News: Jazz and Freedom Festival
Produced by: CapitalBop and JTTB Records
- Cost: $20 suggested donation, portion of the proceeds benefit EmpowerDC
- 411 New York Ave NE
- Where: Union Arts
- 4 pm – 12 am
- When: Sunday, January 18th, 2015
- Groups: Guest Panel of Speakers including Rusty Hassan and Fred Foss
- Bullettes Octet,
- Trio OOO,
- Reginald Cyntje and Herman Burney duo
- Alison Crockett,
- Nasar Abadey and Jamal Moore duo
- Jazz and Freedom Octet
Washington, D.C. – On Sunday, January 18th, 2015, there will be a Jazz and Freedom Festival at Union Arts Warehouse from 4 pm to 12 am in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. The festival will feature a guest panel of speakers and six bands followed by a jam session at the end. The festival is produced in conjunction with CapitalBop (http://capitalbop.com) and JTTB Records (http://jazztothebone.com). Union Arts is an underground warehouse for artists and it will be a warm atmosphere with food and donations accepted. A portion of the proceeds will go to Empower DC, a non-profit dedicated to helping the DC community (http://empowerdc.org).
At 4 pm on January 18th at Union Arts, there will be a panel discussion on jazz and its role in social activism featuring Fred Foss and Rusty Hassan. Fred Foss played saxophone and woodwinds with Hugh Masekela and Lionel Hampton, among others. Rusty Hasssan runs a jazz radio show at WPFW-FM and is very knowledgable about the history of jazz and its ties with freedom and justice. Then, at 5 pm, “Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes” all female octet will perform a tribute to Mingus. Following that will be free jazz ensemble “Trio OOO” at 6 pm. Then, Reginald Cyntje (jazz trombone) and Herman Burney (bass) will perform a jazz duo at 7 pm. At 8 pm, local songstress and outspoken hero Alison Crockett will perform selections from her one woman show, “Is this it? My American Dream.” Following her performance will be a duo with Nasar Abadey (percussion) and Jamal Moore (saxophone) at 9 pm. At 10 pm will be the Jazz and Freedom Octet, an ensemble created to promote peace and social justice by performing music that inspires freedom. The Jazz and Freedom Octet comprises of Jessica Boykin-Settles on vocals, Grant Langford on tenor sax, Donvonte McCoy on trumpet, Elijah Easton on tenor sax, Shannon Gunn on trombone, Sam Prather on piano, Karine Chapdelaine-Walker on bass, and Savannah G. Harris on drum set and will be joined by Tony Martucci on congas for this performance.
The idea for this festival was was the brain-child of Shannon Gunn, local jazz trombonist and high school music technology teacher who runs a non-profit record label called JTTB Records (http://jazztothebone.com). She was inspired by a similar performance where her professors at Michigan State University performed as part of a Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend celebration in 2003. She approached Gio Russonello and Luke Stewart of CapitalBop (http://capitalbop.com), a blog that keeps tabs on the local jazz scene, to see if they might be interested in co-producing the festival at the Union Arts location. The two entities united their forces in pulling in artists and speakers together and turned the event into a fundraiser for EmpowerDC, a local community activist group whose mission is to enhance, improve and promote the self-advocacy of low and moderate income DC residents in order to bring about sustained improvements in their quality of life. (http://empowerdc.org) Half of the door donations will be donated to EmpowerDC.
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