POCKET JAZZ MANAGEMENT ~ Robert J. Carmack-Band Leader,Producer, Writer, Actor, Director, Publicity, Percussion,
Photo Artists: Chuck Koton, Robert J. Carmack, Valerie Huffman-Herring, Craig Johnson
Artists (Painters, Assemblage,Graphics) SAM PACE, MICHAEL BRADLEY, SANDRA MARCHAND
Musicians: Robert J. Carmack -percussion/sax/spoken word,Bobby West-Piano, Keyboards,music directo ~Andrew Acosta, all Percussion & Toys, Don Littleton Traps/ Percussion, Pablo Cologero -flutes,saxes and bass clarinet, Mike Alvidrez basses electric & acoustic.. Aladeen- sax/vocals
Booking Roster: Jazz groups-MAIA all-female jazz ensemble, Acknowledgement, Plight and Elephants Nda Park
Actors: Robert J. Carmack, Phil Bell, Pat Sligh, Windy Barnes-Farrell, Michelle LaChaux,TBA
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.”
“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 acclaimedCentral 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.”
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.
posted by Robert J. Carmack #@blues2jazzguy #Precious:For Lovers & Dancers
I can hardly remember but, over the last 5 -10 years we’re missing a lot of male jazz vocalists input. Rudi Mwongozi is constantly moving up the chain of new faces and voices on the scene.. Rudi, now based in New York from Oakland, California. I’m coming at this for a second bite. After living with this latest CD of pianist/vocalist Rudi Mwongozi, I can fully appreciate what he’s doing musically.
In my opinion, of the twelve cuts on this project, I like them all. Part of this recording has some very popular songs by elite artists Like, Eric Clapton, the gold record Free by Denise Williams/S. Greene. He really gives this song a jolt of Mwongozi(ness). the arrangement opens with a similar intro, followed by a very classy bridge and vamp. Then he breaks out in a Afro-latin rhythmic vamp which sets up an extended solo in piano wizardry and percussive rhythms. Another favorite is his strong harmonic approach to a syncopated piece called, Whole Steps to the House of Light, filled with musical trap doors and breaks,that swings and jumps like the pioneers use to do. I got a big kick out of the eclectic cut, the James Moody Story . a Be-Bop swinger. harkens me back to the James Moody and Eddie Jefferson style of vocalese and scat singing by Rudi and Friends. Rudi takes on a brave arrangement of a Luther Vandross composition and handles it with delicacy and panache. He’s rolling 7s on this tune. He chose not to do what many so-called smooth jazz artist do in regurgitation of the original song,by performing it note for note instrumentally. I was amazed at his treatment of vocalizing with his very fine jazz piano chops added, he really soars on this song like no other male Jazz artist out there.
Knowing Rudi from my days living in Oakland, California and producing jazz shows with unique themes of legendary artists works. we performed on a show paying homage to the great saxophonist, Jackie McLean compositions. A wide plethora of unique compositions in various meters and styles which paid respect to Jackie’s legacy. Be sure to cash in on a Rudi’s originalPrecious:When the Morning Comes and Bad Habits.
I had to push you closer to this prized project, The Music for After the After Party. what a concept, so early in the morning and then again, very late too. so the perfect menu of music for that romantic part of the morning where you listen to some swing, followed by some slow romantic tunes to Hug your “sweetie” to. Follow Rudi MWONGOZI on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rudi.mwongozior, right here at, http://www.hipstersanctuary.com
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…
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 music, bebop, free 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 Allen, John 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 Blount, legal nameLe 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-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..
The HIPSTER CELEBRATES TWENTY YEARS JAN 22nd 7:PM @Upstairs at Vitellos Supper Club –Studio City Calif. – Must purchase ticket online to attend event
All are welcome to come out and Toast in the New Year and support Live Jazz. GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY.. Win a FREE Advance Signed Copy of Standards & Other Songs” by Ron Jackson releasing in March,2019
It was announced recently at post-concert event, Hipster Sanctuary .com is celebrating its 20th year as a brand and media organization. “We started as a newsletter for The Atlanta International Jazz Society, a group dedicated to promoting the legacy of the American original art form, JAZZ. With our mission intact, we are still promoting traditional and classic jazz, not as a Jazz society now, but as an E-Zine and blog” said Robert J. Carmack, co-founding member.” As a labor of love project, we have purged ahead to 2019, as our first newsletter was published in January 1999. As a way to commemorate that honor with our friends and great fan followers of the publication, Hipster Sanctuary.Com, We’ve partnered up with one of our jazz groups we strongly support, Ron Jackson/Teodross Avery Soul Jazz project for a JAZZ MEET-UP at the eclectic Upstairs at VITELLO’s Supper Club in Studio City, California. Tuesday, Jan 22nd 2019 7:pm
Members of the Hipster Collector’s Corner jazz group will gather at the club early for a toast to the new year and our 20 years advocating for the legacy. jazz legends cited and honored by this group over the 20 years are Joe Henderson, Shirley Horn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Oscar Peterson, Billy Higgins, Jackie McLean, Taj Mahal, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Fortune, Vanessa Rubin, Freddie Cole, Hilton Ruiz and others. they all received a Congressional Lifetime Achievement Award sanctioned by Congress and signed by Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
Hipster Sanctuary.com sister page on Facebook, HIPSTER COLLECTOR’S CORNER. We can’t wait to blow the audience away with “throwback electricity” with New York based Jazz guitarist, Ron Jackson (www.ronjacksonmusic.com) making his L.A. debut with his good friend and L.A. based Jazz saxophonist, Teodross Avery. Also, long time jazz veteran drummer, Cecil Brooks III out of Jersey City. Brian Ho Hammond Organ. Some special surprises in store for the evening.
The group’s sound is a B3 Organ- Guitar-Sax sound that made Blue Note Records popular during the 1960s, conjuring up the memory of Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine, Kenny Burrell or a Grant Green feel.
Hipster Sanctuary.com wants to save you $10 on admission by purchasing your tickets through the restaurant’s Eventbrite.com web link. easy and safe online tickets@$20. “Select your own table”
When you buy your advanced ticket it qualifies you for drawing for a signed free Advanced Jazz CD giveaway at Concert that evening. Get your ticket today! $30 per ticket for day of event. (minimum purchase per person, drink or food items) Ron JACKSON New CD Releases March 2019.
“Standards & Other Songs”- Ron Jackson with Nathan Brown and Darrell Green