AKANEWS #6 - 2020

All upcoming concerts, new releases, new interviews and stories, videos, awards and top releases of artists collaborating with Akamu
Art Ensemble of Chicago | Anthony Braxton | Henry Threadgill | Roscoe Mitchell | Don Moye | Oliver Lake | James Brandon Lewis | Matthew Shipp | Dudù Kouate | Wayne Horvitz | Michael Formanek | Liberty Ellman | Ches Smith | Jonathan Finlayson | Matt Mitchell | Silke Eberhard | Marty Ehrlich | Frederic Rzewski | Anthony Davis | Elliott Sharp | Dave Burrell | D.D. Jackson | Filarmonica de Pasàrgada  | Hermeto Pascoal | Egberto Gismonti | João Bosco | Arrigo Barnabé | Yamandu Costa | Toninho Ferragutti | Anelis Assumpçao | Siba | Mônica Salmaso | Stefano Bollani (France only) | Gabriele Mitelli | O-Janà | Elaine Mitchener | Alexander Hawkins - Marco Colonna duo | Louis Sclavis | Claudio Fasoli | Luke Stewart |

1 - What's up

2 - Upcoming releases/productions. And most recent ones

3 - Upcoming concerts/residencies/events

4 - Extra-news

1 - What's up
The end of this year has arrived. While waitng for the end of the pandemic too let's have a look on what happened recentely and what could happen next year. So fasten your belt and.... stay still at home for a while

Let's start with positive news, actuallly with a copy&pasted recent feature on DownBeat
"These 25 Performers Could Shape Jazz For Decades. Welcome to our enthusiastic, optimistic look at the future. Below, DownBeat presents short profiles of two dozen musicians who have the potential to shape the direction of jazz in the decades to come. DB"
Within that list you find Luke Stewart, Tomeka Reid and Junius Paul. Congrats to them, and to the others.

Certainly someone has already shaped Jazz: the National Endowment for the Arts recently announced the 2021 class of Jazz Masters, which includes drummers Albert “Tootie” Heath and Terri Lyne Carrington, and reedist Henry Threadgill. Chapeau!

Last newsletter we reported that Astral Spirits announced Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet by Luke Stewart. Well, we are happy to announce that Luke Stewart is now part of Akamu's big family and we think the better way to introduce him, even though you already know him, are these words about him by Philip Freeman.

Other good news for Akamu's Roster: we had 3 Brazilian Nominees - Latin Grammy: Toninho Horta, Joao Bosco and Yamandu Costa. Well, Toninho Horta won the category Best MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira). Check the winners list at n.41 prize and Joao Bosco, along with Francisco Bosco, won the Best Portuguese Language Song at n. 44. Well done!

We really miss and need live music. Hopefully the first concert for Akamu Roster will be held on 24th January 2021 in Paris. Famoudou Don Moye "Odyssey & Legacy" Quintet. And hopefully it will be the first of many many concerts to come for all the musicians. Finger crossed.

An interesting online Brooklyn College Global Jazz Masters Degree Recital took place as of its premiere on Dec. 2nd. The concert, "East and West", featured by D.D. Jackson Global Jazz student Varvara Maldonado performing her own original compositions with Tony Lewison drums and Mark Peterson on bass, in a compelling blend of musical elements from her native Armenia and surrounding areas with music of Jazz and the WestIt is also an excellent example of the sort of music they're pursuing in the the Brooklyn College Global Jazz Masters degree program.

Tri-Centric Foundation will strive to make available many additional Anthony Braxton scores for artists, ensembles, educators and the general public. Other goals include the release of the next Anthony Braxton boxset ( scheduled for June 2021) and the Tri-Axium Writings (originally scheduled for end of 2020, now rescheduled for 2021). The collection of printed scores are high quality print-on-demand versions of Anthony Braxton's original scores as well as newly typeset versions of his classic compositions. Each score takes months to prepare and proof.    Tri-Centric Archive houses 33,000 pages of material in the form of over 400 scores and ephemera. Here, Anthony Braxton explains his scores to James Fei and Carl Testa, so that the scores can be prepared and disseminated worldwide. Video by Kyoko Kitamura. Do not miss it.

2 - Upcoming releases/productions. And the most recent ones

Last Roscoe Mitchell album was released on Nov. 27th. "Four Sure" is a surprising album that is relesead in this challenging year, perhaps not by chance: Roscoe Mitchell meets Mazzoll & Arthythmic Perfection one of the most important band of the Polish Jazz scene since 80s, a period of radical changes, especially in Eastern Europe, just before and after the Fall of the Berlin Wall. This album has been released at the end of this year where major transformations and changes due to pandemic are needed. Tomorrow the world will not be like, and it cannot be the same as yesterday. And this album is one of the signs of the necessary transformation to come, a transformation which is already happening.

James Brandon Lewis never stops: he's just released Molecular on October 16th and his new Red Lily QuintetJesup Wagon" is being released on March 2021. Moreover his Solo Sax album will be released 2021 too. Stay tuned and we will give you detailed info asap.

The poet James Brandon Lewis works with, Thomas Sayers Ellis announced the release of his new book in May 2021 through Arrowsmith Press: Crank Shaped Notes. Two words from the presentation: Critical and Creative in scope, this book is also an uncovering of the layers of what it means to be a citizen of our Nation’s Capital and a native Washingtonian trapped between local and federal interests and tourism and invisibility.(...) Crank Shaped Notes is a book about language and loss as much as it is a book about music and government. Check it out. Not bad.

Jacqueline Kerrods, who released an album in duo with Anthony Braxton last April, is writing a solo project she is embarking on. For the month of December she is releasing an improvisation each day. At the end of the month the plan is to work with these improvisations to make an album. Listening the first day releases it will be absolutely a great cd!

Thumbscrew - Tomas Fujiwara / Mary Halvorson / Michael Formanek - put out The Anthony Braxton Project in June and have another recording of originals, also on Cuneiform, coming out in February. Can't say more... but yes, I can say something about a new Micheal Formanek cd with his Son Peter coming out in January 2021 on Out Of Your Head, Adam Hopkins’ label. Then in March or April 2021 Intakt will release a solo cd that’s just being finished up by Michael. we are looking forward

Marco Colonna, another new entry on Akamu's roster with Alexander Hawkins duo, released on October 22 Dolphy UnderlinedItalian reeds player Marco Colonna and British pianist Alexander Hawkins reflect on the music of the visionary Eric Allan Dolphy Jr. (1928-1964). Their «Dolphy Underlined», recorded live in Rome in February 2020, reinvents and frames Dolphy’s music with references to contemporary music of the 20th century, inspiration from Africa to Europe, and through the work of Anthony Braxton (who interpreted Dolphy’s «Miss Ann» and «Out to Lunch») and Misha Mengelberg (who played on Dolphy’s «Last Date», Fontana, 1964). This is the continuation of one of the first reviews on it.

On 6th November, Marco Colonna released also Mis Suenos
. It is an album born under the lockdown keeping in mind the idea of resistance through community, keeping people together, even in distance. The title is inspired by a thought by Luis Sepulveda, the driving force of a music that can be political even if completely instrumental, a revolutionary attitude that passed from Art Ensemble Of Chicago to Fela Kuti, Public Enemy or Rage Against The Machine. Marco Colonna considered among the most talented Italian jazz players with a personal approach to the use of bass clarinet and other reeds instruments, explored in his solo albums, where he often played more than one instrument simultaneously, following the path of Roland Rashaan Kirk. Marco Colonna is also part of Roberto Ottaviano Eternal Love ensemble and performed with artists like Augustì Fernandez, Evan Parker, Alexander Hawkins and many others.
Marco Colonna: Bb, Alto, Bass Clarinet. Sopranino Sax, Conga, Djembe, Bendir, Riq, Kitchen Metals, Paper Boxes, Metal Boxes, African Sanza - Luca Corrado: Baritone Guitar - Cristian Lombardi: Drums - Roberto Ottaviano: Soprano sax on LockDawn

Elaine Mitchener is working on a new album: Some Good News with Black Top (Pat & Orphy) / Hamid Drake, William Parker. This is in the works for OTOROKU, next January. Probably. While waiting for that, here you find a radioconcert with Elaine and the Ensemble MAM - Ensemble MAM (Manufaktur für Aktuelle Musik) and one at the London Sinfonietta.

Jessica Pavone released on Oct 9 Lost and Found celebrates the second release for the J. Pavone String Ensemble, an unconventional quartet consisting of Pavone and Abby Swidler on violas, and Erica Dicker and Angela Morris on violins. Founded in 2017, they present original compositions that expand on the themes of Pavone’s extensive solo work while facilitating recent research into the effects of sonic vibration on human physiology and emotional health known as Cymatics.

Interesting things happened during recent London Jazz Festival, between them some of our acquaintances:
Abel Selaocoe, Famoudou Don Moye "Odyssey & Legacy" Quintet cellist, performing with BBC Concert Orchestra. Notable the conversations on Black Lives Matter held on November 17thNovember 18th and on November 19th and, of course, the concert of Irreversible Entanglements

Again, talking about BLM, specifically of African diaspora, you could have a look at what Dudù Kouate said when took part to talks organised by the Italian Cultural Institute, cultural section of the Italian Embassy in Dakar, responsible for the dissemination and promotion of the Italian language and culture.

3 - Upcoming concerts/residencies/events
Famoudou Don Moye Quintet will play January 24th 2021 in Paris at Musée de Quai Branly - Jaques Chirac for Sons D'Hiver.

For the same Festival in Paris, Elaine Mitchener will perform on 12 Feb 2021 Vocal Classics of the black avant-garde.

Before that, Elaine on 10 Dec 2020 will do an online performance for the  London Contemporary Music Festival - LCMF

4 - Extra-news

Let's celebrate Matthew Shipp 60th birthday with this interview ending with these words: "It is great to be 60 and get up and be able to practice or to know if I give a concert that some people would show up and need the language that I have to share. I mean Coltrane was dead when he was 40. Charlie Parker was dead when he was 34. Clifford Brown was dead when he was 25. So if I am 60 I get another day to wake up and work on my music. Wow." Yes. Wow!

Time to say goodbye.

What to say:  keep safe and if happen that you lose an election please recognize your defeat and get ready for the next struggle.

Goodbye and an happy new year!




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