Tag Archives: Theater

LOCAL ARTISTS COLLABORATE ON POST PANDEMIC PROJECTS


Los Angeles,Calif. It was announced today by Pocket Jazz Presents creator and chief content developer,Robert J. Carmack, MFA. Story by Kamaad Tauhid

Robert J. Carmack, writer, producer and musician, is currently arranging a new collective made up of elite unsung artists and craftspeople the pandemic forgot about.. actors,musicians, poets,painters,sculptors, music arrangers,set designers,sound and lighting. 

Pocket Jazz Presents was formed as themed, small jazz concerts produced by Carmack ,in and around the Los Angeles / Southern California area. hence, pocket-size jazz concert, big in quality and creativity, infusing jazz,poetry and Improv theater together.

One of the most innovative ways of telling stories about Black Historical characters or events that were traumatic or Game-changing. Voices From the Window series; a collection of short vignettes and infotainment programs to educate and entertain. Beginning, April  25 2021,  the new series will debut on several Facebook pages: VOICES FROM the WINDOW- a Zoom formatted show about social change subject matter,black historic characters, and past events that impacted the lives of a people..‘

Debuting Voices from the Window – a 30 min interview with artists on artists about artists- April 25th – Donny Hathaway: Everything Everything – 50 Years! Special Guest, Ric Powell – producer/co writer, musician and co-publisher. album released 1970.

April 27-  The Awakening: Sam and L.C. Cooke- a dramatic fantasy about Sam Cooke awakening to find his Brother,L.C. staring at him, asking him questions. Since Cooke died in 1964, ??

April 30- Dynamite Hill:Bombingham 63 – a dramatic and searing look into the lives of four select characters from the Alabama 16th street church bombing in 1963, 4 girls dead and many severely injured.Pocket Jazz Presents are creating the concepts and arranging the historical data into a dramatic presentation. All performed improv, no scripts!

Its riveting and speaks volumes of early black theater memories of NEC, or Karamu House, Mafundi Institute and Paul Robeson players, in which Robert was a co-founding member going back to 1972. 

Mr. Carmack went out and recruited his old friends from his early years with The Paul Robeson Players, former players include Vel Omarr and Naomi Pryor-Stenson. characters and cast members ~

The Awakening: cast~ Sam Cooke/Vel Omarr   and L.C. Cooke- Robert J. Carmack,MFA ~ Dynamite Hill: cast~ Naomi Pryor-Stenson as Sister Collins..Vel Omarr as Deacon Trass, Mechelle LaChaux as Mrs./Mother Johnson and Robert  J. Carmack as Dr. Robert Johnson, DDM & surgery

Voices From the Window_ a innovative approach of relaxed informal chat with artists on artists about art with artists.all in a Zoom format, opening up to Q&A after show and engaging through email or texts. Hosted by Robert J. Carmack and Vel Omarr, both men, are producers for Pocket Jazz Presents. 

Coming attractions: Ric Powell musician producer and songwriter Donny Hathaway story/ everything everything. Jazz musician and saxophonist Ghasem Batamuntu, Sandra Booker.  June 2021- Black Music Month!

For more details follow us on facebook  Pocketjazzpresents/ @Freedomjazzdance or http://www.hipstersanctuary.com 951-840-7120

Vel Omarr as Sam Cooke and Robert J. Carmack as brother, L.C. Cooke

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.,

COMING 2018 INTERVIEW WITH THE HIGH PRIESTESS:NINA SIMONE ~ ORIGINAL PLAY


an Original Play by Robert J. Carmack – Black History Month

COMING  to the Los Angeles area  February 2018

The Actors

Ms. Jana Wilson as

High Priestess Nina Simone

~in Loving Tribute~

 

 

 

 

 

Robert J. Carmack as    the Reporter~Karl Lee

written,produced and directed ~R.J.Carmack

Music-Poetry-Drama

HARLEM NEW YORK HONORS ACTOR /PRODUCER ROME NEAL


posted by Robert J. Carmack   #@blues2jazzguy

Rome Neal 2  Senator Bill Perkins
shown from L-R State Senator Bill Perkins Rome Neal

JOIN US IN SINGING PRAISE SONGS FOR A GREAT MAN AND ARTIST!!  as reported by N.Y. Radio Host/Writer Playthell Benjamin from Harlem USA –  Rome Neal 1

Last night the New York Jazz and Theater community honored one of their heroes: ROME NEAL: actor, director, promoter.producer, singer, cultural warrior. Harlem State Senator Bill Perkins came down from the Capitol in Albany to present him with an official Proclamation recognizing his extraordinary contribution to the cultural life of New York on the 12th anniversary of his “Banana Pudding” Jazz concerts, held at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the fashionable, artsy, East Village. The Nuyorican is a cultural landmark that was a pioneering institution in the flourishing arts scene there.

Jazz Violinist Fredka Krier  Rome Neal
European Jazz violinist ,Fredka Krier

Rome was joined by family and friends as he was serenaded by a wide variety of the GREAT MUSICIANS he has promoted and worked with over the years, amid panegyrics from thespians like the inimitable Woody King.

My full review of the tribute will be forthcoming.   photos & text by Playthell G. Benjamin

Follow him at this link: https://commentariesonthetimes.wordpress.com

Congratulations ROME NEAL On 12 Years of Banana Puddin’ Jazz Concerts!!