Freedom of Sound: Percussion
May 3-4 Glenfield Middle School Montclair NJ
As I developed, I found I could play a lot of notes against a common chord that some people would call wrong.
To my hearing it's right. You can play any note you like. Its based on freedom of sound. - Eric Dolphy
In 2014, Seed Artists produced Eric Dolphy: Freedom of Sound. A celebration of the maverick musician on the 50th anniversary of his passing. More than 40 artists over two nights, from Richard Davis, Andrew Cyrille and Howard Johnson to Vernon Reid, Angelica Sanchez, Don Byron. Among the highlights: James Newton conducted the debut of unheard Dolphy compositions, now housed in the Library of Congress. Gunther Schuller spoke in a symposium. Henry Threadgill and Diane Moser debuted works dedicated to Dolphy.
On May 3-4, Freedom of Sound returns, as an annual event at a new home, Glenfield Middle School. Montclair's arts-magnet middle school. The theme: percussion. Adventurous music from some of the world's most compelling jazz, international and experimental musicians. We induct the world's first Jazz Laureate, Andrew Cyrille. The theater becomes a musical instrument using conductive paint. A concert in the school planetarium. We build The World's Largest Recyclable Drumkit.
Kids attend for FREE as long as the spots last.
CHECK OUT THE LINEUP. GET YOUR TICKETS.
GLENFIELD MIDDLE SCHOOL
25 Maple Ave
You can park all along Maple Avenue and the adjoining side streets, or at metered spots on Bloomfield Avenue. A couple/few quarters will get you past the nighttime expiration. We will likely also have some spots in the parking garage at the school--you'll see it right away--but they'll go fast.
If someone with you can't walk that far, you can drop off in the circle driveway in front of the parking garage and then park your car.
Couldn't be much closer. The Bay Street stop in Montclair is next to the fire station, and the fire station is directly across Bloomfield Avenue from the school.
If you haven't taken NJ Transit before: we are on the Montclair-Boonton line. Rush-hour trains on Friday will be packed. Like the subway. Because it's rush hour. But the ride's more pleasant. The pre-concert salsa warmup on the roof at 6 will be fun, but if you can't make it til the concert at 7, don't sweat it. On Saturday, Bay Street is the end of the line and the only open station in town, so you can't miss it.
When you exit the train, you'll see signs directing you towards Bloomfield Avenue and the festival. And we'll have a couple of volunteers in festival t-shirts to point the way.
From NYC/Penn Station and points in between: Some trains require a quick transfer at Newark-Broad Street. (All Saturday trains require transfer.) It's easy: same platform, literally a 2-minute wait. The conductor will announce the transfer before you arrive at Broad. TAKE YOUR TICKET WITH YOU when you exit at Broad, wait on the platform for the Montclair train. There are video screens on the platform that list train arrivals, and you can ask an NJ Transit employee or another passenger to ensure you're in the right place. (You will be.)
FRIDAY MAY 3
Glenfield Middle School
6PM ROOF DECK (Doors open at 5:30)
Pre-concert salsa warmup with AfroCuba Band on the roof deck.
Senegalese percussionist M'Boup has performed with everyone from Pharaoh Sanders to Salif Keita and Talking Heads. Tonight, he performs solo on hand drums, kora, and vocals.
Drummer/percussionist RAVISH MOMIN and percussionist/turntablist VAL JEANTY create mesmerizing, innovative electro-acoustic music that draws from India, North Africa, the Middle East, Haitian voodoo culture, and jazz improvisation. Glenfield percussion students will workshop with them during the day and join them for part of the set.
TOM CHIU & FRIENDS - 8:35
A string-quartet tribute to the great Max Roach led by Tom Chiu, founder of the groundbreaking FLUX Quartet ("one of the most fearless and important new-music ensembles around" - San Francisco Chronicle) and Seed's Pheeroan akLaff, who will perform on a drumkit played by Max himself.
YEYI - 8:50
"Percussion wizard" (DownBeat) ADAM RUDOLPH and woodwind/reed master RALPH M. JONES bring 45 years of collaboration to a transportive improvisational dialogue that employs everything from hand-drums (congas, djembe, tarija), frame drum, thumb pianos, gongs, and sinter to flutes, bass clarinet, tenor & soprano saxophones, hichiriki, bagpipes, and piano.
SUSIE IBARRA presents FRAGILITY: AN EXPLORATION OF POLYRHYTHMS - 9:30
CLAUDIA ACUNA (vocals), YUKA HONDA (electronics), JAKE LANDAU (keyboards/guitars), IBARRA (drumset/percussion), SOULEYMANE BADOLO (choreographer, dance)
Drawing on deep knowledge of Asian and jazz percussive traditions, Ibarra and DreamTime Ensemble lead audiences on a journey into a mesmerizing musical environment of multi-layered sonic textures. Choreographer/dancer Badolo interacts with the music ensemble and custom-built motion capture technology in which the dancers movements trigger recorded sounds to create a live rhythmic composition. Ibarra conceives the musical structure of Fragility as a game piece in which the rules require performers and audience members to take turns conducting and shifting roles.
Smith and Robinson have performed with everyone from Ella and Aretha to Miles and Mingus. Master percussionist Smith performs solo, then in a rare duo appearance (on Sun Ra's marimba!) with multi-multi-instrumentalist and "mad scientist of jazz," Scott Robinson.
SATURDAY MAY 4
Instrument-build at Glenfield Park
12PM GLENFIELD PARK - directly next to the school
Join Seed Artists and YOUR NEIGHBORS for a community-build of The World's Largest Recyclable Drumkit. Public art. Kids, adults, musicians, non-musicians. Bring a couple bags of (clean!) recycling from home to contribute to the build. We'll supply the stuff to stick it together. It's simple: we build it, we play it.
What to bring: CLEAN metal cans with no sharp edges, sturdy plastic, small/medium cardboard boxes that boom when you hit them. For example: tuna/bean/soup/sauce cans; plastic mayo jars, yogurt containers, shampoo bottles; heavy cardboard tubes, sturdy milk cartons, small corrugated boxes...Just SHOW UP WITH YOUR STUFF! (No items that contained nut-based products!)
If you want to help prep the site at 11am, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glenfield Middle School
5PM PLANETARIUM & AUDITORIUM (Doors open at 4:30)
Tabla maser Samir Chatterjee performs under astral projections in the planetarium dome. A collaboration with Glenfield Science teacher Delia Maloy. Capacity of 50 audience members per 15-minute set.
PLAY THE ROOM
At the same time, audience members can check out an interactive installation in the auditorium created by KALUN LEUNG & ADAM VIDIKSIS using conductive paint. Tap a surface covered in conductive paint, trigger an audio file. Musical instruments, found sounds--who knows what you will hear...
Trombonist Leung and composer/percussionist Vidiksis create at the cutting edge. Not even we know what they will do. Except for this: As part of their performance, they will create a collective improvisation with audience members who play the conductive-paint installation.
Yes, the piano is a percussion instrument. It is especially percussive in the hands of the brilliant and dynamic pianist/composer DD Jackson. Just ask Questlove of The Roots, who called Jackson "kinetic" and "one of the most incredible...musicians of his era."
LAUREATE PRESENTATION - 7:30
Seed Artists, the Montclair Public Library and Mayor Robert Jackson will induct ANDREW CYRILLE as Montclair's--and the world's. first Jazz Laureate. Jazz great OLIVER LAKE will contribute a special dedication. Cyrille will receive a physical award created by artist TOM NUSSBAUM.
Our new Laureate in the first of two duos. First, Cyrille is joined by one of the most enigmatic guitarists in jazz and improvised music, Brandon Ross. "If youve got a stringed instrument of any kind, let Brandon Ross play it: He's sure to coax out some kind of unnameable beauty." (The New York Times)
PHEEROAN AKLAFF M.O.P STRINGS - 8:30
Seed Artists founder PHEEROAN AKLAFF and his exhilarating group of string masters--ASKA KANEKO (violin, electric violin), TOMOKO AKABOSHI (violin), MATT CONSUL (viola), HILLIARD GREENE (double bass), MIHO HAZAMA (conductor)--perform new works with reed/woodwind master RALPH M. JONES.
We close the festival with a musical conversation between two of the greatest living jazz drummers--both longtime Montclair residents. Cyrille and Hart have figured in a remarkable range of brilliant music over the past six decades, and they're still pushing boundaries and making that kit sing. Don't miss this.