Manhattan music surge for APAP

The Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) convenes in Manhattan this weekend, demonstrating the greatest health and resilience of any sector of the jazz-new music economy. Last year more than 4000 attendees registered to schmooze, exhibit, theorize and opine on panels, take in showcase performances and make deals with musicians eager for gigs.
The talent search is paramount, and among the numerous music showcases in conjunction with APAP all around Manhattan January 9 – 13, three especially stand out: Winterjazzfest, the Brooklyn Jazz Underground Festival and globalFEST 2009. Talent to spare!

With the continuing decline of the recording business as it’s been known, live performance is increasingly the most lucrative income stream for most musicians. The members of APAP are mostly curators of US and Canadian non-profit arts centers who recognize what’s happening when they hear it, book bands if possible in cooperation to allow for low-budget artists’ tours, and subsequently promote new music trends, sounds, acts, bands. 
APAP this year fills the breach of any non-profit jazz-and-beyond conference left by the demise of the International Association for Jazz Education last spring, which had been hosting thousands of teachers, students and broader music industry representatives for weekend-long events every-other year in big midtown Manhattan hotels (the off-years in Toronto and Long Beach evidently did them in), and the failure of entrepreneurial Jazz Improv magazine’s hopes of funding for a second (annual?) New York jazz fair to materialize. The APAP attendees don’t have a jazz-particular mission, but they do lean more to improv and vernacular musics with a degree of commercial profile than the people and sounds at the annual Chamber Music America conference, also being held in NYC, Jan 15 – 18. 
Re the aforementioned artists showcases:
  • The fifth annual  Winterjazzfest, produced by independent hustler (I say that with full admiration) Brice Rosenbloom, is a three-ring circus with an extraordinary cast of young and established jazz stars of today from 6 pm to 4 a.m. on Saturday, Jan 10 in three within-a-block-of-each-other Greenwich Village venues, $25 pass to everything everywhere.
  • The third annual Brooklyn Jazz Underground Festival at Small’s (also in Greenwich Village — not Brooklyn) features two and three bands per night, Friday 1/9 through Sunday 1/11, $20 per set.
  • globalFEST2009, at commodious Webster Hall (in the East Village), with four acts in each of three spaces, access to all for $40, or webcast live (free, of course) from 6 p.m. til after midnight on by WNYC2 HD and Internet Radio –

The Winterjazzfest lineup is particularly impressive: 

Aaron Parks

Ayelet Rose Gottlieb
Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber
By Any Means (William Parker/Charles Gayle/Rashid Ali)
Claudia Acuña
Dafnis Prieto Sextet
Don Byron Ivey-Divey Trio (Byron/Jason Moran/Eric Harland)
Gary Bartz – Ommas Keith Project
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
Jason Moran’s Bandwagon
Jonathan Batiste Trio
Lafayette Gilchrist Trio
Marco Benevento, Andrew Barr, Marc Friedman
Robert Glasper Trio
Sarah Morrow “Elektric Air” 
Sexmob (Steven Bernstein, leader) plays ‘Sexotica’ with DJ Olive 
Tar Baby (Orrin Evans/J. D. Allen/Dillard/Nat Revis/Nasheet Waits)
Taylor Ho Bynum’s Positive Catastrophe
Theo Bleckman’s “Berlin – Las Vegas”
Toshi Reagon & BIGLovely
‘The Watts Project’… featuring Jeff “Tain” Watts, Terence Blanchard, Christian McBride, Prometheus Jenkins

Will Calhoun Native Land Experience

Rosenbloom formerly put on Winterjazzfest in the three floors of the Knitting Factory, storied downtown music club that closed it’s Tribeca space two weeks ago and has moved to Brooklyn (Williamsburg, of course, where long-disaffiliated Knitting founder Michael Dorf has also recently opened a wine-bar/music venue). On this coming Saturday night the single block of Bleeker Street between Kenny’s Castaways, (le) Poisson Rouge and Sullivan Hall may be a madhouse or impas
sable — but my initial aims will be to hear some of high-energy drummer Watts’ Project and Cuban-born drummer Prieto’s Sextet, high spirited and knowing cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum’s Catastrophe, the bands of pianists Gilchrist, Moran, Baptiste and Parks, singer Acuna and Burnt Sugar, a party led by cultural critic/guitarist/conduction practitioner and laptopist Greg Tate.  Which is not to say all the other groups — Sex Mob, By Any Means, Tarbaby, Glasper, Toshi Reagon, etc. won’t be wonderful.

The Brooklyn weekend includes combos I haven’t heard but have heard about led by violinist Tanya Kalmanovitch and South Asian-American drummer Sunny Jain (with pianist Marc Cary) on Jan. 9; bassist Anne Mette Iversen, saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh, and pianist Benny Lackner‘s trio on Jan 10; bassist Alexis Cuadrado, saxophonist Dann Pratt‘s organ trio, and trombonist Alan Ferber‘s nonet on Jan 11. 

Of the 12 international artists leading ensembles at globalFEST 2009, I’ve only seen and really heard  Fema Kuti, hot Nigerian bandleader/cheerleader — but from the looks of the artists’ own website, there’s promise in New Orleans’ Hot 8 Brass Band, The Occidental Brothers South African dance band, traditional South Iranian Shanbehzadeh Ensemble’s bagpipers and flutists, Inuit crossover-breakout singer Tanya Tagaq who has recorded with Bjork, Brazilian samba-blues hybridizer Marcio LocalIndian Sufi soundtrack composer Kailash Kher, purveyors of psychedelic surf-cumbias Chica Libre, Celtic-reggae wailers Watchaclan from Marseille, Calypso Rose from Tobago, and others who resist even this kind of brief explication. This is for sure the only time they’ll all be in one place (Webster Hall or the web). Considering the price, isn’t it irresistible?

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  1. says

    The Association of Performing Arts Presenters is contributing in many aspects directly in the life of many artists and musicians. As the recording business is becoming more expensive the musicians is planning more tours and live performance. The APAP is helping to promote the Music trends, sounds, acts and bands.