Léandre: Octet Satiemental Journey
Cécile Daroux, flute; François Houle, clarinet; Guy Bettini,
trumpet; Melvyn Poore, tuba; Michael Berger, piano; Mary Oliver, violin;
Hannes Clauss, drums, percussion; Joëlle Léandre, contrabass.
Born in 1951, French contrabassist, improvisor and
composer Joëlle Léandre is one of the most prominent
figures in new European music. From the age of 9, Léandre
studied piano and double bass in her home town of Aix-en-Provence.
After earning a Premier Prix at the Conservatoire National Supérieur
de Musique in Paris, in 1976 she received a scholarship to the Center
for Creative and Performing Arts in Buffalo, where she collaborated
with Morton Feldman, John Cage and Giacinto Scelsi. Trained in orchestral
as well as contemporary music, she has played with the most important
ensembles in France, including L'Itineraire, 2e2m, and Pierre Boulez's
Ensemble Intercontemporain. Léandre has also worked with Merce
Cunningham and with John Cage, who composed pieces especially for
her, as have Giacinto Scelsi, Betsy Jolas, Aldo Clementi and a host
of other composers.
Léandre's work as composer, improvisor, and interpreter, in
solo recitals and ensembles, has placed her on the most prestigious
stages in Europe, the Americas and Asia. She has made over 105 recordings,
and has performed with some of the most innovative figures in improvised
music, such as Derek Bailey, Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Evan
Parker, Irene Schweizer, Barre Phillips, Steve Lacy, Lauren Newton,
Peter Kowald, Urs Leimgruber, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Marilyn Crispell,
and India Cooke. Léandre has written extensively for dance
and theater, and has staged a number of multidisciplinary performances.
She has been a resident artist in Berlin through the Deutscher Akademischer
Austauschdienst (DAAD), and in Kyoto at Villa Kujiyama. In 2002,
2004 and 2006, she was Visiting Darius Milhaud Professor of Composition
Professor at Mills College in Oakland, California, the important
US center for experimental music.
For more information on Joëlle Léandre, see http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/mleandre.html
|Since receiving first prize in contrabass performance
from the Paris Conservatory in 1971, and eight years as part of L'Itineraire
and the Ensemble Intercontemporain, two of France's most prestigious
performance ensembles for contemporary music, Joëlle Léandre
has never wavered in her quest to emancipate her "bastard" instrument,
scorned in classical music's "hierarchy of the desks." A
woman of action and fury, a tireless sonic adventurer, in love with
the encounter with the Other, radical defender of living music against "the
necrophilia of classical music." she has made improvisation
her daily bread. Seeking new modes of performance on her instrument,
from both contemporary music and her adopted field of jazz, from
which she learned "an attitude, a call, a vision of the world."
Whether as improvisor, composer, or interpreter, Joëlle Léandre
has always fought for a certain nomadism, a crossing of borders,
an openness of musical language. Whether it is John Cage or Giacinto
Scelsi who dedicate works to her, or Anthony Braxton who invites
her to share his new compositional forms, she considers herself first
and foremost as a contrabassist who, whatever the aesthetic or the
direction, prefers musical encounter without hierarchy.
The suite "Satiemental Journeys," composed in 1998, seems
a fitting work for someone who avoids the role of leader, seeing
herself more as a "protagonist of ideas, of gatherings." An
orchestra dedicated to Erik Satie, but without any quotation from
his works; rather, a work inspired by his writings, his music, his
journeys, and the personality of this turn-of-the-twentieth century
composer who was recognized among the intelligentsia of his day,
a provocateur in the spirit of Dada--not so far removed, after all,
from Léandre's own personality. Léandre conceived this
octet as a "chamber ensemble," with several kinds of writing--graphic
procedures, open, polyrhythmic forms--and especially, improvisation,
at once erudite and ludic. The ensemble constitutes an international
troupe representing a variety of musical directions, strong personalities
that Léandre has encountered in her own journeys and who,
like her, cultivate the eclectic. "For me, the importance of
this work of composition lies in my firm conviction that composition
and improvisation can only be compatible, rich and jubilant," Léandre
maintains. "This octet was composed for these creative musicians
in particular, all soloists and leaders, improvisors and composers
themselves! I welcome and watch for the utopia of what tomorrow's
composition could be, without all these hierarchies, roles and rules.
My dream," Joëlle Léandre has said, "would
be to smash all these file-boxes that are used to classify musicians
in one genre or another. Whether the music is improvised or written,
nothing matters more than the individual, her thought, and her invention."
-- Thierry Lepin, with supplementary text by Joëlle Léandre.
from the French by George E. Lewis.
The Globe Unity Orchestra
Alexander V. Schlippenbach, piano; Gerd Dudek, Evan Parker, reeds;
Manfred Schoof, Jean-Luc Cappozzo, Axel Dörner, trumpets; Jeb
Bishop, Nils Wogram, trombones; Paul Lytton, Paal Nilssen-Love, drums.
About the Globe Unity Orchestra
The Globe Unity Orchestra
began life in Autumn 1966, when Alexander von Schlippenbach received
a commission for a new work from RIAS Berlin and the Berlin Jazz
Festival. The November 1966 premiere performance of the new work, "Globe
Unity, which took place at Berlin's Philharmonic Hall, marked the
first time that free jazz was presented on an important stage in
Germany. It was a sensational success, and with this, the Globe Unity
Orchestra began a career lasting more than forty years. The Orchestra
performed at the "Donaueschinger Tage für Neue Musik" in
1967 and 1970, and went on to perform on almost every important Festival
in Europe. In 1980, with the support of the Goethe Institute, Globe
Unity toured Asia, with concerts in Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia,
and Thailand. In 1982, the Orchestra won Down Beat Magazine's Critics
Poll for "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition, and in 1986, performed
before 50,000 people at the Chicago Jazz Festival. A new CD marking
the Globe Unity Orchestra's 40th Anniversary is forthcoming from
Intakt Records in 2007.
Recordings include: Globe Unity, Saba 15 109 ST (1966); Globe
Unity 67 & 70, Atavistic/Unheard Music Series (1967/70); Live
in Wuppertal, FMP 0160 (1973), Hamburg '74, FMP 0650/Atavistic
Unheard Music Series UMS/ALP248CD (1974); Jahrmarkt/Local fair,
Po Torch PTR/JWD 2 (1975/1976); Improvisations, JAPO 60021 (1977);
Pearls, FMP 0380 (1977); Compositions, JAPO 60027 (1979); Intergalactic
blow, JAPO 60039 (1982); 20th Anniversary, FMP CD45 (1986); Globe
Unity 2002, Intakt CD 086 (2002).
For more information on the Globe Unity Orchestra, see these websites:
SEPTEMBER 20, 21, AND 22, 2007
David Murray and Kidd Jordan’s Jazz Allstars
Creole Restaurant & Jazz Cafe 2167 Third Avenue NE corner 118th Street
9:00 pm & 11:00 pm
David Murray, Kidd Jordan, saxophones; Roy Campbell, trumpet; David Burrell,
piano; Harrison Bankhead, bass; Hamid Drake, drums
|| About David Murray
Born in Oakland, California, tenor saxophonist
and bass clarinetist David Murray grew up in the neighboring town
of Berkeley, and studied with Catherine Murray (organist and David's
mother). Moving to Southern California, Murray studied at Pomona
College, where he studied with writer and drummer Stanley Crouch,
and performed with trumpeter Bobby Bradford, saxophonist Arthur Blythe,
and many others.
Moving to New York in 1975, Murray met and played with Cecil Taylor,
who along with Dewey Redman, gave the young musician the encouragement
he needed. New York was a source of new encounters with people and
with music from all horizons: Sunny Murray, Anthony Braxton, Oliver
Lake, Don Cherry, Ted Daniel, Hamiet Bluiett, Lester Bowie and Frank
Lowe. In 1976 Murray co-founded the World Saxophone Quartet, with
Oliver Lake, Hamiet Bluiett and Julius Hemphill; in 1978, he founded
his own quartet, octet and quintet formations.
From Jerry Garcia to Max Roach, from Randy Weston to Elvin Jones,
from strings to Ka drums from Guadeloupe, and South African dancers
and musicians, David Murray has been one of the most diverse musicians
in his generation. Named in the 1980s by the Village Voice as "musician
of the decade," David Murray's awards include a Grammy Award
(1989) and several Grammy nominations; a Guggenheim Fellowship, and
the Danish Jazzpar Prize,. Two documentaries have been made about
David Murray's life: "Speaking in Tongues" (1982) and "Jazzman." nominated
at the Baltimore Film Festival (1999).
For more on David Murray, see http://www.myspace.com/davidmurraymusic
|| About Edward "Kidd " Jordan
Edward "Kidd" Jordan was born in Crowley, Louisiana and
played in various bands throughout elementary school and high school,
achieving mastery of the entire saxophone and clarinet families,
with special emphasis on the tenor saxophone. Graduating from Southern
University in Baton Rouge with a degree in music education, Jordan
is a consummate educator who has taught music at the elementary,
high school and university level for over a half-century, and who
recently retired from Southern University at New Orleans, where he
served as Associate Professor and chaired the jazz studies program.
The list of Jordan's former students reads like a Who's Who in music:
Donald Harrison Jr., Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, and Wynton
and Branford Marsalis, among many others. He is the patriarch of
one of New Orleans's best-known musical families; of seven children,
four have developed substantial careers: flutist Kent, singer Stephanie,
violinist Rachel and trumpeter Marlon.
In his early years, Jordan gained valuable experience in various
stage, dance, and rhythm and blues bands. The list of bands and artists
Jordan has performed with reads like a 40-year Grammy program: Ray
Charles, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and Cannonball Adderley,
Ellis Marsalis, Lena Horne, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, and Big
Maybelle. As far back as his R&B days, however, Jordan's playing
was heard by his fellow musicians as "different." Eventually,
Jordan moved away from playing conventional "tunes" to
discover his own musical convictions. Today, this innovative, boundary-smashing
artist has performed with Sun Ra, William Parker, Alvin Fielder,
Hamiet Bluiett, Reggie Workman, David Murray, Alan Silva, Joel Futterman,
Fred Anderson, Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, Peter Kowald, Louis
Moholo, Sunny Murray, Hamid Drake, Ed Blackwell, and Andrew Cyrille.
amassed a discography of over 30 recordings of his own music, and
has performed in jazz and music festivals around the world, including
France, where he has received the title of Chevalier of Arts and
Jordan's view of innovation, based on discipline and introspection,
situates itself squarely in the tradition of black American music.
As he himself modestly puts it, "Styles are born out of people's
technique. When people have enough technique then they can do some
For more on Edward "Kidd"Jordan, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidd_Jordan
SEPTEMBER 20, 21, AND 22, 2007
The Monty Alexander Jazz and Roots Ensemble
288 Lenox Avenue Malcolm X Boulevard btw. 124th & 125th
9:00 pm & 11:00 pm
Monty Alexander, piano; George Wayne Armond, guitar; Reginald Veal,
bass; Herlin Riley, drums
|| About Monty Alexander
By grafting the traditions of American
jazz to his Jamaican roots, pianist Monty Alexander has spent
a lifetime exploring the rich depths of musical and cultural
diversity. In a career that spans more than four decades, he
has performed and/or recorded with artists from every corner
of the musical universe: Frank Sinatra, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie,
Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Sly Dunbar, Robbie
Shakespeare and many more.
Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Monty Alexander took his
first piano lessons at age six. As a youngster, he was often
invited to sit in with the bands of prominent musicians working
in Jamaican nightclubs and hotels, and eventually formed “Monty
and the Cyclones,” a band that landed several songs on
the Jamaican music charts between 1958 and 1960. Alexander came
to the United States in the end of 1961, and caught the ear of
New York City club owner Jilly Rizzo, who hired the young pianist
to work in his club, where he accompanied Rizzo's friend, Frank
Sinatra, and many other well-known performers. Milt Jackson hired
Monty to work with him, leading to performances with Ray Brown,
Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, and Sonny Rollins.
Alexander has always pursued projects spanning diverse genres
and styles. In 1991, he assisted Natalie Cole in crafting the
Grammy-winning tribute to her father, Nat “King” Cole,
Unforgettable. Frequently featured at Switzerland's Montreux
Jazz Festival since 1976, he performed there in 1993 and 1994
with opera singer Barbara Hendricks in a program of Duke Ellington
compositions, and in 1995 with his all-Jamaican reggae group,
recording a live album for Island Records, Yard Movement. In
August 1996, Alexander performed George Gershwin's “Rhapsody
in Blue” at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland., with
a full symphony orchestra conducted by Bobby McFerrin. In 1996,
Alexander recorded Stir It Up, an album that combined acoustic
jazz and Jamaican reggae rhythm sections to interpret the music
of Bob Marley. In 2005, Alexander traveled to Bob Marley’s
Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston, Jamaica, with a crew of highly
talented U.S. musicians, teaming up with Jamaica's top session
players to record Concrete Jungle, a set of twelve Bob Marley
compositions, again reinterpreted via Alexander’s jazz
By now, Alexander has recorded more than sixty CDs under his
own name, and performs at leading festivals and music venues
worldwide. “My goal is to uplift,”
Alexander says. “The piano, to me, is a vehicle for connecting
to other human beings. I'm very open to all forms of music. I'm
not a bebop musician, I'm not a calypso musician, I'm not a reggae
musician. I'm a musician who loves it all."
For more on Monty Alexander, see http://montyalexander.com/
SEPTEMBER 20, 21, AND 22, 2007
Cynthia Scott Quartet
Showman's 375 W 125th St 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm
Cynthia Scott, vocals; Bill Easley, reeds; John DiMartino,
piano; Essiet Essiet, bass guitar; Yoron Israel, drums
|| About Cynthia Scott
Born in Arkansas, Cynthia Scott began singing at
the age of four in her father's church. After high school, Cynthia
moved to Dallas, Texas, working an airline stewardess while learning
to sing on the local club scene in Dallas, with musicians like
James Clay, Claude Johnson, Roger Boykin, Onzy Matthews and Red
Garland, and touring with Ray Charles as a "Raelette." In
1998, Ms. Scott was a finalist in the International Thelonious
Monk Institute's Vocal Competition. Moving to New York, Ms. Scott
earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the Manhattan School
of Music, and worked with Wynton Marsalis, notably on the show
Chamber Meets Ellington at Jazz at Lincoln Center. She has also
worked with Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, David "Fathead" Newman,
and Harry Connick Jr.
Through the Kennedy Center and the US State Department, Ms. Scott
toured West Africa and Europe in 2004, representing her country
as Jazz Ambassador. In 2005, she was a finalist in the International
Song Writing Competition for her original tune, "I Just
Want To Know." Her recordings (on her own TTOCS label) include
I Just Want To Know, Boom Boom: Live in Japan with the Norman
Simmons Trio, Storytelling, and the 2002 Ala Carte, which received
a Grammy nomination. Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich called
Ms. Scott "a mesmerizing vocalist", but perhaps Norman
Simmons said it best: "Very few left of the real thing,
and she is definitely one of them."
For more on Cynthia Scott, see http://www.cynthiascott.com/
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2007
Lionel Loueke and Somi, Randy Weston Quintet, Martino Atangana and African Blue Note
Marian Anderson Theater at Aaron Davis Hall 150 Convent Ave at West 135th Street
$10/$5 students and seniors
Lionel Loueke and Somi
Lionel Loueke, vocals, guitar; Somi, vocals; Avishai Cohen, trumpet; Joe Martin, bass; Ferenc Nemeth, drums.
| About Lionel Loueke
Born in Benin, a small country in West Africa, Lionel Loueke first picked up percussion instruments before choosing guitar at the age of 17. In 1990, he studied at the National Institute of Art in Ivory Coast, and 1994, he was accepted at the American School of Modern Music in Paris, receiving a Diploma in 1998. In 2000, he earned a degree in Jazz Performance from the Berklee College of Music. From 2001 to 2003, Loueke studied at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of Southern California, and recorded two albums with Monk Institute Director Terence Blanchard, the second one on the famous Blue Note label. Now living in New York, Loueke has recorded two CDs under his own name: In A Trance (Space Time) and Virgin Forest (Obliqsound). He has also recorded with Herbie Hancock, Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Wayne Shorter, Charlie Haden, Richard Bona, Marcus Miller, Sting, John Patitucci, Kenny Garrett, Roy Hargrove, and Santana, among many others
For more information on Lionel Loueke, see http://www.lionelloueke.com/
Born in Illinois to Rwandese and Ugandan parents, Somi has lived in Zambia, Kenya, and Tanzania. Upon moving to New York City, Somi earned a master’s degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and became the featured vocalist in the African Globe Theater production of Drums Under the African Sky. This early spot led to collaborations with Amel Larrieux, Tsidii Le Loka, Roy Hargrove, Lonnie Plaxico, and her present collaboration with Lionel Loueke.
A popular headliner and firm critical favorite, Somi has performed at Joe’s Pub, B.B. King’s, and the Blue Note in New York City, as well as the Atlanta Jazz Festival and Chicago's famed South Shore Jazz Fest. She has been profiled in CNN International and BET, and was featured in Source Magazine as part of the anti-police brutality project, Hip-Hop for Respect.
In 2006, Somi was invited by the International French Cultural Center to tour 15 African countries, and she helped the Rwandan Ministry of Culture and World Culture Open to organize the 5th Pan-African Festival of Dance in Kigali. At the same time, she consulted for the United Nations Development Programme’s International Conference on Creative Economies for Development.
Throughout Somi’s songwriting, her voice soars over, through, and in between nuances of an incomparable musicianship that organically fuses jazz, classic soul, African folk, and rare urban grooves. “Singing has been a journey of healing,” says the young singer/songwriter, and that is the reason she refers to it as "Holistic New African Soul-Jazz."
For more information on Somi, see http://www.somimusic.com
The Randy Weston Quintet
| About Randy Weston
Randy Weston is one of the world's foremost pianists and composers, a true innovator and visionary. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926, Weston received his earliest training from private teachers in a household that nurtured his budding musicianship. He grew up among peers as saxophonist Cecil Payne, bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik, trumpeter Ray Copeland, as well as the steady influx of great jazz musicians who frequented Brooklyn clubs and jam sessions. After a 1945 stint in the Army, Weston began playing piano with rhythm and blues bands led by Bull Moose Jackson and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson. In the summer of 1954, Weston worked days as a cook at the Music Inn educational retreat in Lenox, Massachusetts, while playing the piano at night. There, the head of Riverside Records, Orrin Keepnews, heard Weston and produced his first recording, "Cole Porter in a Modern Mood."
Over the ensuing years, Weston's close and fruitful musical partnership with trombonist-arranger Melba Liston resulted in some of Weston's best recordings. During this period, Weston wrote many of his most frequently recorded compositions, including "Saucer Eyes," "Pam's Waltz," "Little Niles," and perhaps his best-known, "Hi-Fly," of which Weston (who is 6' 8") whimsically recalls as a "tale of being my height and looking down at the ground." Weston's interest in the African continent was sparked at an early age, and in the early 1960s, he began lecturing and performing in Africa. In 1967, he performed in 14 Arican countries on a State Department tour. Weston eventually settled in Rabat, Morocco, but later moved to Tangier, opening the African Rhythms Club in 1969. It was in Morocco that Weston first forged unique collaborations with Berber and Gnawan musicians, infusing his jazz with African music and rhythms.
Since returning to the U.S. in 1972, he has lived in his native Brooklyn, traveling around the world with ensembles that include trombonist Benny Powell, and his longtime musical director, saxophonist T.K. Blue. In recent years, Weston's collaborations with the Master Musicians of Gnawa have been performed at the Kennedy Center. He has taught at Harvard University, received an honorary doctorate from Brooklyn College, and has received many honors: Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters (1997); Black Music Star Award of the Arts Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana (2000); National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master (2001); "Composer of the Year" from Downbeat Magazine (1994, 1996, and 1999).
For more information, see http://www.randyweston.info/
Martino Atangana and African Blue Note
Martino Atangana, guitar and vocals; Azouhouni Adou, keyboard and vocals;
Todd Horton, trumpet; Mamadou Ba, bass; Jojo Kuo, drums.
About Martino Atangana and African Blue Note
Based in New York City, Martino Atangana and African Blue Note perform a variety of African rhythms, including juju from Nigeria, soukous from Congo, bikutsi, assiko and makossa from Cameroon, and hi-life from Ghana. In the past decade they have performed at venues such as Lincoln Center, the Museum for African Art, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, BAMCafe, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
A native of Yaoundé, Cameroon, Martino Atangana has worked with Paul Simon, Jean Luc Ponty, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Manu Dibango, Kasse Mady, and many other artists. His solo albums with African Blue Note include "Oyenga Fam" and "Mot Songo." Dr. Atangana, who received his Ph.D from the Sorbonne, is also a Professor of History at York College/CUNY.
Azouhouni Adou is from Abidjan, Côte D'Ivoire. He has performed with Oumou Sangare, Abeti Massekini, Pepe Kallé, Sery Simplice, and Luckson Padau. He is the artistic producer of a number of recordings, and from 1998-2001, was the leader of "Wassalou," the African band at Animal Kingdom, Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Jojo Kuo is a native of Douala, Cameroon. He has worked with artists such as Fela A. Kuti, Manu Dibango, Papa Wemba, Mory Kante, Harry Belafonte, and bands such as Soukous Stars and Zaiko Langa Langa.
A native of Dakar, Senegal, Mamadou Ba has worked with Afropop singers such as Ismaelo and Youssou N'Dour. For the past few years he has been working with Harry Belafonte.
For more information on African Blue Note, see http://www.africanbluenote.com/ and http://www.atangana.com/
Jazz on the Riverbank
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 23, 2007
Jazz on the Riverbank
Featuring: The Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, directed by Arturo O'Farrill, George Gee's Jump, Jivin' Wailers,
Shamarr Allen and the Hot 8 Brass Band, and Youth ensembles from the Harlem School of the Arts
A Block Party at:
The Riverbank State Park
679 Riverside Drive
1:00 – 6:30 pm
Craft and Food Vendors at the Park
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2007
Zim Ngqawana Quartet
Steve Coleman and the Mystic Rhythm Society
El Museo del Barrio 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street
$10/$5 students and seniors
Zim Ngqawana Quartet,
About Zim Ngqawana
Zim Ngqawana is part of a new
generation of South African musicians who are taking a fresh look at
South Africa's jazz and traditional music heritage. Born in 1959 in Port
Elizabeth in South Africa's Eastern Cape, Ngqawana started playing flute
at the age of 21. Although he was forced to drop out of school before
completing university entrance requirements, his prowess won him a place
at Rhodes University. He later went on to study for a diploma in jazz
studies at the University of Natal. Working with the University's ensemble, "The
Jazzanians", he attended the International Association of Jazz Educators
convention in the United States, and was offered a scholarship to the
Max Roach/Wynton Marsalis jazz workshop, and subsequently a Max Roach
Scholarship to the University of Massachusetts, where he studied with
Archie Shepp and Yusef Lateef.
Since his return to South Africa in the 1990's, Ngqawana has renewed his commitment
to developing and creating an audience for new South African jazz. In addition
to working with Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela, Ngqawana has also created
his own ensembles, ranging from quartets, quintets, and his eight-piece group, "Ingoma," which
toured the US in 1995, to his large-scale "Drums for Peace Orchestra," an
elite group of 12 Presidential drummers with himself as solo saxophonist, that
performed at the historic inauguration of President Nelson Mandela in 1994.
The music of Zim Ngqawana draws on influences ranging from South Africa's folk
and rural traditions to Indian and western classical music, world music and
the avant-garde. Grounded in his South African roots, the music is strongly
percussive, improvisational, and often highly danceable. Ngqawana has played
with Max Roach, Keith Tippett, Paul Van Kemenade Dennis Mpale, Andile Yenana,
Herbie Tsoaeli, Kevin Gibson, Valerie Naranjo, and has toured America, Africa
and Europe with his own ensembles.
For more information on Zim Ngqawana, see http://www.zimology.com/
Steve Coleman and the Mystic Rhythm Society
Steve Coleman, alto saxophone; Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Tim Albright,
trombone; Jen Shyu, vocals; Carl Walker, aka Kokayi, and Terence Nicholson,
aka Sub-Z, vocals, MC; Rosangela Silvestre, dancer; Sandy Perez. Pedro Martinez,
Nei Sacramento, Felipe Alexandro, Luciano da Silva, percussion.
About Steve Coleman
Steve Coleman began playing music at the
age of 14, as a young Chicago high school student. His first instrument
was violin, but later that year he switched to the alto saxophone. After
studying the basics of music and saxophone technique, he decided that
he wanted to learn to improvise, and was drawn to the music of Charlie
Parker. After spending two years at Illinois Wesleyan University, Coleman
transferred to Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago. His musical
study also included Chicago's musical nightlife, where he was introduced
to the work of saxophonists Von Freeman, Bunky Green, Guido Sinclair,
Moving to New York in 1978, Coleman performed with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis
Big Band, the Sam Rivers Big Band, Cecil Taylor's Big Band, David Murray, Doug
Hammond, Dave Holland, Michael Brecker, and Abbey Lincoln. With trumpeter Graham
Haynes, Coleman also played in New York City's streets for small amounts of
money, an activity that evolved into "Steve Coleman and Five Elements," the
flagship ensemble for most of Coleman's activities. The ensemble developed
a concept of improvisation within nested looping structures, which Coleman
and his associated named the "M-Base" concept. The late 1980s found
Coleman working with a collective of musicians called the M-Base Collective.
He developed computer software that was able to spontaneously develop improvisations,
harmonic structures and drum rhythms, work which eventually culminated in a
1999 commission from the Institute de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique
(IRCAM) in Paris.
Coleman has lived in the small village of Yendi in Ghana, studying the drum
language of the Dagbon people. He has studied Kemetic philosophy with Thomas
Goodwin, and has collaborated and recorded extensively with musicians in Cuba,
who were engaged with Yoruba-related traditions of Santeria, Candomblé,
and Vodun, as well the Abakua societies (Ngbe), the various Arara cults (Dahomey),
and the Congo traditions such as nganga, mayombe and palo monte. Coleman has
also worked with musicians from Senegal and the Karnatic traditions of southern
India (see the documentary "Elements of One," part of the Festival's
film series [RICHARD: CREATE LINK HERE) and has served as a professor of music
at the University of California, Berkeley, and its Center for New Music and
Audio Technologies (CNMAT).
For more information on Steve Coleman, see http://www.m-base.com/
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 2007
Technodiaspora: An Internet Master Class and Teleperformance
Harlem School of the Arts
645 St. Nicholas Avenue
Using video and audio streaming va the MARCEL telecollaboration network, students at the Harlem School of the Arts perform and discuss music live with more experienced counterparts a world away, in Durban, South Africa. In addition, a performance between musical colleagues in New York and Durban, all committed explorers of new musical ideas, will take place.
At Harlem School of the Arts:
J.D. Parran, winds, percussion, and Ewart handmade/invented instruments; Brian Smith, contrabass, Ewart handmade/invented instruments; Douglas R. Ewart, composer, winds, percussion, and Ewart handmade/invented instruments.
At the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa:
Ndikho Xaba, piano and percussion; Madala Kunene, guitar; Sazi Dlamini, strings, percussion.
Coordinators (New York): Daniel McVeigh (Teachers College, Columbia University, and MARCEL) and the team at Harlem School of the Arts: Oamien Agans-Oliha (Technology Manager); George Madarasz (IT Coordinator, Programs); E. (Mesiyah) McGinnis (HSA Theatre Artistic Director); Imo Nse Imeh (Director, Visual Arts Department); with the coordination of Lydia Jerez, HSA Senior Director of Programs
Coordinators (South Africa): Jasper A. Cecil, Director, Audio Visual Division, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Mahomed Sheik, Production Coordinator, Audio Visual Centre, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
About Sazi Dlamini
Sazi Dlamini grew up on the rural south coast of KwaZulu-Natal where, as a child, he participated in an a cappella choir and learned to play (tin) guitar. After matriculation, he studied for a short while engineering, then medicine. After dropping out of both fields he began to study music formally at the age of twenty-seven. After obtaining a Diploma in Jazz Performance and a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies, he was awarded a Master of Music degree cum laude by the University of Natal in 1999, and since then has been reading towards a PhD on South African jazz in exile.
Dlamini is an ethnomusicologist, PhD student and part-time lecturer at the University of KwaZuluNatal. He has also taught at Rhodes University's Department of Music and studied Musicology at Cambridge's St John's College. Sazi Dlamini has a certificate from the UKZN African Music Project for teaching and performance in the genres of maskandi. gumboot, indlamu, and Nguni musical bows, and also studied in the genre of isicathamiya choral a-cappella under Professor Joseph Shabalala (of Ladysmith Black Mambazo). He builds and teaches various southern African instruments.
Sazi Dlamini is the leader of the township jazz band Skokiana and has performed as guitarist with Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim, the NU Jazz Connection, Zanusi, and many others. As a composer he has worked on the South African version of Sesame Street. Dlamini has composed music for the films Sky In Her Eyes (2003) and Ikhaya/Home (2004). Yinkosi Yeziziba, composed in collaboration with Prof Jiirgen Brauninger of UKZN, and performed at Stuttgart, has been chosen by the International Society for Contemporary Music for performance representing South Africa at the World New Music Days in Switzerland in November 2004.
About Douglas Ewart
For over 35 years, the multi-voiced artist Douglas R. Ewart has been active as composer, improvisor, sculptor and maker of masks and instruments. Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1946, Ewart immigrated to Chicago in the United States in 1963. A member of the experimental music collective, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), since the late 1960s, Ewart now serves with flutist-composer Nicole Mitchell as the organization's chair.
Ewart is known as a master builder and craftsman. His 1987 U.S.-Japan Creative Arts Fellowship enabled him to study both contemporary Japanese culture and the traditional Buddhist shakuhachi flute, as well as presenting public performances, notably with fellow shakuhachi master Akikazu Nakamura. His cornucopia of handmade flutes, reeds, and percussion instruments are featured in many of his pieces, including one of his signature works, “Music from the Bamboo Forest." Ewart's sculptures, sound sculptures, and handcrafted masks have been exhibited at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. Most recently, his collaborative work, "Rio Negro," using computer-controlled motorized chimes and rainsticks, was exhibited in 2007 at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston.
Ewart's well-known sonic and visual work, “Crepuscule," is a celebration of sunset, bringing together diverse musical groups, dancers, artists and activists in a collective composition. The work, which uses invented percussion instruments built by Ewart from everyday objects such as crutches, oars and skis, is performed annually in Chicago's Washington Park, as well an in other US cities. A special version created for the Banlieues Bleues Festival in Paris was aimed at uniting the city's diverse inner city youth communities.
Ewart has traveled, studied, and performed throughout the US, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Latin America, with artists as diverse as Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Claudine Myers, Rita Warford, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Alvin Curran, Anthony Davis, Robert Dick, James Newton, and Henry Threadgill. His mastery of woodwinds, flutes, and saxophones have also found expression in his work with his Clarinet Choir, and his diverse projects under the banner of Douglas R. Ewart and Inventions. He has twice received the Bush Artists Fellowship (1997 and 2007), as well as grants from the Minnesota Composers Forum/McKnight Foundation (2004 and 2007), and Jerome Foundation grants. He has been in residence at the Naropa Institute, and other important performances have taken place at the Contemporary Art Center (New Orleans), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Abraham Merkin Hall, the Public Theater, the Kitchen, and Carnegie Hall (New York). He has led workshops and lectured at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the Banff Center for the Arts, and the Smithsonian Institution. Since 1991, Ewart has served as Adjunct Full Professor, at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in the departments of Liberal Arts and Sound.
For more information on Douglas Ewart, please see http://www.bambooewart.net
About Madala Kunene
Known to many simply as Bafo, Madala Kunene has been making music since the age of 7. Kunene's first guitar was made from a cooking oil tin, with fish gut for strings. Busking on the streets of Durban, he soon became a popular performer in the townships. As a player for the African Wanderers Football Club, the teenage Madala was torn between his love of football and music, playing guitar at home after matches.
Widely recognized as “King of the Zulu Guitar," Madala Kunene has recorded as a solo artist, as well as collaborating with many highly acclaimed musicians, such as Sipho Gumede, Robert Doc Mthalane, Moses Taiwa Molelekwa, Mandla Masuka, Baba Mokoena Serakoeng, Max Lasser, Syd Kitchen, Greg Georgiades, Ashish Joshi, Busi Mhlongo, and Mabi Thobejan. He has performed throughout Europe and Scandinavia, and in 2003, he composed the score for the Oscar-nominated South African film “Yesterday” - the first ever full length feature film in the Zulu language.
For more information on Madala Kunene, please see http://www.melt2000.com
About Ndikho Xaba
About Daniel McVeigh
Daniel McVeigh is a Ph.D candidate in Computing, Education and Cognitive Science at Columbia University's Teachers College, under the direction of Professor John Black. Since 1987 Daniel P McVeigh has focused on providing aesthetic and computational/network support for people who are geographically separated and wish to communicate both formally and informally. His research has examined the role of the artist in a technological society, and his exploration of Issues in human-computer interface design includes efforts to transcend language barriers through the use of “conversational props,” online painting, underwater and above-ground robotics installations, and network music festivals in telecollaboration with artists in Ireland, Denmark, France, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Canada and the US. McVeigh has implemented projects such as the Ocean of Know, Twilight Studios' “Art In The Dark," the Electronic Café @The Kitchen, The Knitting Factory and Nuyorican poets Café in New York City, and an interactive telecommunications lab at Viacom.
Most recently, McVeigh has developed "Young McDonalds Farm," a telerobotic farm built by teachers and students. For this project, McVeigh designed and developed computer-based system simulations to teach concepts in mathematics and aquaculture science. These simulations have been the focus of several cognitive science studies in NYC's Bronx Public Schools, and leading to a major collaboration aimed at rethinking the way Aquaculture is taught in the US by land grant universities. Projects and research funding for his projects were provided by Bell Labs, Bellcore, Nynex/Verizon, Pac Bell, MCI, Motorola, MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, Viacom, and the New York Department of Education, among others.
For more information on Daniel McVeigh, please see http://www.oceanofk.org
Daniel McVeigh is a member of MARCEL (Multimedia Art Research Centres and Electronic Laboratories), an international, non-profit consortium dedicated to maintaining a permanent broadband interactive network and web site dedicated to artistic, educational and cultural experimentation, exchange between art and science and collaboration between art and industry. MARCEL's mission is:
* to promote artistic experimentation and collaboration in all forms of interactive art
* to promote philosophical exchange between art and science
* to develop the potential of the network as an educational tool
* to study the network as a pedagogical subject
* to develop co-operation between art and industry
* to participate in the development of cultural expression on the network
Today's performance of Technodiaspora is a MARCEL project, which is defined as "an activity involving two or more members using the MARCEL Network to fulfill its aims. Projects are based on artistic co-production in all artistic disciplines, technical projects working to make the network space function better for its members, art- or science-related projects such as archiving, authors' rights, research and education questions, or other kinds of programs.
For more information on MARCEL, please see http://www.mmmarcel.org/about.htm
Commentary on Technodiaspora
Critical race cybertheorist Alondra Nelson has observed that "racial identity, and blackness in particular, is the anti-avatar of digital life." Certainly, the life and work of Cheikh Anta Diop, the Senegalese radiologist and national hero whose radical historical interventions resonated fiercely across the Afrodiaspora and beyond, provided strong evidence that the technological is hardly incompatible with African histories.
Another powerful counternarrative to both genre typing and technophobia was articulated in the 1960s by a group of cosmopolitan black musicians of the 1960s, including Charles Stepney with Minnie Riperton, Eddie Harris, and Muhal Richard Abrams. These musicians, despite a lack of institutional or foundation backing, were nonetheless early adopters of real-time electronic music technology to the extent that their resources allowed. By 1966, saxophonist Harris became one of the first musicians in any field to seriously experiment, in concert and on records, with the new real-time music technologies. Working several years before his better-known colleague, Miles Davis (who recorded Harris's "Freedom Jazz Dance"), Harris forged a trenchant connection between advanced electronic music techniques, extended acoustic instrumental technique, and down-home funk, recording pieces with real-time electronic sound processors such as the Varitone, a so-called "octave divider" that synthesized parallel octaves above or below the pitch of a horn, and the Echoplex, an early tape-based delay line noted for its portability.
In 1967, Abrams, the co-founder of the African-American experimental music collective, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), documented the first example of his long engagement with electronics. Each of the three pieces on Abrams's first recording, Levels and Degrees of Light was awash in dense studio reverberation. In the same period, legendary Chicago producer Stepney drew on the work of Russian musician and polymath Joseph Schillinger and American composer Henry Cowell in his innovative articulation of a form of “black psychedelia” between 1967 and 1971 with the Rotary Connection and the brilliant singer Minnie Riperton; hear, for example, Stepney’s unusual and ironic version of Otis Redding’s “Respect.
Drawing in part upon historical scholarship such as Diop’s that asserts historical and cultural continuity between the technologically advanced civilizations of ancient Egypt and the contemporary black diaspora, today's Afrodiasporic artists reject the notion that electronics can be rigidly raced, and that any entry into the medium by African-Americans necessarily constitutes inferior imitation of white culture, economic opportunism, and/or general racial inauthenticity. As Alexander Weheliye has maintained of the post-1990s R&B generation, “even though numerous cultural discourses have done their best to authenticate and naturalize the soul of black popular music, the musical practices themselves frequently defy these authenticating mechanisms by embracing new technologies, hybridities, and self-consciousness about the performative aspects of soul.”
Thus, what we find in today's performance is a twinned practice of cultural mobility with self-determination that is designed to encourage the young people of Harlem School of the Arts to research these and other histories of black technology to enable them to draw from any source, to deny any limitation whatsoever.
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