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NEW YORK, NY -- Arts for Art, Inc. is pleased to announce the

schedule for the 13th annual Vision Festival, New York's premier

multidisciplinary celebration of avantjazz music, poetry, dance and

art, which will run from Tuesday, June 10th through Sunday, June 15th

at Manhattan's Clemente Solo Vélez Cultural Center. Vision Festival

XIII will present more than 50 events, including music and dance

performances, poetry readings, film and visual art projections and

panel discussions, on two stages, each transformed by a large-scale

art installation. This year's schedule includes several performances

by musicians and groups playing at the festival for the first time,

including those being spotlighted in Saturday afternoon's Emerging

Artist showcase, as well as a full night of performances on

Wednesday, June 11th dedicated to the lifetime achievement of New

Orleans jazz legend, Edward "Kidd" Jordan.

The venue will be divided into two performance spaces, separated by

20 feet, maintaining a constant flow of activity throughout each

night of the festival. With the exception of the Emerging Artist

showcase on Saturday afternoon, all music performances will take

place on the MAIN Stage, which will be transformed by

"Rev/Revolution," an art installation by Jo Wood Brown. The smaller

Milagro Stage stage, transformed by "Lunar," an art installation by

Kazuko Miyamoto, will host spoken word and dance performances, film

and visual art projections and the Emerging Artist showcase (except

for the Jeff Arnal Trio's set at 2:00 p.m.). Tickets for all shows

will go on sale April 10th. The pricing structure will be $30/night

in advance, $35/night at the door and $20 for students and seniors

with ID. A festival pass will also be available for $150. Admission

to both panel discussions, on June 11th and 15th respectively, is


Advance tickets are available at 1-800-838-3006 or

Vision Festival XIII Schedule:

Day 1: Tuesday, June 10th

7:00 PM - MAIN Stage

Opening Invocation featuring Hamid Drake, Patricia Nicholson and William Parker

7:30 PM - MAIN Stage

Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet

Taylor Ho Bynum, cornet, Matt Bauder, tenor sax and clarinet, Mary

Halvorson, guitar, Evan O'Reilly, guitar, Jessica Pavone, violin and

bass, Tomas Fujiwara, drums

8:15 PM - Milagro Stage

Photo Projections of Vision Festival XII Luciano Rossetti's "Vision

of New York"

8:30 PM - MAIN Stage

Dave Douglas & Magic Circle Keys

Dave Douglas, trumpet, Uri Caine, piano, Bryan Carrott, vibes

9:15 PM - Milagro Stage

K.J. Holmes & David Moss (within "Lunar" by Kazuko Miyamoto)

K.J. Holmes, dance, David Moss, bass

9:30 PM - MAIN Stage

The Nu Band

Mark Whitecage, alto sax and clarinet, Roy Campbell, trumpet, Joe

Fonda, bass, Lou Grassi, drums

10:15 PM - Milagro Stage

Video art projection by Bill Mazza

10:30 PM - MAIN Stage

Mark Dresser Duo

Mark Dresser, bass, Denman Maroney, piano

Day 2: Wednesday, June 11th - Lifetime Achievement Celebration of

Edward "Kidd" Jordan

5:30 PM - Milagro Stage [Free Admission]

Panel: The Role of Art in the Healing of New Orleans

7:00 PM - MAIN Stage


Kidd Jordan, tenor sax, Hamiet Bluiett, baritone sax, Dave Burrell, piano

7:30 PM - Milagro Stage

Projection of photos of Kidd Jordan by Michael Wilderman

7:45 - MAIN Stage


Billy Bang, violin, Kidd Jordan, tenor sax, William Parker, bass,

Hamid Drake, drums

8:15 PM - Milagro Stage

Spoken word by Kalamu Ya Salaam

8:30 - MAIN Stage

Jordan/Fielder Quartet

Kidd Jordan, tenor sax, Joel Futterman, piano, William Parker, bass,

Alvin Fielder, drums

9:15 PM - MAIN Stage

New Orleans Pays Tribute to Kidd Jordan

Kent Jordan, flute, Marlon Jordan, trumpet, Donald Harrison, alto

sax, Darrell Lavigne, piano, Elton Heron, bass. Alvin Fielder, drums,

Maynard Chatters, piano strings

10:00 PM - Milagro Stage

Projection of photos of Kidd Jordan by Michael Wilderman

10:15 PM - MAIN Stage


Fred Anderson, tenor sax, Kidd Jordan, tenor sax, William Parker,

bass, Hamid Drake, drums

Day 3: Thursday, June 12th

7:30 PM - MAIN Stage

Oliver Lake's New Quintet Project

Oliver Lake, alto sax, Peck Allmond, trumpet, Jared Gold, organ,

Jonathan Blake, drums, Jahi Sundance, DJ

8:15 PM - Milagro Stage

Dance by Kazuko Miyamoto (within "Lunar" by Kazuko Miyamoto)

8:30 PM - MAIN Stage

James Spaulding's Swing Expressions

James Spaulding, alto sax and flute, Richard Clements, piano, Eric

Lemon, bass, Reggie Nicholson, drums, Sabor, percussion, Gregory

Porter, voice

9:15 PM - Milagro Stage

Poetry by Steve Dalachinsky with music [tba]

9:30 PM - MAIN Stage

Hamiet Bluiett Quartet

Hamiet Bluiett, baritone sax, Billy Bang, violin, Harrison Bankhead,

bass, Hamid Drake, drums

10:15 PM - Milagro Stage

Projections of Vision Festival XII photos by Luciano Rossetti

10:30 PM - MAIN Stage

Ensemble of Possibilities

Whit Dickey, drums, Rob Brown, alto sax, Eri Yamamoto, piano, Daniel

Carter, reeds and trumpet, Jason Kao Hwang, violin, Joe Morris, bass

Day 4: Friday, June 13th

7:30 PM - MAIN Stage

Ullmann/Swell 4

Gebhard Ullmann, reeds, Steve Swell, trombone, Hilliard Greene, bass,

Barry Altschul, drums

8:15 PM - Milagro Stage

Yvonne Meier & Saco Yasuma (within "Lunar" by Kazuko Miyamoto)

Yvonne Meier, dance, Saco Yasuma, alto sax

8:30 PM - MAIN Stage


Sonny Simmons, alto sax, Bobby Few, piano

9:15 PM - Milagro Stage


David Budbill, poetry, William Parker, bass

9:30 PM - MAIN Stage

Connie Crothers

Connie Crothers, piano

10:15 PM - Milagro Stage

Projection: "By Night No Stillness"

Video by Katy Martin and Miriam Parker featuring Jo Wood-Brown; Katy

Martin, painting; Miriam Parker, dance; Hamid Drake, frame drum; Jo

Wood-Brown, sculpture

10:30 PM - MAIN Stage

Sabir Mateen/Henry Grimes Quartet

Sabir Mateen, reeds, Henry Grimes, bass and violin, Rasul Siddik,

trumpet, John Betsch, percussion

11:30 PM - MAIN Stage

Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet

Wadada Leo Smith, trumpet, Vijay Iyer, piano, John Lindberg, bass,

Famoudou Don Moye, drums

Day 5: Saturday, June 14th

Afternoon: Emerging Artists spotlight (1-6 p.m.)

1:00 PM - Milagro Stage

Poetry by Hila Ratzabi, others TBA

2:00 PM - MAIN Stage

Jeff Arnal Trio

Jeff Arnal, percussion, Godron Beeferman, piano, John Dierker, tenor

sax and bass clarinet

3:00 PM - Milagro Stage

Nabate Isles' Imagination

Nabate Isles, trumpet, David Gilmore, guitar, Sam Barsh, keyboards,

Jaimeo Brown, drums

4:00 PM - Milagro Stage


Wynn Yamami, Taiko, percussion, Ali Sakkal, saxes and percussion,

Christopher Ariza, electronics

5:00 PM - Milagro Stage

Mazz Swift featuring James Peter Lee and Vernon Reid

Mazz Swift, violin, voice and electronics, James Peter Lee, lap

steel, Vernon Reid, guitar and electronics


7:30 PM - MAIN Stage

Celestial Moon Beams Funk

Lewis Barnes, trumpet, Sabir Mateen, reeds, Rob Brown, alto sax,

Jason Kao Hwang, violin, Todd Nicholson, bass, Gerald Cleaver, drums

Patricia Nicholson, dance, Miriam Parker, dance, Jason Jordan, dance,

Julia Wilkins, dance, Solomon Nadaf, capoeira, Jon Michael Leccia,


8:15 PM - Milagro Stage

Photo Projections of Vision Festival XII Luciano Rossetti's "Vision

of New York"

8:30 PM - MAIN Stage

Matthew Shipp Trio

Matthew Shipp, piano, Joe Morris, bass, Whit Dickey, drums

9:15 PM - Milagro Stage

Spoken word by Bill Zavatsky

9:30 PM - MAIN Stage


Paul Dunmall, tenor sax and bagpipes, Rashied Ali, drums and

percussion, Henry Grimes, bass

10:15 PM - Milagro Stage

Dance TBA

10:30 PM - MAIN Stage

George Lewis/Joelle Leandre

George Lewis, trombone and electronics, Joelle Leandre, bass

11:30 PM - MAIN Stage


Edoardo Marraffa, reeds, Alberto Braida, piano, Antonio Borghini,

bass, Fabrizio Spera, drums

Day 6: Sunday, June 15th

3:00 PM - Milagro Stage [Free Admission]

Panel: Building Arts in Community/NYC-RUCMA

6:00 PM - MAIN Stage

Lewis Barnes' Hampton Roads

Lewis Barnes, trumpet, Rob Brown, alto sax, Darius Jones, alto sax,

Todd Nicholson, bass, Warren Smith, drums

6:45 PM - Milagro Stage

Dance & Music Improvisations, Part I (within "Lunar" by Kazuko Miyamoto)

7:00 PM - MAIN Stage

Roy Nathanson's Sotto Voce

Roy Nathanson, alto sax and voice, Curtis Fowlkes, trombone, Sam

Bardfeld, violin, Tim Kiah, bass, Napoleon Maddox, voice

7:45 PM - Milagro Stage

Dance & Music Improvisations, Part II (within "Lunar" by Kazuko Miyamoto)

8:00 PM - MAIN Stage

Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure's Deep Sahara

Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, guitar and voice, Kali Z. Fasteau, soprano

sax, nai, piano and voice + bass and drums [tba]

8:45 PM - Milagro Stage

Projection: "By Night No Stillness"

Video by Katy Martin and Miriam Parker featuring Jo Wood-Brown, Katy

Martin, painting, Miriam Parker, dance, Hamid Drake, frame drum, Jo

Wood-Brown, sculpture

9:00 PM - MAIN Stage

William Parker's Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield Plus Children's Choir

William Parker, bass, Amiri Baraka, voice and words, Leena Conquest,

voice, Lewis Barnes, trumpet, Darryl Foster, saxes, Sabir Mateen,

saxes, Dave Burrell, piano, Hamid Drake, drums

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They should change the title of the festival to The Usual Suspects. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Some good stuff in there.

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The idea of having two stages 20 feet apart with simultaneous performances, often each involving some sort of loud instrument, seems problematic to me. That aside, I'll at least go Saturday night. I'm not sure I'll get festival passes this year. Last year I had a bit of hippy fatigue towards the end of the week.

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June 6, 2008

For Jazz’s Avant-Garde, an Annual Gathering and a Little Competition


During his youth, the New Orleans tenor saxophonist Kidd Jordan worked with some of the brightest lights of soul and R&B, like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. And that’s just for starters. “You name the genre, I’ve done it,” Mr. Jordan, 73, said this week from Baton Rouge, La., his temporary home since shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. “But when I was playing in all those other genres, I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing. I always was one of them who would search, and keep searching.”

Next week Mr. Jordan will reap some recognition for his searching: a lifetime achievement honor at the Vision Festival, widely recognized as this country’s premier gathering for free jazz and improvised music. Now in its 13th year, the festival runs from Tuesday through June 15 at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center on the Lower East Side, a longtime nexus of experimentation and a site of much recent transition.

With its devotion to the jazz avant-garde, the Vision Festival serves as a gravitational center, pulling musicians in from the margins. Not surprisingly it has often been cast as an eccentrically gritty rejoinder to the JVC Jazz Festival, which starts on June 15 this year. (In seasons past, David and Goliath have more directly overlapped.) This year the Vision Festival has its own competition, the New Languages Festival, being held a couple of blocks away at the Living Theater.

Increasingly, though, the Vision Festival has developed a stand-alone reputation. Its programming, which mixes old-timers like Mr. Jordan with newer arrivals like the cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, confirms the continuing vigor of experimental improvised music, a current of the New York underground through much of the last 50 years. Owing to the influence of Patricia Nicholson Parker, a founder and the chairwoman, who has a background in modern dance, the Vision Festival also presents related arts, including dance, poetry and, this year, two site-specific installations.

The festival draws an audience impressive not only for its actual existence — hardly a given in this particular field — but also for its heterogeneity. One survey conducted at the event in 2006 found that nearly half the attendees lived outside the New York area.

“People come from France, Japan, England, Germany,” said the bassist William Parker, Ms. Nicholson Parker’s husband. “There’s a following all over the world.” To some extent, this internationalism is echoed in the lineup, which this year includes the English tenor saxophonist Paul Dunmall and the French bassist Joëlle Léandre, influential figures on the European new-music scene.

But there’s also something deeply local about the Vision Festival and its constituency, which reeled after the April 2007 closing of Tonic, an important performance space in the area. Last year’s edition of the festival was held down the street from that club’s shuttered site, and at times it conveyed the feeling of a wake.

For avant-gardists and their supporters, the gentrification that squeezed out Tonic was a sharp spur to action. The guitarist Marc Ribot, whose part in a protest at the ill-fated club led to his arrest, brought much attention to the cause through word as well as deed. One of his arguments centered on the need for civic support in the face of market pressures.

“It’s not a question of not having a space,” Mr. Ribot reiterated this week. “It’s a question of spaces that pay.” With precious few exceptions, the post-Tonic avant-garde landscape in the city involves smaller rooms in relatively more remote locations; tip jars are often the means of collection.

“It’s not the end of the world,” Mr. Ribot said. “There are still great musicians in New York. But marginal differences over time can have big effects.”

Last fall Ms. Nicholson Parker announced the formation of the advocacy group Rise Up Creative Music and Arts. Along with Mr. Parker, she articulated the organization’s goals at a town hall meeting in April. (Mr. Ribot was among those present, though he says he has not been directly involved with the group since.)

“This music, all the really innovative music, has been marginalized and pushed aside,” Ms. Nicholson Parker said recently. “A lot of this is urban planning, or the lack thereof.”

The most visible result of Rise Up Creative Music and Arts, so far, is the Vision/Rucma Series, held most weekends this year at the Living Theater on the Lower East Side. In addition to raising awareness for a cause, the series has supported the Vision Festival brand; after a brief hiatus, the series will resume on June 19 with a concert by the trumpeter Roy Campbell.

Next week, meanwhile, the Living Theater serves as home to the New Languages Festival ( Now in its fourth season, that event is musician-run and progressive-minded, like its more established counterpart.

The alto saxophonist Jackson Moore, one of the founders of the upstart event, said the timing was an accident. But, he added in an e-mail message, “It’s a bit of cosmic good fortune that the Vision Festival and the New Languages Festival are down the street from each other.” He suggested that the adjacent festivals “might just reach a combined critical mass that will bring new listeners into the fold.”

Self-sufficiency and an undercurrent of service are ideals evident in both festivals; Mr. Jordan, a self-starter throughout his career, is also being heralded for his important contribution to music education in New Orleans. In this sense the Vision Festival has been consistent: previous lifetime achievement honors went to the saxophonist Fred Anderson, the multireedist Sam Rivers and the trumpeter Bill Dixon. Each of these artists has been a social organizer, rallying his peers around a place and a cause.

Of course each has also been a searcher. “I’ve been playing ‘out’ since the ’50s,” Mr. Jordan said, and laughed. “I was experimenting then, and I’m still experimenting. Maybe next week I’ll have something new.”

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