POCKET JAZZ: GRASSROOTS ARTS PROJECT DEBUTS AUGUST 2019


Producer Robert J. Carmack looks to bring his brand of Jazz,Poetry and Dramatic performances to the L.A. Jazz community.

Pocket Jazz is a coined phrase created by Carmack that melds theater,improvisational music and poetry into a big ball of creativity for open-minded audiences. If you dig Kamasi Washington or Horace Tapscott or Amiri Baraka, Last poets, Watts Prophets and Sun Ra.. brought to you in an affordable, safe and warm community environments. In the tradition of the Black Arts Movement early beginning of Los Angeles Community Jazz organizations paired with the painters, sculptors and actors creating on demand Art.. Subscribe and follow us on http://www.hipstersanctuary.com  FREE!! FREE!! FREE!!

posted by Kamaad Tauhid @blues2jazzguy                                              Blue Note Tribute Logo

Coming in August celebrating the 80th anniversary of the grand Jazz label 

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SPIRITS OF THE UNSUNG: HOMAGE TO BABA HORACE TAPSCOTT


SPIRITS OF THE UNSUNG: A Homage to Baba Horace Tapscott

By Robert J. Carmack   #@blues2jazzguy

 One has to keep “YOUR EAR TO THE GROUND” or, listen for the TALKING DRUMS. That will help you to stay on top of who the movers and shakers are in real jazz events of LA.

I’m certainly no stranger to the underground or “Grassroots” happenings of Leimert Park and other venue pockets scattered throughout the city. Japan Town, Highland Park, San Fernando Valley and Long Beach are just the latest cities emerging with new energy.

One of the hottest jazz venues in the city of Los Angeles is The World Stage, an intimate performance gallery for presenting top-shelf jazz, performance poetry and other performing arts and exhibits of some of the finest artisans in the state or world even.

At a recent birthday celebration and Homage to Horace Tapscott held at the World Stage on his birthday (April 6th), I got a chance to briefly speak with a few longtime members of the Pan Afrikan Peoples ARKESTRA.

Bandleader and eldest member in longevity (since 1966) Jesse Sharps-saxes, flutes and miscellaneous woodwinds: Jesse is a L A born musician from Watts who sat-in and listened to the early beginnings of The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra until he earned his stripes and paid his dues as every young musician must do.  “Post-1965 Uprising” a great spot was spawned in the heart of Watts called, the Watts Happenin’ Coffeehouse on 103rd street. Raw talent developed, in the jazz jam sessions, poetry and theater arts workshops, creative writer programs. A real bright moment for us young artists who were part of a revolutionary Black Arts Movement beginning in the mid-late 1960s Los Angeles. That venue was followed by “The Gathering” on Western & Vernon Ave. and formation of UGMAA and other branches to ARK.

Many old school players were a big part of the musical clan that gathered at all the community festivals and churches that opened their doors to Tapscott and his Eclectic group of players. Most “Ark” members are bandleaders themselves or, play on an elite basis with the great ones.

Michael and Mekala Session: Father & son musical team; Michael: “We are especially proud of what happens after experiencing the Blackness, Unity and Creative Magic that made up the sound of the “Arkestra” during the early 1974 to present. The legacy is the community itself and its love and embrace of these musical Griots. “Man..All that sound hitting you , makes you feel like you could do anything creative after that experience” 

Mekala Session; drums,percussion, In the beginning for me when I was just a pup growing up, I did not take it seriously, but as I grew and spent my time embracing the magic and spiritualism of the people surrounding me including my dad..I said to myself, What was it Horace might have been thinking when he was in his early 20s and creating all kinds of great music.”  A Mekela Session 1

“Today in the Ark , Cats closer to my age, I’m surrounded by “crazy musicians” who are trying to represent the ” Hood” in terms of the high bar that was set long before even my Dad joined the band, or Black Arthur Blythe, Jesse Sharps, Sabir Mateen, Troy Robinson, Adele Sabastian, Nate Morgan, etc.

While he was still in his twenties, Horace Tapscott gave up a successful career in Lionel Hampton’s band and returned to his home in Los Angeles to found the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, a community arts group that focused on providing affordable, community-oriented jazz and jazz training. Over the course of almost forty years, the Arkestra, together with the related Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension (UGMAA) Foundation, were at the forefront of the vital community-based arts movements in black Los Angeles. Some three hundred artists—musicians, vocalists, poets, playwrights, painters, sculptors, and graphic artists—passed through these organizations, many ultimately remaining within the community and others moving on to achieve international fame. Based primarily on one hundred in-depth interviews with current and former participants, The Dark Tree is the first history of the important and largely overlooked community arts movement of African American Los Angeles. Brought to life by the passionate voices of the men and women who worked to make the arts integral to everyday community life, this engrossing book completes the account began in the highly acclaimed Central Avenue Sounds, which documented the secular music history of the first half of the twentieth century and which the San Francisco Examiner called “one of the best jazz books ever compiled.”

Jesse Sharps with Bobby West in rear

Horace Tapscott

I can only wonder what it would be like if.. Horace, Billy Higgins  were still alive to see whats become of their fruits of their labor in the beginnings.. How many practice sessions by Horace at 4:AM in morning at old World Stage building in the dark, running passages and ideas flowing like a fountain geyser. Billy Higgins doing his task every saturday, whenever he was in town bringing top flight jazz musicians to expose the youth to, Guys that were his peers, like Benny Maupin, Jabali Hart, Eddie Harris, Jackie McLean, Barry Harris, Cedar Walton, Charles Lloyd just to name a few , those workshops were classic and memorable. Part of the reason we still celebrate the greatness of the man, but more importantly we celebrate the legacy of the Community because that’s where Horace was coming from on a spiritual note.

 

MAIA !! TAKES THE WORLD STAGE BY STORM COMING SOON INTERVIEW WITH MAIA.


posted by Kamaad Tauhid  #@blues2jazzguy

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipPSU2-wVRzY9l48Hml_efp_oC8MWMm5I-C8LTHJ

 

 

I’ve been around music since I was a pup. I been around jazz since 1963, musician, actor, producer and poetry.  MAIA.. is a woman, and a group of very talented ladies that hit all the marks for me. I have not seen anybody that bring the soul, from the grassroots level like this group in a very long time. First off, You got to acknowledge the leader’s organic approach to jazz improvisations. a very percussive Vibist, but sweet melodic flute player as well, and gutsy vocals. all of their rich harmonizing skills were on display last Saturday (March 2)night. at least 4 ladies sing from lead or duets, to background. I was blown away by the “Sweet Honey in the Rock ” type version of Nina Simone’s song , Four Women”. Their jazz chops are beyond reproach, along with their arrangements harkens me to wonder, Why aren’t we hearing more about this “ladies-only group releasing spiritual jazz and potent vocals. one of the highlights of the group is, they have several generations of musicians including the leader’s granddaughter on vocals and piano. .

Members are MAIA- Vibes, Flute, Vocals, sometimes Harp, Shanta-Bass, Mbira and vocals, Aankha Neal-Vocals/Piano, Tamina Johnson- Vocals /Piano, and Aisha Gaillard Drums/percussions

Coming soon, a sit down with MAIA! leader, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. In April 2019…

COMING AUGUST 2019..POCKET JAZZ EVENTS by Robert J. Carmack     follow us on http://www.hipstersanctuary.com

BASSIST JUINI BOOTH & WRITER /ACTOR ROBERT J. CARMACK : BLACK AS 1000 NIGHTS~ARTISTRY & POEMS OF SUN RA


Robert J. Carmack @ World Stage 2017 original poetry & jazz

posted by Kamaad Tauhid  #@blues2jazzguy

BLACK AS 1000 NIGHTS: The Artistry and Poetry of SUN RA  a National Black History Event

WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY 

4321 Degnan Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90008
(323) 293-2451      www.theworldstage.org

ONE NIGHT ONLY!  Saturday February 9th 9:pm $25 at Door  for a rare west coast appearance by Bassist/Composer. Arthur”JUINI” BOOTH former bassist for the man himself Sun Ra and his Afro-Futurists Arkestra. featuring the Spoken Word voice of SUN RA by actor/writer/producer/musician, Robert J. Carmack-MFA. 

Robert J. Carmack fresh off his production of original play 2018 :Interview with the High Prietess:NINA! a Sold out performance at the WORLD STAGE. 2015’s two events at World Stage A Tribute to Composer & Blue Note producer DUKE PEARSON – Charlie Yardbird Parker “21 Toot Salute” on Birds 95th birthday.

 

The content from the selected poems of Sun Ra are curated from the highly touted works from his days and weeks spent as artist-in-residence at University of California Berkeley circa 1970s.

“His widely eclectic and avant-garde music echoed the entire history of jazz, from ragtime and early New Orleans hot jazz, to swing musicbebopfree jazz and fusion. His compositions ranged from keyboard solos to works for big bands of over 30 musicians, along with electronic excursions, songs, chants, percussion pieces, and anthems. From the mid-1950s until his death, Ra led the musical collective The Arkestra (which featured artists such as Marshall AllenJohn Gilmore and June Tyson throughout its various iterations). Its performances often included dancers and musicians dressed in elaborate, futuristic costumes inspired by ancient Egyptian attire and the Space Age.”  

“SUN RA is Music & Poetry is Theater at Its Best” The Hipster Sanctuary  

Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blountlegal name Le Sony’r Ra.. May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993) was a  jazz composer, bandleader, piano / synthesizer  and Poet. Renown for his experimental music, “cosmic” philosophy, prolific output, and theatrical performances. For much of his career, Ra led “The Arkestra”, an ensemble with an ever-changing name and flexible line-up. Later on new audiences found SUN RA Music & POETRY was not only hip but spoke to their lens of how they view today’s world and actions.

Born and raised in Alabama, Blount became involved in the Chicago jazz scene during the late 1940s. He soon abandoned his birth name, taking the name Le Sony’r Ra, shortened to Sun Ra (after Ra, the Egyptian God of the Sun). He developed a complex persona and an idiosyncratic, myth-based credo that would make him a pioneer of Afrofuturism. He claimed to be an alien from Saturn on a mission to preach peace, and throughout his life.  He publicly denied ties to his prior identity. 

The Players for the evening’s performances

Juini Booth 20014

Juini Booth-basses/keyboards – music director (formerly played & recorded with SUN RA, Tony Williams  Lifetime,Gary Bartz, Woody Shaw, and McCoy Tyner, to name only a few;

 

 

Robert J. Carmack – spoken word/actor/musician~ performed with Azar Lawrence, Juini Booth, Dale Fielder,producer/writer 2018’s successful work in progress Interview with the High Prietess: Nina!  original play by R.J. Carmack.. Encore coming 2019 for extended run. Creator of Pocket Jazz 2019! melding of jazz, poetry,and theater with painters and sculptors.

 

 

Guillermo E. Brown -Guillermo E. Brown pays his bills by playing drums with Reggie Watts’s band on The Late Late Show with James Corden, but he has a long history in the avant-garde. Brown has collaborated with jazz giants such as Matthew Shipp, David S. Ware, and Vijay Iyer; eclectic electronic musicians such as DJ Spooky, Jamie Lidell, and Spring Heel Jack; and boundary-pushing hiphop artists such as El-P and Antipop Consortium

 

Mahesh Balasooriya – former pianist/keyboards for Natalie Cole, Waberi Jordan, David S. Ware , also the great Aurturo Sandoval  and the late saxophonist Zane Musa..

 

 

ROBERT J. CARMACK PERFORMS WITH ELEPHANTS: IN LEIMERT PARK SAT. MAY 26 9PM


WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY  Presents

ELEPHANTS Nda PARK BAND

Don Littleton Drums, Michael Alvidrez Bass, Pablo Calogero Saxes, Flutes and Bass Clarinet

Special Guest Poet

Robert J. Carmack – Spoken Word

SATURDAY  MAY 26 9:PM   $20 Door / http://www.eventbrite.com

WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY  4321 DEGNAN BLVD. LA CALIF. 90008

Contact: #@blues2jazzguy or elephantsndapark@mail.com

JAZZ AND PACHYDERMS ?? ELEPHANTS Nda PARK CUTTING EDGE MUSIC _n_ POETRY IN LOS ANGELES


 

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY 

4321 Degnan Blvd. L.A. California 90008

SATURDAY MAY 26 2018 9:PM $20 at Door / Tickets also on, http://www.eventbrite.com

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.

photo by Robert J. Carmack

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

photo by Robert J. Carmack

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-Bass

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 Theater Arts/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