Saturday, August 6, 2016


Press Contact: New Masses Media
John Pietaro (646) 599-0060  

New York, NY: Dissident Arts Festival Speaks Out Against Trump Over 3 Nights of Music, Spoken Word, Film

The Dissident Arts Festival, the 11th annual showcase of “revolutionary creativity”, will occur on three stages in as many nights this August, featuring music, spoken word and performance art, and closing with the screening of a silent film complete with a live score performed by some of NYC’s current new music coterie. This year’s Festival occurs at sites in both downtown and uptown Manhattan as well as Williamsburg Brooklyn. This 2016 Dissident Arts Festival is dedicated to the people’s unity in the face of a divisive Right-wing. Performers will use this opportunity to make definitive statements in opposition to the hateful rhetoric of DONALD TRUMP.

A highlight of the Festival will be the celebrated poet and activist AMINA BARAKA who will be accompanied by John Pietaro’s spoken word/free jazz quartet THE LITERARY WARRIORS. The poetry of Ms. Baraka, the widow of noted poet/journalist Amiri Baraka, has been woefully under-acknowledged in the face of her husband’s storied career, thus her performance on August 13 is viewed as an event of high relevance. She will be reading current poetry as well as that which dates back some 50 years in preparation for an upcoming recording session. The Literary Warriors perform an opening set. Other features include THE NEW YORK FREE QUARTET performance of Steve Cohn’s epic piece “Abstract Meets the Fundamental” which fuses religious music of several cultures into an avant jazz foray. Plus: the visiting Chilean improvisational guitarist LUIS TOTO ALVAREZ and his CHANGO project;  saxophonist RAS MOSHE’s “Black Lives Matter Suite”, the powerfully militant jazz/poetry of UPSURGE! NYC and a set by downtown stalwart TRUDY SILVER and her multi-disciplinary “Where’s the Outrage?” project, as well as a performance by singer-guitarist BERNARDO PALOMBO and his neuva neuva cancion ensemble.  THE DISSIDENT ARTS ORCHESTRA closes this year’s Festival with a live score to the 1928 silent film classic by King Vidor “The Crowd” which will be projected on three big screens.

For more information visit

Friday August 12, 8-11pm
5C Cultural Center   68 Ave C (at 5th Street) New York NY 10009 (212) 477-5993

8:00pm Trudy Silver’s Where’s the Outrage?-Trudy Silver-piano, word; Newman Baker- percussion, voice; Sanae Buck- Bhutto mime; others TBA

9:00pm Ras Moshe’s Music Now! Unit presents “The Black Lives Matters Suite”-Ras Moshe Burnett-tenor and soprano saxophones, flute; Lee Odom-soprano saxophone, clarinets; Matt Lavelle- trumpet, bass clarinet; Gwen Laster-viola; Emma Alabaster-bass; John Pietaro-percussion.

10:00pm Luis Toto Alvarez/Chango project-Luis Toto Alvarez- electric guitars; others TBA

10:45pm finale: “Song of the United Front” by Bertolt Brecht & Hanns Eisler -performed by all musicians in the house

Saturday August 13, 7-11pm
El Taller Latino Americano  @Artspace PS109   215 East 99 Street, New York NY  (212) 665-9460

7:00pm The Literary Warriors with special guest AMINA BARAKA – Amina Baraka- poetry, vocals; John Pietaro- spoken word, hand drums, percussion; Ras Moshe Burnett- saxophones, flute; Rocco John Iacovone- saxophones; Laurie Towers- electric bass

8:00pm Bernardo Palombo Ensemble - Bernardo Palombo- vocals, guitar; others TBA

9:00pm  UpSurge! NYC –Raymond Nat Turner-poetry; Zigi Lowenberg-poetry; Ken Filiano-upright bass; Lou Grassi-drumset; Lee Odom-reeds

10:00pm The New York Free Quartet presents Steve Cohn’s “Abstract Meets the Fundamental” –Steve Cohn-piano, shakuhachi, trombone, percussion; Michael Moss-saxophones, bass clarinet, flute; Larry Roland-upright bass; Chuck Fertal-drumset

11:00 finale: “Song of the United Front” by Bertolt Brecht & Hanns Eisler  -performed by all musicians in the house

Saturday August 27, 8-11PM
17 Frost Theatre of the Arts  17 Frost Street, Brooklyn NY 11211  (646) 389-2017

8:00 The Dissident Arts Orchestra performs a live score to King Vidor’s 1928 silent film classic, “The Crowd”,  plus silent shorts              
Cheryl Pyle- flutes; Ras Moshe Burnett- tenor and soprano saxophones, flute; Matt Lavelle- bass clarinet; Javier Miyares-Hernandez- electric guitar Chris Forbes- keyboards; Laurie Towers- electric bass; John Pietaro- conduction, drumset, 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, Downtown Express, Peoples World, Chronogram and others. In 2013, noted jazz journalist Howard Mandel offered kudos in his remarks on social media. Over the years the Dissident Arts Festival has been endorsed by the Rosenberg Fund for Children, 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 city of Beacon NY and moving to New York City in 2010, the Festival’s performers and speakers over the years included actor/raconteur Malachy McCourt, late great trumpet player Roy Campbell, folk legend Pete Seeger, filmmaker Kevin Keating, spoken word artists Steve Dalachinsky and the late Louis Reyes Rivera, the late reeds player/composer Will Connell, political satirist/activist Randy Credico , multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, hip hop ensemble ReadNex Poetry Squad, labor leader Henry Foner, punk-folk artist Lach and many more. Films screened included ‘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.

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