Saturday, March 28, 2009

Coming Up...Jazz Fest & Odetta Tribute

You know summer is around the corner when the month-long Jazz Festivals start occurring. Do jazz and summer go together? Well, probably no more than the idea of music, fun, and hot nights going together. So here comes the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium's 10th Annual Jazz Festival April 1 - 30, 2009.

CBJC's 10th jubilee celebration of an American original art form will feature: Opening Day Free Community Concert (April 1st), jazz drum legend Roy Haynes (April 4th), Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Dave Valentin (April 16th), Houston Person (April 17th), Jazz: The Women's View Point (April 18th), Melba Moore (April 18th), Ronnie Mathews/Freddie Hubbard Tribute (April 19th), Jazz & The Fine Arts concert, BAMcafe Live weekend (April 24/25), Youth Jazz Jamboree/Wellness Day (April 25th), educational symposiums, programming for senior citizens and individuals with development disabilities, jazz performances, and conferences in churches, restaurants, clubs, and cultural institutions throughout Brooklyn.
A note: I don't see Melba Moore on the festival calendar on 4/18, a featuring "Jazz: The Women's View Point Panel Discussion & Performance with Ntozake Shange, Mickey Davidson, Akua Dixon, Carline Ray, and Camile Yarborough. However, I do see The Melba Joyce Quartet on 4/24, so I don't know if that's a typo or what.

The name "Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium" does beg the question of if there's also a non-Central Brooklyn Jazz organization with a competing festival--well, it's Brooklyn, home of a lot of musicians and other artist. So yes, there's the six year old Brooklyn Jazz Festival
(formerly Williamsburg Jazz Festival) and the Brooklyn Jazz Underground which also has a two-year old festival. What's notable about these other two festivals is their emphasis on featuring both work by younger artists and work that pushes the boundaries of jazz, as well as their ethnic make-up. There is a greater European and European American presence in both organizations and as well as in their festivals, particularly in the membership of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground. Generational and multi-national and multi-ethnic tensions are a part of the history of jazz, although that wasn't always the case. Still it's no surprise to see these elements evidenced and/or responded to in the ethos of various organizations. Arguably, no one organization should have to bear the responsibility for defining what jazz is--past, present or future--since the history of what gets/got counted as jazz and who gets/got counted as jazz musicians is so complicated anyway.

Odetta Tribute: Princeton University, Thursday April 9, 2009
Perhaps not the most obvious locale for an Odetta tribute, but the way was paved with the James Brown Symposium in 2007. Plus Princeton is becoming a hotbed of performance studies scholars. Filmmaker Ela Troyano was just there with her "documentary bolero" on the phenomenal La Lupe: Queen of Latin Soul, hosted by Alex Vazquez, performance studies scholar, new faculty in English and Oh! Industry blog founder/contributor. Dr. Judith Casselberry, cultural anthropologist and currently a visiting scholar at the institution, also is a long-time member of Toshi Reagon's band Big Lovely. (Odetta Memorial image by Stephen Alcorn ©2008)

This Odetta event is a two-parter, with an afternoon symposium and an evening concert featuring Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Sonia Sanchez, Lizz Wright and Toshi Reagon, among others. Tickets to the concert are free, but you have to get them in advance, and I'm not sure they're going to be available online. You may have to bribe a New Jersey friend or relative to go over to the Princeton, New Jersey campus and get them. Here's the info:

APRIL 9, 2009

4:30pm • McCosh Hall 10 • Panel Discussion

“Odetta, Folk Music, and Social Activism”

• Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon • Professor Matthew Frye Jacobson • Mr. Oscar Brand • Ms. Olivia Greer • Professor Albert J. Raboteau • Dr. Judith Casselberry • Moderatored by Professor Judith Weisenfeld

8:30pm • Richardson Auditorium • Concert*

• Professor Matt Frye Jacobson • Geoffrey Holder • Lizz Wright • Ruby Dee • Guy Davis • Sonia Sanchez • Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon • Toshi Reagon

*Tickets are complimentary and required for admission to the concert.

Ticket Availability:
• General Public
Frist Campus Center Ticket Office
Available: Friday, March 27
Limit of two tickets per person.

Doors open at 8:00pm for ticket holders. Open admission at 8:20pm for any remaining seats.

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At 5:45 PM, Blogger chashardy said...

I couldn't make the concert, but the panel was super. Sure, Oscar Brand went off the reservation a bit, but Dr. Bernice, Judith Cassleberry and Olivia Greer were deep and touching and personal and wonderfully informative and probing. Toshi asked a great question about Odetta's guitar "stylings". I got a sweet slap down from Dr Johnson Reagon when I asked hopefully if Paul Robeson and Odetta had crossed paths and/or collaborated.

At 11:15 PM, Blogger John K said...

Audiologo, did you go and what did you think?

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