Archives for posts with tag: Nublu Jazz Festival 2017

Words by Hank Williams. Photos © Joyce Jones/SugaBowl Photography. | MAIN PHOTO: The Sun Ra Arkestra’s Marshall Allen @ Vision Fest. Used with Permission. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND.

Over here in Suga in My Bowl headquarters, we’re gearing up for the 2018 Winter Jazz Festival (preview coming!), an annual gathering that brings an enormous amount of music to New York in January, with the centerpiece being two “Marathon” nights of music—this year on the 12 and 13.

This post, however, is about two scrappy festivals that might get lost in the shuffle, which would be a shame because you’d miss lots of good music.

The Nublu Jazz Festival’s been running since 2009 with an impressive roster of artists—originally in their postage stamp-sized East Village space at 62 Avenue C, which has been supplemented by a new, larger spot on the second floor of 151 Ave C, where this year’s activity will happen while the former space closes temporarily for a makeover.

The festival runs until December 17th. The selection of acts is strong and thoughtfully chosen. As with many festivals, it leans more toward the free/avant garde/ experimental (choose your preferred adjective) end of the scale, though it can be argued that that’s the corner of jazz that needs this sort of exposure.

With that out of the way, here are a few highlights of particular interest to listeners of our radio show. You can also just jump directly to the full schedule.

Trombonist Craig Harris makes an appearance on the 16th. Later that night, The Sun Ra Arkestra led by saxophonist Marshall Allen returns to Earth with two sets. They’ve also just been added to the bill at the Winter Jazzfest in January after a satisfying set at this year’s BRIC Arts Jazz Festival. To make what could be a long discussion short: go see the Arkestra if you can. Yes, there are some kitschy aspects to their shows, but it’s all in good fun. The 93-year-old Allen still has serious chops and no problems hitting the upper register of the sax or pulling out the EVI (which he’s become a master at as well) to liven things up. The setlists are a fascinating blend of favorites from the Sun Ra songbook, standards, and even the occasional Blues tune thrown in for good measure. Additionally, vocalist Tara Middleton has embraced her role as the Arkestra’s main vocalist and, along with other younger members, are invigorating the ensemble while carrying on the important traditions.

Meanwhile, slightly further downtown at the Clemente Soto Velez Center at 107 Suffolk St, Arts for Art, the nonprofit artist-centered organization responsible for the annual late spring Vision Fest, comes roaring back with a series spanning more than a month.

“Justice is Compassion: Action is Power” runs from December 7- January 12 in Clemente’s Abrazo Interno Gallery and features a surprisingly strong lineup of musicians working primarily in the free/avant grade mode, including many familiar names from Vision.

With sets nearly every night, there’s too much to mention here, but you can browse the full schedule and here are a few highlights.

The incredibly prolific bassist William Parker is part of several sets in the show. On December 21, he’s there with saxophonist Dave Sewelson and drummer Marvin Bugalu Smith. The next night, he’s back with saxophonist Andrew Lamb and joined by trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah. If you missed Parker’s “Songs for a Free World” suite earlier this year, there’s a chance to catch a version of it on January 10.

Drummer Francisco Mora Catlett brings a version of his AfroHorn ensemble for the early set on December 16 and has trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah joining him. It will be a rare chance to catch a very solid group that got stuck in a comically small space at last year’s Winter Jazz Fest.

One nice thing about Arts for Art is that they remember those who’ve passed on. Pianist Connie Crothers and poet Amiri Baraka will both be honored as part of the series. December 19-20 will feature several different sets dedicated to Crothers, while Baraka gets the focus on January 2-3.

Poet/vocalist (and Baraka’s widow—and frequent collaborator) Amina Baraka fronts drummer John Pietaro’s Red Microphone ensemble on the 2nd. Baraka will read several of her own poems with accompaniment by the group which includes saxophonist Ras Moshe. On January 3, saxophonist James Brandon Lewis brings a version of his Heroes are Gang Leaders ensemble for what promises to be a high energy set.

Both festivals showcase the type of innovative music that’s on offer beyond the jazz mainstream and do so in low-key settings and with affordable admission prices. So bundle up and see some live music this winter: once you get inside the vibe will keep you warm.

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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.

This week’s show features saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings! You can catch him in January at the Winter Jazz Fest. He’ll be at Le Poisson Rouge on the 10th with The Comet is Coming and leading Shabaka and the Ancestors on either the 12th or 13th. We’ll let you know when the schedule is finalized. And we have more listings for you this week.

Emma Franz’s documentary film Bill Frisell: A Portrait is showing at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village until December 14.

 

Vocalist Catherine Russell is at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater from December 13-17 with Big Band Holidays.

Saxophonist Gary Bartz and drummer Lenny White are at Smoke for a John Coltrane tribute from December 14-17.

Drummer Francisco Mora Catlett leads AfroHorn with trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah at the Lower East Side’s Clemente Soto Velez Center on December 16. And that’s part of Vision Fest promoters Arts for Art’s monthlong Justice is Compassion festival.

Trombonist Craig Harris is at Nublu in the East Village on December 16 as part of the Nublu Jazz Festival.

The Sun Ra Arkestra led by saxophonist Marshall Allen returns to Earth at Nublu in the East Village on December 16 to close the Nublu Jazz Festival.

Pianist Harold Mabern leads a quartet at Smoke from December 18-January 6.

Bassist William Parker and dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker are at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem on December 19 for a talk and performance about Jazz and social justice.

Vibraphonist Roy Ayers is at Iridium on December 26-27.

Vocalist René Marie is at the Jazz Standard from December 28-31.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Sunday December 24. 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

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, but if you missed the last show dedicated to the late pianist Horace Tapscott, head on over to our archives, where you’ll find that and archived shows dating back to 2009. And we have many more listings for you this week.

Drummer and percussionist Bobby Sanabria is at Baruch College’s Performing Arts Center on December 5 with Gene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble.

Pianist and vocalist Amina Claudine Myers is at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem on December 5 for a talk about her career.

Bassist Christian McBride leads Inside Straight at the Village Vanguard from December 5-10.

Guitarist Marc Ribot is at The Stone on December 6 with Ned Rothenberg.

Vision Fest promoters Arts for Art hosts a salon with saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and poet Quincy Troupe in conversation and performance at the Lower East Side’s Clemente Soto Velez Center on December 6.

Emma Franz’s documentary film Bill Frisell: A Portrait starts a run at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village on December 6.

Pianist Randy Weston will be at the New School for a screening and discussion of the documentary film Randy in Tangier on December 6. He’ll also be performing at the chapel of Columbia University’s Teachers College on December 10 to close the African Diaspora International Film Festival.

Pianist Vijay Iyer leads a trio at Nublu in the East Village on December 9 as part of the Nublu Jazz Festival.

Guitarist Bill Frisell is at the Jazz Standard from December 7-10.

Bassist William Parker is at the Lower East Side’s Clemente Soto Velez Center on December 8 as part of Arts for Art’s month-long Justice is Compassion festival.

Saxophonist Rene McLean is at City Lore’s Lower East Side Gallery for a Pre-Kwanzaa event on December 10.

Vocalist Catherine Russell is at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater from December 13-17 with Big Band Holidays.

Saxophonist Gary Bartz and drummer Lenny White are at Smoke for a John Coltrane tribute from December 14-17.

Trombonist Craig Harris is at Nublu in the East Village on December 16 as part of the Nublu Jazz Festival.

The Sun Ra Arkestra led by saxophonist Marshall Allen returns to Earth at Nublu in the East Village on December 16 to close the Nublu Jazz Festival.

Pianist Harold Mabern leads a quartet at Smoke for a John Coltrane tribute from December 18-19.

Bassist William Parker and dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker are at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem on December 19 for a talk and performance about Jazz and social justice.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Sunday December 10. 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

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