Iconic guitarist performs with Boston’s big band, the Makanda Project
Sat, Aug 14, 2021
1:00 pm at First Church in Roxbury
10 Putnam Street (John Eliot Square), Boston, MA 02119
The renowned, innovative guitarist Michael Gregory Jackson joins Boston’s Makanda Project for a performance on the green at First Church in Roxbury. Mr. Jackson, a key figure in New York’s jazz “loft scene” of the late 1970s whose career has spanned diverse genres of music, has collaborated with the Makanda Project on several previous occasions and the group will perform several of his compositions during the program. This is a rare chance to see a truly unique and exceptional musician.
Guitar Talk offers interviews with many of the most creative guitarists of our time. This new book presents these conversations, between Joel Harrison and Nels Cline, Pat Metheny, Fred Frith, Bill Frisell, Julian Lage, Elliott Sharp, Michael Gregory Jackson, Ben Monder, Anthony Pirog, Henry Kaiser, Mike and Leni Stern, Vernon Reid, Mary Halvorson, Nguyên Le, Rez Abbasi, Ava Mendoza, Liberty Ellman, Brandon Ross, Wayne Krantz, Dave Fiuczynski, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Miles Okazaki, Sheryl Bailey, Rafiq Bhatia, and Ralph Towner—twenty-seven great guitarists in all.
An enormous range of approaches and sounds exist in the modern guitar. The instrument can howl, scrape, scratch, scream, sing, pluck, and soothe. What stands out in this book is not so much the instrument itself, rather the wonderful and idiosyncratic personalities of these bold souls, their sometimes wild, often zigzagging, and ultimately profound journeys toward beauty, meaning, and excellence in their work.
We find out that jazz icon Bill Frisell won a high school band contest playing R&B tunes, beating out future members of Earth Wind and Fire. We learn which of Nels Cline's compositions he wishes to have played at his funeral. Michael Gregory Jackson recounts painful episodes of racism as he stretched between the chasm of avant jazz, rock, and blues in the 1980s. Many more revelations, amusements, and philosophies abound.
Congratulations to the brilliant poet, playright, collaborator and dear friend Jessica Hagedorn for winning the 2021 Idea Awards for Theatre! Congratulations to the other winners as well!
The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation has announced the recipients of their 2021 Idea Awards for Theatre.
Jessica Hagedorn, Cherríe Moraga, Agyeiwaa Asante, Haruna Lee, OyamO, Kirsten Childs, Troy Anthony, and Jay Adana and Zeniba Now are this year’s recipients.
Jessica Hagedorn is a Filipina American novelist, poet, screenwriter, and editor. Her work for the stage includes adaptations of Dogeaters and The Gangster of Love, as well as collaborations with Urban Bushwomen, Michael Gregory Jackson, Ntozake Shange and Thulani Davis for Where the Mississippi Meets the Amazon.
Join us on Saturday night for our closing show, featuring acclaimed guitarist Michael Gregory Jackson. Jackson has tread a winding musical path over his 40-plus year career, embracing everything from creative music, jazz, blues, rock and electronica soundscapes to harmonically rich and lyrically-deep vocal tunes, with the complex arrangements and subtleties that are a signature of his music. Called an “unsung innovator” by Bill Frisell, Jackson was among the generation of jazz guitarists in the 1970s to establish a sound and musical path for the instrument during the heyday of the loft scene. Over the last two decades, Jackson has taught and led creative workshops at a wide variety of institutions in the U.S. and abroad.
“MGJ was already doing almost everything I was striving to do. How inspiring and simultaneously daunting!”
“Frequency Equilibrium Koan is a communion of loft jazz musicians who weren’t just among the best of their time, but of ALL time. As Frisell marveled, “I can’t believe this happened more than 40 years ago. It sounds like the future.”
MGJ is among a generation of guitarists who forged their own path on the instrument in the wake of Jimi Hendrix. No less an authority than Pat Metheny said, “I have always considered him to be one of the most significantly original guitarists of our generation” while Bill Frisell opined, “I believe he’s one of the unsung innovators.”
“Michael Gregory Jackson…first made waves…in New York’s loft-jazz scene of the 1970s. Working alongside such major innovators as Oliver Lake, David Murray, and Wadada Leo Smith, he quietly laid the groundwork for much of what we take for granted in the contemporary jazz-guitar vocabulary.” —National Sawdust, Brooklyn 2019
Michael Gregory Jackson has performed and/or recorded with: Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake, Will Calhoun (Living Colour), David Murray, Baikida Carroll, Matt Shipp, Grammy Award Winner Nile Rodgers (Chic, Daft Punk), Pulitzer Prize Winner Anthony Davis, Carlos Santana, Bernard Edwards (Chic), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Billy Hart (Wes Montgomery, Wayne Shorter), Nona Hendryx, Kenwood Dennard (Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock), Buster Williams (Herbie Hancock), Steve Winwood (Traffic), Keith Witty (Anthony Braxton, Amel Larrieux, Somi), Nels Cline (Wilco), Walter Becker (Steely Dan), Anthony Braxton, Rakalam Bob Moses, Niels Praestholm, Patti LaBelle, Jack Dejohnette, Anton Fig (Letterman Show), Melle Mel, Omar Hakim (Weather Report, Sting), Jerome Harris, Eddie Henderson, Simon Spang-Hanssen, Amina Claudine Myers, David Sancious (Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel), Obie Award Winner Ntozake Shange, Pulitzer Prize Winner Henry Threadgill, Rodney Holmes, Jimmy Bralower, Nona Hendryx, Kevin Jones, American Book Award WinnerJessica Hagedorn, Ed Blackwell (Ornette Coleman), Steve Thorton (Miles Davis), Anthony Jackson, Gary Bartz (Miles Davis), Tony Thompson (Chic, Robert Palmer, Led Zeppelin), Sammy Figueroa (Miles Davis), Kermit Driscoll (Bill Frisell), Ole Romer, Bernard Davis (Sam and Dave, Mariah Carey), Marty Ehrlich, Karl Berger, Ingrid Berger, Pulitzer Prize Nominee Wadada Leo Smith, Victor Lewis, Grammy Award and American Book Award Winner Thulani Davis, Jeff Bova, Pheeroan aKLaff, Archie Shepp, Amina Claudine Myers, Ronnie Burrage,Phillip Wilson, Jair-Rohm Parker Wells, Alex Cline and many others.
folks, lively, living divergent lives,
meandering streams, outflows birthed,
currents of sacred grace,
pouring, every which way, from love
miscellaneous parts, hands, eyes, feet & hearts,
we see, learn life, movements, steps & starts,
answers, question marks & smarts, map your charts
rise up, be there, in your space, beyond the clouds,
speak up, be strong, be proud, know, for sure,
you belong, get focused, get up, yes, take a bow,
you’re flying now
aware, in here, effervescent bursts,
hope exceeds control, regardless of shadows,
specifically, continuously, create,
see, what we are, how we feel,
who we be