A Friday (Sept. 16) live performance at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan was centered round 100 years of Beat Era author/poet Jack Kerouac, however the extra mind-boggling quantity at hand that evening was 65; it had been that a few years since one of many evening’s performers, David Amram, pioneered improvisational jazz poetry at an artwork gallery simply blocks away again in 1957 alongside the On the Highway writer. And though extra years have handed within the interim than Kerouac spent on earth, the 91-year-old Amram stays agile on all the pieces from the piano to the pan flute whereas effortlessly scatting out witty bon mots on the drop of a hat.
Alongside Latin jazz maestro Bobby Sanabria, Amram was toasting the legacy of his late pal and collaborator as a part of The Village Journey, an annual competition celebrating the wealthy cultural and musical legacy of NYC’s Greenwich Village. (In its fourth iteration, the competition has expanded to a two-week affair, operating Sept. 10-25.) However the environment at Joe’s Pub on Friday evening felt much less legacy and extra residing. The live performance, titled Youngsters of the American Bop (And Mambo!) Evening, was a vibrant, fluid and respiration dose of the Charlie Parker-style bebop and mambo music (suppose the Titos, Puente and Rodríguez) which fueled the pounding rhythms of the Beat Era and its scribes, from Kerouac to Allen Ginsberg.
With band chief Sanabria on drums and Amram switching between piano, bongos and the pennywhistle, the principle band (which included Amram’s son Adam on percussion) was joined by Bronx native Jennifer Jade Ledesna, whose exhilarating vocals and lithe dancing commanded the stage in the course of the mambo numbers; Newark, N.J.-raised Antoinette Montague, an astonishingly highly effective jazz and blues singer whose pipes and presence elevated the night; plus, actress Adira Amram (David’s daughter) and the irrepressible Marcos de la Fuente, who carried out Kerouac’s phrases in English and Spanish, respectively, whereas the band performed the music that Kerouac adored.
“Shakespeare stated ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ / As for this night, I assume that’s it,” Amram quipped to a groove on the shut of the present. (In a wierd coincidence, Turner Traditional Motion pictures started airing 1961’s Splendor within the Grass quickly after the efficiency wrapped, which includes a rating from Amram – so in a way, his music performed on into the night lengthy after he left the stage.)
It’s removed from over for The Village Journey, which extends one other week and contains quite a few musical happenings. There are two live performance salutes to Phil Ochs (Sept. 18 & 21), a night of music from Charlie Parker and Stefan Wolpe (Sept. 22), a celebration of Philip Glass at 85 (Sept. 23) and lots extra.
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