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14th Annual Vision Festival Set for June

Marshall Allen

The 14th annual Vision Festival, New York’s premier multi-disciplinary celebration of avant jazz, poetry, dance and art, is scheduled to run Tuesday, June 9th through Monday, June 15th at two of Manhattan’s most vibrant arts spaces: the Abrons Art Center and the Angel Orensanz Foundation. Vision Festival XIV will present more than 50 events, including music and dance performances, poetry readings, film and visual art projections, a site-specific art installation by Jorgo Schäfer and three panel discussions dealing with culturally relevant issues. The final night, June 15, will be a collaboration between Arts for Art and the Angel Orensanz Foundation, featuring the art work of Angel Orensanz, interacting with the sounds and dance of the Vision Festival.

Wednesday, June 10th, the festival will celebrate a lifetime of achievement by the great Philadelphia jazz legend Marshall Allen. A key member of the Sun Ra Arkestra since 1958, Marshall Allen assumed leadership of the Arkestra in 1995, composing, directing and ensuring the vibrancy of the Arkestra’s unique musical legacy.

This year’s schedule includes performances by musicians and groups rarely heard at the festival. These include a special Butch Morris conduction of poets and strings; a first time appearance by AACM artist Ernest Dawkins, a reappearance by the legendary ex-patriot drummer Sunny Murray and the first time presence of the great South African saxophonist Zim Ngqawana, with a special New York-based collective. Michele Rosewoman will bring her band Quintessence (and guests) to perform a special commissioned work funded by Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Joe McPhee will bring Trio X for their tenth anniversary. And after an absence of five years, the celebrated drummer Milford Graves will once again bring the visceral excitement, which infuses his music.

The artists that have helped make the Vision Festival a success will be bringing their exciting new projects. This includes: The William Parker Quartet with a special surprise guest and the Fred Anderson Trio. There will be a chance to hear Mathew Shipp solo piano and the new Rob Brown Project. Roy Campbell’s Ayler Project will play New York for the first time. Peter Brotzmann will be back with a first time appearance at the Vision of Full Blast Trio.

German artist Jorgo Schäfer has contributed his artistic talents to the Vision Festival in many forms since 2002, and his live paintings of musicians have become highly representative of the festival in the minds of its supporters. This year, he contributes a beautiful full-scale installation of paintings and drawings on lightweight Chinese paper hanging from the ceiling and columns in the interior of the performance space.

Vision Festival XIV will also host a trio of panel discussions. These will be open to the public, and will serve to engage dialogue on pertinent issues in today’s music industry and community. The three talks, entitled, “The Artist’s Bill Of Rights”, “The Role Of Art In Community” and “Innovative Arts in the Classroom” will include input by local and international musicians, artists, teachers and acclaimed thinkers and authors.

Tickets for all shows (*except 6/15) are on sale at Abrons Art Center ticketing office. The pricing structure has been lowered to accommodate the present economic situation.

Tickets: $25/night in advance / $30/night at the door / $20 students and seniors.

A festival pass is $150. Tickets for the final night, at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, will only be sold at the door. Admission is free to all panel discussions.

Advance tickets are available at (212) 598-0400 or online at Henry Street.

For more information visit Vision Festival or Arts for Art, or call 212 254 5420.

Originally Published