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


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, but a fictional dramatic scene from the tragic story of Parker through the eyes of a person who only wanted to be loved and to love those as he loved the music.

The amazing evening’s entertainment package consisted of a hand picked group of L.A. experienced musicians and a newcomer that’s trending very positive as a budding master of Jazz. Drummer/percussionist-Don Littleton’s Super Trio :James Leary Bass, Robert “Bobby” Pierce piano, Jazz soloists were Randall Willis Alto, Charles Owens Tenor and jazz sensation Chris Astoquillca on alto. Host/MC: Robert J. Carmack- producer, writer and actor.

The enthusiastic audience were up clapping and yelling from their seats because the musicians were off into another gear, especially young saxophonist Chris Astoquillca. who was let loose in second set and He did not disappoint. The buzz around Leimert Park Village the NEXT day told the true story. Chris made an IMPRESSION on the veteran players and the audience. Carmack is thinking ahead and looking forward to the followup event in November, Thanksgiving weekend…

POCKET JAZZ PRESENTS: CTI RECORDs Tribute ~ California Concert Redux 2! November 2019 music of Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine , Esther Phillips, Hank Crawford,Grover Washington,George Benson and other surprises..follow us on face book ~ Pocket Jazz Presents..#CaliforniaConcertRedux2

Robert J. Carmack has already begun discussions around presenting the entire play in August of 2020. Carmack has planned for a multi-night special event in 2020, on Charlie Parker Birthday next year in both Los Angeles, and San Francisco.. a Play – Night of Poets and Jazz Nu Beat Poets Society and Visual Artists(Painters,Sculptors and Assemblage art.

Producer/ Pocket Jazz Presents with Blues & Jazz singer/entrepreneur, Barbara Morrison outside the Barbara Morrison Theater LA Calif.

COMING SOON New Jazz Legends Series Pocket Jazz Presents! 2019/2020

About the producer: Robert J. Carmack He was first exposed to jazz in the late 1950s, as a kid watching the Steve Allen show. He would play with famous musicians, Robert liked the sound, He did not know the name of it. One day while watching the Dobie Gillis show with Maynard, who was a beatnik, said he would do anything to sit-in with Thelonious Monk playing Bongos.. years later, as young Robert was just starting out in music as a saxophone player, he heard a record by a friend’s big brother, who said “this is Monk’s, well you needn’t.” He made the earlier connection from his childhood, now a teenage player in a band, Carmack was hip and cool with his Tam and sunglasses .. Now all the young girls loved it because, He was different than the other guys.

Carmack went on to play professionally under a undisclosed stage name, for 25+ years, then due to medical issues became a writer of jazz history and avid fan of great players. As a writer / producer or blogger, He has worked, interviewed or promoted such luminaries as, McCoy Tyner, Doug Carn, Azar Lawrence, Bobby Womack, Commodores, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Fortune, Andy Bey, Mandrill/Lowrider band, Acknowledgement, Juini Booth/ LA Fog Band and the Sun Ra Tribute with R J Carmack & Juini Booth. contact: blues2jazz2003@yahoo.com~ @blues2jazzguy , or just follow on this site http://www.hipstersanctuary.com

posted by Kamaad Tauhid @blues2jazzguy

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L.A. Jazz Hipsters Celebrate Yard Bird Parker 99th: Appearing August 29 2019


posted by Kamaad Tauhid @blues2jazzguy

Appearing at Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center, a select cadre of LA based musicians ,formed a super Trio of veteran bassist, James Leary, Don Littleton Drummer & leader, Robert “Bobby” Pierce piano”

Meet all the Cats and Kits at 7:30PM to celebrate Charlie Parker’s 99th birthday. early Thursday evening of jazz fun and friendly head-cutting jam session immediately following the scripted portion of the evening’s festivities. Producer Robert J. Carmack first thought about celebrating “Bird’s” birthday in 2015 in front of the Leimert Park World Stage, he, and a band of 7 seven saxophonists all got together for Now’s the Time, Parker’s Mood and a bursting jolt of Crazy runs & phrasing some of the Best, including Thursday featured soloist, Randall Willis, and special invited saxophonist Dale Fielder..Now just 4 years later we have put together a rollicking show of some of Bird’s greatest recorded songs. Look for an added bolster sound in Tenor man Charles Owens, Ricky Woodard and young Chris Christopher Astoquillca on alto, the youngest saxophonist under 30, maybe 25.. It all spells FUN for everybody in attendance.See You There Thursday!(photo 2015 – Chuck Koton. Jazz archivist)

Charlie Parker’s 95th Birthday.. Just us Seven just gave him a honorary “21 Toot Salute”, Left to right , Robert J. Carmack, Shondell Johnson Baritone Sax, (unknown alto player ) Azar Lawrence soprano, Randall Willis Alto,unknown soprano player??) Dale Fielder Baritone Sax..
That day’s activities were coordinated globally around the world including New York & Kansas City, with sax man, Bobby Watson and The Charlie Parker Jazz Society.
Next Year , Carmack promises multiple-days activity for Bird’s 100 2020! Play, Poetry and an All-star concert in both LA & SF Bay area.
https://www.blackculturalevents.com/event/celebratin-yard-bird-99-21-toot-salute/

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Rahsaan Roland Kirk & Robert J. Carmack AUGUST 7- Leo the Lions


Robert J. Carmack in 2006 as Charlie Parker “Wounded Feathers:a Jazz Tragedy – Oakland Calif.
Bright Moments!!

Bright Moments!! August 7 1935 – December 7 1977

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebratin-yard-bird-99-a-21-toot-salute-to-yard-bird-parker-tickets-68070583949

WHO ARE THE POCKET JAZZ CONTRIBUTORS: LEADERSHIP/FACILITATORS


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

Poets: Robert J. Carmack, TBA                                                                           

             

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NYC PIANIST RUDI WONGOZI LAUNCHES LATEST RELEASE: JAZZ FOR R&B LOVERS


The word “Balance” has many definitions, especially as a verb or noun..the ones I chose to use here in speaking about Rudi Wongozi are; an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

OR, a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions , as in “Trying to keep a balance between work and relaxation.   There are remarkable and key points to realize when you talk about the artistry of Rudi Wongozi.

I was honored and elated to write about Rudi Wongozi’s latest CD; JAZZ FOR R&B LOVERS. “the album for After the After-Party”. You see I met Rudi over 12 years ago when I was living in the San Francisco Bay area as a journalist and jazz show producer. initially introduced by a longtime friend of Wongozi, Mr. Duane Deterville, artist, cultural archivist, author and an authority on the African Diaspora. Me being new to the S.F. Bay area then and needing to meet as many new performance artists as possible, I was immediately attracted to Rudi’s whole approach to the piano. even more important, was his attitude about NOT being cast inside the proverbial music box. “Is he Jazz or is he R&B or Pop”?? Neither, what I saw and heard was pure music knowledge , unabridged or, even tainted by labels or categories.

Inside the organization I helped to found, San Francisco Bay Area African-American Musicians Association, we collaborated on a show in Tribute to the great saxophonist Jackie McLean. Rudi tackled the very complex music of Mclean easily as I wanted it to be respectful of the artist, but also I wanted to have lots of creative license. To build upon the original foundation while re-creating new images and patterns through my poetry. And, through the band I assembled to bring the soul and heat.

Rudi Wongozi  has a long standing reputation in the East Bay(Oakland/Berkeley) area of California as a first call pianist and bandleader or recording session player in the genres of Jazz and Pop, Soul and R&B.

The Album for After the After Party

In a brief phone chat recently with the very busy pianist, as he is now living in New York city. We spoke about him being able to carve out himself a nice piece of the grass-roots and underground audiences that are hungry for new voices and sounds.

Wongonzi has valid and “legit” Jazz chops. He also has that eclectic voice that in a subtle kind of way reminds me a little of Gil Scott Heron. his original song lyrics are spot on and most relevant today. Hence, an album for after the After-party..that part of the early morning when no one is sleepy, and don’t want the groove to stop. Rudi Wongozi brings it all home in his new production, Jazz for R&B Lovers. 

Rudi has done a stellar job in marrying the different genres of music and placing it in a funnel and letting it blend to a honeycomb of soul and panache’. Still retaining his remarkable flair for the dramatic entrances.

On the song menu are classics by such notables as Denise Williams,Luther Vandross, Eric Clapton and the great Eddie Jefferson to name a few, plus unforgettable original gems written by Rudi , Precious: when the morning comes.

“Like some of my musical heroes, Nina Simone and Curtis Mayfield..they too were hard to put inside a musical label box because their talent was so expansive and universally appealed to multiple audiences” stated Wongozi.

12 tracks of sheer delight and memories, even a straight ahead version of “BAD HABITS” penned by Maxwell, the neo-soul artist.

You have to approach this album with an open mind and heart. then you will quickly get it. and then have a ball at the Party after the After-Party.

“I wanted to write a love song album, but I also wanted to blend in the social in-justice that’s currently happening in our country now. seasoning it with scat, rap and hip hop grooves beats on certain cuts. a recipe for success by artistically integrating multi-genre with the experience of a master musician/songwriter. This record drops NOVEMBER 11 2018… online purchases or at your favorite CD retail outlets

written by Robert J. Carmack, editor in chief, Hipster Sanctuary.com,actor,jazz poet and musician-@blues2jazzguy

press relations or more info regarding concerts or CD listening parties email us at; wongozi@yahoo.com

MUSIC IS YOUR DESTINY: INTERVIEW WITH DESTINY MUHAMMAD~ “HARPIST FROM DA’ HOOD”


posted by Robert J. Carmack ~ @blues2jazzguy -You know its very hard to find a word that describes a person perfectly, but I just may have. what I mean is, I googled the word Destiny and it read, ” the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future. Also, “the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate. HOWEVER. Sometimes if you’re lucky and say your prayers, you just might meet a talented, sublime musician who happens to play a very unique instrument in a small community of players within a special genre..the original art form of America, JAZZ.

Destiny Muhammad is a Recording/ Performing Artist | Band Leader | Composer & Producer. Her genre is Celtic to Coltrane is cool and eclectic with a feel of Jazz & storytelling to round out the sonic experience.  The original harp is one of the world’s oldest instrument and toughest to master, even more challenging than the piano its self. when I was growing up in Los Angeles and studying music as a teenager I wanted to learn jazz and sought out all kinds of musicians besides saxophone players to listen and learn from. One of those unique musicians was a lady name, Dorothy Ashby, who played the harp, but not just in a classical music setting,but onstage with jazz hungry fans , in clubs, cultural arts centers and later, concert halls late 1960s through the 1980s.
(Dorothy Ashby August 6, 1930 – April 13, 1986)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorothy Ashby was Destiny’s big influence early on long before Alice Coltrane’s huge shadow loomed large in her life. But what was really a “head-scratcher” for me was when she mentioned in an interview I held with her recently. While as a child watching TV, a man with wild hair and zany behavior. He abruptly stopped and stared at a Harp momentarily, then sat down and begun to play a beautiful solo. She was watching a famous scene from a “Marx Brothers” film. That was just the spark needed in her little head. She went wow! I would like to play that. As a little girl growing up in the Compton community and going to Tibby elementary school. Destiny could only dream, as her mom had very little money and instruments were not in the cards. Even later as she grew up and tried to learn the violin, it did not “cut it for her.” Things were changing at home and her mom moved to San Pedro area projects for low-income, about the time for her to go to high school, she joined a vocal choir and wanted to take piano lessons but again was told they could not afford lesson. Frustrated but not deterred from her dream, Destiny became a barber, a good one too, which gave her independence and decision making power to pursue whatever she wanted.  But before she knew it, she was approaching 30 years old and needed to sink or swim.making up her mind to go for it musically she began her journey as a harp player by beginning with the rudimentary method of mastering an instrument late in life. A very challenging endeavor, but none the less not impossible. She moved to Oakland East Bay area and sought out help, advice, direction. After a tad bit of finding her niche’, she found people like trumpeter Khalid Shaheed, pianist Tammy Hall and the legendary trumpeter Eddie Gale among many others. Now over 25 years later, she is being blessed beyond words. Not worrying about how long it took, but what she is doing now that she has arrived.

Destiny has opened for The Oakland East Bay Symphony and Smooth Jazz Artist Gerald Albright, shared the stage with Jazz Masters Marcus Shelby, Omar Sosa, Blue Note Artist Ambrose Akisemuire, and Azar Lawrence to name a few. She has headlined for ‘Women in Jazz’ Concert series, the Afro Solo/ Yerba Buena Gardens Concert Festival, Sunday’s in the Redwoods Concert, Fest Sundiata, and SFJAZZ Tribute to Alice Coltrane’s epic album Impulse Release ‘Journey in  Satchidananda .

Destiny is the Principal Harpist for the Eddie Gale Inner Peace Orchestra, the Oakland Community Orchestra and performs with The AWESOME Orchestra.

The Destiny Muhammad JAZZ Trio~Following in the footsteps of jazz harp master Dorothy Ashby (who recorded with everyone from Freddie Hubbard and Frank Wess to Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder), the Destiny Muhammad Jazz Trio is a sleek and soulful ensemble designed to showcase Muhammad’s soaring vocals and transporting string work. 

That second and most highly touted Jazz musician, pianist, composer and master harpist, the late Alice Coltrane. A profound influence on Destiny as a musician, composer but, also as a woman in a male-dominated genre. She has been given high praises by her peers and fellow bay area jazz musicians, as well as prestigious arts organization and music societies.

Whether interpreting jazz standards or her original tunes, Muhammad turns every piece into a soulful adventure.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hora0U6vvDw

 

A plethora of achievements and awards received in a little over 25 years after not even starting until she was 30 years old on her instrument. Governor Emeritus and Educational Chair Emeritus of the Recording Academy, Jazz Heritage Center of San Francisco Jazz Ambassador,  ASCAP Songwriter Awardee, and Judge for The West Coast Songwriters Contest and Northern California Entertainers Music Awards Female Jazz Artist of the Year.

I asked Destiny what was her greatest joy in music? she said with glee, “That I’m still playing after starting late at 30 and taking that leap of faith. You can follow Destiny’s career and keep up with her gigs by going to her website:http://destinymuhammad.com

If you missed her moving tribute to the great Alice Coltrane the first time,  see information below for tickets and or general information regarding the Concert, Alice Coltrane~Sonic Legacy August 26, 2018 – two shows only!