WHO are these Musicians and poet that’s stirring up the pot inside the L.A. jazz underground?
Brilliant artists in their own right as band leaders,side-men, producers and actor/writer.. these are the ingredients that make up the performance group,
Elephants Nda’ Park ..L.A. based artists that explore all the areas of the musical spectrum that pushes beyond jazz, or even beyond standards and “roses are red” branded poetry.
They seek to discover and peel back the skin of the genre and expose the meaty-fruits inspired by “improvisational excavation”. It is through this meticulous search for new soil, as once presented by such icons as Jackie McLean, Sun Ra, early Pharoah Sanders, John Coltrane,Yusef Lateef, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and others. the X-factor thats injected into the mix is writer/producer,poet, Robert J. Carmack, whose background presents a smorgasbord of the arts including Jazz saxophone, poetry, drama and promotions/publicity. Carmack’s poetry calls up the spirits of the ancesters and the “pioneers who came before”. inspired and influenced by legendary poets such as Amiri Baraka, Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee) , Last Poets, Watts Prophets,Jayne Cortez, Sonia Sanchez and, Sun RA.
Don Littleton Drummer – has spent nearly 50 years studying and performing music all over the country and in Los Angeles, playing with iconic figures such as, George Coleman, Hank Crawford, Charles Owens, Curtis Taylor, Saxophonist Justo Almario and bassist/poet John B. Williams. An accomplished, much sought after percussionist, Don Littleton has mastered an enticing array of percussion instruments. Don regularly performs all over metro-Los Angeles.
Pablo Calagero – multi-instrumentalist. specializing on flutes,saxophones and bass clarinet
Multi-instrumentalist, composer,New Yorker has played and recorded with a virtual list of who’s Who. including Mario Bauza,Tito Puente, Bebo Valdez,Carla Bley, Jaki Byard, Chico Ofarrill, James Newton, Dizzy Gillespie, Adam Roudolph, Bennie Maupin,Phil Ranelin,Dave Binny, Adam Rogers,Dennis Mackrel, Yusef Lateef,Jerry Gonzales, Andy Gonzales, Papo Vasquez, Patato Valdez, Jazz at Lincoln Center Afro Latin Orchestra, Oscar Hernandez,David Murray, Count Basie Orchestra, Anthony Braxton,John Linberg, Rashid Ali, Bobby Matos,Kenny Burrell,absorbing a broad range of musical styles and methods.
Michael Alvidrez, a “young veteran” of the “bass wars” bounces between acoustic and electric with the same impact. Michael is a very astute musician, looking to make his mark and create his own path in this genre. Along with bringing his A-game each and every time he steps onto the stage, “He’s a student of improvisation.” He’s a constant face on today’s L.A. Jazz scene. Not afraid to sail in unchartered waters inside the harbor of a “Free Music Sanctuary”.
Robert J. Carmack – poet, journalist, producer, musician and actor
Robert J. Carmack , Began his musical journey in music long before he picked up an instrument. According to his late mother he could not go to sleep unless the music was playing on the radio, “Though she did not play she loved music and encouraged us all to study” stated Robert . He played saxophone professionally throughout his high school and college career, later switched majors to study theater as undergrad picking up BA in TheaterArts/Communications. Masters Fine Arts in Theater-directing and productions. He has worked in journalism, music for the theater and films , bob hope USO tours during Viet Nam era and produced several plays , 2018 wrote and starred in original play Interview with the High Priestess: Nina! a jazz musical about icon Nina Simone. Also in Feb. 2018 He performed the eclectic poems of Sun Ra with jazz bass master, Juini Booth, Eclectic Nativity, Free Music band in Los Angeles. Summer 2017, performed with Azar Lawrence and Juini Booth’s McCoy Tyner Legacy band as spoken word guest poet,. Robert has produced stellar Jazz shows with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Andy Bey, Sonny Fortune, Calvin Keys, Hilton Ruiz, Vanessa Rubin, Freddie Cole, Doug Carn and worked as MC or journalist on international shows. Mr. Carmack is residing in Southern California these days, enjoying the direction of the Elephants Nda Park is going.
” After all, Ivory is Not Art…Save the Elephants!” posted by Kamaad Tauhid #@blues2jazzguy
A brilliant Ms. M. Productions presented an intimate evening (Feb.17) with Oakland based vocalist and school principal Ms. TyfahraSingleton. (shown in picture above are l-r, Tyrone Singleton, Tyfahra, pianist Bradley Young and bandleader/drummer Jerrell Ballard.)
Tyfahra came into the “quite full” Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center,with her “breath of fresh air” approach to the Nancy Wilson song book. Highlighted Nancy favorites during the evening were, Never Will I Marry, In The Dark, Darling Please Save Your Love for Me and the must sing “Guess Who I Saw Today. ”
I was particularly impressed with her range of tunes and tempos, along with a surprise duo rendition of Unforgettable with her dad, Tyrone Singleton , a veteran entertainer and vocalist out of Las Vegas.
The musicianship was simply outstanding all evening including some “spotlight” band numbers led by Jerrell Ballard on drums, Don Bell on saxophone, Bradley Young piano and Mike Alvidrez on bass.
The entire evening was planned,shaped and produced by Ms. M. Productions,headed up by Marion Singleton, a local theater producer and actress. Not only were we in the theater audience satisfied, but left with parting gifts of little sweet potato pies .
I will certainly be looking forward to my copy of the new Tyfahra debut CD coming soon. posted by Robert J. Carmack @blues2jazzguy
Details February during Black History month, follow-up on www.hipstersanctuary.com as we celebrate our 20th year in March 2018. April Live Jazz concert and special awards presentation to surprise guests, also follow-up @blues2jazzguy.
Multi-instrumentalist and singer, Kirk Andres Wilson showed up and showed out last Thursday evening (December 28) at Hollywood’s Catalina Bar and Grill on Sunset.
The almost two-hour set was plumb full of music for every taste and style. Starting the evening off with a series of solo ballads and New Orleans funky-traditional piano styles. that was quickly bolstered by his added band mates.
Lofty musicianship was on display that evening as Kirk was joined on-stage by Professor Harvey Estrada,electric bass and acoustic string bass, Munyungo Jackson percussions, Louis Van Taylor sax/flute, Edell Shepard keyboards/piano, and Donnell Spenser on drums. Wilson was magnificent as the band navigated through everything from Professor Longhair, to Antoine “Fats” Domino(RIP) to Funk & Groove beats of today, Kirk sung hard and long, but also did not disappoint on his mastery of the guitar as well .
This was easily the Show of Shows for 2017!
I highly recommend seeing live, this talented entertainer, producer, writer and master musician. Pick up a copy of his latest CD MY LOVE. follow him on https://www.kirkandre.com/