Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe

the-book-of-knotsMay means many things but for me, May means great music. May marks the greening of the grounds, but first and foremost, May marks the time for the wonderful FIMAV festival in Victoriaville!

zorn1This year’s line-up is, once again, outstanding: Iva Bittova/Gyan Riley/Evan Ziporyn, Michel Doneda/Tatsuya Nakatani, Haunted House, Oxbow, ZGA, Anna Homler, The Book of Knots (!), The Thing and Thurston Moore, Hikashu, and many more. And to close out the festival this year, a full day of John Zorn projects to mark his 60th birthday, including Moonchild, The Dreamers, Electric Masada, chamber ensembles, a “song project”, and solo church organ! Hooray for May! More details here.

wilmer14_7950To top off the month of May, there will be a tribute to Albert Ayler at Jacksonville’s Burro Bar on May 26th. This show was set up and organized by Jamison Williams, who asked me to participate. I have arranged The Spiritual Unity Suite, a suite based upon the Spiritual Unity album, with a bit of other Ayler thrown in. Other musicians participating in the evening include Jamison Williams, Kris Gruda, Steve Bristol, A.J. Herring, Bill Henderson, Jack Allen, Jeff Abbott, Kathy Burkett, Jason Dean Arnold, Dan Kozak, Tim Albro, Micheal Lanier, and Lucy Bonk. It will be a monumental tribute to a monumental artist. Be there if you can.

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Celebrating Sun Ra, Heading North, and Heading South

May has become a nearly overwhelmingly busy month, and it’s already a third over.

An event that has consumed much of my attention and that I am very excited about is the organizing and presentation of The Angel Race Big Band celebrating the life and work of Sun Ra. This show will be part of the grand opening of +Solo, a new experimental music gallery in Jacksonville, FL, and will take place on Friday, May 25th.

+Solo co-founder Jamison Williams has put together an amazing grand opening that will take place on the 25th and 26th. Experimental and improvising artists from all over will be on hand. Definitely, an event not to be missed.

The Sun Ra commemoration is in remembrance of the anniversary of Sun Ra leaving this plane of existence in 1993. The Angel Race Big Band, named after one of Ra’s compositions, will include many of the musicians performing during the +Solo grand opening. The piece will consist of Sun Ra compositions, improvisations conducted in the manner of Ra, as well as spoken word audio from the man himself.

Before this is to take place, there is the matter of my visit across the northern border to the town of Victoriaville, Quebec to experience the mecca of experimental and improvised music, FIMAV. This year’s line-up looks extremely tasty, even for a seasoned visitor as myself. In the years since my first FIMAV, 1989, I have missed very few. Go and check out the schedule!

The Wednesday after the Sun Ra set (May 30) finds me heading southbound on I-95 to the palm fronds of Miami and another amazing performance space, PAX, where I will be performing in the quartet, Entirely Experimental Ensemble, named by the organizer of the performance, Stephen Magagodi. The quartet will consist of some of my favorite musicians, Kris Gruda, Steve Bristol and Kyle Motl. This will be fun!
 A lot going on in the next two and a half weeks. Now, back to work.