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“A Light in Darkness” at the 2022 Vision Festival

The fest’s 26th edition featured star turns by Wadada Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, and many others

The 2022 Vision Festival—edition number 26, “A Light in Darkness”—took place from June 21 to June 26 in New York City, including hundreds of performers and featuring tributes to two giants of the avant garde: Wadada Leo Smith and Oliver Lake.

Produced as usual by the nonprofit Arts for Art (AFA), the festival’s first five nights were held at Roulette in Brooklyn. The final night of performances was held outdoors at La Plaza at the Clemente in Manhattan.

On the festival’s opening night, Smith presented new works that celebrated the heroism of the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001 in “Pennsylvania’s Sky: No Greater Love – A Remembrance of Their Beauty & Courage.” On its closing night, the festival paid tribute to Lake’s legacy with a multidisciplinary work by JD Parran; a performance of Lake’s own new piece “Justice”; and a special performance by a revamped World Saxophone Quartet, with James Carter (baritone), Greg Osby (alto), and Bruce Williams (soprano) playing alongside original WSQ member David Murray (tenor).

Smith and Lake both received Vision Festival Lifetime Achievement Awards; previous recipients of this award include Amina Claudine Myers, Andrew Cyrille, Peter Brötzmann, Cooper-Moore, Milford Graves, Sam Rivers, and Kidd Jordan.

Regular JazzTimes photographer Alan Nahigian was in attendance for the entire festival. Below are just a few of the images he captured.

For more information about “A Light in Darkness,” visit the Arts for Art website.

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