The ingredients for the Vision Festival are easy: “straight no chaser.” The jazz is unadulterated, taking fans to the outer limits in the Land of Oo-Blah Dee and back again.
This year’s Vision Festival 22 runs now through June 3 at Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South, in the West Village). The festival features more than 30 dynamic adventurers, who have made a reputation in avant-garde jazz, dance, poetry and visual art.
The festival’s founding organization, Arts for Art, will honor the multi-instrumentalist /pianist Cooper-Moore with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his uncompromising artistic vision over the past four decades.
Some of the musicians performing tonight (Thursday) include the Odean Pope Saxophone Choir, with tenor saxophonists Gene Ghee and Terry Lawson; alto saxophonists Julian Pressley, Louis Taylor and Robert Landham; baritone saxophonist Joe Sudler; bassist Lee Smith; pianist Tom Lawton; and drummer Craig McIver.
Pope established The Saxophone Choir in 1977. It is the realization of his Southern legacy, a medium for creating the richly textured harmonic sound that has permeated his musical soul since hearing the gospel choirs of his childhood.
The dancer Djassi Dacosta Johnson and the bassist Shayna Dulberber’s current collaboration will explore the structured improvisational forms born in the Harlem Renaissance, in the birth of jazz, as well as seeped in the history of Judson Church and the modern dance movement (at 8 p.m.).
The alto saxophonist Darius Jones and Farmers by Nature hit at 8:30 p.m. His enthusiastic musicians include the pianist Craig Taborn, bassist William Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver.
“In America, freedom and justice have been beyond the reach of many of my Black ancestors,” stated Jones. “As Black hosts today, we enjoy a small percentage of these rights compared to our white guests but still lack equality. I have no evidence this will change greatly for the future due to the lack of empathy by many people in this society. I do believe we are the authors of our immediate reality and have the power to plant seeds for the future. Enjoy the show.” #future?
Vision After Dark at NUBU (62 Avenue C on the Lower East Side) begins at midnight. Tonight features the Cuban pianist with glimpse of Thelonious Monk, Aruan Ortiz, with alto saxophonist Darius Jones. This outing is sure to be very interesting.
Tickets at the door only are $15. June 2 features the edgy vocalist Faye Victor, the guitarist Joe Morris and drummer Reggie Nicholson. June 3 features Heroes Are Gang Leaders, with a large ensemble of vocalists and musicians.
June 2, the Los Angeles poet Fred Moten will offer rhythm and verse for consumption. “I’m influenced by the great liars of the world and I love mispronunciation,” said Moten. He performs at 9 p.m.
The Dave Burrell Quartet is one of those elusive groups that only rise on special occasions. This appearance is a reunion of the remarkable force, with pianist-composer Dave Burrell, the saxophonist Kidd Jordan, bassist William Parker and bassist
Burrell is a unique conceptualist, who for the past 50 years has created his own tradition. “Reverberating polyrhythms culminate from drums and piano, to bass and saxophone in an array of colorful impressions that will push us further into a quest for peace and harmony,” stated Burrell.