet with saxophonist Donald Harrison at Smoke from November 21-24.

Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis’s Trio is at Nublu for a midnight show on November 17 for the Nublu Jazz Festival.

Poet and multi-instrumentalist Ngoma Hill is at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore in Harlem on November 19 and the third Tuesday of every month for the Fat Tuesdays poetry and music showcase.

Guitarist Bill Frisell is at the Jazz Standard leading a trio, in solo performance, and  with Harmony from November 19-24.

Trumpeter Freddie Hendrix is at Smoke on November 20.

Bassist Mimi Jones hosts the after hours Lab Session at Smalls on November 23.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Tuesday November 12 in our regular weekly 10 PM slot! We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and used to be on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio every Tuesday night from 10 PM -12 midnight. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

We’re off the air for the time being because WBAI Radio has had its local programming terminated by it’s owner, the Pacifica Foundation, which cited the station’s financial losses as a reason for firing all the staff. You can read more from Gothamist, the Amsterdam News and the Indypendent. For now, I’ll point you to our archives with a decade of shows to stream. I’ll also still be doing weekly online Bandstand updates for the time being and will keep an eye on hits. If there’s interest, I’ll keep compiling listings and we’ll try to get back to event coverage. Thanks for reading and the interest over the years! -Hank

The tireless Vision Fest promoters Arts for Arts’Free Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon” series continues Sundays through December 15. Admission is free (donations accepted) and there will be drawing materials for children and an interactive part of the performance.

The documentary film Decade of Fire airs nationally on PBS affiliate stations on November 4 as part of their Independent Lens program. Check your local station for times.

The documentary film Milford Graves: Full Mantis has a free screening at Lehman College in The Bronx on November 5. Director Jake Meginsky will attend a Q&A session after the screening. See our review of the film here.

Pianist Marc Cary’s Harlem Sessions series continues with a move to weekly late Thursday night sets at Smoke on November 7, 14, and 21.

Guitarist Mary Halvorson is at Firehouse 12 in New Haven with Taylor Ho Bynum’s sextet on November 8.

Tubist Joe Daley is at Terra Blues with Hazmat Modine on November 15.

Drummer Bobby Sanabria is at Newark’s Bethany Baptist Church for Jazz Vespers on November 9.

Vocalist Mavis Staples is at NJPAC with Buddy Guy on November 10.

Drummer Roy Haynes is at The Blue Note from November 11-13.

Saxophonist Kenny Garrett is at The Blue Note from November 14-17.

Vocalist Catherine Russell is at NJPAC singing Nat King Cole’s music on November 15.

Bassist Christian McBride and A Christian McBride Situation are at NJPAC with The Roots on November 16.

Harpist Brandee Younger is at Columbia University’s Miller Theater on November 16.

Poet and multi-instrumentalist Ngoma Hill is at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore in Harlem on November 19 and the third Tuesday of every month for the Fat Tuesdays poetry and music showcase.

Guitarist Bill Frisell is at the Jazz Standard leading a trio, in solo performance, and  with Harmony from November 19-24.

Trumpeter Freddie Hendrix is at Smoke on November 20.

Bassist Mimi Jones hosts the after hours Lab Session at Smalls on November 23.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl’s radio show’s on hiatus for the moment, but we’ll have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio every Tuesday night from 10 PM -12 midnight. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

This week’s show features an interview with tubist Howard Johnson! Be sure to tune in on Tuesday September 17. Merkin Hall is hosting a tribute to on September 18 featuring a performance by Johnson’s band Gravity. And we’ve got more shows to announce this week.

Saxophonist Oliver Lake leads a big band at Dizzy’s Club on September 16.

Poet and multi-instrumentalist Ngoma Hill is at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore in Harlem on September 17 and returns the third Tuesday of every month for the Fat Tuesdays poetry and music showcase.

Saxophonist Jane Bunnett and Maqueque are at the Jazz Standard September 17-18.

Trombonist Craig Harris brings the Harlem Night Songs Big Band to Harlem’s Greater Calvary Baptist Church for lunchtime sets on September 17 and 24.

Bassist Christian McBride is at The Blue Note from September 17-22 and is at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for a talk with bassist Ron Carter on September 24.

Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane leads an ensemble at the Village Vanguard with pianist David Virelles from September 17-22.

Merkin Hall is hosting a tribute to tubist Howard Johnson on September 18.

Pianist Harold Mabern leads a trio at Smalls on September 18 and at The Side Door in Old Lyme CT on September 20.

Pianist Marc Cary brings the Harlem Sessions series to Minton’s on September 19 and it continues with weekly late Saturday night sets at Smoke September 21 and 28.

The documentary film Decade of Fire has screenings and talks by director Vivian Vazquez Irizzary at the Banknote Building in the South Bronx on September 19 and Bronx Documentary Center on October 3.

Vocalist René Marie is at Dizzy’s Club from September 19-22.

Harpist Brandee Younger is at Ginny’s Supper Club on September 20.

Vocalist Nona Hendryx is at the HarlemStage Gatehouse on September 20.

Drummer Bobby Sanabria leads the Multiverse Big Band at the Lincoln Center Atrium on September 20.

Bassist Mimi Jones is at Smalls leading an after hours set on September 20.

Bassist William Parker and saxophonist James Brandon Lewis are at Harlem’s Greater Calvary Baptist Church on September 20.

Trumpeter Freddie Hendrix leads a quintet at Jazz Forum Arts in Tarrytown NY on September 20-21.

Saxophonist Gary Bartz and drummer Lenny White join Charles Tolliver’s all star band to open the new Sistas’ Place season in Brooklyn on September 21.

Pianist Aaron Parks leads trios with drummer Billy Hart at The Side Door in Old Lyme CT on September 21 and the Village Vanguard from September 24-29.

Saxophonist Claire Daly leads a quartet at Smalls on September 22.

Bassist William Parker and poet Jesus Papoleto Melendez are both in the First Street Green Garden for afternoon sets on E 1th St on September 22 as part of Vision Fest promoters’ Arts for Art’s fall season. Parker and trumpeter Jamie Branch return to 1st St on the 29th for a Roy Campbell tribute.

Trumpeter Keyon Harrold is at the Blue Note from September 23-25.

Guitarist Marc Ribot is at Iridium on September 25.

Organist Joey DeFrancesco leads a trio at the Jazz Standard from September 26-29.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Tuesday September 17 in our new weekly 10 PM slot! We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

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Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio every Tuesday night from 10 PM -12 midnight. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

This week’s show features Vivian Vazquez Irrizary, director and producer of the documentary film Decade of Fire. Be sure to tune in on Tuesday August 20! There’s a free outdoor screening in Harlem’s St. Nicholas Park on Friday August 23. See the film’s website for more screenings and we have more events this week.

Guitarist Nels Cline is at Le Poisson Rouge on August 20.

Pianist Marc Cary’s Harlem Sessions series continues with weekly late Saturday night sets at Smoke on August 24 and 31.

Poet and multi-instrumentalist Ngoma Hill is at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore in Harlem on August 20 and the third Tuesday of every month for the Fat Tuesdays poetry and music showcase.

Pianist Harold Mabern leads a trio at Smalls on August 20 and leads a quartet at Smoke from August 22-25.

Drummer Andrew Cyrille leads an ensemble at the Village Vanguard with guitarist Bill Frisell and Pianist David Virelles from August 20-25.

Guitarist Julian Lage is at the Jazz Gallery with Kris Davis on August 21-22.

Bassist Mimi Jones is at Smalls leading an after hours set on August 22.

Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington is at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for a talk on Jazz and Gender Justice on August 22.

Pianist Vijay Iyer is at The Stone with Matana Roberts on August 24.

The annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival returns this month with several events around town. Saxophonist Rene McLean is at the Harlem Rose Garden on August 23. Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, Harpist Brandee Younger and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Camille Thurman are at Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park for a free outdoor performance on August 24. Saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin is at Tompkins Square Park on August 25.

Vocalist Catherine Russell is at Dizzy’s Club from August 26-28.

Bassist Linda May Han Oh is at the Jazz Standard with Fabian Almazan on August 27-28.

Pianist David Virelles is at the Jazz Gallery with Jonathan Blake on August 27-28.

Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis leads a trio at The Glove in Brooklyn on August 28.

Saxophonist Gary Bartz is at Smoke for a Charlie Parker tribute from August 29-September 1.

Drummer Bobby Sanabria  leads the Multiverse Big Band for a free outdoor concert in an afternoon set at Harlem’s Riverbank State Park on August 30.

Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Camille Thurman is at Birdland for a Charlie Parker tribute on August 30-31.

The Sun Ra Arkestra led by Marshall Allen is at Brooklyn’s Union Pool on September 1 and at Clemente Soto Velez Center on September 6 for a Steve Cannon tribute. They’ll also be at the James Cohan Gallery for an afternoon set on September 14.

Vision Fest promoters Arts for Art begins their fall season of events with a tribute to the late poet Steve Cannon at The Clemente Soto Velez Center on September 6 with poetry and music. Bassist William Parker, dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker, and saxophonist James Brandon Lewis join poets for the celebration with a closing performance by the Sun Ra Arkestra led by Marshall Allen. The Arts for Art series continues throughout the fall with performances in Gardens, at the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, and over Columbus Day Weekend in East Harlem. Fell details at the Arts for Art website.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Tuesday August 20 in our new weekly 10 PM slot! We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio every Tuesday night from 10 PM -12 midnight. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

With the conclusion of WBAI’s Summer Fund Drive, we’re back on air this week! Really! Tune in on Tuesday August 13 for a new interview with bassist Christian McBride, who returns to tell more stories and get us up to speed on his ever-expanding projects. He’ll be at the Blue Note from September 17-22, but until then we have more immediate events.

Guitarist Bill Frisell leads a trio at the Village Vanguard from August 13-18.

Guitarist Nels Cline is at is at The Stone with Ben Goldberg on August 14 and at Le Poisson Rouge on August 20.

Guitarist Mary Halvorson is at The Stone with Ben Goldberg on August 14 and at the Jazz Gallery with Taylor Ho Bynum on August 16.

Drummer Bobby Sanabria  leads the Multiverse Big Band at Taino Towers in Harlem for a Tato Laviera tribute on August 15.

Pianist Marc Cary’s Harlem Sessions series makes a special stop at Minton’s in Harlem on August 15 and continues with weekly late Saturday night sets at Smoke on August 17 and 24.

Trombonist Craig Harris is at Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park for a free outdoor performance as part of the Jazzmobile series on August 16.

Harpist Brandee Younger is with Makaya McCraven at Brooklyn’s Industry City on August 16.

Bassist Ron Carter is at the Jazz in the Valley Festival in Poughkeepsie NY’s Waryas Park on August 18.

Poet and multi-instrumentalist Ngoma Hill is at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore in Harlem on August 20 and the third Tuesday of every month for the Fat Tuesdays poetry and music showcase.

Pianist Harold Mabern leads a trio at Smalls on August 20 and leads a quartet at Smoke from August 22-25.

Drummer Andrew Cyrille leads an ensemble at the Village Vanguard with guitarist Bill Frisell and Pianist David Virelles from August 20-25.

Guitarist Julian Lage is at the Jazz Gallery with Kris Davis on August 21-22.

Bassist Mimi Jones is at Smalls leading an after hours set on August 22.

Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington is at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for a talk on Jazz and Gender Justice on August 22.

Pianist Vijay Iyer is at The Stone with Matana Roberts on August 24.

The annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival returns this month with several events around town. Saxophonist Rene McLean is at the Harlem Rose Garden on August 23. Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, Harpist Brandee Younger and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Camille Thurman are at Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park for a free outdoor performance on August 24. Saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin is at Tompkins Square Park on August 25.

Vocalist Catherine Russell is at Dizzy’s Club from August 26-28.

Bassist Linda May Han Oh is at the Jazz Standard with Fabian Almazan on August 27-28.

Pianist David Virelles is at the Jazz Gallery with Jonathan Blake on August 27-28.

Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis leads a trio at The Glove in Brooklyn on August 28.

Saxophonist Gary Bartz is at Smoke for a Charlie Parker tribute from August 29-September 1.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Tuesday August 13 in our new weekly 10 PM slot! We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot


Words by Hank Williams

This week, the annual Winter Jazz Fest is on and in full swing. The 15th edition of the increasingly popular showcase expanded again, with a third “mini marathon” night of music on Saturday January 5th and several standalone events, which we previewed here. In this post, we’ll take a look at the two marathon nights of music on Friday January 11th and Sunday January 12th in venues scattered around the heart of Greenwich Village.

As we’ve done for the past few years, we’ll go through a shows with a viewers’ guide to some of our preferred picks, with an admitted lean toward former guests on the Suga in My Bowl radio show.

I’ll point you toward the Friday and Saturday schedules and artist lineup, but hopefully this will help wade through the myriad choices available each night. Obviously, there are several ways to experience the festival. You can either pick and choose key acts, take a more eclectic approach and see what you find, or some combination of the two. It’s all good.

FESTIVAL THEME AND FOCUS

The theme is again on social justice, as it has been for the last few years. This year, following on the heels of #MeToo, the spotlight has shifted to women’s role in music. The We Have Voice Collective was initiated by several female musicians, including Fay Victor, Nicole Mitchell, Linda May Han Oh, Jen Shyu, Imani Uzuri, and Tia Fuller. Their open letter calls for a code of conduct, establishing safe spaces for women, LGBTQIA, transgender, and non-binary artists working in music and more opportunities for work in a field that’s often dominated by men. Festival co-organi   and support of the broader discussion around Black Lives Matter, a theme that festival producer Brice Rosenbloom has committed to gender parity for the festival, noting in an essay in the 2019 program that while WJF has taken steps of its own, he sees that there’s still more work to be done and that the next step is pushing individual bandleaders to commit to more gender balance in their groups.

This year’s artist-in-residence is Meshell Ndgeocello, who has several sets of her own and will be part of an afternoon panel discussion on Saturday January 12.

TICKETS AND ADMISSION

WJF has ticket options for either the Friday or Saturday marathon nights–or both–but they don’t offer tickets for individual sets. That said, they’re a pretty good deal for how much music you get if you see more than a single show and there’s likely something to suit almost everyone’s taste. The one constant is that we strongly recommend getting tickets in advance, since the festival’s popularity does lead to sellouts.

LOCATIONS AND LOGISTICS

The WJF’s heart is still in the center of the Village: with venerable institutions Zinc Bar, The Bitter End, and Le Poisson Rouge returning, but the spaces at the New School that have been used for the last two years are gone and as a result the festival’s more scattered, with poles in the West and East Village also.

Zinc Bar is small and popular, so be warned that seeing an act scheduled there means getting there very early, and possibly skipping something else in the process.

On the western frontier of the Village and Tribeca are SOB’s and the SOHO Playhouse.

Nublu, Bowery Ballroom, Subculture, The Sheen Center, Public Arts, Mercury Lounge, and Bowery Ballroom are clustered together on the East Village/Lower East Side

Obviously, figuring out what one wants to see also means taking into account the logistics of who’s playing where and getting between venues, which requires more planning with the larger distances this year. It’s still very possible to venue-hop since most are a brisk walk, Citibike, or cab ride away.

 

Photo credit: Winter Jazz Fest (screenshot)
You can download the map here and there’s a copy in the festival program. Pickup of wristbands for marathon nights is at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St).

HOT TIP: Use the WJF’s crowd estimator to see how much space a venue has before deciding to leave where you are. It’s at: https://www.winterjazzfest.com/crowds

FRIDAY JANUARY 11

Zinc Bar has an enticing lineup for the night and one good enough to consider staying put. The caveat is that it’s been too small for the festival for a long time, which means long lines to get in and a tight, crowded experience once you’re there. Should you decide to go, however, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen opens the night with a 6:40 PM set and at 9:20 PM the Borderlands trio takes the stage with pianist Kris Davis, bassist Stephen Crump, and drummer Eric McPherson. The following 10:40 PM set with the Artifiacts Trio featuring flutist Nicole Mitchell, cellist Tomeka Reid, and drummer Mike Reed should be an extremely satisfying one.

Over at the Sheen Center, guitarist Mary Halvorson brings her Code Girl project to the stage at 8:40 PM. Halvorson’s dense, looping electric guitar style’s attracting more fans, both as a side player and as a leader. Her collaborations with fellow guitarist Marc Ribot and others showcase her ability as a collaborative player capable of adding dense textures to an ensemble, which she’s continued in her own projects as a leader. For a deep dive, see our March 2018 show with Halvorson.

Meanwhile at Subculture in the 9:40 PM set, pianist Aaron Parks will work through his 2018 Little Big release, which is gaining a lot of deserved attention.

Over at Mercury Lounge, saxophonist Marcus Strickland‘s Twi Life is a solid pick in the 10:40 PM slot for anyone looking for a fresh take on the music rooted in the jazz tradition, yet incorporating funk, soul, and elements of hip hop. For a deeper dive see our recent show with Strickland as part of our 2019 WJF coverage.

For you real night owls or hardcore fans of the after-hours scene, Nublu‘s 1 AM Late Night Jam Session led by trumpeter Jamie Branch is worth making your way over to the Lower East Side for. Branch’s debut 2018 Fly Or Die release gained the attention of a lot of people who might not have caught her while woodshedding at the Vision Festival or other venues.

SATURDAY JANUARY 12th

The piano duo of Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn kick things off with a 6:20 PM set at Le Poisson Rouge. Iyer shouldn’t need much introduction at this point, but his densely layered, nearly cinematic works have kept him busy touring when he’s not teaching at Harvard. The conversation between the two should yield a heady, exciting set that will reward close listening yet still being accessible. For a much deeper dive, see our 2015 show featuring Iyer.

 

Later on at LPR, veteran drummer Billy Hart‘s quartet sets up in the 9 PM time slot. Hart, who earned his chops as a member of Herbie Hancock’s groundbreaking and forward-looking 1970s Mwandishi band is now a key member of The Cookers superband when not helming his own ensemble. Expect a high energy straight ahead set that’ll swing hard.

 

Over at SOB’s, vocalist Fay Victor and saxophonist Nubya Garcia present compelling cases for going there. Victor’s 6:40 PM set with Mutations for Justice reprises the concept she’s workshopped over the past year and done versions of at last year’s Winter Jazz and Vision Festivals. Victor’s avant-garde vocal style meshes well with that of her band and speaks directly to the current political period, with some of her lyrics sounding like a stream of consciousness voice from Trump’s brain and critiquing the absolute absurdity of it all. Nubya Garcia’s 9:30 PM set might provide some revelations, as it did for me when I heard her open for Thursday night’s concert with sax greats Gary Bartz and Pharoah Sanders. When asked about how it felt to open for them, she said: “I can’t really put that into words. It’s very surreal and a huge honor.” Garcia’s style seemed a natural pairing and her set was an energetic one led by her playing paired with strong, bass-heavy drumming and trippy, dub-inflected keyboards. If you want to see one possible future of what jazz looks like, see her.

Over on the east side, Subculture has some appealing sets with Liebman, Rudolph, & Drake combining the powers of Dave Liebman and percussionists Adam Rudolph and Hamid Drake at 9:20 PM. Expect, obviously, a percussion-heavy set but one marked by African rhythms and rich textures set off by Liebman’s work on sax and piano.

You may want to stay put for J.D. Allen and David Murray‘s midnight set, which should keep you alert with the dueling tenor saxophones of the co-leaders. Murray’s capable of playing both “in” and “out” and matching lyricism with pure energy.

To tip my hand somewhat, I’ll probably post up at The Sheen Center, a new venue this year. If you missed saxophonist Gary Bartz‘s historic Thursday night set with Charles Tolliver and Pharoah Sanders, you have another chance to catch him in the 8:20 PM set with Pocket Science, where he teams up with colorful (in every sense of the word) electric bassist Jamaladeen Tacuma. I’m not quite sure what to expect, but Tacuma’s funk and harmolodics-inspired riffs should give Bartz a nice foundation to launch from.

If you’re inclined towards Pocket Science, stick around for the 9:40 PM set intriguingly titled Impressions of Pepper Round Robin with an all star cast of drummers Mark Giuliana, Makaya McCraven, and Nate Wood; electric guitarist Liberty Ellman; keyboardists Brian Jackson (best known for his Gil Scott Heron collaborations) and Matthew Whittaker; pianist David Virelles; trumpeter Keyon Harrold; harpist Brandee Younger; trombonist Clark Gayton; and saxophonist JD Allen. Admittedly I don’t know exactly what to expect here, but it’s certain to be a wild, loud, electronic ride.

At 11 PM, pianist/vocalist Amina Claudine Myers slows things down a bit with a quieter, more contemplative set that’ll showcase her thoughtful lyrics and vocal ability. Myers is joined by three other vocalists here, so expect some interesting interplay between them.

That’s a lot! But the nice thing about Winter Jazz is that it presents you with a good dilemma: who to choose from the sheer amount of interesting acts. We’ll check back in after it’s all wrapped up.

Are you planning to go? Who are you looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments.

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Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College in The Bronx.

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