Thursday, July 12, 2012

Eastside Arts Alliance presents
Reflections on Jazz Today

Saturday, July 282012 • 8:00 pm - $15
(Accompanied by Muziki Roberson, piano)

Sunday, July 29 • 6:00 pm - free
A Community Conversation with AMIRI BARAKA & REGGIE WORKMAN on
The State of Black Jazz Today
 (Dinner plates will be available for sale)

At The EastSide Cultural Center
2277 International Blvd., Oakland, CA  94606

Also check out– ESAA presents Final Friday Film Screening – Friday, June 27
Triumph of the Underdog – classic film on Charles Mingus – FREE – 7:00pm

Oakland, CA - Eastside Arts Alliance (ESAA) presents a landmark event bringing together two iconic artists - AMIRI BARAKA, the venerable poet and longtime jazz critic, is widely considered the Father of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, author of the classic book on Black music – Blues People, and is on the Advisory Board of ESAA and REGGIE WORKMAN, master bassist and music professor, is often associated with John Coltrane, playing on his most celebrated live sessions. He was a founder of the Collective of Black Artists (CBA), organizing Black musicians in the 60s & 70s.

This event is a part of an ongoing project of EastSide Arts Alliance exploring the history and future of jazz. We are focusing here on past organizing efforts of both Baraka and Workman – their work leading the Black Arts Movement and the Collective of Black Artists.  Using this history as a foundation for exploring where the future of jazz is now – especially for Black folks participation in it. (See more below on this work.)

On SATURDAY, JULY 28 we will present a concert featuring poetry by Amiri Baraka and Reggie Workman on bass with accompaniment by Oakland’s own Muziki Roberson on keys. The following evening, SUNDAY, JULY 29 we invite the Bay Area jazz community to join Baraka and Workman in a conversation on the state of Black jazz today.  Our hope is to be able to draw out and support the seeds of a movement of artists and community organizers committed to ensuring that the Black history of jazz is passed on to the next generation and that most importantly that next generation of Black artists and audience members continue play a lead role in the development of the music.

About Eastside Arts Alliance and The Black Jazz Project:

Jazz is American classical music and perhaps America’s greatest contribution to contemporary world culture, but may be on the verge of extinction from its very source, the African American community. While now widely regarded as a universal art form with international contributions and interpretations, it is a product of the African American experience and cultural history. The steady erosion of Black jazz musicians, Black audiences, venues, circuits, depositories, students and schools signals a significant generational change in the nation’s culture and threatens to erase the memory and consciousness of our very history.  We are currently engaged in a critically important and timely project that serves to address the implications of this change by organizing a national gathering of conscious musicians, educators, jazz critics, journalists and various presenters and cultural organizations who are committed to sustain or revive the Afro American roots of the music. We are initiating and sustaining a dialogue that begins in Oakland but expands nationally that ultimately becomes an organized pro-active network and circuit to advocate for the expansion and development of jazz, particularly in urban African American communities, but also reviving a semi-rural route throughout the Black Belt South.

EastSide Arts Alliance (ESAA) is a collective of artists and community organizers of color who live and work in the San Antonio district of East Oakland.  Founded in 1999, our mission is to unite art with activism to work for community empowerment and cultural development, and to build bridges between the disenfranchised, racially and ethnically divided communities that reside in our immediate neighborhood and in the broader East Bay. The founding members of EastSide Arts Alliance have been working in the San Antonio /Fruitvale neighborhoods for over 20 years.

In 2006 ESAA closed escrow on our new and permanent home – The EastSide Cultural Center, located on International Blvd at 23rd Avenue in the heart of the San Antonio district. The center includes a 150-seat multi-use theater space, sound and visual arts studios, 16 units of affordable rental housing and storefront spaces for community-based non-profits.

Eastside Arts Alliance programs include free after-school arts workshops for youth ages 14-22 (music, dance, theater, visual arts and leadership development), public arts projects, performances, festivals, town hall forums and exhibitions. Our success has been in our longevity and our continued growth in this diverse working-class community.

Elena Serrano
EastSide Cultural Center
2277 International Blvd.
Oakland, CA  94606
mailing address:
PO Box 17008
Oakland, CA  9460

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