CULTURAL WORKINGS

Welcome to THE CULTURAL WORKER, a blog dedicated to arts of the people ranging from the radical avant garde and free jazz to dissident folk forms and popular arts . The Cultural Worker celebrates revolutionary creativity and features a variety of essays, reviews, fiction, reportage, poetry and musings through the internet pen of this writer, musician and cultural organizer. Scroll straight down and you'll also find an extensive historical Photo Exhibit of cultural workers in action, followed by a series of Radical Arts Links. The features herein will be unabashedly partisan---make no mistake about that. The concept of the cultural worker as a force of fearless creativity, of social change, indeed as an artistic arm of radicalism, has always been left-wing when applied with any degree of honesty at all. No revolutionary act can be truly complete in the absence of art, no progressive campaign can retain its message sans the daring drumbeat of invention, no act of dissent can stand so strong as that which counts the writers, musicians, painters, dancers, actors, photographers, film and performance artists within its ranks. Here's to the history and legacy of cultural work in the throes of the good fight...
john pietaro

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Who, What & Where of DISSIDENT ARTS FESTIVAL 2014

The dog days of August haven't begun to heat up here in NYC yet---just wait'll the 16th! In two weeks the NINTH ANNUAL DISSIDENT ARTS FESTIVAL will boil over on the Upper West Side of Manhattan: this year we partner with El Taller Latino Americano as that wonderful cultural/activist organization and performance space celebrates its 35th year. All of the details are below but suffice to say that we have an outstanding list of performers including headliner "Sadhana", the quartet of multi-reedist WILL CONNELL and French Horn phenom VINCENT CHANCEY. The band will present free improvisation as well as scores by the leaders (a Lefty note: Will has an amazing radical pedigree due to associations with Horace Tapscott, David Murray and the Black Arts Movement). See the full schedule below: it all happens on Saturday Aug 16 from 6PM till 11:30PM. The closing act will be the hand-selected improvisers of The Dissident Arts Orchestra playing a live score to the silent, revolutionary classic film  'BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN'. In between will be a plethora of NYC musicians, poets, and performance artists who recognize the need to embrace politics as revolutionary as their creativity.
DISSIDENT ARTS:



Saturday, August 16th, 2014 - 6PM - 11:30 PM

El Taller Latino Americano

DISSIDENT ARTS FESTIVAL 2014! 

2710 Broadway at 104th Street
New York New York 10025
212-665-9460
Price: $15.
New York, NY : The 9th annual Dissident Arts Festival, a celebration of revolutionary Free Jazz, New Music, World Sounds and radical Poetry, Performance Art and Film, moves uptown to the celebrated cultural space El Taller Latino Americano as it celebrates its 35th anniversary .
THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF
CHARLIE HADEN AND FRED HO
 
The Dissident Arts Festival serves as a showcase of radical arts commemorating the rich heritage of movement culture. The 2014 edition encompasses a tapestry of liberation jazz and new sounds including Festival headliner WILL CONNELL and VINCENT CHANCEY’S SADHANA Quartet, THE ANDREA WOLPER/KEN FILIANO DUO, THE RED MICROPHON E, BERNARDO PALOMBO, TRUTH TO POWER!, HARMOLODIC MONK, UPSURGE!, performance artist CRYSTAL SHIPP, poets SANA SHABAZZ and CHRIS BUTTERS, and Festival house band, THE DISSIDENT ARTS ORCHESTRA, performing an improvised score to “BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN” (Sergei Eisenstein, 1926).
 
The Dissident Arts Festival 2014 is produced by Dissident Arts and El Taller. Curator/host: John Pietaro.
 
DATE : Saturday August 16, 6pm – 11:30pm
SITE : El Taller Latino Americano 2710 Broadway at 104th Street, New York NY,  212-665-9460
ADMISSION: $15.00
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: www.DissidentArts.com
 
FESTIVAL SCHEDULE:
6:00-6:30 TRUTH TO POWER! (Juan Quinonez-guitar, Michael Bisio-bass, Michael Wimberly-drumset)
6:30-6:40  CHRIS BUTTERS (poetry)
6:45 – 7:15 BERNARDO PALOMBO (Bernard Palombo-vocals/guitar, others TBA)
7:20-7:50 THE RED MICROPHONE (John Pietaro-vibraphone/percussion, Ras Moshe- reeds/flute, Rocco John Iacovone-reeds, Philip Sirois-bass)
7:50-8:00 SANA SHABAZZ (Sana Shabazz-poetry, Laurie Towers- electric bass)
8:00-8:30 UPSURGE! (Raymond Nat Turner-poetry, Ras Moshe-reeds/flute, Ken Filiano-bass)
8:35-9:05 SADHANA (Will Connell-reeds/flute, Vincent Chancey-French horn, Max Johnson-bass, Jeremy Carlstedt-drumset)
9:05-9:20  CRYSTAL SHIPP (performance art)
9:20-9:50 ANDREA WOLPER/KEN FILIANO DUO (Andrea Wolper-vocals, Ken Filiano-bass)
9:50-10:20 HARMOLODIC MONK (Matt Lavelle-trumpet/alto clarinet, John Pietaro-vibraphone/percussion)
10:25-11:30 THE DISSIDENT ARTS ORCHESTRA/“Battleship Potemkin” (John Pietaro-vibraphone/percussion/conduction, Nora McCarthy-vocals, Cheryl Pyle-flute, Rocco John Iacovone-reeds, Ras Moshe-reeds/flute, Matt Lavelle-trumpet, Gil Selinger-cello, Ken Filiano-upright bass, Laurie Towers-electric bass, others TBA)
 
HISTORY:
The Dissident Arts Festival began life in 2006 in Beacon NY, where it remained for the first four years before moving to NYC in 2010. The Festival’s primary goal was the establishment of an annual showcase of radical protest music, poetry and performance art--perhaps the only such annual fest in the nation. The concept of an art as daring and bold as the participants’ world views soon shaped the Festival’s philosophy and the focus on liberation through free improvisation and post-modern sounds commanded the stage.  Increasingly the Dissident Arts Festival has presented the New Music and Free Jazz statements it remains embedded in now, along with similarly outspoken arts of other disciplines. Over the years, performers and speakers included downtown jazz idol Roy Campbell, folk legend Pete Seeger, celebrated raconteur Malachy McCourt, world jazz icon Karl Berger, latter day Beat poet Steve Dalachinsky, spoken word artist Louis Reyes Rivera, political activist/satirist Randy Credico, free music mainstay Ras Moshe, international poet Erika Dagnino, noted filmmaker Kevin Keating as well as revolutionary hip-hop and rock artists, balladeers and many more. Festival house band the Dissident Arts Orchestra performs live, improvised scores to silent film classics. The Festival has also showcased sessions of free improv, militant poetry, punk-jazz, contemporary composition and tributes to Bertolt Brecht, Paul Robeson, Woody Guthrie, and Phil Ochs along the way. We have also screened relevant films including 'Salt of the Earth', 'Giuliani Time', ‘Cultures of Resistance’, ‘Battleship Potemkin’ and ‘Metropolis’. The Dissident Arts Festival has offered voice to labor legend Henry Foner, progressive political candidates of independent parties, IWW organizers, and social justice organizations such as Occupy Musicians and Local 802 AFM’s Justice for Jazz Artists. Now, in the midst of right-wing fear-mongering and teabag hysteria, radical artists continue to speak out for social change—and creative liberation!

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