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Vision Festival 18: Milford Graves

A Lifetime Achievement showcase for the drum legend in Brooklyn

Milford Graves' Transition TRIO at Vision Festival 18 (D.D. Jackson, Graves and Kidd Jordan, from left); Brooklyn's Roulette, June 2013
Milford Graves (left) and David Virelles at Vision Festival 18; Roulette, Brooklyn, June 2013
Milford Graves at Vision Festival 18; Roulette, Brooklyn, June 2013
The NY HeART Ensemble at Vision Festival 18, Brooklyn’s Roulette, June 2013. Charles Gayle (on piano, obscured), Roswell Rudd, Milford Graves, Amiri Baraka and William Parker (from left)
Milford Graves at Vision Festival 18; Roulette, Brooklyn, June 2013
Milford Graves' Afro/Cuban Roots at Vision Festival 18, Brooklyn's Roulette, June 2013. David Virelles, 
John Benitez, Graves, Román Díaz and 

Román Filiú (from left)

By his own athletic standards, drummer Milford Graves’ kickoff performance at the 18th annual Vision Festival (June 12-16) was somewhat restrained. There were no somersaults, no piggyback rides with unsuspecting listeners, no performance-art shenanigans in general. But the iconic 72-year-old played with great energy and depth of feeling, beginning the night alone on a talking drum toward the back of the stage.

This was Vision’s second year at the Brooklyn avant-garde space Roulette, and attendance was heavy. It was Graves’ turn to receive the customary honor for Lifetime Achievement, so opening night featured him with three ensembles, each representing a different facet of his career.

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