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Vision Festival: Peace by Edited by Patricia Nicholson Parker

The husband and wife team of dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker and bassist William Parker have been involved with artist collectives and the grassroots loft jazz scene since the 1970s. Through dogged determination, their Vision Festival, which celebrated 10 years in 2005, has allowed the fruits of their labors to reach a wider audience, bringing together musical and visual artists, poets and dancers in a forum devoted to artistic cross-fertilization.

While only 80 pages, Vision Festival: Peace goes a long way to both commemorate the most recent festival and reflect on the environment from which it evolved. Michael Heller’s essay chronicles the evolution of the loft scene, a period that is frequently referenced and rarely explained, while A. Scott Currie maps out the history of the festival itself.

Mostly the book features work by festival performers. Both Parkers weigh in with essays that discuss the feelings and approaches that drive their work. Artistic statements are also included from Henry Grimes, Rob Brown and Roy Campbell Jr., among others. Jo Wood Brown offers a recap of the festival’s visual artistry through the years, which is accentuated by the numerous photos of it, along with close-ups of performers. Poetry from several writers, including David S. Ware and Oliver Lake, round out a volume that has as many angles as the event it documents.

Originally Published