Vision Festival: Alain Kirili / Alto Gladness / Whit Dickey & Michael Bisio / Melvin Gibbs / Yoshiko Chuma

Thursday, June 13, 2019. 6:30 pm

June 13 at the Vision Festival honors sculptor Alain Kirili for his lifetime of achievement. The honor features Kirili’s work on display for the entire evening and bassist William Parker will also lead an interview with the artist. This special evening features all new ensembles and premieres of new work. Whit Dickey, Michael Bisio, Kirk Knuffke, and Fred-Lonberg Holm, all sharing deep musical history yet appearing in a first-time combination, perform as a collective. Dancer Yoshiko Chuma presents a new work investigating the “choreographed chaos” of humanity. Bassist Melvin Gibbs and theoretical physicist Stephon Alexander premiere the latest iteration of their jazz meets science project God Particle with an exciting group of improvisers. Jemeel Moondoc, Idris Ackamoor, and Bobby Zankel—who met as the alto sax section in Cecil Taylor’s Black Music Ensemble at Antioch College—unite as Alto Gladness, in tribute to their late mentor.

Whit Dickey: drums
Michael Bisio: bass
Kirk Knuffke: trumpet
Fred Lonberg-Holm: cello

God Particle
Melvin Gibbs: electric bass, electronics, conduction
Stephon Alexander: EWI, laptop, soprano sax
James Brandon Lewis: tenor sax
Luke Stewart: bass
Graham Haynes: trumpet, electronics
Marc Cary: piano, synth
Will Calhoun: udu, drums
David Pleasant: drums, body percussion

Secret Journey, Duo – Stop Calling Them Dangerous
Yoshiko Chuma & The School of Hard Knocks
Yoshiko Chuma: dance
Miriam Parker: dance
Jason Kao Hwang: violin
Devin Waldman: alto sax
Christopher McIntyre: trombone
Steve Swell: trombone
Dane Terry: piano
Dan Peeples: voice

Alto Gladness – Tribute to Cecil Taylor
Jemeel Moondoc – alto sax / Idris Ackamoor – alto sax / Bobby Zankel – alto sax / William Parker – bass / Gerald Cleaver – drums


The Vision Festival is a celebration of boundless improvised art. Now in its 24th year, this festival of music, dance, poetry, and visual art is heralded as “one of New York’s most essential art events” (New York Times). Legendary and emerging stars representing the free jazz, experimental, and avant-garde communities will perform 30 sets over six nights.

Founded in 1996, festival presenter Arts For Art (AFA) is a New York City based tax exempt organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of free jazz — an American indigenous art form in which improvisation is principle.

The Vision Festival is a co-production between Arts for Art and Roulette. The festival is made possible in part thanks to public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Support through New Music USA’s NYC New Music Impact Fund is made possible with funding from The Scherman Foundation’s Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund. This program is made possible in part thanks to the Howard Gilman Foundation and the Jacob and Ruth Epstein Foundation.

Photo: Jemeel Moondoc and Bobby Zankel by RI Sutherland-Cohen, Alain Kirili by Ariane Lopez-Huici


Vision Festival: Alain Kirili / Alto Gladness / Whit Dickey & Michael Bisio / Melvin Gibbs / Yoshiko Chuma at Roulette 2019