Vision Festival 18

The Art for Arts, Inc. will honor Milford Graves with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Vision Festival 18.
PhocusAgency/Luciano Rossetti ©

Vision Festival 18 opens on Wednesday, June 12 and runs thru Sunday, June 16. This year the Vision Festival will be held at Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave. (corner of Atlantic and 3rd Avenue), Brooklyn.

The festival is an annual Free Avant-garde jazz festival, and is probably the most important Free Jazz festival in the United States. For five days you will be able see and hear the music of: William Parker, Kid Jordan, Milford Graves, Roy Campbell, Roscoe Mitchell, Rob Brown, Charles Gale, Roswell Rudd, Henry Grimes, Hamid Drake, Andrew Cyrille, Dave Burrell, Reggie Workman, Odean Pope, Pheeroan akLaff, Hamiet Bluiett, Marshall Allen, Amiri Baraka and many more.

Art for Arts, Inc. (AFA) produces the Vision Festival. AFA was founded in 1995 by arts organizer/choreographer Patricia Nicholson Parker. A decade earlier, she with bassist/composer William Parker and Peter Kowald produced the Sounds of Unity Festival, which was a precursor to the Vision Festival. AFA produces Free Jazz/AvantJazz at its finest. Besides great music, Vision Festival includes panel discussions, film presentations and photo and graphic art exhibitions.

This year, AFA will honor Milford Graves with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Milford Graves is a legendary drummer, scientist, herbalist, martial artist and acupuncturist, a true renaissance man. Like many geniuses, Milford is often overlooked and misunderstood, but his achievements in music and his scientific approach to understanding the effect of rhythm on the heart, matched with a belief in power of art to move and inspire, is unmatched.

As a drummer, Milford Graves’ roots are in Latin/Cuban rhythms, which will be reflected in the first group on June 12. He has invited David Virelles to join him with a group of three other Cuban musicians. The rest of the night will be All Stars including Kid Jordan, DD Jackson, Charles Gayle, Roswell Rudd, Amiri Baraka and William Parker.

Thursday, June 13 will be dedicated to celebrating visual artist Robert Janz. AFA will honor Mr. Janz with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Robert Janz was born in Ireland in 1932. He received his art training in the United State and was part of the “Zen Generation” led by Pacific Coast Beat artist. His philosophy and art has influenced generations of artist all over the world as his nomadic life led him. The music for Thursday is Vocal-Ease, Bern Nix Quartet, East-West Collective and the French-American Peace Ensemble.

Saturday’s program includes a forum on bringing improvisation to empower our children, panel on the French-American exchange of musical ideas and social, political ideas. Music starts at 7:30 p.m. with Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up followed by Davis/Revis/Cyrile Trio. At 9:45 p.m. Simmons/Burrell Duo and Reggie Workman Workz will close the night.

Sunday’s program includes a panel at 2:00 p.m., “Decolonizing the Music;” at 4:30 p.m. a film on Butch Morris ”Black February” by Vipal Monga and at 6:00 p.m. Inner City: Migration: dance, music and visual art, music follows: Positive Knowledge, Hamiet Bluiett Quartet, Mario Pavone ARC Trio and Marshall Allen & McBrides Bass Roots closes the festival. For more information, go to or call: 212-254-5420.

© Amun/Ankhra House, Ltd.

William Parker leading the Vision Orchestra and playing a double reed Zurna from Turkey.
Photo by Amun ©

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