January 2015

February 2015

March 2015
  • 8:00 PMTHE PHILADELPHIA PHENOMENA: Elliott Levin, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Calvin Weston
  • Thumb jamaalcalvinelliott 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM THE PHILADELPHIA PHENOMENA:Elliott Levin- reeds, wordsJamaaladeen Tacuma- bassCalvin Weston- drumsAll photos in this listing by Jaci Downs Photography - www.JaciDowns.comPeople may be aware of The Sound Of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Story, The Philadelphia Experiment, even The Young Philadelphians... but  THE PHILADELPHIA PHENOMENA is the unique high-energy, earth-rooted, astral travelling original and spontaneous harmolodic compositional sounds of these 3 musicians born and long-based in Philadelphia but extending throughout the World, if not the Universe.ELLIOTT LEVIN:If one was to believe descriptive snippets, the thing to do when Elliott Levin approaches is find a place to hide. In a worst case scenario, try to climb a tree -- at least, that is the advice hikers would receive about the oncoming approach of something "ferocious...frenzied...bearlike." However, the comparison with bears is based on the size and appearance of the Philadelphia performer, while the other adjectives are filling one of their more esoteric purposes in the English language, attempting to describe just what it is free jazz performers do when they blow into their horns. Whatever it is, Levin does a lot of it, on tenor saxophone and flute. He also has a quite active career as a published poet and likes to combine the two aesthetics in his performances, much to the delight of the growing live poetry audience and to the chagrin of hipsters who insist jazz poetry is a form of torture, worse than cold showers. Other listeners might find the entire free jazz experience itself torture, in which case it's back to the beginning as far as advice regarding Levin: there is nothing watered-down or weak about his performances, no attempt to make the music a bit more accessible to the novices, tender-hearted or just plain wimpy. He also doesn't seem to play music as if it was connected to some kind of career strategy, other than to just play all the time. Besides playing professionally with a variety of groups, embarking on semi-regular journeys around the country, he also jams. No description of the Philly jazz scene exists that does not include something along the lines of "And Elliott Levin has been known to sit in, buggin' out with his sax and flute..." A Philadelphia drummer described Levin as "the guy that calls you at two in the morning, wanting you to haul your drums over to some jam session."Levin grew up in Philly, but studied music and creative writing on the west coast at the University of Oregon. He took private lessons with a former Philadelphia Orchestra saxophonist, Michael Guera, and embarked on further research with the great jazz pianist, Cecil Taylor, in whose groups Levin has also performed. Claire Polin is Levin's primary instructor on flute. The weekend grocery list of Levin credits includes playing with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes for a decade as the saxophonist in the Sound of Philadelphia band, as well as with Odean Popes' Saxophone Choir, Tyrone Hill, Don Preston, Scram!, New Ghost, Atzilut (Fourth World), Talking Free Bebop, and various collaborations with bassist Jamaladeen Tacuma. Levin's gigs with Taylor included the groups Phthongas and Unit Core Ensemble, and he can be heard on the Taylor FMP album Live in Berlin. On the poetry scene he has performed with Miguel Algarin, Gloria Tropp, Mbali Umoja, Marty Watt, and Frank Messina. Levin has published several books of his verse, which also appears in publications such as L.A. Weekly, Blue Beat Jacket, The Painted Word, Po' Fly, Vital Pulse, and Poets and Prophets. He has received awards from New American Radio in New York, The City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, and the California Endowment for the Humanities.JAMAALADEEN TACUMA:Few musicians leave their audiences with a feeling that they have truly witnessed something amazing. Artist/Producer/Performer/Arranger/Innovator AND Bassist - JAMAALADEEN TACUMA does just that. This native Philadelphian has always stretched the old mold of what and how a bassist is supposed to play. Tacuma has simply re-defined his instrument's artistic potential.In the mid 70's, his creatively free approach to the bass caught the eye and ear of the legendary saxophonist Ornette Coleman. Tacuma became a member of Coleman's electric band, Prime Time, he toured with the group and played on some of Coleman's historic recordings such as: "Dancing In Your Head", "Body Meta", and "Of Human Feelings". As a soloist, Tacuma continued to press the musical envelope with his debut album in 1983 entitled simply, "Showstopper". Several records followed, some of which include: Renaissance Man (1984), Music World (1987) and JukeBox (1989), Cosmetic, Boss of The Bass, which confirmed his ability to flip between various musical genres. Even the critics have had high praise for Tacuma's musicianship and artistry. One year he received the highest number of votes ever for an electric bassist in the "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" category of the Down Beat critics' poll.Tacuma has performed and recorded and collaborated with musicians on nearly every continent such as Japan, Korea, Europe and the Middle East. In September 2007, Jamaaladeen released a new recording entitled "THE FLAVORS OF THELONIOUS MONK RELOADED" paying musical homage to the great pianist composer Thelonious Monk and also releasing a new recording in October 2007 with "FREE FORM FUNKY FREQS" a trio with guitarist Vernon Reid (Living Color),and G. Calvin Weston (John Laurie, Medeski, Martin & Wood) on drums entitled "URBAN MYTHOLOGY" on Thirsty Ear Records. He has also played and produced for many American and European Jazz/Funk musicians. Furthermore, the release "Mirakles" by Derrick Bailey, G. Calvin Weston & Tacuma was cited as one of the "most important recordings of year 2000" by All Music Guide. He also recently completed a recording entitled "DUST" with BAUHAUS member Peter Murphy on the Metropolis label. He is also featured as writer and co-producer on the new 2006 release of the World Saxophone Quartet's album on Justin Time Records entitled "Political Blues" with a song by Jamaaladeen entitled "BLUE DIAMOND" Tacuma has collaborated with a diverse and talented roster of artists: Guitarists Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Marc Ribot, James Blood Ulmer, Jean Paul Bourelly and Derek Bailey.He has performed and recorded with saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, Grover Washington Jr., David Murray, Odean Pope ,Wolfgang Puschnig and James Carter. He has worked with orchestras led by Anthony Davis at Carnegie Hall, to recording and performing with the Hip Hop rap group, The Roots, DJ King Britt and DJ Logic. Tacuma has shared the stage with the great comedian and philanthropist Bill Cosby at the JVC Jazz Festival, on the David Letterman show where Tacuma was Band Director for the night. He has even written music for the hit TV show, "The Cosby Show". He has worked with poets Jayne Cortez, Quincy Troupe, Amiri Baraka and co-wrote and co-produced a song entitled "WOMEN FIRST" with the R&B Neo Soul group from Philadelphia, KINDRED (the family soul) on their new CD recording "IN THIS LIFE TOGETHER", on the Hidden Beach/Motown label (2006). Jamaaladeen has recently explored the music of legendary saxophonist, composer John Coltrane with a preview recording and an extended European tour which featured the British saxophonist and BBC award recipient Tony Kofi. Jamaaladeen's FOR THE LOVE OR ORNETTE released 2010 on his own label was a monumental recording made in honor of his mentor Ornette Coleman. In 2013 Jamaaladeen released Bon Vivant his 2nd studio recording with FREE FORM FUNKY FREQS trio with G. Calvin Weston and Guitarist Vernon Reid on his newly formed recording label Jam All Productions.In recent years Jamaaladeen has been gaining recognition from some of the Unites States most prestigious artist foundations, 2011 Jamaaladeen received the Pew Arts & Heritage Award, The Marcus Garvey Foundation Award, Uptown Theater Hall of Fame Award 2014. Jamaaladeen has received composer’s residencies at the prestigious MacDowell Colony , Headlands Center for the Arts, and Civitella Rainier Italy, where he composed a new project he will be presenting in 2015. Staying true to his artistic and experimental approach to music, Tacuma is consistently bringing musical happiness to fans World Wide.CALVIN WESTON:G Calvin Weston was born June 6, 1959 in Philadelphia, PA. He became interested in drums at the age of 6, when he (and his neighbors) discovered his talent for rhythm as he beat on every car on the block. He lived in North Philadelphia where he saw musicians like Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five and James Brown at the Uptown Theatre. Seeing his attention focused on the drummers, his Father bought him a small set. In high school Calvin learned to read music and played second snare in the drum ensemble. He co-founded the group Bad Influence which played in cabarets and clubs around Philadelphia.At 17, Calvin joined Ornette Coleman's Prime Time Band, with bass player Jamalaadean Tacuma, his close friend from Philly, which toured extensively in North America and Europe. After recording four albums with Prime Time, Calvin went on to play and record with guitarist James “Blood” Ulmer, until he joined John Luries Lounge Lizards in 1990.During the late '90s Calvin recorded and toured with Billy Martin of Medeski Martin and Wood, Tricky, Eyvind Kang, Derek Baily, Mark Ribot, and James Carter. He also played on several movie soundtracks including “Get Shorty.” For his latest project, Calvin Weston's Big Tree, Calvin explores the many musical influences of his career as band leader and composer.He also has a new band with world guitarist, Vernon Reid and bass player, Jamalaadean Tacuma and formed the group freeformfunkyfreqs and there new CD Urban Mythology Volume 1. He also plays with Jean-Paul Bourelly and Melvin Gibbs in the band called Gypsys Reloaded, that toured in March of 2008 and recorded a live CD at the Bimhuis. G. Calvin Weston has played on many recordings including Asmodeus: Book Of Angels Volume 7 with Marc Ribot, Trevor Dunn, and John Zorn.Admission is FREE
  • 7:00 PMBehind the Walls, Between the Lines
  • Thumb 10380263 10152565981734403 7193002707822594585 o 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

    The place where poetry and social justice collide...

    Behind The Walls, Between The Lines, is a live, gallery-like exhibition of poetry centered on the incarceration and treatment of black and brown bodies in America. Attendees will be able to "view" each piece separately and then experience a collaboration piece at the end of the gallery. 

    Vendors from agencies that work with issues of social justice around the Philadelphia area will be present to showcase and speak about their work. Light refreshments will be served. Participants will have opportunity to network with artists and creator Felicia Henry.

    Tickets: $7 in advance and at the door 

    Get tickets here-------> btw.ticketleap.com/btw

    For more information on Felicia Henry and Behind the Walls, visitwww.feliciahenry.com.

  • 8:00 PMThe Big Five OH Variety Show
  • 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

    Five Minute Follies producer and emcee Michael Broussard celebrates his 50th Birthday with a FREE Variety Extravaganza featuring

    JUGGLER AND MAGICIAN AL ANGELLOBelly Dancer FATIMA BASSMAHComedian CRAIG LIGGEONSFlamenco Dancer CAROL BASILIOplus special appearances by Michael Broussard's early 90s band BABELFISH (Karlis Povisils, Edward Atlee, Brian Wilkinson), FAMOUS IN VEGAS founding members LIZ LIXX and ROSS LANDY, SCREAMING LUNCHBOXES founding member ED MARRA, and CHRIS UNRATH (of the legendary MIMIROCK and HELEN BACK & THE STR8 RAZORS). Michael will also be singing a few of his favorite songs. MORE TBA!


  • 6:00 PMCommunity Vegan Potluck
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Please join us for a vegan potluck similar to the super fun potlucks we hosted back in May and December! Children are welcome and encouraged to come. We'll have some interactive fun for all ages!We can accommodate dozens of folks and really want to encourage you to bring guests as well as meet new people. Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/82159732454499Admission is FREE. Please bring a small vegan dish (at least one dish per person) to share, along with a card or sheet of paper listing your ingredients. The Rotunda will provide plates, cups, utensils, etc.
  • 6:00 PMVeg Eating on the Rise! Talk by Erica Meier of Compassion Over Killing
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Whether we’re concerned about our health, animals, or the planet, one of the most effective ways we can make a difference is to choose vegetarian foods. Learn why a growing number of people – including award-winning actress Jessica Chastain, former President Bill Clinton, and NFL player David Carter Jr. – are touting the benefits of meat-free eating and how you can get active in your school or community to put more veg options on the menu in restaurants and cafeterias.Admission is FREE
  • 8:00 PMEnemy Territory (1987) and Certain Fury (1985) - Andrew's Video Vault
  • 8:00 PM - 11:30 PM Andrew's Video VaultFREE Screenings Continuous From 8 PM
on the Second THURSDAY of Every Month!
 This program is made possible through the generous support of the
 Cinema Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
 February 12
Two long-lost “salt and pepper” action flicks from the 1980s never released on DVD. 
ENEMY TERRITORY (1987 / 89 minutes) Gary Frank and Ray Parker, Jr. star as an insurance salesman and a phone company worker trapped after dark in an apartment building that is terrorized by a street gang called “The Vampires.” Photographed by Ernest Dickerson (Do The Right Thing) and featuring early appearances by Tony Todd, Stacey Dash and Kadeem Hardison. Directed by Peter Manoogian.
CERTAIN FURY (1985 / 87 minutes) Tatum O’Neal and Irene Cara star in this New World Pictures rip-off of The Defiant Ones. Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal.
Guest Host and Curator: Mike Dennis of Reelblack Cinema
Co-presented with Irv Slifkin, author of Filmadelphia and Groovy Movies.
March 12
PERFECT LIVES (1984 / 175 minutes) An experimental opera for television in seven episodes, Perfect Lives premiered on Great Britain’s Channel Four, and has been called “the most influential music/theater/literary work of the 1980s.” At its center is the hypnotic voice of Robert Ashley, whose continuous song narrates the events of the story — a 1980s update of the mythology of small town America.
Guest Host and Curator: Megan Bridge of fidget 
April 9
LA VIE DE BOHÈME (1992 / 100 minutes)
 Finland’s Aki Kaurismäki’s black & white bittersweet comedy, loosely based on Henri Murger’s influential novel Scènes de la Vie de Bohème. A poet, a painter, and a playwright pool their limited means to pursue their art in this fable-like look at impoverished solidarity among friends.
AMERICAN JOB (1996 / 90 minutes) 
Writer/director Chris Smith’s (1999′s American Movie) debut is a hilariously straight-faced dark comedy about labor in the U.S. It follows the stork-like mumbler Randy as he undergoes training and orientation at a variety of low-paying, low-skilled jobs. The fictional film’s stark documentary style gives the boredom of modern work a strange urgency in this unique indie film.
Guest Host and Curator: Dan Buskirk of Phawker.com
May 14
The most complete version of Fritz Lang’s two-part allegory, about a criminal mastermind who is both the cause (and product of) economic free-fall and social decadence in Weimar-era Berlin.
June 11
Two daring comedies that use blackface/whiteface to comment on race relations.
SOUL MAN (1986 / 104 minutes) New World Pictures high concept teen comedy about a white kid (C. Thomas Howell) who dons blackface in order to get a minority scholarship to Harvard would be completely reprehensible if it weren’t such an accurate snapshot of 1980s America. James Earl Jones slums it as a college professor, and stars Rae Dawn Chong and Howell would marry after working together on this film. Directed by Steve Miner.
WATERMELON MAN (1970 / 100 minutes) Melvin Van Peebles became the second African-American to direct at a Hollywood studio when he made this film about a bigoted white man (Godfrey Cambridge—in whiteface) who wakes up one morning to discover he has turned Black. Panned upon its initial release, it has became a true cult classic.
Guest Host and Curator: Mike Dennis of Reelblack Cinema 
July 9
CHAMELEON STREET (1989 / 94 minutes) Writer/director/actor Wendell B. Harris Jr’s first and only feature tells the true story of con man Douglas Street, a bored and ingenious African American male who passes himself off to white society as a journalist, doctor and scholar. A wicked and tragic satire on being black and brilliant in America.
UFOria (1985 / 93 minutes) Writer/Director John Binder’s satiric look at the Southwestern U.S. and religion follows a Waylon Jennings-loving drifter (Fred Ward) hooking up with a faith healer (Harry Dean Stanton) and a cashier who has visions of a UFO communion.
Guest Host and Curator: Dan Buskirk of Phawker.com
August 13
TIE XI QU: WEST OF TRACKS: PART ONE: RUST (2003 / 240 minutes) In part one of his three-part, nine hour documentary, Wang Bing hypnotically charts post-industrial decay and its effects on impoverished workers who live in northeast China. [Tie Xi Qu: West of Tracks part two, Remnants, and part three, Rails, will screen at subsequent seasons of Andrew’s Video Vault at The Rotunda.]
September 10
Guest Host and Curator: Dan Buskirk of Phawker.com
October 8
THE INNOCENTS (1961 / 100 minutes) Perhaps the most beautifully photographed black & white horror film ever made, this suspenseful masterwork of Gothic atmosphere is an exquisite adaptation of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw featuring gripping performances by adult and child actors alike. An unforgettable tour-de-force of supernatural terror and psychological repression.
THE SEVENTH VICTIM (1943 / 71 minutes) The sense of dread is palpable in this moody and nightmarish tale of urban devil worship from producer Val Lewton. Kim Hunter stars (in her debut performance) as a young woman searching for her missing sister on the menacing streets of 1940′s New York City, with plenty of striking chiaroscuro lighting.
Guest Host and Curator: Mike Zaleski
November 12
MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937 / 91 minutes) Heart-rending in its truth and emotional beauty, Leo McCarey’s masterpiece and most personal film was created both as a love letter to his recently deceased father and as an exposé of what can happen to elderly Americans without the support of Social Security (or their children). Orson Welles said of the film: “It would make a stone cry.”
EVERYBODY’S FINE [STANNO TUTTI BENE] (1990 / 118 minutes) Marcello Mastroianni gives one of his best performances as an elderly widower who traverses Italy to visit his distant offspring, each of whom had given him an impression of their life which turns out to be very different from the actuality. A powerful and beautiful rumination on the relationship between elderly parents and their adult children.
Guest Host and Curator: Mike Zaleski
December 10
PERMISSIVE (1970 / 90 min) At the end of the hippie era, a broke young woman arrives in London and is initiated into the counter-culture and the seedy sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll lifestyle of a groupie. Psychedelic soundtrack by Comus and Forever More.
DUFFER (1971 / 75 minutes) Joseph Despins and William Dumaresq’s off-beat and lyrical character study of a British teenage boy shuttlecocking between a sadistic old man and motherly prostitute.Admission is FREE
  • 8:00 PMTrefoil performs 14th century Italian Love Songs
  • Thumb trefoil 03 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM BowerbirdpresentsTREFOIL performs "Dio Mio!" 14th-century Italian Love SongsTrefoil offers selections from the spectacular trecento style of 14th-century Italy. Music as described in Boccaccio's Decameron: Madrigals, ballate, canons, and estampie by Landini, Cicconia, and Jacopo di Bologna. TREFOIL is a trio of modern minstrels long active in early music, with experience in such ensembles as Les Arts Florissants, Concert Royal, Early Music New York, Pomerium, Piffaro, Clarion Music Society, and My Lord Chamberlain's Consort. The trio debuted in New York and Philadelphia in 2000 with a program of 14th-century French ars subtilior song. The Philadelphia Inquirer tagged the group "a hearty trio of Medieval music specialists" and their performance as "an intricate, enigmatic vocal art."Admission is FREE
  • 7:00 PMOliver Lake Meets Sonic Liberation 8 and the Classical Revolution Trio
  • Thumb slf 0 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Oliver Lake Meets Sonic Liberation 8 and the Classical Revolution TrioOliver Lake, alto saxophoneKevin Diehl, drums, bata, percussionElliot Levin, soprano + tenor saxophones, fluteVeronica MJ, violaConnor Przybyszewski, tromboneMatt Engle, acoustic bassNichola Rivera, bata + percussionRon Howerton, bata + percussionTom Lowery, drums + percussionRussell Kotcher, violinEric Coyne, celloMelanie Hsu, celloArs Nova Workshop is proud to present Oliver Lake with the Sonic Liberation 8 and the Classical Revolution Trio. This very special performance will feature two pieces composed by Lake specifically for SL8 and the Classical Revolution Trio, and a third piece arranged specifically for the multi-faceted ensemble.Composer, saxophonist, poet and Guggenheim Fellow, Oliver Lake is one of jazz's most prolific and eclectic artists of the last 40 years. Oliver Lake is known for everything from his solo saxophone performances and recordings; to his solo music-theater work; to his reggae-jazz group Jump Up; to his work as a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet; to his Oliver Lake Big Band; to the Oliver Lake Steel. Lake was a founding member of the Black Artists Group (BAG) in St Louis in the 1970's where he grew up with trumpeter Lester Bowie and pianist John Hicks. He has received multiple commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and his works have been performed by the Arditti String Quartet, the World Saxophone Quartet, the Amherst Sax Quartet, violinist Regina Carter, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the San Francisco Contemporary Players, New York New Music Ensemble, and Pulse Percussion Ensemble of New York. He has worked with a wide range of artists including the pop singer Björk, rocker Lou Reed, jazz vocalist Abbey Lincoln, and rap group A Tribe Called Quest. Other projects include a collaboration with writer and law professor Patricia Williams, and the Quagmire Trio with komungo player Jin Hi Kim and bassist William Parker. Also an exhibiting visual artist, Lake continues to perform worldwide with his own ensembles as well as in Trio 3, the long-standing cooperative trio with percussionist Andrew Cyrille and bassist Reggie Workman (sometimes augmented by pianist Geri Allen). Lake spent time in Cuba this past year through the American Composers Forum.Under the leadership of Kevin Diehl, Sonic Liberation 8 realizes commonalities among the progenitors of ancient Lukumi composition, the Loft Jazz scene in 1970s New York, and new music composers and performers. As Sonic Liberation Front, they have consistently won international critical acclaim and have been named #1 or Top 10 by The Village Voice, All About Jazz, Jazziz, and more. The band has recorded six internationally-distributed albums, including their 2011 release Sonic Liberation Front Meets Sunny Murray (High Two) and their latest release, Jetway Confidential (High Two, December 2012). Members of the octet come well-credentialed for this unique musical amalgam, having performed or recorded with Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, William Parker's Tone Motion Theatre, Jamaladeen Tacuma, Shot by Shot, Tim Berne, The Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra, Tyrone Hill’s Deep Space Posse, Ochan la Ocha (Lukumi drum ensemble), Odean Pope Saxophone Choir, and The Prometheus Chamber Orchestra.Ars Nova Workshop welcomes the return of bandleader Kevin Diehl, who we commissioned in 2009 to compose a piece commemorating Sun Ra which was performed as part of the Institute for Contemporary Art's installation “Pathways to Unknown Worlds: Sun Ra, El Saturn & Chicago's Afro-Futurist Underground, 1954-1968.”Admission is $15
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