JAZZ/IMPROVISATION PERFORMANCE JOINT FUNDRAISER AT REVOLUTION BOOKS, FRIDAY, JUNE 29
This was a very exciting and provocative performance by a group of five musicians at Revolution Books, NYC on June 29. The event was a joint fundraiser for Revolution Books and the BAsics Bus Tour next leg hitting New York and the surrounding area in mid-July.
A very enthusiastic audience gathered on this hot evening to enjoy various levels of creativity based on different ways the artists expressed the quote by Bob Avakian from BAsics 1:13.
A letter had been sent out broadly calling on musicians to join and be part of a fundraiser for the BAsics Bus Tour and the campaign to save Revolution Books, NYC which talked of the need for musicians to express and create pieces with a focus on BAsics 1:13. Over $200 was raised.
After an opening introduction by the spokesperson of Revolution Books the music began with a duet of trumpet (Matt Lavelle) and tenor saxophone (Ras Moshe) and establishing the thrust for the evening of “free” or “outside” type of playing. This was followed by a trio of two saxophones (Blaise Siwula and Rocco John Iacavone) and trombone (Stan Nishimura) which in one of the two pieces they performed used the words of the first phrase of the quote from BAsics 1:13, “No More Generations of Our Youth, Here and All Around the World”, in their introduction. The three musicians speaking the words in a random and overlapping manner started to take this phrase into the music sounds of the improvised piece which developed with recurring elements of the phrase of the quote sounding in various and different ways.
A statement by the spokesperson of Revolution Books clearly defined the nature of the BAsics Bus Tour as well as the need to save this important book store. After the statement all five of the musicians got up in an improvisated exploration piece starting in loud, slow textures and developing into crashing dissonances contrasted with very lush and spontaneous harmonies coming together in a spontaneous collective effort. At the end of this piece two people came up leading the audience in a “mic check” of the quote from BAsics 1:13. This “mic check” was presented in which one spoke the words in English and the other spoke in Spanish alternating the languages in an expression of internationalism as they went through the quote. During this “mic check” people were reading from both the English and Spanish palm cards.
The evening closed with two short pieces, the first was a saxophone trio and the second a duet of trumpet and trombone. A majority of the people including the musicians stayed and there was an electrifying effect in the atmosphere as small groupings of people talked energetically on the music and the part art plays in society, the BAsics Bus Tour, the role of Revolution Books in the movement for revolution, etc. During the performances short statements were made by some of the musicians on how they see the need for revolution and a performance of this nature of music that challenges and excites the imagination and what is needed to transform humanity. People left with these feelings, looking forward to the Bus Tour, and saying there should be more events like this.
Cleveland: A Cultural Celebration to Raise Money for the BAsics Bus Tour.
On June 7 as people walked in the door at the Grog Shop, a club in Cleveland Heights, you could hear the smooth and deep sounds of Art Blakey II on the electric guitar, along with a bass guitar and percussion. Then Al Porter, vice president of Black on Black Crime Inc. , a Black community organization, and founder of the Hip Hop Workshop, opened the program with “This is not a party, this is an event!!” He said this event should be a life- changing experience because we are raising money to spread BA’s revolution throughout society. Holding up BAsics, he twice read, “You can’t change the world if you don’t know the BAsics.” Then he said, “To bring a change for the better,” and read “An Invitation” by Bob Avakian, dramatically and with conviction, to set a wonderful tone for the benefit, “Let’s go on a crucial journey together—full of unity against oppression and lively struggle about the source of the problem and the solution….”