Break Down The Walls

Break Down the Walls  - Three days of Improvised music in September.

After 14 years of Sunday shows at ABc No-Rio with periodic Fund Raising Benefits  the event will be ending, at least in the current building. The day of reckoning is approaching and the current building at 156 Rivington St will be demolished and a new community/arts center will be erected. ABC No-Rio founded in 1979 will have a new home at the same address and C.O.M.A. will be fostered out to another location …every Sunday might be every other Sunday…. to return in a year or so.

Breaking Down the  Walls came about through a nudge from Kenny Millions…..”will there be any festivals to play at in Sept in NYC” Having never met Kenny it seemed like a good time to have a festival – Sept 22nd, 23rd and 25th at ABC No-Rio at 156 Rivington St. for the first and maybe the last time…….

Some emails were sent to improvisers who had performed or not at the C.O.M.A. series and three days of Improvised music is set to happen with roots in Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Music, New Music, Classical, World…etc. from musicians with a vast history of studies and experiences.  So maybe it’s about breaking down the musical walls that keeps music progressing?

This has been the philosophy…theory…core concept of why C.O.M.A. started ... a place that artists could perform in and not be harassed by the audience size or a grad school review of the artistic merits or technical skills. Remarkably the shows have had merit and technical skills abounded and audiences have appeared (even in the cold winters when the heat wasn’t and the muggy hot summers….ok enough there will be a new green building). 

What is C.O.M.A.? First it’s not the first creative music series to call itself COMA.

This I found out shortly after it started ((there was (is?) one in Southern California and another in England (although that one puts more emphasis on therapy) ).

This C.O.M.A. simply is the “citizens ontological music agenda”.

So the name stuck with well wishes for the most part and in 1998 I had finally found a purpose for email and the internet. Invisible electronic packets containing show information could be sent to hundreds and even thousands of people whether they wanted to know or not. Some didn’t …with a passion. The shows continued the format changed….currently there are two groups a show with an open session at the end which sometimes involves everyone at the same time and other times smaller groupings. (Actually my favorite part).

Breaking Down the Walls will happen in a similar manner except all the sets will be either a soloist or duet and there will be an open session of sorts at the end of each evening.

Now for the quick mention of all the performers: 1st Those who have never played at C.o.M.A./Abc No-Rio …..Ricardo Tejero saxophonist originally from Madrid lives in London has a wide dynamic approach to the sax. Kae Reed and Sean Reed (perc & trombone) with styles ranging from classical to new music to jazz. They have performed all over the world. Kenny Millions alto sax, guitar and voice from Fort Lauderdale via New York, Japan and Detroit in the styles of the blues, free jazz, eric satie and the unknown  "...unique insanity." NYC Jazz Record. Vong Park will present traditional Korean drums with Joe Tornabene (who has played at COMA before) a recent returnee to Brooklyn after 20 years in Greece and France. Aleks Karjaka bass clarinetist out of Bowling Green via Valapraiso with Jonah Rosenberg piano (also has performed at COMA) via Stoneybrook and DC.

And now for the veteran’s: The unique vocal styling’s of Bonnie Barnett (LA) and guitarist Anders Nilsson (Sweden). Bonnie Kane (NYC) tenor sax flute via electronics with guitarist Chris Welcome (their sound is like where thunder begins). Ed Chang (guitar) and Motoko (voice, toys small instruments) with a wonderful blend of jazz, opera and rock and roll. Yukari (NYC) solo flute “She is bound to turn the improvised music scene on it's ear….”-Greg Osby . Tom Shad (Hoboken) acoustic bass guitar ex stick player for Blue Man Tubes (20 years) a true believer in harmony and improvised music. Dikko Faust trombone painting….he will paint with his trombone while improvising….to see it is to hear it. Diana Wayburn (cello) is a fearless improviser whether on the cello, piano, flute, voice, percussion. Ras Moshe (reeds) has been active in the free jazz scene on the lower eastside for a number years and actively presents his group “Music Now”. Frank Keeley (guitar) an active composer from “32 bars” to micro-tones always a surprise. Evan Gallagher (keyboards) one time scholar of “Cobra” long time downtown improviser from the Amica Bunker days will solo although he said he never does, a short piece which he can’t do. Stan Nishimura (trombone) artist and composer from New Haven via CA weaves his revolutionary politics throughout his playing . Dom Minasi jazz guitarist extraordinaire has lived his music from straight ahead Blue Note releases to the edges of free jazz. And Blaise Siwula alto tenor sax & cl. I’ve been honored to have worked with quite a few of these musicians through the years (since arriving in NYC in 1989) and look forward to performing with Dom on the 22nd and Stan on the 23rd and a short solo on the 25th.

Festival Schedule Sept 2011

Thursday Sept 22nd

8:00 Bonnie Kane reeds/electronics & Chris Welcome guitar

8:30 Tom Shad acoustic bass

9:00 Blaise Siwula sax & Dom Minasi guitar

9:30 Kenny Millions sax/guitar/voice

10:00 Kae Reed perc. & Sean Reed trombone

10:30 An Open Session


Friday Sept 23rd

8:00 Ricardo Tejero tenor sax

8:30 Yukari solo flute

9:00 Kenny Millions sax/guitar/voice

9:30 Ed Chang guitar & Motoko voice/toys/etc

10:00 Stan Nishimura trombone & Blaise Siwula sax

10:30 An Open Session


Sunday Sept 25th

6:00 Dikko Faust trombone painting

6:20 Frank Keeley solo guitar

6:35 Ras Moshe reeds and Cheryl Pyle flute

6:50 Evan Gallagher solo keyboard

7:10 Diana Wayburn solo cello

7:25 Ken Silverman solo guitar

7:40 Joe  Tornabene baritone sax & Vong Pak traditional Korean drum

8:10 Bonnie Barnett voice & Anders Nilsson guitar

8:40 Jonah Rosenberg piano & Aleks Karjaka bass clarinet

9:10 Blaise Siwula solo reeds

9:30 Open Session




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