Darius Jones: For The People

Monday, November 5, 2018. 8:00 pm

For the People is a community-based event and concert organized by Darius Jones on the eve of the November 2016 USA midterm election. The evening is centered around a collection of compositions by Jones—in collaboration with The Wet Ink Large Ensemble—that uphold the belief that artists have the duty and power to inform, inspire, and empower their community. The evening includes the world premiere of Being Caged In ICE, the second performance ever of America The Joke, and concludes with the return of LawNOrder (pronounced “law no order”), a game piece examining social justice and American History in which each player represents a separate character and is handed a law to follow at the beginning of the piece. Onnesha Roychoudhuri, Brooklyn-based activist, editor, educator, and author of The Marginalized Majority: Claiming Our Power in a Post-Truth America speaks and reads.

Inspired by the idea of America as an experiment, Jones searched for a compositional strategy that would be flexible, and due to the experimentalism, improvisation, ensemble interaction, and theatricality inherent within game pieces, it was a natural choice. Within each piece, Jones creates a scenario where participants must follow the rules of the piece while simultaneously giving their unique perspective: an important aspect that reflects American culture as a culmination of multiple opposing perspectives. There is never only one viewpoint. There is no dictator. We all have a voice.

For more about this project, visit votefordarius.com

Eric Wubbels – Piano
Ian Antonio – Percussion
Josh Modney – Violin
Weston Olencki – Trombone
Amirtha Kidambi – Voice
Gelsey Bell – Voice
Nina Dante – Voice
Sugar Vendil
– Piano
Sean Conly – Bass
Michael Vatcher – Drums
Daniel Givens – Electronics
Jean Carla Rodea –Voice
Shelley Nicole – Voice
Johnathan Finlayson – Trumpet
Leia Slosberg –Flute
Jessica Jones – Tenor Sax
Sam Newsome – Soprano Sax
Nick Dunston – Bass
Brandon Ross – Guitar
Mary Prescott – Piano

Onnesha Roychoudhuri, author of The Marginalized Majority: Claiming Our Power in a Post-Truth America to speak.

Darius Jones is a critically acclaimed alto saxophonist and composer. In 2008, Jones was awarded the Van Lier Fellowship by Roulette, which he used to launch his chamber ensemble, the Elizabeth-Caroline Unit, a project dedicated to new works for voice. Roulette continued their support for Jones’ work through a Jerome Foundation Commission, awarding Jones an Artist-in-Residence opportunity for the Elizabeth-Caroline Unit to premiere his vocal composition, The Oversoul Manual, in spring 2014. Following that performance, Jones made his compositional debut at Carnegie Hall with The Oversoul Manual in October 2014. In 2013, Jones was nominated for Alto Saxophonist of the Year, and for Up & Coming Artist of the Year two years in a row by the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards. He was one of Jazz Times’ Debut Artists of the Year for 2009, and his 2012 release, Book of Mæ’bul (Another Kind of Sunrise), was listed among NPR’s Best Top 10 Jazz Albums of that year. Critics have called him “robustly creative” (New York Times) and “one of NYC’s most incisive and passionate saxists” (Time Out New York). Jones has collaborated with Gerald Cleaver’s Black Host, Oliver Lake Big Band, Eric Revis Quartet, Nasheet Waits Quartet, Trevor Dunn’s Proof Readers, Matthew Shipp, Branford Marsalis, Jason Moran, and more.

The Wet Ink Ensemble is a unique collection of composers, improvisers and interpreters committed to making adventurous music. With a 19-year history of outstanding achievement in the programming and presentation of contemporary music, Wet Ink has earned an international reputation as one of the most innovative and virtuosic ensembles working today. Wet Ink takes a multifaceted approach to the presentation and promotion of adventurous music. The group regularly functions as The Wet Ink Large Ensemble, a flexible roster of over twenty NYC-based soloists dedicated to ambitious, large-scale projects. Wet Ink’s seven co-directors are passionate educators, and the ensemble has been engaged in residencies at the Walden School, Duke University, Amherst College, Northern Illinois University, UC San Diego, Sacramento State University, UC Davis, Hannover Musik Hochschule (Germany), the Royal Academy of Music (UK), Smith College, and at the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute (Miller Theater, NYC), among others. Wet Ink also regularly performs in Europe, including recent concert highlights at the Con Voce festival (Lucerne, Switzerland), the Sinus Ton festival (Magdeburg, Germany), and Café OTO (London, UK).

Onnesha Roychoudhuri is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and educator. Her work has appeared in publications such as Rolling Stone, n+1Virginia Quarterly Review, The Nation, The American Prospect, Salon, and Mother Jones. She is the co-founder of Speech/Act, an organization working at the intersection of storytelling and social justice. Her new book, The Marginalized Majority: Claiming Our Power in a Post-Truth America, was released by Melville House in July 2018. Naomi Klein has called it “a daring intervention to get us back in the game—and a witty, delightfully personal meditation on collective power.”


Photo: Kholoodeid