February 21, 2016
What a fun and invigorating afternoon of music, art and film (and food, drink and conversation) at the Basemeant Wrx gallery in Montclair. Great to have so many people join us to discover new sights and sounds, and build a community of What If. The crowd spilled out into the parking lot—septuagenarians to teens to toddlers, Jerseyites to NYCers and Upstaters.
As promised, the James Brandon Lewis Trio brought the goods and thensome (and thensome again) with his head-nodding, heady nod to hip hop and its roots.The band was tight as a rivet, and the audience of jazzheads and novices alike was abuzz over the experience.
Up-and-comer Anthony Orji, a Jazz House Kids alum fresh out of Juilliard, opened the music with a beautiful set on bass clarinet. A bonus: Seed’s own Pheeroan akLaff sat in for a tune. Remember the name: Anthony Orji. You’ll be hearing a lot from this supertalented young artist.
Montclair filmmaker Joel Katz and his New Jersey City University colleague Delmira Valladares debuted an extended trailer for their documentary-in-process, People of the #1 Bus, a fascinating look into the lives of working-class bus riders in Kearney, New Jersey.
Wrapped around the gallery walls, the linoleum-cut prints of artist/educator/walking-jazz-encyclopedia Peter Bodge, who created the artwork for Eric Dolphy: Freedom of Sound. Monk, Bird, Coltrane, Ellington, Prez, Billie, Cecil, Philly Joe, Mary Lou—some of the most arresting jazz artwork you’ll find. The Smithsonian has seven of them in their permanent collection. An honor to be in such company.
And adding a decidedly joyful note to the mix, our kids’ art station, where the next generation of Bodges created their own masterworks to the music.
This event exemplified important aspects of Seeds Artists’ mission: opening eyes, ears and minds to new sights and sounds; building community; and inspiring the next generation to be curious, creative and self-confident. Every Seed event has been open to children, and they will continue to be. When you see four-year-olds digging JB Lewis or Richard Davis or Tomeka Reid, you know you’re on the right track.
It was our great pleasure to partner in this project with The MC—Montclair’s new media platform—and Hominid Music & Arts. The first of many. The MC audio-recorded the event for podcast, so keep your ears peeled for that.
Big thanks to our hosts, Aimee and Chris at Basemeant Wrx, which sadly will close at the end of March to make way for a new building. (Do contact us if you have a space in or near Montclair that might be suitable for a gallery.)
And many (many) thanks to Ed Carine and Greg and Trevor Pason from Serendipity Cafe, who handled the sound; to our amazing (amazing) kids-art volunteers, Kethley and Whitney; to Chris Drukker and to Shane Paul Neil, of The MC, for taking the pics; to Renick Turley, who video-recorded the event. We’ll post clips when we have them ready.
And certainly big (and many) thanks to our Sponsors, without whom we would not have had the resources to produce the event: Investors Bank, River Horse Brewing Company, New Jersey Beer Company, Bottle King, ShopRite, and Kings Food Markets.