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2018 Winter Jazz Fest

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Sunday 1/7/2018 Show: Winter Jazz Fest / Fay Victor

PhotoFay Victor @ Vision Festival 21, 6/10/16 | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, January 7, 2018 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.orgThis broadcast is our third (and last) 2018 Winter Jazz Festival preview program and focuses on improvising vocalist, composer, lyricist and educator Fay Victor.

 

Called “artistically complete” by the New York Times and “a thrilling improviser” by Downbeat magazine, Fay Victor consistently hones a unique vision of the vocalist’s role in jazz and improvised music. Victor’s eight critically acclaimed recordings as a leader since the late 90’s has seen praise in venerable media outlets such as Downbeat, JazzTimes, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, The Wire, Signal to Noise, Popmatters.com, The San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out Chicago, The Chicago Reader, The New York City Jazz Record and JazzWise (UK). Victor’s long standing group, the Fay Victor Ensemble – an expansive and cohesive mix of jazz, rock, blues, new music and free improvisation – released three albums to huge critical acclaim (2009’s The FreeSong Suite made it onto numerous year-end lists including The Village Voice, NPR and Popmatters.com). The experimental blues project The Exposed Blues Duo, with FVE guitarist Anders Nilsson delving deep into a variety of blues forms released Bare in 2010. There is Herbie Nichols SUNG, Victor’s homage to the unsung be-bop pianist incorporating Victor’s lyrics and arrangements in a quintet and trio format. The trio project has been recorded and currently looking for label support for release and 2018 will see Victor release Wet Robots on ESP-DISK, a brand new vehicle for fresh sounds and improvisational approaches in a group called SoundNoiseFUNK.

In addition to Victor’s band-leading vehicles on record, her voice has attracted esteemed ensembles including Other Dimensions in Music (ODIM), the perennial free jazz outfit joined forces with Victor for 2011’s Kaiso Stories on Silkheart Records in 2011, lauded for its impressive fusion of Calypso, the music of Trinidad & Tobago and home to Victor’s cultural roots, with free jazz. The legendary and longstanding Dutch outfit, the Instant Composer’s Pool Orkest (ICP) led by Misha Mengelberg/Han Bennink invited Victor to tour with them in Europe in 2010 and appear during US tours in 2011, 2014 and 2015. Victor is the first vocalist to work consistently with ICP in it’s 50 year history. Victor was one of the vocalists on Trillium E (New Braxton Records 2011) with Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Orchestra and Trillium J during the four-day Braxtonian Festival in 2011. Reedist Ab Baars invited Victor and french horn hero Vincent Chancey to celebrate 20 years with his esteemed trio in 2011 including a 15-concert European tour, the first time Baars had written material for voice and specifically for Victor; that work is contained on The Invisible Blow (Stichting Wig 2014). Victor received a presenting commission from Anthony Braxton himself on behalf of the Tricentric Foundation for Neighborhood Dynamics (co-composed with Jochem van Dijk) that was presented during the TriCentric Festival in a double bill with Anthony Braxton’s Nonet in 2014. Neighborhood Dynamics is a piece about gentrification and the changing demographic landscape of Brooklyn, NY, where Victor calls home. Over the past four years, Victor’s work with esteemed avant-garde trombonist Roswell Rudd has seen a deeper connection appearing on his 2014 Trombone for Lovers(Sunnyside Records 2014) and now appearing on every track of Embrace (RareNoise 2017), a project of re-imagined standards. Victor was part of a voice/percussion/piano duo with MacArthur genius grant recipient, professor and composer/multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey, with appearances at Constellation in Chicago, IL (2016) and Vision Festival XVVI (2014) amongst their performance highlights.

Victor is also out on record as a part of Glorious Ravage, a sprawling song-cycle in honor of Victorian-era female explorers composed by Bay Area bassist/composer Lisa Mezzacappa (New World Records 2017). Mezzacappa and Victor have collaborated frequently since 2011 and the song cycle was originally inspired by Victor’s first trip out West to play with Mezzacappa. Finally, Victor is part of ReDDeer a trio of improvisors that met at MusicOmi in 2010 with a record of live duo/trio recordings in New York & Austria called New York – St. Johann (Evil Rabbit Records 2017) and Victor is a featured guest on Marc Ribot’s Songs of Resistance, due for release in January 2018. Victor was just awarded a residency at Yaddo Corp. for Music Composition, staying there for 6 weeks to complete a large work on the life and death of her mother, in early 2018.

Victor’s performances have included such luminaries as Wadada Leo Smith, Marshall Allen (Sun Ra), NEA Jazz Master Dr. Randy Weston, NEA Jazz Master Archie Shepp, Roswell Rudd, Nicole Mitchell, William Parker, Myra Melford, Lawrence Butch Morris, Gary Lucas, Dave Burrell, Henry Threadgill, Andrew Cyrille, Jason Moran, Sam Newsome, Darius Jones, Anthony Coleman, Aruan Ortiz, Joe Morris, Vijay Iyer, Matana Roberts, Mark Dresser, Steven Bernstein, Marika Hughes, Mazz Swift, Marty Ehrlich, Melvin Gibbs, Henry Butler, Curtis Clark and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

(Bio adapted from Fay Victor’s website)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Fay Victor  will be at the 2018 Winter Jazz Festival leading the SoundNoiseFunk ensemble, as part of saxophonist Darius Jones’s LawNOrder, and with Nicole Mitchell’s Maroon Cloud. See the Winter Jazz Fest site for details and check our blog for a full preview.

 

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 12/24/2017 Show: Winter Jazz Fest & Geri Allen Tribute

Photo: Geri Allen | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, December 24, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.orgThis broadcast is our second 2018 Winter Jazz Festival preview program. The Winter Jazz Festival will present a tribute program on Monday, January 15, 2018 to the late pianist Geri Allen, who made her transition this past June 27. We will hear remembrances from former Suga’ guests: long time Manager and friend Ora Harris, Motema Records President Jana Herzen, Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, Professor and Author Farah Jasmine Griffin, Pianist Vijay Iyer, Ruth Cameron Haden (widow of bassist Charlie Haden) and Radio Announcer Sheila Elaine Anderson.

 

Who was Geri Allen? Just an award winning pianist and composer who was also an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan. Professor Allen’s last post was as Director of the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a master’s degree in ethnomusicology.

Geri Allen, pianist/composer, bandleader, educator and Guggenheim Fellow, was the first recipient of the Soul Train, Lady of Soul Award for Jazz. In 2011 Geri Allen, was nominated for an NAACP Award for her Timeline, Tap Quartet Project. Allen was the first woman, and youngest person to receive the Danish Jazz Par Prize. She was a cutting edge performing artist, and continues to concertize internationally.

She was a product of the Detroit Public School System, Howard University and the University of Pittsburgh. Allen moved to NYC in 1982 after she completed her advanced degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh, and for the past thirty years has recorded, performed and collaborated with some of the most important artists of our time including Ornette Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, George Shirley, Dewey Redman, Jimmy Cobb, Sandra Turner-Barnes, Charles Lloyd, Marcus Belgrave, Betty Carter, Jason Moran, Lizz Wright, Marian McPartland, Roy Brooks, Vijay Iyer, Charlie Haden and Paul Motion, Laurie Anderson, Terri Lynn Carrington and Esperanza Spalding, Hal Wilner, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Dr. Billy Taylor, Carrie Mae Weems, Angelique Kidjo, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, S. Epatha Merkerson, Farah Jasmin Griffin, Howard University’s Afro-Blue and many others.

Allen a recipient of the Howard University, Pinnacle Award presented by Professor Connaitre Miller and Afro Blue. Ms. Allen has been a faculty member at Howard University, the New England Conservatory, and the University of Michigan where she taught for ten years.

In 2014, Allen was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Music Degree by Berklee College of Music in Boston. The Honorable Congressman John Conyers Jr. presented the 2014 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Jazz Legacy Award to Ms. Allen.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra commissioned Geri Allen in 2013, to compose new works for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. She composed a piece “Stones & Streams” a work for orchestra, chorus, piano and narrator.

She was the musical director of the Mary Lou Williams Collective, recording and performing the music of the great Mary Lou Williams, including her sacred work, Mass For Peace. Allen collaborated with S. Epatha Merkerson and Farah Jasmin Griffin on two music theatre projects, “Great Apollo Women”, which premiered at the legendary Apollo Theatre, and “A Conversation with Mary Lou”, which premiered at the Harlem Stage, as an educational component for the Harlem Stage collaboration. The featured artist was Carmen Lundy, and Allen’s long time trio members Kenny Davis and Kassa Overall). The University of Pittsburgh hosted the first ever Mary Lou Williams Cyber Symposium where ViJay Iyer, Jason Moran, and Allen performed a three piano improvisation from Harvard, Columbia and the University of Pittsburgh, in real time using Internet 2 technology.

Geri Allen was the product of a family of educators. Her father Mount V. Allen Jr was a retired Detroit Public School Principal, and her mother Barbara Jean was a defense contract administrator for the U.S. Government. “Our parents insisted my brother and I go to college. We took their advice. I pursued a career as a jazz performer, and completed my undergrad degree at Howard, and my master’s at Pitt. Mount pursued a career as a jazz advocate and presented, completing his masters at Lehigh University. He is currently Director of Operations, at the San Francisco Jazz Center.”

Geri Allen, a mother of three, acknowledges her family for making it possible for her to sustain longevity in a sometimes challenging and always changing field of the music industry.

Allen had enjoyed a very successful over thirty-year performing career as a NYC jazz musician. She returned to Pittsburgh to continue her legacy as a cutting edge pianist/composer, recording and performing artist. Allen was just as passionate about her work with her undergrad and graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh, and she firmly believed that “meaningful access to music was one of the keys to success in any field, and music informs our sensitivity to others”. She was a fierce advocate for all children of all ages to have direct hands on access to music, and the creative and empowering process jazz inspires.

Geri Allen is survived by her father Mount Vernell Allen, Jr., brother Mount Vernell Allen III and three children: Laila, Wally and Barbara Antoinette.

(Bio adapted from the Geri Allen website)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Geri Allen will be the subject of a tribute concert at the 2018 Winter Jazz Festival at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium (63 5th Avenue in Manhattan) on January 15. Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington will be the musical director of a spectacular cast, including Angela Davis, Esperanza Spalding, Craig Taborn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Ingrid Jensen, Jack DeJohnette, Jaimeo Brown, Jeff Tain Watts, Kassa Overall, Kris Davis, Linda May Han Oh, Maurice Chestnut, Mino Cinelu, Ravi Coltrane, S. Epatha Merkerson, Tia Fuller, Vijay Iyer and more to be announced. Concert proceeds will go to the Geri Allen estate.

 

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 12/10/2017 Show: Shabaka Hutchings

Photo: Shabaka Hutchings | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, December 12, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.orgThis broadcast starts the first of our Winter Jazz Festival preview programs with tenor saxophonist, clarinetist, composer and bandleader Shabaka Hutchings.


Shabaka Hutchings is a saxophonist, bandleader, and composer. A significant part of the 21st century jazz and improvised music scenes, he has led his own groups, worked with Courtney Pine’s Jazz Warriors, been a member of the Heliocentrics, and played on albums by everyone from Mulatu Astatke to Melt Yourself Down.

Hutchings was born in 1984 in London. He moved to Barbados at the age of six, began studying classical clarinet at age nine, and saxophone a year later. After returning to the U.K., he was granted the title of BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist in 2010, allowing him to undertake numerous commissions, as well as broadcast performances on radio (including those of his own group, Sons of Kemet). In July 2013, Hutchings received a commission from the Leasowes Bank Music Festival to write a piece for clarinet and string quartet. He performed this piece with the Ligeti String Quartet to rave reviews. Sons of Kemet released their debut album, Burn, and won the 2013 MOBO Award for Jazz Act of the Year. Hutchings was nominated for Jazz Musician of the Year in the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. The following year, he was invited by Marshall Allen to join the Sun Ra Arkestra. He performed with them and recorded a session for the BBC’s Radio 3, and was a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Composer Award.

In January of 2015, Hutchings traveled to South Africa to record a project with native jazz musicians. He also received a commission from the London Sinfonietta to write a “note to the new government” and was Associate Artist for the Spittalfields Summer Festival. The second Sons of Kemet album, Lest We Forget What We Came Here to Do, was released in September on NAIM, and an electronic trio project, the Comet Is Coming featuring Hutchings, Dan Leavers, and Max Hallett, released its first EP on the Leaf label in October. The following spring, the group released its full-length Channel the Spirits to massive critical acclaim and a Mercury Prize nomination.

Hutchings was also a core member of percussionist/producer Sarathy Korwar’s group for the acclaimed Day to Day. It featured the modern jazz and electronics group performing with the Sidi Troupe of Ratanpur, and was recorded in India and London. The album was released on Ninja Tune during the summer of 2016. Wisdom of Elders, the album by Hutchings’ South Africa project Shabaka and the Ancestors, was issued by Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label in the early fall 2016.

(Bio adapted from Allmusic.)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Shabaka Hutchings will be at the 2018 Winter Jazz Festival with The Comet is Coming at Le Poisson Rouge on January 10 and with Shabaka and the Ancestors on one of the festival’s Marathon Days on the 12th or 13th: date time TBA. Keep an eye on the Winter Jazz Fest website for details and follow our On the Bandstand segment for announcements.

Web Extras:

Watch Hutchings play “Mzawandile” live with Shabaka and the Ancestors at New York’s 2017 Winter Jazz Fest.

Watch Hutchings jam with Kamasi and Ricky Washington in this clip from the 2017 Gent Jazz Festival.

Watch Hutchings play “The Final Eclipse” with The Comet is Coming.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

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