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Afro Yaqui Music Collective presents "Erased: a poetic imagining on the Life of Arturo Schomburg" at the City of Asylum

Part of this performance will include brand new material titled A Reading Erased: a poetic imagining on the life of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, by Magdalena Gomez.

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, was a historian, writer, and activist. Schomburg was a Puerto Rican of African and German descent who moved to the United States and researched and raised awareness of the great contributions that Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans have made to society.

Website: https://www.alphabetcity.org/events/afro-yaqui-music-collective-4/

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7:00 PM19:00

"Mirror Butterfly" New York City debut at the National Jazz Museum of Harlem

Mirror Butterfly: the Migrant Liberation Movement Suite will have its New York debut at the National Jazz Museum of Harlem on October 3rd as part of the “Jazz and Social Justice Series” curated by the musuem and Larry Blumenfeld. The event runs from 7-9pm and tickets are $10.


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Volume 7: Afro Yaqui Music Collective – Migration, Movements, and Music

Jazz and Social Justice: A Salon with Music

How can music connect resistance, celebration and communal survival among migrating peoples? Can music project a vision of justice? How has music been mobilized during periods of mass migration? The Afro Yaqui Music Collective, a multilingual jazz band based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, explores these questions through its multidisciplinary, activist-engaged art. The group will perform songs from the jazz opera “Mirror Butterfly: The Migrant Liberation Movement Suite” and the play “Erased: a poetic imaging on the Life of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg,” written by Magdalena Gomez, which celebrates this brilliant Afro-Puerto Rican activist-historian and Harlem Renaissance figure.

Following the music, host Larry Blumenfeld will moderate a discussion with composer and baritone saxophonist Ben Barson, singer Gizelxanath Rodriguez and playwright Madgaleana Gomez about how the arts can change narratives and help us understand the interconnections between music, community, migration and a sense of belonging.


About the Artists:

The Afro Yaqui Music Collective’s genre-defying jazz compositions has been described as “liberation music—which is to say, music without borders or boundaries; future music from the well of the past,” (Robin D.G. Kelly).” Influenced by front-woman Gizelxanath Rodriguez’s experience growing up in two cultures (Mexican and American) and her ancestry as a Yaqui woman, the band came together to fight for migrant justice and indigenous rights. They have performed at the Kennedy Center, the ASCAP Jazz Awards, the Mesopotamina Water Forum in Iraq, and the US-Mexican Border in solidarity with ICE detained-migrants. Co-founder Ben Barson (baritone saxophone) and Samuel Okoh-Boateng (piano) are both ASCAP-award recipients in composition. Bronx born Boricua, Magdalena Gómez, was a recipient of the New England Public Radio Arts and Humanities Award in 2018. Her poems, short stories, news features and plays have been published and performed in the U.S. and abroad since 1976.


Jazz and Social Justice: A Salon with Music

This ongoing series was started in 2017, to connect the music we love with the social issues that matter to us all. Each salon blends live performance with conversation between artists, activists, and experts. Curated and hosted by journalist Larry Blumenfeld, whose previous NJMIH programs discussed Afro-Cuban influences and New Orleans traditions.

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7:30 PM19:30

Grand Opening of "Karma" and Gizel's Birthday!

Hailed as a "aggressive and caustic, but also deeply engaging" (the New York Times) come for a revolutionary experience of the Afro Yaqui Music Collective with special guests Nejma Nefertiti (revolutionary EmCee) and Kento Iwasaki (Koto player, the funkiest harpist in the land) both of whom are from NYC. We are opening the new venue "Karma," which builds on the jazz and new music legacy of James Street. Plus, it may be the amazing Gizelxanath's birthday!!

VIP tickets get you special balcony seating and if you choose, you can support the indigenous Yukpa people by purchasing a hand crafted hat.


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7:00 PM19:00

Harmony Jazz Festival with Ben Barson and Gizelxanath

Ben and Gizelxanath bring a night of soulful and challenging music to the Harmony Jazz Festival. Expect to hear funk, jazz, and music from the source. TIckets are $5-$15. 

The Center of Harmony Opera Hall - 253 Mercer Street, Harmony, PA 16037 - View Map



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The Afro Yaqui Music Collective Celebrates the Birthday of Fred Ho


Afro Yaqui Music Collective Honors Fred Ho
August 13, 2016
7:30 and 9:30 sets
$15 in advance
Red Rooster, 310 Lenox Ave at 125th St


“Fred Ho’s style is a genre unto itself, a pioneering fusion of free-jazz and traditional Chinese music that manages to combine truculence and delicacy with such natural ease that it sounds positively organic.”
Fred Ho—called the “greatest baritone saxophonist of all time” by The New Yorker—would be celebrating his 59th birthday this August. Despite a life cut short by a relentless cancer, Ho's output remains massive, with over 15 albums as a bandleader, several full length Manga Operas which fused jazz and marital arts choreography, and a distinctive Afro Asian style he can call his own. By combining revolutionary politics with African and Asian musical traditions, Ho pioneered a vibrant new form of jazz deployed in service of eco-socialist ideals. Comprising leading jazz luminaries who have performed with the likes of Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman, and Gil Evans, graced Ho's bands and his recorded output.

The Afro Yaqui Music Collective is a 9-piece outfit which descends from Ho's Afro Asian revolutionary ensembles and musical concepts. Led by Ben Barson, Ho's Baritone protege who "he felt has the heft and sound to represent [Ho's] assertive approach (The New York Times)," the band will include alumni of Ho's groups such as trumpet maestro Mark McGowan and vocalist Youn Joun Kim with a new generation of innovators, such as violin sensation Ernesto Villalobos, Alto saxpohonist Yoko Suzuki, and Metropolitan Opera Soprano Gizelxanath Rodriguez. 

Ginny's Supper Club was a special location for Mr. Ho. Despite refusing to perform in clubs or bars since the late 1980s, Ho felt Ginny's was an exceptional venue, and organized a special series of concerts towards the end of his life. He unofficially inaugurated the downstairs Supper Club with his tribute to Black Power activist and under-recognized composer Cal Massey's Black Liberation Movement Suite, which jazz critic Will Friedwald in his review of Ho's interpretation in the Wall Street Journal, wrote "was well worth the 40 year wait that it took to be heard." Massey, who performed at the original Red Rooster with Charlie Parker, would have understood Ho as a fellow visionary iconoclast.


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