BLACK HISTORY VIRTUAL -THEATER BY POCKET JAZZ PRESENTS: STORIES FROM THE WINDOW


It was announced last week by Pocket Jazz Presents Chief Content Developer and Founder, Robert J. Carmack. Pocket Jazz Presents is a content developer and a co-op of artists, musicians,photographers, singers and poets. We operate as a creative collective and at times, represent the little boutique Cafe ,Gig workers, independent artists and small business venue owners . a wide assortment of goods and services offered for nominal fees or Barter.

The Pandemic across the country has made life worse for those entertainers and all the jobs that support the Entertainment industry. Carmack is finding opportunities to work on building alliances and support groups who can be converted into audiences after the “all-clear”sign is posted for audiences to return. ” I have gone into survival mode now that two of my Theater shows were cancelled in 2020 in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco (Nina Simone play, Interview with the High Priestess:NINA! also, a Charlie Parker return to Bay area in ,Wounded Feathers a Jazz Tragedy.

Pocket Jazz with Robert, recruited some of Robert’s old friends, Mr. Vel Omarr, soul singer, songwriter,actor/director of stage plays and music productions,the Chicago native by way of Mississippi is currently portraying several roles for Pocket Jazz stories,including Sam Cooke. Omarr’s credits also include songs written for Movies and some now Streaming on-line as we speak. can not list at time but will list in next article. Vel Omarr is the founder of the Soultown Artists Channel.

Hailing from Detroit, and finding her way to join family members in California, while settling initially in Carson. she met Robert Carmack , a college student and Drama teacher at a local arts academy. Naomi excelled in the workshops and early productions. A major change came when the adult workshop split off from the academy and became the Paul Robeson players, a full theater ensemble,1972..joining Robert Carmack and Robert Browning as the Original founding members,among a few others who are no longer with us. We introduce Ms. Naomi Pryor-Stenson.

Introducing Ms. Mechelle LaChaux, Singer/songwriter,actress and stage management. just to name a few of this dynamic lady’s skills. Her energy in the “Moment” acting. She’s also dedicated to a high Bar of excellence in music. Worked with Robert in the formation of creating. the San Francisco Bay – Area African American Musicians Association. This organization was established to bolster more Black musicians involvement in the active cultural scene in the S.F. Bay area 2004-2009.

This group of Black professionals are grinding out some very interesting dramatic content ,using historic events and figures. for example , Feb, 26, 27 and 28 . Pocket Jazz is posting its Debut Program entitled, Stories From the Window. In a Zoom formatted set, Carmack and company will bring emotional , gripping subject matter as the “1963- 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing” in Birmingham Alabama, and the mysterious Life & Death of Sam Cooke 1960s. later on, other key figures will be featured. The short vignettes are just a slice of life involving the people in a pivotal moment in time. In the 1963 Bombing . The Four actors are representing four nameless victims of the bombing who was just going to Church. No previously written script is used , Improvisational skills are at play, told from the audience’s point of View . Hence, Stories from the window.. The Zoom “Box/Window” format is where I draw the title. LIVE/taped!

We will project what these four characters were doing only ONE HOUR before they arrived ,only to be injured severely, others died.. Other themes may be about eclectic Blues lady Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, Charlie Parker and Sam’s Brother L.C. Cooke. we are happy to release the precursors to our stage efforts. Ready on day-one to tour these shows.. on stage, in backyards once audiences are safe to return.

For more information follow us at PocketJazzPresents/@FreedomJazzDance on facebook or email us your contact ,so we can place you on our action events list. pocketjazz@musician.org ~ our office number is 951-456-5874. our next article, Meet the Cast Members at http://www.hipstersanctuary.com Feb. 18th 2021.. until all shows have posted .

supporting websites and support groups on Facebook Soul Gumbo Unlimited, Prancin N’ Romancin’ Cove, S.F.B.A.A.A.M. and SoulTown Artists Channel on facebook.,

JAZZ ELEPHANTS STAMPEDE!


Jazz Elephants Stampede in Temecula,California 

One of the reasons I love covering jazz artists and groups that last long enough to see growth as a group , not just the individuals. I’ve worked with Don Littleton as a spoken word artist, MC and Promoter.. This group is a can’t miss act.. Right out the gate, Elephants nda Park dug into a Monk classic ,Bye-Ya.. A 32 bar ditty with added afro cuban Clave. Powerful playing by full band, but Pianist Mahesh Balysooria, demonstrated why he is becoming a first call jazz musician in Los Angeles..Mahesh is a USC music major alum and a busy pianist around town.

Great foundation laid-out by Mahesh on piano.. He then busted into,IMHO, a cross between McCoy Tyner and Omar Sosa intense solo, followed by drums and congas trading fours before returning back to the melody. A most improbable tune I didn’t see coming was, Giant Steps by John Coltrane, into massive bullet-trains of ideas moving through those Coltrane “changes” on saxophone by Pablo Cologero, Don’s right hand man in arrangements and directions for the band musically. 

Another great tune the band tackled was a doozy by George Coleman, Amsterdam After Dark. 

This ditty works its way around a great bassline and simple melody, but the Clave took over and had the electric audience up and on their feet. They were warned in the beginning that a stampede or house on Fire might come over the evening’s activity.  This band has started to raise a lot of eyebrows in So. Cal region and is open to going on the road to showcase this great group of musicians. The Bandleader , Don Littleton , a jazz veteran on percussion and traps. He was mentored by Billy Higgins, played with George Coleman, Hank Crawford and a who’s who in music, jazz in particular. 

Don dropped his latest group recording last year, Don Littleton and Elephants Nda Park ( see CD baby or your favorite download database under Don Littleton & Elephants Nda Park)     https://youtu.be/e5tfvno-29k 

Jazz lovers in Temecula  California , have been enjoying great straight ahead jazz at the Merc for the last 12 + years, hosted and curated by Ms. Sherry Williams, Vocalist/jazz presenter.  Everybody  loves to see her smiling face in the house, because you know it’s going to be great.

Sherry and her winning personality and smile, as she goes about the business of curating some of the best musicians jazz has to offer locally. The Merc has Jazz every Thursday evening @7:30pm ..for the rest of 2021. KEY concerts: Sept. 16th. Benn Clatworthy quartet.. Sept 23rd. “SOLD OUT” Al Williams for more info go to The Merc’s Website http://www.temeculatheater.org 866-653-8696

Award-Winning Playwright Set to Direct Hit Musical Revue Club Alabam


Hipster Sanctuary

Tu'Nook
Award-winning Playwright and Poet, Tu’Nook has been tapped to direct the Theatre Perception Consortium’s production, The Club Alabam. It was announced recently by Robert J. Carmack, company Marketing and Media Consultant.
Tu’Nook is an educator,performance poet,playwright and actress. She has been published in Guild Press Anthology,  “Full Circle Eight”, UCLA’s Black English Student Association Journal “TAZ” and, in the anthology, “Butterflies” on the Wind from Hunan/Guild Press Publishing House in China. Tu’Nook also has performed in various poetry venues and theatrical projects in Southern California.
TuNook  Alabam! 007
She is a co-author of the stage play, “Sweetwater Blues”, “DaRoot”, “Return”, and “North On South Central”. a 1940s jazz musical that was a 2004 NAACP Theater Award winner, Howlin’ Blues and Dirty Dogs(the life of Big Mama Thornton) a 2010 NAACP Theater Award winner, and the “Fiancée of Voo Doo. (an African Folktale)
While she takes her work in theater very serious, she still have…

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HORACE SILVER:LET’S GET TO THE REAL NITTY GRITTY 1928-2014


Hipster Sanctuary

posted by Robert J. Carmack                           #@blues2jazzguy

On June 18, we lost one of the few remaining Jazz giants, pianist Horace Silver.  As a serious fan of this man’s music, I have to take you all the way back to my early teen days in junior high, when I first heard a tune called Filthy McNasty.  A live set (recorded at the Village Gate) finds pianist/composer Horace Silver and his most acclaimed quintet (the one with trumpeter Blue Mitchell, tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor and drummer Roy Brooks) stretching out on four selections, including this song “Filthy McNasty in May 1961 .

Silver Keys

Its 1963, while most kids my age were groovin’ to Motown sounds,  a handful of  my special friends  and  I were learning instruments.

We soon got to take our parents records to…

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BLACK MUSIC MONTH SIZZLES??


Black Music month Sizzles! (OP/ED)

Los Angeles,Calif._ June Glides into Summer 2021 with a Bang as Throwbacks are “IN” Again!

In a recent conference on the state of affairs in music and entertainment. Though the scene looks devastated in some areas, and just plain “Busted and Disgusted” conditions for bars/supper clubs even at 50%.

One half of maximum patronage at one time is not cutting it”. In Los Angeles county alone, where a large portion of restaurants are under water. especially the small “Mom & Pop” cafe/ bistros for a niche market, they’re hit the heaviest. Musicians and all the support within the Entertainment business are hoping to see a major change by summer. The summer may be the “Sink or Swim” time for medium, large chains, and entertainment businesses. Follow us on @FreedomJazzDance at Facebook pages or email us at pocketjazz@musician.org

Pocket Jazz Presents  team are readying themselves with an eclectic bunch of dramatic shows with music of the era , such as Sam Cooke Legacy Revue, Nina Simone Tribute:High Priestess! Or, Charlie Parker Legacy Compositions:Wounded Feathers!  featured as a point of information and historical “Edutainment” series. Included, an Interview show about Artists interviewing Artists about ART.

ON FACEBOOK: Pocketjazzpresents page/ @FreedomJazzDance

Bombingham 63/ (They Called it Dynamite Hill) ~ produced by Robert J. Carmack and Vel Omarr with Naomi Stenson. Cast members ..Naomi Pryor-Stenson -Ms. Collins / Mechelle LaChaux- I.Willie Johnson -Music Minister, wife of Dr. Johnson/ Robert J. Carmack -Dr Robert J. Johnson

Vel Omarr, who stars as Sam Cooke in the original story, The Awakening stated, “We’re not just putting on a show, but actually in some cases , shedding new light on old myths and half truths . Black artists and their historical status” are sometimes left for self-interpretation. Pocket jazz produced a one night only show in 2018 .. it was a sold out performances, but could not extend the performances beyond the one night only dates.

COMING 2021/22

Pocket Jazz Presents~High Priestess- a Nina Simone Tribute~moving, dramatic showcase of the social /protest music from early 1960s. 1965 setting in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Calif. : while rehabbing from an injured right hand, Nina is surprised when interviewed by a reporter from Ebony magazine.  but he’s also from her hometown in North Carolina. Special curated songs and music, original writings based on a play  written by R.J. Carmack. Historical material about civil rights, the leaders who were part of the struggle. running time for show is 90 plus minutes. And, a Q&A session for ½ hour post-performance by artists and directors. Target : Educational , Theaters,and dinner clubs. Running time:2 hours Fees: TBA

Sam Cooke Legacy series: L.A. early 1962-1964 -dramatic scenes infused with the very popular Sam Cooke songs performed to perfection by Soul Singer/actor, Vel Omarr -5-7 piece band plus backing vocalists, additional actor-L.C. Cooke / brother. Show running time is 1.5 hours.

One thing for sure, Summer 2021 is certainly going to be a swim or sink moment in my humble opinion. As part of a creative team of artist, we look forward to audience returns in 100% formats.

Kamaad Tauhid is a contributing editor at Hipstersanctuary.com @blues2jazzguy email: pocketjazz@musician.org

Best Yard Bird 99th Event: 21 Toot Salute in Los Angeles


Hipster Sanctuary

August 29th is a very famous birthday for various people..One for Michael Jackson so-called King of Pop, but this one is about the King of Be Bop Saxophonists Charlie Parker or, aka, Yard Bird! The Jazz community in Leimert Park was honoring the “Bird” on his 99 birthday.

Parker a 34 year old man died in March 1955, months before his 35th Birthday. Before that happened, Yard Bird or “Charlie’ was known as the absolute truth on jazz saxophone. Most youngsters or vet musicians wanted to play and sound like him..some even went to the pits of hell with major drugs and its abuse to follow the Bird. After saying all that, Robert J. Carmack wrote a play about the man, about the two inner-men other that “Bird,” Most people knew nothing about.. the others were the man as Father, Husband and musical genius!. Carmack’s play was not being performed…

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HOWARD RUMSEY: SAYING GOODBYE TO L.A. JAZZ PRESENTER 1917-2014


Hipster Sanctuary

posted by Robert J. Carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

ahmad Jamal Ahmed Jamal Trio at the Famous Lighthouse Cafe

Howard Rumsey, a jazz bassist and entrepreneur who helped popularize the notion of a progressive West Coast jazz scene in the 1950s as leader of the Lighthouse All-Stars, died on July 15 in Newport Beach,Calif. the cause was complications of pneumonia, said Nancy Simonian, a longtime friend. He was 97.

Growing up in the early 1960s in Los Angeles gave me lots of opportunities. To learn an instrument, and get skilled enough to play in various church and school orchestras and marching bands, If you were like me that was not enough, I liked jazz when most of my friends and peers were boppin’ to Motown.

One of my greatest opportunities came in the form of playing saxophone in a youth band sponsored by the late Gerald Wilson and the Grant Music Center, Henry Grant, Conductor…

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GLOBAL SOUL DEBUT! Voices From THe Window:Ric Powell


MUSIC PRODUCER Ric Powell..Everything Everything! 1970 debut of Donny Hathaway Atlantic Records/50th year anniversary 2020!

EVERYTHING/EVERYTHING RIC POWELL Chats with..VOICES FROM THE WINDOW


DON’T miss out on a candid and soulful chat with musician, songwriter,record producer AND MUSICIAN, RIC POWELL stopped by the studio during Black History month, and we were able to finally get the video edited and readied for action. a fun time was had discussing the historical debut album of Donny Hathaway.. where Ric attended Howard with the great Donny Hathaway and gigged around the DC area.

Check Out Ric Powell as special guest of Voices From the Window… the Donny Hathaway story regarding Everything /Everything! Now debuting new Virtual Online Show.. view the show at Facebook group,

“Black History” 365 & at Pocket jazz Presents pages ..all on Facebook April 25th – recurring shows on Demand

https://www.facebook.com/ric.powell.92

Artists Donny Hathaway/ Ric Powell Producer / Drums/percussion

SOUL MUSIC IS AGELESS..LIKE LOVE and ROMANCE VEL OMARR ~ HERE & NOW!


Soul singer and actor, Vel Omarr .. making a strong statement for Love.

Catch Vel Omarr in his latest dramatic production with Pocket Jazz presents: The Awakening with Vel Omarr as Sam Cooke.. Catch your copy of his latest recording , How can I make You Mine.

go to http://www.vel-omarr.com or Soultown Artist on Facebook