“It is a hard and obvious truth that people of color are
under-represented in the environmental movement. It is
also a hard and obvious truth that violent crime and poor
education pose more of an imminent danger to most poor
neighborhoods than environmental crisis. I personally am
of the belief that the movement for social change and
environmental accountability are one and the same, that
focusing on steps to sustain the planet ultimately force us
to envision a pathway to sustaining humanity.”
– Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Atlas Performing Arts Center
INTERSECTIONS offers a unique context for the development and presentation of your work. “Intersecting” with audiences, engaging with the community and collaborating with other festival performers is key to the spirit and success of our festival. We invite you to envision how you can best deepen the experience of your audiences while learning more about your work, your process and your impact.
Our three categories of ArtsEngage activities offer you three different levels of commitment to engagement activities. Note that each level builds upon the other, i.e. all artists participate in #1 (Meet the Artist). You can choose to add on #2 (Audience Engager). Then you can add on #3 (Community Connector). But you cannot do #3 without doing #2.
Note that your box office percentage is dependent upon your level of participation and the successful implementation of your plan.
1. Meet the Artist (60% of the box office)
All selected festival artists will participate in this category. You will be scheduled for 2 hours in the “Artist Intersection” – a designated place and time in the festival Lobby for casual interactions with audiences. One to three company / artist members will attend on a day other than your performance day.
2. Audience Engager (70% of the box office)
If you choose this category, in addition to your “Meet the Artist” date, you will do one of the following:
(Note: You are welcome to do more than one. But you must choose at least one activity from Audience Processing or from Audience Participation.)
Present a pre- and/or post show audience conversation facilitated by a non-company member. Facilitator can be another festival artist (who is really great at creative group response) or be an invited facilitator (an exciting knowledgeable person about your show’s content or form.) For example, if your show explores environmental issues, your facilitator could be from Greenpeace. Think beyond the typical “talking-heads-talk-back.” Go for interactive. The minimum length is 15 minutes. Maximum time limit will be determined by festival scheduling. Please include desired time-length of conversation in your proposal.
Design a peer-to-peer post-show interaction. This is when audience members are talking to other audience members about your performance prompted by a simple activity. For example, each is given color-coded index card and told to find people with the same color in the lobby and talk about the question on the card. Or provide post-it notes before and after the show for audience members to write responses to the show in a “word collage” on a panel in the lobby. Other ideas welcome. Please note in your description if the interaction would work best in the performance space. Note that our opportunities for extended interactions are limited in the performance spaces.
Digital and/or social media pre- and post-show response: Harness the power and fun of new media. Enlist flip-camera and/or smart-phone partners (or your audience members themselves) to interview your audience pre and post show, responding to a specific prompt. (Pre-show: What do you think will be most surprising about the performance? Post-show: What surprised you the most?) Up-load to Atlas YouTube Channel on the day/night of your performance. Or, if you can interview ticket-holders in the week before the show, upload the content to help spark a conversation. Provide a simple edited collage of responses for your/our Facebook and other other social media platforms three-days post performance. Other forms of digital or social media response can be proposed, but the engagement must have depth – not just a pre- and post- show tweet. Note that the Atlas has limited capabilities to project live postings.
Offer a Pre-show Workshop. In a workshop, participants learn a dance, music or other contribution to a performance and are included in your festival performance. Please include the space needed for your workshop and the desired time length. The Atlas will provide space for a pre-show workshop based on festival scheduling.
Design your performance to include Audience Participation. Can your performance end based on the audiences’ response? Can they shape the performance as it goes along? Can they come on stage and move, sing, dance, play an instrument? Can you include in your performance an open mic with MC, a jam session? This is beyond singing and clapping along. Think real, impactful participation.
Present a Post-show workshop: Invite audience members to stay to learn a dance or song, etc. from your show or explore the show’s content through an art form. For example, a movement-based workshop could invite the audience to create phrases in response to the show, a writing-based workshop could invite the audience to create poems or cartoons in response. Please include the space need for your workshop and the desired time length. The Atlas will provide space for a post-show workshop based on festival scheduling.
3. Community Connector (80% of the box office)
If you choose this category, in addition to your “Meet the Artist” date, and your one activity as an “Audience Engager,” you will do one of the following:
Partner with a non-arts organization, business, community group, school or club (or more than one) for a sustained involvement in your festival project. Involve them in the development of your piece (they attend at least three rehearsals and provide response, provide input/research, provide on-line input, etc.). Involve the partner in an audience-processing event (as participants in peer-to-peer activity or facilitator(s) of post-show conversation or workshop). Examples: Your piece explores the intersection of bluegrass and tango– partner with both an Appalachian and an Argentinean cultural organization. Ask them what they might imagine the performance to be. Invite them to attend your rehearsals and give feedback, to create on-line content for your facebook page and/or to help lead the post-show conversation. Your play looks at immigration and inter-generational conflict– partner with an immigrants’ rights group and/or a social club for 20-something second-generation Americans. You piece explores ambition—partner with a young professionals group, a competitive volleyball team, and/or a youth empowerment group. Think creatively. The goal: create a conversation. See how your work is informed by your partner’s input. See how your work impacts their experience. For the proposal you do not need to have a partner(s) in place, but have a plan for the kind of partnership you envision.
Present in collaboration with at least two other festival artists/companies two short (15 – 25 minute) pre-festival performance or open rehearsal in a gallery, restaurant, community center or other public venue. Include “spotlight” info-moments (when you give quick insights into the work being performed.) Include some interactive component (Guided response, a word collage, prompted peer-to-peer conversation.) For example, new music or alternative classical groups unite to create a window into their work and ask for “sketched” responses (yes, drawings!) to the music followed by informal interaction around the sketches between audience and artist; three dance companies take over a lobby in a large public space, perform, accompanied by a digital response/conversation from the audience via facebook-twitter; a poet, a dancer and a musician present an “intersection” of form and ideas at an H Street NE restaurant followed by conversation with audience.
*If selected, we will share the artist roster with you to form your collaborations prior to contracting. So base your idea on the kind of event you imagine. You will be responsible for securing the venue.
Collaborative Community Exchange
Host a class, event or forum, in collaboration with at least two other festival artists/companies, inspired by the content and/or form of your work. Examples: If all pieces include world-premiere text (new plays, new poems, new lyrics), host a writing workshop at a library, bookstore or coffee house; if all pieces embrace art as activism, host a forum on citizen artists/ the role of the arts in society at a local gallery or club; if all pieces have similar content (veterans, youth, new music), host a speaker with Q & A that probes that content. Think beyond “master class.” (This is not that.) Connect with participants outside your art form. Offer something intriguing/insightful/inspiring to a new community.
*If selected, we will share the artist roster with you to form your collaborations prior to contracting. So base your idea on the kind of event you imagine. You will be responsible for securing the venue.
For the proposal, we need you to describe as specifically as you can your engagement activity plans. You will update them prior to contracting and finalize them on your “engagement rider” by late fall. One you commit to the activity, you must complete it successfully, based on pre-agreed criteria established between the artist and the festival, to receive the contracted box office percentage.
Questions: Email Mary Hall Surface, Festival Artistic Director, at email@example.com.
Need in-person input?
Come to one of two sessions on the proposal process, highlighting “ArtsEngage” at the Atlas:
Monday, May 20th at 11:00am
Monday, June 3rd at 7:00pm
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know which meeting you plan to attend.
INTERSECTIONS is proud to partner with the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project as part of presenting Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project created by Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd with Maurice Decaul, directed by Patricia McGregor. The Veterans History Project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The director of VHP, U.S. Army Colonel Retired Bob Patrick will attend the Friday, March 8th, 8pm performance of Holding it Down at INTERSECTIONS to receive the memoir of poet, veteran and Holding it Down performer Maurice Decaul on stage. Col Patrick is eager to receive the memoirs of other veterans that evening as well. INTERSECTIONS invites veterans of all wars, but most especially from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, to visit http://www.loc.gov/vets/kit.html to learn how to submit their memories to the project (written memoir, video or audio.) We welcome any veterans who would like to personally present their memories along side Marine SGT Decaul to attend the Mar 8th performance. Ticket information: https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=acc0cddc615c896c8964a6a5716fb8f9.
Pushing the Boundaries:
Holding it Down
Great Noise Ensemble
Heritage Signature Choral
Northeast Senior Singers
Orquesta La Leyenda
Straight-up Jazz Fans:
Nasar and Kush Abadey
Spilling Ink and Kirov
Dance as Legacy (exploring the impact on the present of forms from the past)
Xuejuan Feng: Glimpse of China
Dissonance Dance: Drum
MOVEiUS Dance: Legacy
Spilling Ink and Kirov
Singer Songwriting Gals:
The Sweater Set
Heidi Martin: The Race Card
Rachel Ann Cross and the Sparks
Turn a Hipster onto Art:
All Points West
Community Connection/Social Change:
DC Area Playwright’s Group
Split this Rock
Our City Film Festival
DC University Theatre Collaborative
All the free Youth Summit Shows
Contemporary Classical/New Music:
Atlantic Reed Consort
Capital City Symphony
Great Noise Ensemble
Sissoko and Segal
John Kocur + Herb and Hansen
Furia Flamenca: Jazz meets Flamenco
Nistha Raj, Christlyez et all.
The Pushovers (with guest drag stars)
Not What You Think
Hesperus: The General
Great Noise Ensemble (film by Bill Morrison)
In the January 7th edition of New Yorker Magazine writer Alex Ross discusses new pieces from the new music powerhouse.
Click here for the complete article.
Just don’t get jazz?
Still wondering what is new music?
Atlas Curators Brad Linde and Armando Bayolo join featured panel guests to talk about why jazz and new music are perfect for Washington.
Featured Panelists include:
Amy K. Bormet
Director, Washington Women
in Jazz Festival
The event is free, but reservations are required. Please call 202.399.7993 ext. 2.
Atlas Executive Director Sam Sweet shared the following thoughts when accepting the award:
I’m Sam Sweet, Executive Director.
On behalf of our founder Jane Lang, the Board of Directors, terrific staff and great artists at the Atlas, thank you very much.
We’re honored to have been included in this distinguished group, so congratulations to our fellow nominees.
A lot has changed on H Street and we’re proud to have played a part in the revitalization. But our lasting goal is to strengthen the cultural revitalization of the community.
The Atlas is home to adventurous artists, audiences and ideas and we believe that the arts can bring people together to share these ideas. So we provide subsidized spaces to enable artists to do their work. We provide affordable tickets to audiences to enable them to see the work.
Through the arts we create connections to bring people together – and build community.
If you’ve been, than you know. If you haven’t, please come visit, experience it and be a part.
Thank you again for your support and thank you again for this recognition.
The Atlas is once again participating in the H Street Festival!
With a stage and cafe set up under the historic marquee the Atlas will be a perfect spot to stop and enjoy a drink, a snack and some performances during the city’s most exciting street festival.
In our theatres there will be additional opportunities to engage with our arts partners and friends.
The Atlas schedule for the day is:
12:00pm – Boogie Babes with Bridgette Michaels
1:00pm – Tosin
2:00pm – American Youth Chorus
3:00 – Washington Savoyards present selections from The Rocky Horror Show
3:30pm – Alpha Dog Blues
4:15pm -Congressional Chorus
4:30pm – Just Tap
5:30pm – Jazz jam session with Brad Linde
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
Children’s Art Activities
12:00pm – 5:00pm
Joy of Motion Dance Floor
12:00 p.m. Hip Hop Performance
12:30 p.m. World Dance Class Demonstration/Performance
1:00 p.m. AfroBeat Class Demonstration with Sylvana Christopher
1:30 p.m. Hip Hop Class Demonstration with Namaad Jackson
2:00 p.m. Tap Dancing with Tamara Henry
2:30 p.m. Zumba with Treenan Wynter
3 p.m. Dance with JOMDC’s resident adult hip hop company DCypher Dance
3:30 p.m. Contemporary African Class Demonstration with Taurus Broadhurst
4:00 p.m. Jazz Class Demonstration with Vincent Williams
4:30 p.m. Zumba Party with Tanya Nuchols
DC Shorts Film Festival
Lab Theatre 2
2:00 pm Step Afrika Workshop
4:15 pm “The President’s Own” Marine String Quartet Performance and Q and A
1:00pm Zip Zap Circus USA
3:00pm Zip Zap Circus USA
schedule subject to change
Tonight the inaugural season of Jazz at the Atlas comes to an end with a performance by the legendary drummer Joe Chambers playing with an impressive line up of musicians otherwise known as the Moving Pictures Orchestra. While we are sad to see it come to an end for a bit we have much to look forward to because next season is even more exciting.
We asked the Jazz at the Atlas curator Brad Linde to reflect on his top ten favorite moments from this first season. It was tough to whittle an entire season to just ten moments but he managed.
This is what he shared.
1. Teddy Charles having us play “Showtime” again at “Maximum Speed”.
2. Lee Konitz eating Key Lime Pie in the Lobby before the show.
3. Mike Moreno dropping his guitar as I gave the curtain speech for Will Vinson’s Quartet.
4. Matt Wilson discovering that the ATLAS had a timpani – and using it in his performance.
5. Grachan Moncur III reciting the lyrics to his composition “Monk In Wonderland” – first time we heard it in performance.
6. Andrew Cyrille’s amazing open drum solo during the second selection.
7. Allison Miller’s performance with the WWJF All-stars and the creativity she brought to the music.
8. Having Darcy James Argue’s 18-piece Secret Society perform music from “Brooklyn Babylon”.
9. Ambrose Akinmusire’s quintet giving a stellar performance – and not bringing any CDs to sell.
10. Brian Settles and Central Union’s riveting performance.
What about you? Do you have any favorite jazz at the Atlas moments to share? Let us know!
The Rodney Richardson Trio performs tomorrow night with vocalist Lena Seikaly. The performance is a part of the DC Jazz Festival’s Jazz in the ‘Hoods series.
Rodney: The upcoming show at the Atlas Performing Arts Center of the Rodney Richardson Trio featuring vocalist Lena Seikaly, is an event I’ve been really looking forward to. First, the band is sounding better than ever. We’ve put together a lot of new material–jazz arrangements of popular classic rock tunes, indie rock tunes, new interpretations of jazz standards and now that Lena is singing with us I think we’ve achieved the sound we’ve been after since we started performing as a group. We did a show this past Tuesday in Philadelphia at Chris’ Jazz Cafe and it was a blast. I can’t wait to lead this group on the big stage of the Lang Theatre on Wednesday!
The addition of the authentic Hammond B3 organ for this performance is also really exciting. Todd Simon will be holding down the organ as well as bass sounds from behind the giant B3. We are used to a much more compact substitute in the form of a Nord keyboard which gets the job done, but there really is no substitute for the authentic sound of a B3 when it comes to an organ trio.
Finally, this performance marks a big turning point for me in that I will be leaving DC the following week to join my wife in Chicago. I’ve lived in DC for my entire life and I have been very lucky to be a part of the ever-growing jazz scene here. It will be a bittersweet departure for me because I will of course miss all of my friends and family as well as all of the incredible musicians I’ve met and performed with over the years. However, I am very excited about the prospect of exploring the jazz scene in a brand new town, with an equally established jazz legacy, and hopefully be a link between these two great jazz cities. I will certainly be back in DC whenever possible.
I am honored that this show is a part of the DC Jazz Festival. This festival has been growing every year and has contributed greatly to the advancement of jazz in DC. I hope to see all of my DC people at this show!
- Rodney Richardson
On Sunday, June 3rd, the ATLAS hosts performances by the Ted Brown Quartet and the Mark Turner Quartet, featuring two saxophonists from different generations and styles, but who both share common threads, the foremost being an unheralded tenor saxophonist from the heyday of modern jazz: Warne Marsh.
Warne Marsh (1927-1987) was raised in Los Angeles and, along with Lee Konitz, came to prominence as part of Lennie Tristano’s “cool school” in the late 1940s. Marsh’s style was the ideal expression of the Tristano philosophies, complete with long lines of pure improvisation – avoiding patterns, clichés, licks, and emotional and technical grand-standing. Marsh’s improvisations were organically constructed over a relatively small repertoire of standards. His subtle rhythmic and harmonic complexity was a unique feature of his style and inspired musicians such as Anthony Braxton and Mark Turner.
Warne was a direct extension of the innovations made by Lester Young and Charlie Parker, and he committed himself to pursuing his art without the pressures of the commercial music market. In the 1970s, he received recognition as a founding member of “Supersax”, an ensemble devoted to performing harmonized versions of Charlie Parker solos. Marsh died in 1987 while playing at Donte’s in Los Angeles.
In 2002, two books were published about Marsh. “An Unsung Cat” by Safford Chamberlin is the definitive biography, while “Out Of Nowhere” by Marcus M. Cornelius is a narrative story about Warne, inspired by his life and music. There is a comprehensive website devoted to Marsh and currently, Warne’s son K.C. Marsh is now completing a documentary on his father called “An Improvised Life”. The film includes performances and interviews with musicians that studied with and performed with Warne, as well as discussions with those that are inspired by his artistry.
Ted Brown (b. 1927), a student and contemporary of Warne’s, was part of the “First Class” of students of Lennie Tristano, even helping to physically assemble the studio at 317 E. 32nd Street where sessions were held. Ted made his first recordings with fellow classmates including trombonist Willie Dennis and pianist Ronnie Ball, he appeared with Warne on the album “Jazz of Two Cities” that included several of Ted’s original lines, and he led a date in Los Angeles with a sextet including Warne and alto saxophonist Art Pepper.
Ted’s career weaved in and out of full-time music, but he continued to perform and record with musicians like Lee Konitz, Jimmy Rainey, Hod O’Brien, Buster Williams, and Ben Riley. Most recently, Ted has released two albums on Steeplechase, “Preservation” (2002) and “Shades of Brown” (2007), and three recordings on the Japanese Marshmallow label, including the first commercial release of a 1957 live performance with Marsh and Ronnie Ball.
Ted was the subject of a New York Times feature in 2011, citing the influence and presence of the Tristano School in today’s jazz scene. His latest recording is with cornetist Kirk Knuffke and drummer Matt Wilson and will be released on Steeplechase in Fall 2012.
Mark Turner (b.1965) arrived on the scene in the early 1990s, alongside other tenormen Chris Potter, Joshua Redman, and Seamus Blake. Mark’s secret ingredient to his original style was his admiration of the underground, cool improviser Warne Marsh. Through his study of Marsh, Turner assimilated the language of the Tristano School into the post-Coltrane approach that most saxophonists had developed and maintained. What Turner shares with Marsh and Brown is the concept of organic improvisation – solos constructed as spontaneously as possible, free of licks and patterns. He works effortlessly in the altissimo range of the tenor saxophone, an extension of the basic range that Marsh was known for using. (Marsh wrote an exercise on that register and recorded it with Brown under the title “Dixie’s Dilemma.”) In addition, Turner has adopted and evolved the phrasing typical of the Tristano School – long lines with unusual shape and complex rhythmic displacement. Like Marsh, Brown, and Tristano, Turner is also an uncompromising artist dedicated to developing and maintaining his personal voice.
Mark Turner has contributed much to the bands of Kurt Rosenwinkel, the Billy Hart Quartet, and the FLY trio with Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard, among many others. He has several albums as a leader on the Criss Cross and Warner Brothers labels and several recent sideman appearances on ECM, including “All Our Reasons” by the Billy Hart Quartet, and a new FLY album due out this month, entitled “Year of the Snake”.
Mark’s new as-yet-unrecorded quartet features bassist Joe Martin, drummer Marcus Gilmore and the trumpet of Avishai Cohen (Ambrose Akinmusire is filling in for the touring Cohen on Sunday). NPR has broadcast Mark Turner’s Village Vanguard appearances, including this one, with Paul Motian.
Saxophonist, Educator, Bandleader
Curator, “Jazz At the ATLAS”
Jazz at the Atlas curator Brad Linde recently spoke with pianist and pianist Dan Tepfer. He is performing Wednesday May 30 at the Atlas with drummer Ted Poor and bassist Ben Street.
Here are Brad and Dan performing at Caffe Vivaldi in New York City.
Brad: How does your approach to improvising/accompanying/etc change based on the different contexts you encounter?
Dan: The essence of improvisation is context. That’s what’s special about it. Since it’s happening in real time, since we’re actually making music up on the spot, at its deepest level it should reflect everything about the current moment. I’m not only talking about the note choices that my bandmates make, and that I respond to; I’m also talking about subtle things like the sound of the room we’re playing in, what we’ve eaten that day, how we’ve slept, and what the weather is like outside. In improvisation, we have the opportunity to take all this into account at an intuitive level. It’s exactly like having a conversation with a group of people: depending on how noisy the room is, how well you know the people, the general vibe, you’ll participate in a unique way — if you’re really listening, that is (we all know people who seem oblivious to context, interrupting and forcing their point across). So I see the challenge of improvisation as listening to the current context in as sensitive and authentic a way as possible, and letting myself respond. The other side of this challenge is to be able to find yourself in that context: not to give in to it completely but to find the balance between it and who you are.
Brad: Your compositions are very lyrical, but they have a theoretical underpinning. What is your process behind composing?
Dan: It really depends. I’ve written tunes by coming up with a theoretical idea and more or less filling in the blanks; I’ve written tunes that came to me in a dream; I’ve written tunes that seemed like a joke at the time but that I came to like later. What’s interesting to me is that no matter what my approach is, they always seem to have a common vibe of some sort. I wrote a piano concerto in early 2010, and I didn’t feel like writing much else for the rest of the year. When I started writing tunes again, I was surprised by what came out — a lot of what I was writing didn’t seem to fit the mold of what I thought I should be writing. It took me a little while to realize that I had evolved as a composer, and that my previous ideas about what a tune should be didn’t apply anymore. The fact that one can surprise oneself as a composer is what’s fascinating to me: you are, in a way, divided in two when you write, and one part of you can sneak up on the other without it knowing it. Those kinds of moments remind me that our creativity essentially comes from the same place as our dreams — a place we just don’t control. Or, if we do control it, it goes stale, fast.
Brad: 3. Can you describe your approach to reharmonizing or recreating harmony when improvising?
Dan: I think improvisation gets deep when, instead of being merely a rendition of a tune, it’s a commentary on it: instead of a reading of the text, it’s the artist telling you how he or she feels about the text. Then the music starts to get layered and multidimensional — there’s a frame and freedom inside the frame. Like hearing a story second hand from a particularly inventive storyteller. That informs my approach to reharmonization: I see the tune going from chord A to chord B, and I think, well, the composer liked to go from A to B this way, but how do I feel about that? Well, I like to go there this way! So in the end, there’s a distillation of the will of the composer, since I’m still following the broad strokes of his or her roadmap, and there’s also my own personal taste running havoc inside the map. My commentary on the original, in other words. Thinking about it this way, I think the harmonic possibilities are endless. I’ve also spent a lot of time over the years training my ear to hear new harmonies, and that really helps widen the field for me. There aren’t too many combinations of notes out there that don’t have a harmonic identity, however dense and impenetrable they may sound at first.
Brad: Your piano playing often breaks from the standard texture of “comping”. Can you talk about how you conceive of different textures when you are playing?
Dan: I remember being explained, in my teens, that Bach wrote music based on the popular dance forms of his time. Right away, I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to write a series of extended pieces for piano based on the popular dance forms of my time? One for rap, another for drum n’ bass, another for rock, techno, funk, hip hop… I never got around to really carrying that out — although I still might someday — but in the mean time, I’ve used this idea in my playing a lot. One of the trio tunes on my latest record, Peal Repeal, is a transcription of a drum n’ bass groove for piano, with dark harmony. Another, All I Heard Was Nothing, is based on the texture of early Steve Reich-esque minimalist music. So I get a lot of mileage out of checking textures out that are outside of the jazz world and seeing if I can find a place for them in my music.
Brad: You’ve played in the DC area often in the past few years, most recently at the Kennedy Center with Allison Miller. Do you have any thoughts on the DC Jazz Scene? Is there something that attracts you to the District?
Dan: Well, I have some very good friends there, so I love visiting them, and there are also some great local musicians that I enjoy playing with. This may just be an outsider’s impression, but it feels like there’s a lot of jazz going on in DC these days, with new venues opening up right and left. It’s great to come play in a city where there’s excitement for what you’re doing.
Dan Tepfer performs at the Atlas Wednesday may 30 at 8pm.
ATLAS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER ANNOUNCES 2012-2013 SEASON
Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project, DC Sonic Circuits Festival, INTERSECTIONS: A New America Arts Festival, B-Fly Entertainment’s Liner Notes
Ben Williams and Sound Effects, John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Luciana Souza Duo, and
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
So Percussion, Cornelius Dufallo, Great Noise Ensemble and Maya Beiser/Michael Harrison
The Atlas Performing Arts Center is pleased to announce its 2012-2013 season. The Atlas will host and present some of the most talented and sought after artists from the local, national and international arts scene. The season will include performances from contemporary classical artists So Percussion and Great Noise Ensemble and jazz artists Ben Williams and Sound Effects, John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and vocalist Luciana Souza. The Atlas will again be a featured venue for Amy K. Bormet’s Washington Women in Jazz Festival. Additional highlights of the season include presenting two of hip hop arts activist Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s works Word Becomes Flesh and red, black & GREEN: a blues (rbGb), a multimedia performance work about environmental justice, social ecology and collective responsibility. OneBeat Exchange will bring approximately 50 young musicians and students from around the world to the US to perform alongside their American counterparts. DC’s well-known emerging and established artists including force/collision, B-Fly Entertainment and DC Sonic Circuits Festival, recognized for artistically diverse and innovative programs, will perform at the Atlas for the first time. Programming for families and young children continue with Theatre for the Very Young. The highly successful theatre series for children ages 1-5 has been expanded from four to six productions. Holidays at the Atlas will feature Theatre Alliance’s critically-acclaimed Black Nativity and Step Afrika!’s holiday stepping show. Tickets for the 2012-2013 season will go on sale to the general public on June 1. For a full 2012-2013 season listing, visit www.atlasarts.org or call 202.399.7993 ext 2.
“We are thrilled to present such a high caliber season,” says Atlas Executive Director Sam Sweet. “Being the artistic heart in a thriving neighborhood, it is necessary that the Atlas serves as artistic platform connecting audiences with one another and with artists in a shared experience. Our programming was designed to not only entertain, but also to spark conversation and dialogue. Marc Bamuthi Joseph, force/collision and INTERSECTIONS: A New America Arts Festival are examples of this direction in programming. We want audiences to view the Atlas as a unique venue where they will see emerging arts forms, established performers in a new context and be willing to try something new.”
As part of its robust presenting series, the Atlas will continue its partnership with DancePlace to include dance. DancePlace and the Atlas will present Brian Sanders’ JUNK, a Philadelphia based dance company known for using found objects and elaborate inventions to bridge the gap between dance and physical theater. The Atlas is also expanding its presenting series by adding world music artists such as Zimbabwean Afro-pop legend Oliver Mtukudzi to its series later this year.
The Atlas continues its performances partnerships with artists in residence Rorschach Theatre and Great Noise Ensemble. Resident arts partners Joy of Motion, Capital City Symphony, Congressional Chorus, Washington Savoyards, Step Afrika! will continue to program and perform their seasons at the Atlas
2012-2013 Season Highlights
Originally premiered at the INTERSECTIONS 2012 Festival, B-Fly Entertainment featuring Paige Hernandez returns with an extended run of the well-received Liner Notes, a musical journey through hip-hop’s many intersections when multiple artists including The Corner Store Jazz Trio to breathe life into a fading art– the liner note. Based in Washington, D.C. force/collision is a multi-genre contingent of artists and collaborators whose mission is to create new performance works that spark dialogue and create space for the presentation of new work. The Atlas will again serve as one of the locations for the widely popular DC Shorts Film Festival. OneBeat Exchange (Bang on a Can) will feature more than 50 young professional musicians and advanced students from around the world to the U.S. to create and perform innovative work with their American counterparts. Sonic Circuits Festival, Washington’s promoter for experimental music will expose audiences to cutting edge contemporary music that defies genres, and offer artists new platforms to present their music and opportunities to network and collaborate with artists from around the world. The music moves from the sanctuary to the concert hall with the Campbell Brothers who combine gospel music with electric steel guitar and stirring vocals. The 4th annual INTERSECTIONS: A New America Arts Festival will continue to showcase talented artists from DC and beyond creating connections between artist and audiences. Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project will perform two dynamic pieces, Word Becomes Flesh and red, black & GREEN: a blues (rbGB), the latter piece explores society’s most controversial themes within a performance setting.
Curated by Brad Linde, the 2012-2013 Jazz at the Atlas season features performances from the best emerging and established jazz artists. Composer and saxophonist Steve Coleman, known for his innovative compositional and improvisational style opens the jazz series. Six time Grammy award winner Gary Smulyan in a new project by Mark Masters will play the Duke Ellington Sax Section. Hailed by The Revivalist as “the baddest new bassist on the block,” Washington, D.C. native, Ben Williams makes his Atlas debut with Sound Effects. Additional performances in the fall include Alan Blackman Trio with Donald McCaslin, vocalist Rebecca Martin with Larry Grenadier, Joel Harrison String Choir featuring the music of Paul Motian, drummer’s John Hollenback Large Ensemble and the Mary Halvorson Quintet. Jazz meets hardcore metal in Jerseyband where three saxophones and a trumpet come together in what has been described as lungcore metal. The full season continues in the winter with jazz trumpeter’s Carol Morgan Quartet and Shakers ‘n’ Bakers featuring Jeff Lederer, Mary LaRose, Miles Griffith, Jamie Saft, Chris Lightcap and Allison Miller. Amy K. Bormet’s Washington Women in Jazz Festival will feature DC favorite Geri Allen. Ethan Iverson returns to the Atlas this time with his trio The Bad Plus in the spring. Three well-known faces in jazz, Allison Miller, Ohad Talmor and Dan Tepfer, have joined forces for a trio totally rooted in free-form improvisation. The Luciana Souza Duo consists of Brazilian vocalist and Grammy winner Luciana Souza, one of jazz’s leading singers and interpreters and Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo. After a highly successful performance during the inaugural Jazz at the Atlas season, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society returns for another rousing performance featuring his 22-piece steampunk band.
Curated by Armando Bayolo, the 2012-2013 season of New Music at the Atlas opens with guitarist Tim Brady, chamber ensemble Prism Saxophone Quartet and performances from Atlas Artist-in-Residence Great Noise Ensemble. Newspeak combines the elements of a rock band with classical music, creating lasting and compelling performances. Sō Percussion explores all the extremes of emotion and musical possibility through collaborations with noted composers including Steve Reich and Arvo Parts and their own compositions. Called one of the “new faces of music,” violinist Cornelius Dufallo, a member of the world-renowned amplified string quartet, ETHEL, brings his unique and critically-acclaimed solo performance to the Atlas. Pictures on Silence, a harp and saxophone chamber duo, explores the diversity of their instrumental combination through compelling programming and a dedication to excellence in performance. The vocal octet, Roomful of Teeth, re-imagines singing for 21st century audiences showcasing vocal works from non-classical traditions. Cellist Maya Beiser has captivated audiences worldwide with her eclectic repertoire, and relentless quest to redefine her instrument’s boundaries. Together with composer and pianist Michael Harrison, the two set a high performance standard closing out the series.
Theatre for the Very Young
The theatre series for young audiences ages 1-5 will increase its productions from four to six in the 2012-2013 season. The series features performances from Washington based theatre companies and artists experienced in making quality theatre accessible to the youngest audiences. Through song, simple stories, movement and imagination, the interactive performances introduce young children and their families to theatre in a playful, ideal environment that promotes learning and cognitive development. Theatre for the Very Young features a full season of performances from Northern Virginia based Arts on the Horizon, and the dynamic Imagination Stage.
About the Atlas
The Atlas Performing Arts Center is located in a historic movie theatre complex on H Street, NE. H Street had been a bustling retail corridor for decades before the 1968 riots. In 2003, spurred by Jane Lang’s vision and commitment to restore the Atlas as a performing arts center, the city adopted a plan to rebuild the corridor and identified the Atlas as central to the revitalization. Vacant for years, the Atlas movie theatre re-opened in November, 2006 following an extensive four-year renovation. In addition to its theatres and dance studios, the Atlas also has administrative offices, dressing rooms, lobbies, a café and production and rehearsal spaces. The center is home to a diverse group of locally renowned theatre and dance companies, symphony orchestras, choral groups and arts education programs.
Through its programs and service to the community, the Atlas seeks to honor and maintain the history and traditions of H Street NE while also fostering the changes taking place to renew the H Street corridor. The Atlas has become the artistic heart of a community struggling uneasily with its transformation, and it seeks to be a center for community conversation, where a range of artistic and individual expressions can come together to be shared and celebrated.
The mission of the Atlas Performing Arts Center is to foster the artistic growth of professional and aspiring performing artists throughout the region; to create a new model for collaborative arts management; to establish a unique community-centered venue for training and education in the performing arts and stagecraft; and to energize and sustain the revitalization of H Street, NE and the surrounding community.
For information on the Atlas and the 2012-2013 Season, visit www.atlasarts.org.
Follow the Atlas Performing Arts Center on Facebook and on twitter @AtlasPACDC.
Jazz at the Atlas Brad Linde continues with Part 2: Jazz in May at the Atlas
In programming the ATLAS series, I wanted to contribute a new voice to the established and growing jazz activities. I used my own aesthetic as a starting point and designed a series that places focus on the chamber music sounds of small ensembles and the free approach of avant-garde musicians. Of course, there are those performances that are mainstream in nature, but those often represent a new repertoire or collaboration by an already known artist –a way of listening to something familiar in a new setting.
It made perfect sense to design a season with drummer/composer Andrew Cyrille and bassist Ben Allison alongside DC’s very own Brian Settles and Dan Roberts. Each of the performers in the series is an accomplished instrumentalist, brilliant composer, and under-represented in DC. The ATLAS provides a proper showcase for the new and emerging projects that musicians like these are developing. The season roster presents serious music for a serious audience, but it can be fun, too. In keeping with the mission of the ATLAS, the programming aims to present bold and exciting performances, and the May line-up delivers.
The Gil Evans celebration features some of DC’s finest musicians in different settings. The retrospective will feature music from the “Birth of the Cool” and its inspiration the Claude Thornhill band, music from Evans’ small group collaborations with Steve Lacy, Jimmy Cleveland, and Cannonball Adderley (the Adderley repertoire is a gem with unavailable arrangements on loan from the Evans estate) and several of the orchestral pieces from the Miles Davis albums “Porgy and Bess” and “Miles Ahead”. Gil Evans may no longer be with us, but his music is as fresh and creative as it was 50 years ago.
Dan Tepfer is quickly becoming one of the most talked about pianists active today. He has released several albums with his trio, improvised duos with jazz luminary Lee Konitz and a CD of improvisations in every key. He recently released a solo piano recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations that includes his own improvised variations based on Bach’s composed lines.
The ATLAS is proving to be the right venue with the right attitude for presenting cutting-edge art music, and the season has invited many of tomorrow’s legends to share their craft with the District. From Darcy James Argue, Steve Lehman, and Ben Allison to the up coming Ambrose Akinmusire and Dan Tepfer performances, the youthful energy and limitless creativity in the current jazz scene is showcased.
The season concludes in June with Mark Turner’s Quartet, Rodney Richardson Trio with Lena Seikaly, and Joe Chambers “Moving Pictures” Orchestra.
Jazz at the Atlas Curator Brad Linde shares his thoughts on DC’s jazz scene…
Part 1 of an ongoing series of posts on Jazz in DC.
In anticipation of tonight’s performance by the Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet at the ATLAS, I wanted to recap on the inaugural season of Jazz at the Atlas and preview the upcoming performances in May. Ambrose Akinmusire is one of the leading lights on the trumpet. His music falls into a category of its own and is clearly informed by tradition, but distinctly modern.
If 2010 was the year jazz broke in DC, then 2011 was the year that steadied the course for innovation and collaboration. The jazz community rallied around the creative programming coming from Bohemian Caverns and Capitalbop and the ATLAS launched a new series featuring the most celebrated local talent, as well as up-and-coming national groups and honored legends.
As I got to know the ATLAS through the INTERSECTIONS festival, Executive Director Sam Sweet was looking to expand the performing arts center’s programming to better serve the H Street community and represent the rich cultural legacy of the area. Jazz has been central to DC since Duke Ellington and continued to thrive with those icons that made the district their home – Shirley Horn, Buck Hill, Lawrence Wheatley, Butch Warren and many more. In the spirit of that heritage, I became interested in celebrating legendary artists with collaborations including DC’s own blossoming musicians, and in some way, bring the energy and history of New York City to Washington. An additional goal was to provide opportunities for audiences to experience a wider variety of music in the jazz tradition, including music that may challenge pre
conceived definitions of what jazz is.
I was inspired by the visibility of Bohemian Caverns and the programming that it has been featuring and also by the avant-garde slant of many of Capitalbop’s DC Jazz Lofts. I thought of mixing of the underground vibe with the support of an established institution.
Just as Capitalbop offers a local showcase at the Dunes the second Sunday of each month, and the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra performs each Monday night, the ATLAS provides a regular schedule of adventurous jazz programming. This seems to be the trend in the District now – several components of the scene working together to maintain a vibrant cultural and artistic presence. Many times there is too much going on in the city and choices must be made as to which performance to attend. What a great problem to have!
Next: Jazz at the Atlas in May