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You Won't Hear Them at J.F.: Hamid Drake, Rob Wagner, Ken Vandermark, Mars Williams

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  • You Won't Hear Them at J.F.: Hamid Drake, Rob Wagner, Ken Vandermark, Mars Williams

    The Instigation Festival returns to New Orleans starting tomorrow, Monday Feb. 11 featuring Chicago based creative musicians, dancers, and video artists in collaboration with local colleagues. From my perspective, the stand out gigs include master drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake (perennial DownBeat poll winner, and colleague of jazz world legends Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Herbie Hancock, Bill Laswell, Dave Liebman, Don Cherry, Yusef Lateef, Wadada Leo Smith, Peter Brotzman, Anthony Braxton, Kidd Jordan, William Parker, and many, many more) with Rob Wagner and Nobu Ozaki at the Sidebar Mon. Feb. 11 @ 10:30; Mars Williams (saxophonist with Psychedelic Furs, the Waitresses, and Liquid Soul) and saxophonist Ken Vandermark (former MacArthur "genius" award winner) in a long running duo (but rarely performing!) Cinghiale at the Hi Ho Lounge Tues. Feb. 12 @ 9:3o PM; a duo of Hamid Drake with avant-garde icon Joe McPhee on saxophone and trumpet (!) at the New Quorum (2435 Esplanade Ave.) Wed. Feb. 13 @ 7 PM and DKV Trio (Drake, Kent Kessler, and Vandermark) with special guest Joe McPhee, Thurs. AllWays Lounge 9 PM. In addition, there will be New Orleans' favorites Aurora Nealand, Helen Gillet, James Singleton, and Jeff Albert in collaboration with Chicago musicians in various settings, culminating in a "Social Play Dance Party" featuring all of the musicians and dancers at the Art Garage (on St. Claude between the Hi Ho and Siberia) Fri. @ 9 pm.

    While most of the New Orleans musicians will be performing at J.F. (with the notable exception of Rob Wagner) in some way, this is an opportunity to hear their more personal and creative side in collaboration with some genuinely world-class talents from Chicago of which Hamid Drake is the only one to have played at J.F. And given the current direction it seems unlikely he or any of the others will do so in the future! (And even if they were to, it is much more rewarding to hear them in these intimate and relatively unmediated spaces.)

  • #2
    Have seen Drake once with Brotzman. Saw Vandermark twice. Both fantastic musicians. Particularly like Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound group.

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    • #3
      Given that William Parker has been Kidd Jordan's bassist the last two times I've seen them at Jazz Fest, and Alvin Fielder has died, there is in fact a realistic chance that Hamid Drake will be at Jazz Fest this year.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kh1958 View Post
        Given that William Parker has been Kidd Jordan's bassist the last two times I've seen them at Jazz Fest, and Alvin Fielder has died, there is in fact a realistic chance that Hamid Drake will be at Jazz Fest this year.
        No, there is absolutely no chance that Hamid will be at Jazz Fest. He will be in Europe at that time (and I believe he will there with Parker.) Kidd's JF gig is listed as The Jordan Family Band so it will be a very different sort of set this year.

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        • #5
          Made it to the New Quorum last night, which seems to be a mansion/venue, more along the lines of what you'd use for a schmancy wedding reception. Caught all of Joe McPhee and Hamid Drake, and some of the way-out-there cellos/poetry/dance/multimedia before i had to split. So worth it. Chatted with Jonathan Freilich a bit, and am psyched to learn what weirdness he will be delving into next. Thanks Belyin!!! (and thanks to the wife, who looked at our family calendar app at 7.20 and said "aren't you supposed to be at some improv jazz thing that you're already late to?")

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