Panel: The Ongoing Struggle for Cultural Equity in NYC Music Communities (2 of 2)

Panelists Reggie Workman, Ahmed Abdullah, Jemeel Moondoc, Luke Stewart, WarrennSmith, Patricia Nicholson Parker discuss “The Ongoing Struggle for Cultural Equity in New York City Music Communities” at the 23rd Vision Festival in 2018. nnThis series of panels examines a few of the many different acts of self-determination made primarily by African American artists in NYC from the mid 1960s up until the present. The panelists discuss why these acts were initiated and why these ongoing efforts remain relevant today to make sure that the music and art of African Americans is respected and accessible.nnDiscussion moderated by Mike Heller.nnFilmed and recorded May 28, 2018 for Vision Festival 23 at Roulette, Brooklyn.nnSupport Arts for Art: “Reggie” Workman (born June 26, 1937 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is recognized as one of the most technically gifted American avant-garde jazz and hard bop double bassists in history. He is a teacher, composer, and jazz advocate whose style ranges from Bop, Post Bop and beyond. Abdullah’s understanding of the role the music was supposed to play in our society was about the spiritual, socio-economic, political aspect of the art form and he has felt that collective organizations were the way to address an in-balanced social structure. nHe has been a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra, the Melodic Art-Tet, The Group, and has lead many of his own groups. He is an adjunct professor at the New School, and since 1998, has been the Music Director of the Brooklyn venue Sista’s Place. powerful and vastly underrated avant-garde alto saxophonist, Jemeel Moondoc blended the free-form melodic thought of Ornette Coleman and the sharp edge of Jackie McLean or Charles Tyler with the sort of ferocious “energy playing” usually reserved for tenorists. Moondoc began playing piano as a child, studied clarinet and flute, and settled on alto around age 16; he subsequently studied with Cecil Taylor at various colleges in the early ’70s. In 1972, he moved to New York, where he formed Ensemble Muntu with trumpeter Roy Campbell, bassist William Parker, and drummer Rashid Baker. The group recorded for its own Muntu label in the late ’70s, and Moondoc also led solo sessions for labels like Soul Note and Cadence through the early ’80s.nnLuke Stewart is a DC/NYC-based musician and organizer of important musical presentations. He also has a presence in the national and international professional music community. He was profiled in the Washington Post in early 2017 as “holding down the jazz scene,” selected as “Best Musical Omnivore” in the Washington City Paper’s 2017 “Best of DC,” chosen as “Jazz Artist of the Year” for 2017 in the District Now, and in the 2014 People Issue of the Washington City Paper as a “Jazz Revolutionary,” citing his multi-faceted cultural activities throughout DC. Smith has a long an illustrious musical history. One of his earliest major recording dates was with Miles Davis as a vibraphonist in 1957. In 1961, he co-founded the Composers Workshop Ensemble. In the 1970s and 1980s Smith had a loft called Studio Wis that acted as a performing and recording space for many young New York jazz musicians, such as Wadada Leo Smith and Oliver Lake. Other credits include extensive work with rock and pop musicians and time spent with Anthony Braxton, Charles Mingus, Henry Threadgill, Van Morrison, and Joe Zawinul.nnPatricia Nicholson is a dancer, poet, organizer and activist, and the Founder and Artistic Director of Arts for Art. After decades of creative production, programming, and organization, Nicholson has begun focusing on developing strategies for the future: how to better the world in which we live; how to inspire, grow, and build a diverse community of uncompromising artists and audiences; and, most immediately, how to build a sustainable structure for AFA that will outlive her service and serve as a fitting legacy, one steeped in the ideals of artistic excellence and community responsibility she holds most dear. In her own words, “There is both a community to sustain, and the creative expression of my own art, yet to be shared. I am humbled by our collective creativity waiting to be expressed.” production by Moon Lasso: more at our website:n