Jazz Poetry: Hamiet Bluiett & Roger HumphriesFriday, September 16, 2016 @ 8 p.m.
Jazz greats Hamiet Bluiett and Roger Humphries perform an evening of jazz. Between sets, the musicians will also collaborate with writers Israel Centeno and Joy Katz for a jazz and poetry interlude.
Roger Humphries is rated by music critics as one of the most exciting percussionists in the business. He has provided the rhythmic beat for such greats as Ray Charles, Horace Silver, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Stanley Turrentine, James Moody, Lee Morgan, Dr. Billy Taylor, Benny Green, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Clark Terry, J.J. Johnson, Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, Randy Brecker, Joe Williams, Milton Jackson, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy Witherspoon, Nathan Davis, Pete Henderson, Don Patterson, Gene Harris, Grant Green, George Harris, Freddie Hubbard, Bill Dogget, Jack McDuff, and a list of great musicians that goes on and on and on.
With various groups, Roger Humphries has performed at Carnegie Music Hall, the Village Gate and the Apollo Theatre in New York. He has also played at the Bohemian Caverns and Shelly Manne’s Manhole in Los Angeles; the Penthouse in Seattle, Wash.; Pep’s Lounge and Showboat, Philadelphia; the Jazz Workshop, Boston; Ronny Scott’s in London, and many other places.
Hamiet Bluiett is an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer. His primary instrument is the baritone saxophone, and he is considered one of the finest living players of this instrument. A member of the World Saxophone Quartet, he also plays (and records with) the bass saxophone, E-flat alto clarinet, E-flat contra-alto clarinet, and wooden flute.
Bluiett moved to New York City in the fall of 1969, where he joined the Charles Mingus Quintet and the Sam Rivers large ensemble. In 1976 he co-founded the World Saxophone Quartet along with two other Black Artists’ Group members, Julius Hemphill and Oliver Lake, as well as multi-reedist David Murray. He has remained a champion of the somewhat unwieldy baritone saxophone, organizing large groups of baritone saxophones. Since the 1990s Bluiett has led a virtuosic quartet, the Bluiett Baritone Nation, made up entirely of baritone saxophones, with drum set accompaniment.
In the 1980s, he also founded the Clarinet Family, a group of eight clarinetists playing clarinets of various sizes ranging from E-flat soprano to contrabass. Bluiett has also worked with Sam Rivers, Babatunde Olatunji,Abdullah Ibrahim, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye.
He returned to his hometown of Brooklyn, Illinois, in 2002 but moved back to New York City in 2012. He currently performs at gigs, including the New Haven Jazz Festival on August 22, 2009. He performed with students from Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, CT. The group were known as Hamiet Bluiett and the Improvisational Youth Orchestra.
Israel Centeno (Venezuela) is a writer-in-residence at City of Asylum, having arrived in 2011. He is the author of poetry, short stories, and ten novels and is regarded as one of the most important Venezuelan literary figures of the past fifty years. He has won numerous awards, including the Federico Garcia Lorca Award in Spain and the National Council of Culture Award in Venezuela in 1991. Known as a literary innovator, his work deals with urban dystopias and controversial themes.
Joy Katz‘s latest poetry collection, a National Poetry Series finalist, is All You Do is Perceive. Her work in progress is White: An Abstract, an attempt to document American whiteness. Katz is co-founder of the activist art collective Ifyoureallyloveme. The recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Heinz Foundation, she teaches in the MFA program at Chatham University and in Carlow University ‘s Madwomen in the Attic workshops.