Vision Festival 2018 Lineup Annouced

English: Jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire in ...


The 2018 edition of the Vision Festival will be held at Roulette Intermedium (generally known simply as “Roulette”) in Downtown Brooklyn, from May 23-28. (The festival was previously staged at Roulette in Brooklyn from 2012 to 2014).

Six days of live music will be preceded by a day of film screenings on May 21 at Anthology Film Archives. The 7 PM program will feature a brand new, 30-minute documentary about pianist and composer Dave Burrell entitled Echo, directed by Michael Lucio Sternbach, followed by Gérard Patris & Luc Ferrari’s Cecil Taylor À Paris—Les Grandes Répétitions, filmed in 1966 for French television. The 9 PM program will consist of Antoine Prum’s 2008 film Sunny’s Time Now—A Portrait of Jazz Drummer Sunny Murray, celebrating the late visionary drummer and percussionist who passed in 2017.

Dave Burrell

Celebrating Dave Burrell

This year, the Festival is presenting a Lifetime of Achievement Tribute to pianist and composer Dave Burrell on its first night.

Wednesday, May 23

Burrell will be heard in three different contexts. The Harlem Renaissance Sextet—with alto saxophonist Darius Jones, trombonist Steve Swell, bassist Harrison Bankhead, and drummer Andrew Cyrille—draws inspiration from the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, especially the music of stride pianist James P. Johnson. Burrell will also reunite with Archie Shepp, in a quartet with William Parker on bass and Hamid Drake on drums. Finally, he’ll lead a quintet with tenor saxophonists Kidd Jordan and James Brandon Lewis, Parker and Cyrille, nodding to projects he has presented at prior Vision Festivals.

Thursday, May 24

Vision Festival co-founder Patricia Nicholson will dance as part of Women With an Axe to Grind, alongside flautist Nicole Mitchell, bassist Joëlle Léandre, and violist Melanie Dyer; this is a new iteration of a group formed in 2012, in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin.

Also notable is guitarist Mary Halvorson’s new group Code Girl (with vocalist Amirtha Kidambi, bassist Michael Formanek, drummer Tomas Fujiwara, and trumpeter Adam O’Farrill). Halvorson is on the verge of releasing a 2-CD set featuring 14 songs, with her own lyrics.

The evening concludes with SPACE, the trio of saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson, and baritone vocalist Thomas Buckner. This is only the second performance by the trio since the 1992 passing of original group member Gerald Oshita, who has been replaced by Scott Robinson.

Friday, May 25

Irreversible Entanglements, whose self-titled 2017 debut album was a critical sensation, will open the night. Fronted by poet Camae Ayewa, aka Moor Mother, the group features trumpeter Aquiles Navarro, alto saxophonist Keir Neuringer, bassist Luke Stewart, and drummer Tcheser Holmes. Stereogum called their music “jazz that sounds like it’s being played at the front of a parade of extremely pissed-off protesters.” The evening will also feature the premiere of Inward Motion, a brand-new work commissioned for the Vision Festival through a NYSCA grant, and performed by pianist Matthew Shipp’s Acoustic Ensemble featuring Michael Bisio, drummer Newman Taylor Baker, trumpeter Nate Wooley, clarinetist Mat Walerian, and violist Mat Maneri, with Shipp conducting.

Saturday, May 26

The evening will begin with a performance by the Visionary Youth Orchestra, led by saxophonist-educators Jeff Lederer and Jessica Jones. This will be followed by a performance by vocalist/composer Fay Victor’s group Mutations for Justice, featuring trumpeter Jaimie Branch, bassist Luke Stewart, and drummer Michael Vatcher. A trio of some of the most adventurous and highly acclaimed musicians around—trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, pianist Kris Davis, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey—will also play their second-ever gig in a new trio configuration led by Akinmusire, originally convened for a Stone residency in January 2018.

Sunday, May 27,

Sunday evening evening will feature a film by award-winning director, cinematographer and visual artist Arthur Jafa, who has worked with Solange and Jay-Z and created the critically acclaimed video piece Love is the Message, the Message is Death, and the return of the trio By Any Means, with fire-breathing saxophonist Charles Gayle, bassist William Parker, and drummer Muhammad Ali. Additionally, the Norwegian trio of alto saxophonist Frode Gjerstad with bassist Jon Rune Strøm and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love will be joined by American trombonist Steve Swell to celebrate their recently released album, Bop Stop.

Monday, May 28.

The first set of the final night will feature trumpeter Jaimie Branch’s highly acclaimed Fly Or Die, which topped numerous jazz critics’ polls at the end of 2017. In addition, multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore will offer a solo piano performance, and alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc will reunite his New World Pygmies trio of bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake. The Festival will end with a commissioned work for Oliver Lake’s big band, premiering three new compositions.