Last night was another fabulous roost. Poets Katrina Guarascio, Jessica Helen Lopez and Zachary Kluckman kicked off each set with a-poem-a-piece backed up with perfect accompaniment by Glenn Buddha Benavidez. Stellar and nice nuance. Perfect set up for the trio called “Now Playing”…
I have a mountain of personal reasons for loving the music of “Now Playing”, too hard to articulate, but today we are lucky to have great write-up about the music from Mark Weber. Here’s what he has to say:
Bravo to Robert Muller, Ben Wright, and Dave Wayne of the group NOW PLAYING for building a repertoire on the music of Horace Tapscott, what a tremendous idea. It sure brought back a gang of memories. Horace Tapscott was a deep part of my musical life thirty years ago. Horace Tapscott (1934-1999) was a legend in the jazz world of Los Angeles, rarely venturing outside the boundaries of South Central, a musical visionary who hoped for a better life for Black people in America.
So, it was very interesting to hear this music removed from the cultural milieu from which it was created for. NOW PLAYING made justice ring, and still you could hear majesty in the anthemic militant marches Horace created in the aftermath of the 1965 Watts Riots (“Dark Tree,” “Nyja’s Theme,” “To the Big House”) and still you could hear the beauty of his vision, so close to an Ellington, a Dameron, a Frederick Douglass view of the world, such songs like “Wiletta’s Walk,” (where I had a deja vu experience seeing Mr Muller’s hands dance on the piano exactly the way Horace’s used to — made me think the music calls for such a choreography, that the hand movements are inherent in the music itself). And still you could hear elegance and civility.
It was Dave Wayne’s idea to bring this music to light, and I think, in that, this group is the first to look into this giant trove of great music. (I found it interesting in talking with the pianist Robert Muller at the break that he has studied the music of Andrew Hill, how so appropriate, Andrew and Horace were friends and did, at least, two concerts together in the 80s.)
I had forgot how beautiful the composition “Bavarian Mist” could be. So much of Horace’s music was in catharsis – so much of it designed to hold a community together that was crumbling under the sledge hammer of economic disparities and vacant opportunity. I remember a concert of Horace’s big band The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra where he had 25+ saxophones screaming and wailing a giant angry Dostoyevskian reminder that: WE EXIST and will not be destroyed. Horace could bring all that to the front in huge swirling grandeur, he stood on the stages of America and Europe and proclaimed it over and over and over.
And now it is so gratifying to see a little trio from Northern New Mexico bringing forth this important thing in America.
And for the very groovy and hip new performance space THE PROJECTS standing forth to make such art forms like poetry and protest music be not dead. And these annual summer series of “out” musics, under-valued and avant musics, serious musics, and brilliant expressions of humanity, of THE ROOST curated by composer & tuba maestro Mark Weaver, do what Michael Vlatkovich says, “It’s about fairness.” I said, “Fairness?” “Yeh, Mark is concerned that these types of music have a forum.” Michael doesn’t say much but he says a lot.
Does somebody have a grand piano they could donate to THE PROJECTS?
KUNM Thursday Jazz deejay
I really really love that final question, loved the evening and am grateful Mark Weber took the time to write up a moving night. And tonight, Monday September 5th, DON’T FORGET, Aaron Trumm brings his band to the East of Edith Open mic. See Rich Boucher’s great write-up here
||That which is in locomotion must arrive at the half-way stage before it arrives at the goal.
|—Aristotle, Physics VI:9, 239b10
Some of you may be familiar with Zeno’s Paradox, which says movement is impossible. Before you can get from point a to point b you have to get to the halfway point. And before you get to that half way point, you have to get earlier half way. And the one before that. And the one before that. Things keep chopping up so small and halved, that movement is impossible.
- REALITY WORKS DIFFERENTLY, AT LEAST WHEN IT COMES TO THE ROOST. WE HAVE NOW MADE IT TO THE HALFWAY POINT IN THIS 8 WEEk SERIES OF MUSIC AND POETRY AND THIS BLOG POST IS NOTHING BUT A WARNING THAT IF YOU DON’T GET TO THE ROOST SOON, YOU MIGHT MISS IT.
So you don’t know about the ROOST? This is project created by Mark Weaver to celebrate creative sound, improvisation, jazz. Local Poets Guild is proud to be a collaborator in this project and what we provide is a kick-off to each event with a poet we’ve attempted to “match-make” to the music.
ONLY 4 MORE SHOWS LEFT.
This week’s show is the Fifth in the series. Now Playing: three of northern NM’s finest improvisers join forces to address the earthy and volcanic music of Los Angeles’ legendary pianist and bandleader Horace Tapscott. Pianist Robert Muller, bassist Ben Wright, and drummer Dave Wayne promise to “stretch the music out in some very interesting ways”. And the poets opening this week are also a “trio”, a trio who toured together and have an at times almost inseparable rapport. You’ll hear a few minutes each from Katrina Guarascio, Zach Kluckman, and Jessica Helen Lopez. The energy from their poems will spark off each other’s work… these three are interconnected .
Let me just give you one plug: Jessica’s bio…
Jessica Helen Lopez is a three time member of the City of Albuquerque Slam Team and the 2008 National Champion Winning UNM Lobo Slam Team. She has been the Poet-In-Residence in several New Mexico High Schools and continues her work in the classroom. Mother to a vivacious nine year-old daughter, Lopez’s work has been published in UNM Press’s, A Bigger Boat: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Slam Scene, Chicago Open Mic America Vol I, Feminism Now, Poetic Diversity, The Pedastal and Destructible Heart Press’s, Albumar Familia. Additionally, she was the co-editor for Earthships: A New Mecca Poetry Collection 2007, a finalist in the NM Book Awards. Lopez is a member of the Macondo Foundation. Founded by Sandra Cisneros, it is an association of socially-engaged writers united to advance creativity, foster generosity, and honor community. Some other activities and panels she has been apart of are the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s VOCES: A Writing Institute for Youth, Feature/Workshop Instructor for the 12th Annual Las Mujeres 2007 Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, and has also provided Poesia sin Fronteras workshops/performances for the Verse/Converse Taos Poetry Bout and Festival 2009 and 2010. She is the defending champion of the Silver Tongue Taos Poetry Slam. Lopez continues to organize not-for-profit poetic events and projects in and around Albuquerque, NM. She has currently worked as the poetry intern at UNM’s literary magazine, Blue Mesa Review. Her first collection of poetry entitled, “Always Messing With Them Boys” has just been published through West End Press.
Come join us.
The Roost co-sponsored by Local Poets Guild
7:30 PM Sunday Sept 4 @ The Projects (3614 High Street NE) $5
[Beautiful Photograph of Jessica by Gina Marselle]
Local Poets Guild is proud to be collaborating with tuba-player Mark Weaver on his music series The Roost during the months of August and September. The intent of this series is to provide a regular forum for emergent creative music, which is to be made easily accessible to all members of our community. The series is envisioned to include various forms of improvised music, original jazz, new music, and other types of musical experimentation, composition, and exploration, with a goal of trying to germinate and incubate creative music processes in our community. Experimentation and incorporation of various media is encouraged, with a special emphasis this year on spoken-word elements. Events are curated with an eye to originality, freshness of approach, and artistic vision. Each of the shows in the two-month series will be opened by a different poet or spokenword ensemble. That’s–count them–eight shows with eight spoken word performances each lasting about eight minutes. Poetry gets to kick the night into high gear–and you know that great dialogue will be fostered between musicians and poets and audience…
Check out this stellar line-up.
- August 7th Tracey Pontani kicks off the series by opening for the Zack Freeman Improv Trio and Ink oN pAPER
- August 14th Brian Hendrickson opens for Tracy McMullen / Rob Wallace / Hal Onserud (pictured above)
- August 21st Sari Krosinsky and Bob Reeves verbally spar before the Thin Air Trio
- August 28th Mark Weber joins old friends for Michael Vlatkovich Trio (Vlatkovich/Lee/McLagen)
- Sept 4th The Beautiful On a Tangent Touring Trio of Kat Guarascio, Zack Kluckman, and Jessica Helen Lopez open for Now Playing – the music of Horace Tapscott (Muller/Wright/Wayne)
- Sept 11th Erin Daughtrey kicks of a night with Nella Nairb (Brian Allen solo), plus Christian Pincock solo
- Sept 18th LA Poet Brendan Constantine opens for LA group Slumgum
- And Sept 25th Jazz Advance bloggist Richard Oyama closes it out for DJ Duo–J.A. Deane and Joseph Sabella
Every show will start at 7:30 PM on a Sunday night at the Projects 3614 High Street NE.
Here’s to getting some really fabulous interdisciplinary dialogue up and running and for the opportunity to enjoy dang good times for poetry and music.
Gracias to Mark Weaver for letting Local Poets Guild be involved in this project. An honor, a joy!!!
Congratulations to Anthony for winning a pair of tickets to Urban Verbs with Hakim Bellamy, Carlos Contreras, and Diles. In response to the question When Did Music Matter to You? Anthony said this:
when did it not?
from the rhymic love push that got me out
my heart drum has beaten a beautiful song,
each and every moment of my life
I would luv some tickets to the show!
In health and beauty,
Anthony “DJ Won LUV” Fleg
Native Health Initiative Coordinator and Groupie – www.lovingservice.us
Thanks Anthony. Enjoy the show. And we wish the Native Health Initiative thriving success.
And a reminder to everyone: WE HAVE 3 PAIRS OF TICKETS TO URBAN VERBS LEFT. JUST WRITE US at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about a time music mattered to you. You can see what Carlos said here, and what our first winner said also. The show is June 17th at the Filling Station.
Local Poets Guild has tix to give away for Urban Verbs on Friday June 17th. Carlos Contreras says, “[For the tix giveaway,] How about [calling for submissions] something along the lines of a time when people “came back, or went to, music” we’ve all had those moments in the car, shower, after a break up, the day of a raise… that that song just makes sense! Music moves us! It flows through our lives’ and makes us all members of the same club….. we believe hip hop is a cultural dialogue that builds communities…. something that speaks to the heart of music being able to do that…”
This is how you can get free tix to Urban Verbs on Friday night: Write us and tell us how music moves you. Let us in on a particular instant or story. It’s a very loose prompt— a time when music mattered. And you can write in with poetry or prose. You can even tell us how music impacts your poetry. (I may do that myself for fun as Eminem inspired a pile of hard core geeky form poems from me.) Anyhow, the deal is simple. We have ten tickets to give away to Friday night’s performance. That’s right, 10!!! You can save yourself $12 dollars. You can simultaneously enter dialogue with your community on this website. Hope you’ll participate. Just email responses to localpoetsguild at yahoo dot com as soon as you can…. and the first ten responses get tix and we’ll set you up for Friday night the 17th. (We’ll also post responses online on the website.)
[Note: This prompt is for adults. Youth can get free tix direct for Sunday's show which is subsidized by various donors. If you need info on how to get tickets for youth, query me and I'll point you in the right direction.]
For more information on what Urban Verbs is, the official scoop, see previous post.
Here’s what Urban Verbs is to me: an example. A beautiful example of what happens when three people–Contreras, Bellamy, & Diles–come together and trust each other enough to tackle large subjects of disenfranchisement and reclamation. Urban Verbs is a triumph of spirit, an offering of sustenance to the community–all achieved through the hard work of collaboration. Not to mention, the show does what I’m most fond of: reap interdisciplinary bounty with music, film, performance, and poetry. It’s a joy to watch–and in many ways, Urban Verbs is an explicit call for more arts action from the community. Poets step up. Go see the show and get inspired to try what your own authentic voice requires.
[Photos taken at the Projects 3614 High Street by Antonio Rael. Thanks!]
Last weekend, I had a chance to see the sneak preview of Urban Verbs, which was as fresh as it was the first time I saw the production at 516 ARTS. Hakim Bellamy, Carlos Contreras, and Diles flat out wow and are not mistaken (in my mind) when equating god and art, music and love, life and poetry. Integrating hip-hop, documentary film, poetry, and performance, the show is thought-provoking and engaging–a very solid effort with community creativity at its heart. Urban Verbs is a collaborative effort with vision. I commend it heartily.
Local Poets Guild has garnered some tickets that we’re going to be giving away on the website—watch for my next post or come out tonight to Triptych where I’ll announce it. (We’ll ask you to do a little writing.) Later I’ll also tell you more about why I think this show is important.
Meanwhile, here’s the OFFICIAL SCOOP:
Urban Verbs is a video, audio, visceral performance piece that is dialogued entirely in poetic verse. Comprised of Hakim Bellamy, Carlos Contreras, and Diles, the three are a collaborative of individual artists across many disciplines including literature, music, audio/sound engineering, film, visual art and theater. Urban Verbs is an alternative interpretation to the brainless, heartless, materialist, violent, sexist, homophobic, self-involved popular perception of Hip-Hop. They aim to create a progressive narrative around Hip Hop culture and facilitate the practice of EVERYONE telling their story through Hip Hop as a form of love, a form of intelligence and a way of better living. To increase the respect and acceptance of Hip Hop as a legitimate and visionary art form and worthy of academic inquiry, to be an example of how one can feed their family and live their dream through Hip -Hop that builds rather than Hip-Hop that destroys – To fashion Hip Hop into the tools that bring people together, stops wars, makes babies and raises them!
All Shows at The Filling Station in the Barelas Neighborhood of Albuquerque (1024 4th St. SW)
June 17th 7pm Show Urban Verbs + Live Art Creation/Auction & DJ
June 18th 8pm Show Urban Verbs + Live Keg & Musical Guests BrokenBreadWinner
June 19th 1pm Show Urban Verbs (Curbside Classroom* Version feat. Q & A)
Thanks also to Antonio Rael who photographed the preview show at the Projects. You can find his photography page on FB. I just used one image here—but more coming as I let you know how to get tix and give my two cents on the project. Don’t forget to come to Triptych 7:00 pm at the Projects is where I’ll launch the getaway.