Archives for posts with tag: Marshall Allen

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 alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. 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 saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa! He’ll be at the BRIC Jazz Fest on October 21 with the Indo Pak Coalition. Before we get to our listings, a quick reminder that WBAI’s Fall Fund drive starts tomorrow and the station needs your help to stay on the air. See WBAI’s pledge site for ways to support the station. And we have many more listings for you this week.

The BRIC Arts Media Jazz Fest runs until October 21 at their downtown Brooklyn location and ends with 3 marathon nights of music from the 19-21. Bassist Melvin Gibbs is part of a panel discussion on jazz and justice on the 17 and performs with Harriet Tubman along with drummer JT Lewis on the 21. The Sun Ra Arkestra led by Marshall Allen, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington’s Social Science appear on the 19. Pianist Viyay Iyer leads a sextet on the 20 and saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo Pak Coalition is on the 21. All sets take place at BRIC Arts Media’s downtown Brooklyn location. Stay tuned for a preview of next weekend’s marathon events in the coming days.

Bassist Ron Carter leads a trio at Birdland from the 17-21.

Saxophonist Gary Bartz is at the Blue Note on October 17 with McCoy Tyner.

Pianist Harold Mabern leads a trio at Smalls on October 18.

Drummer and percussionist Bobby Sanabria’s class on the Roots and Rhythms of Latin Jazz at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Swing University continues on Wednesday nights until November 8.

Trumpeter Marcus Printup is at Kitano on October 19 with Audrey Silver’s quintet and at Dizzy’s Club from October 27-29 with the Georgia Horns.

 

Vibraphonist Roy Ayers is at the Blue Note on October 19-20.

Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington is at the Jazz Standard with Chico Freeman’s Plus+Tet quartet from October 19-22.

Saxophonists Billy Harper and Howard Johnson are at the Jazz Standard from October 19-22 with Charles Tolliver’s Tentet.

Master drummer Michael Carvin leads a trio at Kitano from October 20-21.

Drummer JT Lewis, vocalist Lisa Fischer, pianist Marc Cary, and saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin are all at the Town Hall Theater on October 22 for City Suite.

Trombonist Steve Turre is at the Jazz Standard with Azar Lawrence from October 24-25.

Guitarist Julian Lage is at the Lower East Side’s Russ and Daughters Café on October 26.

Pianist  David Virelles is at the Jazz Gallery on October 27-28 with Marcus Gilmore.

Saxophonist Ahmed Abdullah leads the Diaspora ensemble at Sistas’ Place on October 28.

Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is at the Blue Note with Odean Pope’s Sax Choir on October 30 and leads a quartet at the Village Vanguard from November 7-12.

Drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts is at Dizzy’s Club on October 31 with Mokoto Ozone’s trio.

Flutist Nicole Mitchell is at The Stone’s space at the New School from November 3-4.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Sunday October 29. 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 Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

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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 alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. 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 this week, but if you missed  last week’s show with legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette, head over to our archives to hear it and 8 years of archived programs. Before we get to our listings, a quick reminder that WBAI’s Fall Fund drive starts tomorrow and the station needs your help to stay on the air. See WBAI’s pledge site for ways to support the station. And we have many more listings for you this week.

Vision Fest promoters Arts Art’s “Race and Resistance Un-Columbus” weekend festival wraps up on October 9 at El Taller Latino Americano (215 E 99 St in Manhattan). Bassist William Parker’s “Songs of Freedom” featuring dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker and drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake closes out the evening.

 

Bassist Ron Carter leads a quartet at Birdland from October 10-14 and a trio from the 17-21.

Drummer and percussionist Bobby Sanabria is teaching a 6 session class on the Roots and Rhythms of Latin Jazz at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Swing University on Wednesday nights from October 4 to November 8.

Drummer JT Lewis is with Brandon Ross at Roulette in Brooklyn on October 10.

Pianist  David Virelles is at the Jazz Gallery on October 13 with Roman Filiu.

Vocalist Lisa Fischer is at NJ’s South Orange Performing Arts Center on October 14 with Grand Baton.

Saxophonist Gary Bartz is at the Blue Note on October 17 with McCoy Tyner.

Pianist Harold Mabern leads a trio at Smalls on the 18.

Vibraphonist Roy Ayers is at the Blue Note on October 19-20.

Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington is at the Jazz Standard with Chico Freeman’s Plus+Tet quartet from October 19-22.

Saxophonists Billy Harper and Howard Johnson are at the Jazz Standard from October 19-22 with Charles Tolliver’s Tentet.

Drummer JT Lewis, vocalist Lisa Fischer, pianist Marc Cary, and saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin are all at the Town Hall Theater on October 22 for City Suite.

Finally, the BRIC Arts Media Jazz Fest runs from October 14-21 at their downtown Brooklyn location starting with screenings of the documentary films Chasing Trane and I Called Him Morgan on the 14-15 and ends with 3 marathon nights of music from the 19-21. The Sun Ra Arkestra led by Marshall Allen, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington’s Social Science, and pianist Viyay Iyer‘s sextet are all scheduled to appear. We’ll have full info on it next week and a preview is in the works.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Sunday October 15. 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 Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York. 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 alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. 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 legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette! He’ll be at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater on October 6-7 with Hudson, the super group with organist and former Suga’ guest John Medeski, guitarist John Scofield, and bassist Larry Grenadier. Before we get to our listings, a quick reminder that WBAI’s Fall Fund drive starts tomorrow and the station needs your help to stay on the air. See WBAI’s pledge site for ways to support the station. And we have many more listings for you this week.

 

Drummer and percussionist Hamid Drake is with percussionist Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures at the Jazz Gallery from October 3-4.

Bassist Ron Carter leads a big band at Birdland from October 3-7, a quartet from the 10-14, and a trio from the 17-21.

Drummer Lenny White is at the Village Vanguard from October 3-8 with Renee Rosnes’s quartet.

Vocalist Kurt Elling is at Birdland for an early set on October 4.

Drummer and percussionist Bobby Sanabria is teaching a 6 session class on the Roots and Rhythms of Latin Jazz at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Swing University on Wednesday nights from October 4 to November 8.

Vision Fest promoters Arts for Art are sponsoring a “Race and Resistance Un-Columbus” weekend festival from October 7-9 at El Taller Latino Americano (215 E 99 St in Manhattan). Drummer Francisco Mora Catlett’s Afrohorn with trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah leads off on the 7th, with sets by poet Jesus Papoleto Melendez and trombonist Craig Harris later that evening. On the 8th, poet Quincy Troupe reads accompanied by guitarist Kelvyn Bell. Multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore has a set later that night. On Monday the 9th, the event wraps up with bassist William Parker’s “Songs of Freedom” featuring dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker and drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake.

Drummer JT Lewis is with Brandon Ross at Roulette in Brooklyn on October 10.

Pianist  David Virelles is at the Jazz Gallery on October 13 with Roman Filiu.

Vocalist Lisa Fischer is at NJ’s South Orange Performing Arts Center on October 14 with Grand Baton.

Saxophonist Gary Bartz is at the Blue Note on October 17 with McCoy Tyner.

Pianist Harold Mabern leads a trio at Smalls on the 18.

Finally, the BRIC Arts Media Jazz Fest runs from October 14-21 at their downtown Brooklyn location starting with screenings of the documentary films Chasing Trane and I Called Him Morgan on the 14-15 and ends with 3 marathon nights of music from the 19-21. The Sun Ra Arkestra led by Marshall Allen, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington’s Social Science, and pianist Viyay Iyer‘s sextet are all scheduled to appear. We’ll have full info on it next week and a preview is in the works.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Sunday October 15. 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 Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York. 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 alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. 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 (and recovering from the Vision Fest), but head over to our archives if you missed last week’s show with saxophonist Kidd Jordan.  We’ve also got a review of the first day and days 2 and 4 if you missed this year’s festivities. A review of the last 2 days is coming soon, too. WBAI Radio’s officially wrapped its Spring Fund Drive and thanks to those who pledged! If you didn’t get around to it, it’s not too late to  pledge online snd even a few dollars helps a lot. Now let’s get to those listings.

WBGO Radio has a visual art exhibit featuring works produced by musicians. It’s on view at their studio in downtown Newark NJ and features the work of Will Calhoun, Mino Cinelu, Dick Griffin, Oliver Lake, Carmen Lundy and others. Saxophonist Oliver Lake will be performing for the reception on June 8.

Director John Scheinfeld’s John Coltrane documentary film Chasing ‘Trane is playing at Cinema Village in Manhattan (closes June 8), the Picture House in Pelham (June 9-15), and Time and Space in Hudson (June 10-11). See our review of the film for a preview.

Director Casper Kollin’s Lee Morgan documentary film I Called Him Morgan  is also playing at Time and Space in Hudson (June 8-9) and the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville on June 15. We’ve got a review of that, too.

 

Saxophonist Gary Bartz is at The Blue Note on May 30-31 with pianist McCoy Tyner.

 

Saxophonist Kamasi Washington is at Brooklyn’s McCarren Park on June 8 as part of the Northside Festival.

Guitarist Pat Metheny, bassist Linda May Han Oh, and drummer Antonio Sanchez are at the Beacon Theater on June 10.

The Sun Ra Arkestra led by saxophonist Marshall Allen is at Union Pool in Brooklyn on June 10.

Vocalist Thana Alexa and bassist William Parker are both at the Red Hook Jazz Festival on June 11.

 

Bassist/vocalist Richard Bona is at Club Bonafide on June 10 and 17 with Mandekan Cubano.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Sunday June 11. 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 Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York. 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 alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. 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 continues our Vision Festival 22 preview coverage with saxophonist Kidd Jordan, who you can catch at Vision on Friday June 2.  V22 opens at Judson Memorial Church on May 29 and runs through June 3. Scroll down for details and our annual preview is on the way.

 

Before we get to this week’s listings, a reminder that WBAI Radio’s starting its Spring Fund Drive and needs your support to stay on the air and keep our show on the air. There are 3 ways to give. You can call 516-620-3602 (preferably while we’re on the air), pledge online, or just send a text message to 41444 and enter WBAI as the message. You can pledge as little as $5 or consider becoming a sustaining member with a monthly pledge. Of course, we’re grateful for any help you can give.

WBGO Radio has a visual art exhibit featuring works produced by musicians. It’s on view at their studio in downtown Newark NJ and features the work of Will Calhoun, Mino Cinelu, Dick Griffin, Oliver Lake, Carmen Lundy and others. Saxophonist Oliver Lake will be performing for the reception on June 8.

It’s the last call for director John Scheinfeld’s John Coltrane documentary film Chasing ‘Trane at the IFC Center in Manhattan. It’s been held over for awhile now, so best not to delay any longer. See our review of the film for a preview.

Bassist Alex Blake is at The Blue Note with vocalist Julie E on May 29.

Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is at Birdland from May 30-June 3.

Saxophonist Gary Bartz is at The Blue Note on May 30-31 with pianist McCoy Tyner.

Drummer JT Lewis and bassist Melvin Gibbs are at Le Poisson Rouge with Harriet Tubman on May 31.

Pianist Randy Weston is at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark NJ on June 3 for Jazz Vespers.

Myself—Hank Williams—will be at the Left Forum at John Jay College on June 3 as part of the “Writer as Revolutionary” panel speaking on the Black Arts Movement.

Drummer Will Calhoun is at Prince Street Project Space with Adejoke Tugbiyele on June 4.

Saxophonist Kamasi Washington is at Brooklyn’s McCarren Park on June 8 as part of the Northside Festival.

Guitarist Pat Metheny, bassist Linda May Han Oh, and drummer Antonio Sanchez are at the Beacon Theater on June 10.

The Sun Ra Arkestra led by saxophonist Marshall Allen is at Union Pool in Brooklyn on June 10.

Vocalist Thana Alexa and bassist William Parker are both at the Red Hook Jazz Festival on June 11.

The big event on the horizon is this year’s Vision Fest. It starts on the May 28 at Anthology film archives and moves to Judson Memorial Church from the 29-June 3 with nightly performances of jazz, dance, poetry, and visual art. In addition to William Parker and Cooper-Moore, you can see drummer Hamid Drake, poets Carl Hancock Rux and Jesus Papoleto Melendez, TRIO 3 with Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille and Oliver Lake; and saxophonists Charles Gayle and David Murray. There’s also a conference on June 1 at Columbia University sponsored by the Center for Jazz Studies and a new series of after hours sets starting at midnight at Nublu.

WBAI Radio returns as a media sponsor of this year’s Vision Fest.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Sunday June 11. 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 Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York. 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 alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. 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 this week, but head on over to our archives for last week’s show with bassist Dave Holland and nearly 7 years of archived shows. And let’s get to our music listings.
 
Bassist Mimi Jones leads a jam session in the late set at Smoke on December 5th and continuing on Monday nights. She’s also leading an ensemble at Spanish Manor in Newark NJ on the 6th as part of the Blues People Festival.
 
Pianist and keyboardist Marc Cary is at Nublu in the East Village on the 5th as part of the Nublu Jazz Fest.
 
Saxophonist Gary Bartz is at The Blue Note on December 5-6 with pianist McCoy Tyner.
 
The documentary film The Amazing Nina Simone will be shown at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem on December 6.
 
Pianist Barry Harris leads a trio at the Village Vanguard from December 6-13.
 
Drummer JT Lewis is at Nublu in the East Village with Harriet Tubman on the 7th as part of the Nublu Jazz Fest.
 
Vocalist/guitarist Toshi Reagon will be at HarlemStage from December 7-11 for “Can I Get a Witness: The Gospel of James Baldwin”.
 
Drummer and percussionist Bobby Sanabria is at the Baruch College Performing Arts Center with Gene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble on December 8.
 
Saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin is at Lincoln Center’s Rubenstein Atrium for a free concert on December 8th.
 
The Sun Ra Arkestra led by Marshall Allen returns to Earth with two sets at Nublu in the East Village on the 9th as part of the Nublu Jazz Fest.
 
Saxophonist Billy Harper is at Nublu in the East Village on the 11th as part of the Nublu Jazz Fest.
 
Bassist Richard Bona is at Club Bonafide on December 16th.
 
Drummer Michael Carvin leads the Michael Carvin Experience at Kitano from December 16-17th.
 
Saxophonist Gary Bartz leads a John Coltrane tribute at Smoke from December 16-19th.
 
Pianist Vijay Iyer is at the Asia Society on the 15-16th and Harlem Stage Gatehouse with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith on the 19th.
 
Drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun’s gallery exhibit of his visual art collaboration Aza is on view at the Bronx Music Heritage Center through February 11. We reviewed the show earlier this year.
 
Finally, looking much further ahead, the Winter Jazz Fest has released a teaser and preliminary lineup for the 2017 shinding from January 5-10! We’ll have a lot more to say about it, but for now, we’ll point you to their promo video with the highlights.
 

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on December 11. 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 Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

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 alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. 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 this week, but if you missed last week’s show with drummer and percussionist Milford Graves, head on over to our audio archives and check it out. Meanwhile, the music rolls on as the fall begins to settle in.
 
Vision Fest promoters Arts for Art present a short series on Race and Resistance at El Taller Latinoamericano from October 10-12. Highlights include a talk on October 11th moderated by Suga in My Bowl host Joyce Jones and featuring poet Jesus Papoleto Melendez and dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker on the topic of Race and Resistance. Melendez also reads his poetry later that night. Bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake appear in a trio on the 12th. See the full schedule and details at their website.
 
Saxophonist Marshall Allen makes a rare non-Arkestra appearance at The Stone on October 12 with the UB313 ensemble.
 
Pianist and keyboardist Marc Cary hosts the Harlem Sessions at Ginny’s Supper Club on October 13 and 27th.
 
Drummer and percussionist Bobby Sanabria leads Quarteto Ache at Clem’s Place in Newark NJ the 14th and is at the Brooklyn Heights Public Library for a free afternoon show with Gene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble on the 15th.
 
Saxophonists Billy Harper and David Murray are at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room on October 14-15 with pianist Elio Villafranca’s “Letters to Mother Africa”.
 
Trombonist Craig Harris is at Harlem’s Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church on October 14th and 21st.
 
Low brass specialist on tuba Joe Daley is at Terra Blues with Hazmat Modine on October 15th.
 
Saxophonist Oliver Lake is at Roulette in Brooklyn for the Passin’ Thru Festival on October 16-17. He leads a big band on the 16th and is joined by fellow TRIO3 collaborators bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille on the 17th.
 
BRIC Arts Media’s second annual Jazz Festival runs through October 15 at the BRIC Media House in downtown Brooklyn. There are free concerts on the 11-12 followed by three marathon nights of jazz from the 13-15 with saxophonist David Murray’s Infinity Quartet, saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin and the Soulsquad, guitarist Julian Lage’s trio, pianist and keyboardist Marc Cary, and guitarist Marc Ribot’s trio with bassist Henry Grimes among many other acts. The full schedule is up on the BRIC Arts media website and see our own preview for more details.
 
Pianist Vijay Iyer will be at the McCarter Theater in Princeton NJ on Oct. 21 and Columbia University’s Miller Theater on the 22nd.
 
Vocalist Catherine Russell is at the McCarter Theater on October 22nd.
 
Drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun is at Applehead Recording in Saugerties NY for a session with the Zig Zag Power Trio on the 22nd.
 
Drummer Roy Haynes is at The Blue Note on October 24-25.
 
Drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun’s gallery exhibit of his visual art collaboration Aza is on view at the Bronx Music Heritage Center through February 11. We reviewed the show earlier this year.
 
Finally, the Jazz Loft According to W Eugene Smith documentary film is running at the Metrograph Theater. See our review from a screening last year.
 
That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is back on WBAI‘s airwaves on October 16. 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 Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

P1020119
Words by Hank Williams | Photos by Joyce Jones. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Main Photo: (L-R) James Stuart and Dave Davis of the Sun Ra Arkestra
 
For the second year in a row, the Sun Ra Arkestra led by Marshall Allen had a closing night spot at the Vision Festival. This year they celebrated the group’s 60th anniversary in grand style at the historic Judson Memorial Church on June 8th. The Arkestra is a blur of color, sound, and motion both on stage and off: they typically end their shows with members weaving their way through the audience, which you can see here. You really need to see the Arkestra in action as well as hear them. Joyce Jones’s photos give a sense of what the scene looks like during the shows. If you missed it, check out the rest of our daily coverage from Vision21.
 


 
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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 Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.
 
Joyce Jones is the executive producer and host of Suga’ in My Bowl. She is a graphic designer and her photos have been published in Black Renaissance Noir.

Arkestra_Full_Vision21
Words by Hank Williams | Photos by Joyce Jones. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Main Photo: The Sun Ra Arkestra
 
On Wednesday night, poet Quincy Troupe took to the stage without introduction and launched into his work, reading from two unpublished collections of his work. Troupe, invited by jazz trumpeter Miles Davis to co-write the musician’s autobiography, has deep connections with jazz, infusing his work with references to musicians and even reading with musical cadences. Troupe knows improvisation, collaboration–and even the need to listen and work as part of an ensemble–as he’s collaborated with musicians before, having worked with trombonist and AACM member George Lewis and including guitarist Kelvyn Bell and saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett on his 2011 SOUNDART release. His set-closing poem “Blue Mandela”, dedicated to Harlem-based artist Xenobia Bailey’s installation in the NYC subway’s new 34th St.-Hudson Yards station, brought Troupe a standing ovation as he exited the stage.
 
Pianist Connie Crothers’s set was (as promised) an exercise in free improvisation building on her angular, shimmering piano styling nicely complemented by Warren Smith’s solid drumming and Michael Bisio’s standout performance on bass.
 
The Sun Ra Arkestra returned to Vision as the closing set for the night–fortunately, at an earlier scheduled time than last year, when they took the stage well past midnight.
 
No strangers to finely honed (and theatrical) performance, the Arkestra entered the hall single file, chanting “this is the planet dream of the Earth Galaxy” as they filed through the standing room only crowd to take the stage. It could also be seen as a continuation of earlier in the day, when the Arkestra was one of the highlights of what’s becoming a Vision tradition of having a parade starting in the adjacent Washington Square Park cross the street to Judson. Marshall Allen, the Arkestra’s 92-year-old leader and conductor, finished off the first song with a positively celestial sounding flourish on the Electronic Valve Instrument (EVI), which Allen uses to supplement his saxophone and has become an acknowledged master at. The sound meshed perfectly with Judson’s acoustics, which are challenging to large ensembles such as the Arkestra. Indeed, the sound was a challenge throughout the set, as musicians signaled for more volume for their instruments. Part of the challenge is the difficult acoustics of Judson itself, a large open church with hard surfaces and high ceilings. Allen seems to have mastered the tricky acoustics, though.
 
The Arkestra’s “Discipline 27-II” kicked off with the sampled voice of none other than Ra himself sending a missive to the “People of Planet Earth”.
 
The Arkestra then launched into “Angels and Demons At Play”, with vocalist Middleton’s rich, deep vocals meshing with the synthesizer. Saxophonist Knoel Scott was inspired enough to put down his instrument and step to the front of the stage to show off his dance moves. Multiple roles and talents are simply par for the course for Arkestra members. As vocalist Tara Middleton explained to us after the set, there is no set list with the Arkestra, following how things worked under Ra himself. The band just responds to the vibrations present at the time and chooses songs accordingly.
 
The next piece matched Middleton’s scatting vocals to Allen’s upper register sax squeals in the bass and electric guitar – heavy tune that had the Arkestra swinging hard.
 
A bluesy acoustic bass solo kicked off “Blues in the Night”, eventually giving way to flute and electric guitar solo by Dave Hotep that allowed Middleton to show off her Blues chops.
 
The Arkestra classic “Love in Outer Space” followed and “When You Wish Upon a Star” was given the Arkestra’s unique, slightly atonal treatment and gave Allen the space to kick off the latter with a solo.
 
The final set-closing medley of “We Travel the Spaceways” and “Space is the Place” with the Arkestra leading a second line through the audience came all too soon.
 
Despite the issues with sound and acoustics, the Arkestra put in a strong performance, with Allen still playing with a force, intensity, and enthusiasm that defies his age. I’ve written that a few times about the Arkestra before, but it remains true and it’s something I hope to continue reporting for quite a while. However, with the addition of Middleton and other members who’ve been with the Arkestra a long time, Ra’s prodigious back catalog, fresh tunes composed by Allen added to the performance rotation, and the release of the Babylon CD/DVD set, the Arkestra looks set to be continuing traveling the spaceways for quite a while to come.
 
We’ll be reporting from Vision throughout the festival and I’ll have a wrap-up when it’s all done. If you haven’t caught it already, you can hear our Vision Fest preview show with Marc Ribot, Geri Allen, Lisa Sokolov, and Andrew Cyrille discussing Grimes’s influence and festival organizer Patricia Nicholson Parker talking festival logistics, which she’ll discuss on our colleague Basir Mchawi’s Education at the Crossroads show on Thursday at 7 PM EST. And, remember our next Suga’ in My Bowl show with Andrew Cyrille this Sunday at 11 PM EST on WBAI.
 
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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 Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.
 
Joyce Jones is the executive producer and host of Suga’ in My Bowl. She is a graphic designer and her photos have been published in Black Renaissance Noir.

Vision21
 
Suga’ in My Bowl host Joyce Jones and I refer to the annual Vision Fest as the high holy days of jazz and we’re only half-kidding. The festival has managed to outlast competing fests with much deeper pockets and big name corporate sponsors behind them while still managing the delicate balancing act between being a smaller artist-focused event willing to take risks and keeping up with the times and technology. So while you can now buy tickets online and follow their various social media feeds, Vision is unafraid to feature poets in prime time slots or book quirky acts. It’s all part of the scene and that’s why we’ve been going for several years now and have featured numerous performers as guests on the show. In full disclosure, WBAI Radio returns as a media sponsor this year and happily so: it fits the station’s vibe fairly well.
 
Suga’ in My Bowl previewed this year’s festival in our last show, interviewing festival organizer Patricia Nicholson Parker for a “big picture” view, along with pianist Geri Allen (in her first time Vision appearance), guitarist Marc Ribot, drummer Andrew Cyrille and composer/vocalist Lisa Sokolof all speaking on the influence and importance of bassist Henry Grimes. If you missed that, be sure to catch WBAI producer Basir Mchawi’s Education at the Crossroads show on Thursday June 9 st 7 PM EST, where Patricia Nicholson Parker will be giving an update.
 
Vision started on Sunday June 5th with 3 classic films celebrating the 60th year of the Sun Ra Arkestra at Anthology Film Archives. While none of the film’s are new, provided a good opportunity to see John Coney/Sun Ra’s Space is the Place, The Magic Sun, or Robert Mugge’s Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise again. Mugge’s documentary has aged well and does about as good a job as anyone could of giving a broad overview of Ra himself and the Arkestra. Coney’s film, on the other hand, is pure fun: a sci-fi/Blaxploitation mashup that’s the ultimate fan experience.
 
Vision settles in for the week at Judson Memorial Church from the 7-12 with nightly performances highlighting the career of bassist Henry Grimes. It retains its usual informal atmosphere and you’re likely to see musicians hanging out and checking out other sets. Everything happens in the main upstairs space, while the basement houses a marketplace and food vendors. It’s a good place to pick up some of the music you’ll hear over the course of the week and you can usually even get your CD autographed, too!
 
Tuesday night is all about this year’s Vision honoree: bassist/violinist Henry Grimes. Grimes leads two groups over the course of the evening and participates in a third. Pianist Geri Allen and drummer Andrew Cyrille join Grimes for the first set, while the final set of the night features a Grimes-led septet as an expended version of Marc Ribot’s trio with Grimes and drummer Chad Taylor, whose collaboration was captured in the 2014 Live at the Village Vanguard release.
 
Grimes’s story is a remarkable one. He was in high demand in the 1960s, especially in the free jazz scene, where he played with notables like Sunny Murray, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, and Cecil Taylor — to name only a few. Grimes suddenly dropped out of the music scene after getting stuck in Los Angeles with a broken bass he had no money to repair before being rediscovered. Bassist William Parker sent Grimes one of his basses and Grimes practiced feverishly to prepare for his reemergence on the jazz scene. Appropriately enough, his big return to New York was punctuated by a performance at the 2003 Vision Fest and he’s been a regular ever since.
 

 
Wednesday night has poet Quincy Troupe (who we talked to in May for a Miles Davis birthday show) given his own slot to read some of his work in prime time. Pianist Connie Crothers then leads a trio as a lead-in to the night’s closing act: the Sun Ra Arkestra led by the 92 year old saxophonist Marshall Allen.
 
While the Arkestra can be wildly uneven in the quality of their performances, they’ve been solid lately, including at last year’s Vision where they closed an evening with a phenomenal show, at the Winter Jazz Fest earlier this year, where they brought the house down with a midnight set at Judson Memorial Church, and an inspired performance at a Red Bull Music Academy-sponsored “Night of Spiritual Jazz” earlier this year. Much of what I wrote for their Winter Jazz Fest date still applies, including the vitality that vocalist Tara Middleton has brought to the ensemble. I’d add that the Arkestra is actually a perfect intro for people new to jazz and while they have showmanship and performance honed to a science, their level of performance lately has been high. Fortunately, you won’t have to stay up all night to see the Arkestra do their thing this time, since the scheduled descent to Earth is at a relatively early 9:40 PM.
 

 
Thursday night’s lineup starts with multi-instrumentalist Bill Cole, who leads his “UnTempered Ensemble” featuring saxophonist Ras Moshe–who channels the spirit of John Coltrane with nearly every breath he takes–followed by Vision veteran saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc’s ensemble and a first Vision appearance by poet Tonya Foster.
 
Trombonist Steve Swell leads a trio as a lead-in for the night’s closing set with drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake (who we profiled in 2014) backed by an all-star cast of saxophonist Kidd Jordan, pianist Cooper-Moore, and bassist Michael Bisio.
 
Friday night’s lineup has early sets of ensembles led by drummer William Hooker and pianist Cooper-Moore before a closing set with pianist Michele Rosewoman’s “New Yor-Uba” ensemble. We profiled Rosewoman in 2013, for the CD release of her New Yor-Uba project. Look for an inspired spiritual set from Rosewoman, as she blends Yoruba songs with jazz improvisation and expect a special touch of freedom for the Vision crowd.
 

 
Saturday night’s lineup highlights saxophonist Hamiett Bluiett and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, each leading ensembles. Bluiett wrapped up last year’s Vision on the last night leading a rousing performance with a cast so large that it spilled off the stage and needed to commandeer space on the floor to accommodate everyone. It was a grand vision (pun unintentional) of swirling sounds that captured much of what the festival is about. The enormity of the sound produced nearly shook the building at times. Expect a slightly less magisterial treatment this year, as he “only” leads a quartet, however, with solid backing from pianist DD Jackson and drummer Hamid Drake, expect a wild ride.
 
Sunday night’s lineup has saxophonist Kidd Jordan’s ensemble given the duties of closing out the festival: an honor Jordan’s been tasked with before and handled brilliantly.
 
I can only scratch the surface here while keeping this a readable length (and may have failed in the latter already). Check the full schedule to see all the acts with our preliminary recommendations in mind. My ultimate recommendation is to show up, watch, listen, and just get lost in the atmosphere. I always walk away from Vision blown away by someone I was vaguely aware of beforehand, but that’s the magic of this festival.
 
We wrap our coverage with a show interviewing drummer Andrew Cyrille on Sunday June 12 from 11 PM – 1 AM EST on WBAI. If you scoot home quickly after the Kidd Jordan set, you’ll be able to catch the tail end before calling it a night and wrapping it all up until this time next year. If you miss it, not to worry: we archive shows on our website.
 
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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 Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

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