Dissident Arts Festival benefits families of political prisoners, celebrates free expression
New York, NY/Brooklyn, NY (August 3, 2018) – The thirteenth annual Dissident Arts Festival, a showcase of revolutionary creativity, will occur on stages in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Manhattan’s East Village on September 8 and 15, respectively. The Festival will raise funds for three organizations relevant to the movement for social justice and feature markedly outspoken statements against repression in a reactionary time.
SEPTEMBER 8’s edition at 17 Frost Theatre and Gallery, a premiere performance space in Williamsburg, is dubbed Cabaret of Dissent. It will benefit the Rosenberg Fund for Children, a non-profit public foundation that aids children of targeted, progressive activists. The event inspired by Weimar Berlin, New York’s Café Society and downtown arts, includes speaker Jenn Meeropol, granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Director of the Rosenberg Fund, esteemed jazz singer Judi Silvano who adds voice to experimentalists the Beyond Group, pianist Chris Forbes presents “Harmolodic Weill”, liberation jazz and spoken word by the Red Microphone, celebrated bassist/poet Larry Roland debuts his new all-star band They Come With Gold, and noted poetry duo Raymond Nat Turner and Zigi Lowenberg. The closing act is rising star singer/songwriter Lindsey Wilson & the Human Hearts.
On SEPTEMBER 15 the action moves to the 5C Café and Cultural Center, long-standing home of avant jazz and bold performance, where funds will be raised for the Alliance of Families for Justice and the NYC Jericho Movement. Both organizations advocate for the unjustly incarcerated and call for urgent prison reform. The evening opens with a solo performance by renowned drummer William Hooker, and includes 5C’s own pianist/composer Trudy Silver, Ras Moshe’s Music Now! and the Flames of Discontent duo of Festival director John Pietaro and Laurie Towers. The closing act is international songwriter Martina Fiserova.
Sept 8, 7pm-11pm, 17 Frost Theatre & Gallery, 17 Frost Street, Brooklyn NY - $15.
Sept 15, 7pm-11pm, 5C Cultural Center, E. 5 Street/ Ave C, New York NY - $15.
DISSIDENT ARTS FESTIVAL 2018 – PERFORMERS/SPEAKERS
RAYMOND NAT TURNER & ZIGI LOWENBERG:
-Poetry, spoken word
THE BEYOND GROUP:
Cheryl Pyle- C flute, alto flute
Michael Eaton- soprano saxophone
Larry Roland- bass
Judi Silvano- guest vocalist
SPEAKER: Jenn Meeropol, Director, Rosenberg Fund for Children
THEY COME WITH GOLD:
Larry Roland- bass, poetry, spoken word
Daniel Carter – reeds, brass
Michael Moss- reeds, winds
Steve Cohn- keyboard
Marvin Bugulu Smith- drums
THE RED MICROPHONE:
John Pietaro- percussion, spoken word
Ras Moshe Burnett- saxophones, flute
Rocco John Iacovone- saxophones
Laurie Towers- electric bass
Chris Forbes- piano
LINDSEY WILSON & THE HUMAN HEARTS:
Lindsey Wilson- vocals, guitar, spoken word
Reggie Sylvester- drums
Michael Trotman- electric bass
SPEAKER: Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director, Alliance of Families for Justice
THE FLAMES OF DISCONTENT:
John Pietaro- spoken word, vocals, percussion, banjo,
Laurie Towers- electric bass
with guest Rocco John Iacovone, alto saxophone
RAS MOSHE’S MUSIC NOW!
Ras Moshe- saxophones, flute
Jair-Rohm Parker Wells- bass
Leonid Galaganov- drums
John Pietaro- hand drums, percussion
Since its inception in 2006, the Dissident Arts Festival has been a powerful vehicle to bridge radical arts to progressive socio-political activism. Increasingly, the Festival has gained media attention over the course of its decade-long history as evidenced by press in TimeOut NY, the Indypendent, the Villager, the NYC Jazz Record, Downtown Express, Peoples World, Chronogram and others as well as an endorsement by noted jazz journalist Howard Mandel. Over the years the Dissident Arts Festival has been sponsored by the Rosenberg Fund for Children, the National Writers Union, the Len Ragozin Foundation, Local 802's Justice for Jazz Artists campaign, Occupy Musicians, the Howland Cultural Center and DooBeeDooBeeDoo music blog.
Originally based in the Hudson Valley and moving to New York City in 2010, the Festival’s performers and speakers over the years included folk music legend Pete Seeger, actor/raconteur Malachy McCourt, revolutionary poet Amina Baraka, late great trumpet player Roy Campbell, filmmaker Kevin Keating, spoken word artists Steve Dalachinsky and the late Louis Reyes Rivera, political satirist/activist Randy Credico, the late saxophonist/composer Will Connell, multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, Chilean guitarist Luis ToTo Alvarez, protest song maven Bev Grant, hip hop ensemble ReadNex Poetry Squad, labor leader Henry Foner, Anti-Folk founder Lach and many more. Films screened include ‘Giuliani Time’, ‘Cultures of Resistance’, ‘Salt of the Earth’, ‘Battleship Potemkin’ and ‘Metropolis’. Other special features were tributes to Paul Robeson, Bertolt Brecht, Woody Guthrie, and Phil Ochs. The Dissident Arts Festival has also offered a voice to progressive political candidates, the Occupy movement and radical labor organizations.
Festival Producer/Host: John Pietaro