Music: Deep Hamden Festival Fri.-Sun., Oct. 12-14, takes broad view of “Americana”

Friday: Goodnight Blue Moon, Junebug Saddle; Saturday: Allen Lowe & The Orchestra; Sunday: Jarawa & The Healing Drum Society, Little Silver

Best Video Film & Cultural Center presents Deep Hamden, a three-day festival of music from Oct. 12-14. Featured artists are Goodnight Blue Moon and Junebug Saddle (Fri., Oct. 12, 7 PM), Allen Lowe & The Orchestra (Sat., Oct. 13, 8 PM), and (Sun., Oct. 14, Doors at 6 PM, Music at 6:30 PM) Brian Jarawa Gray and the Healing Drum Society and Little Silver. The cover is $10 for each night.

Organized by jazz saxophonist Allen Lowe, the Deep Hamden festival is loosely based on an Americana theme. But where Americana is usually considered to be an offshoot of country and rock, in Deep Hamden Americana also encompasses jazz, Dixieland and African percussion elements.

Deep Hamden originated as a festival in 2017 to honor both the range of American music and the creative community of Connecticut. The first festival included jazz, various forms of improvised music, and an African drum ensemble. The greater New Haven area is uniquely multicultural and contains a wide range of musical talent.

Friday, Oct. 12, Doors at 7 PM, Music starts at 7:30 PM:

Blending rich vocal harmonies with lush orchestrations, Goodnight Blue Moon has created a sound that is steeped in tradition, yet entirely current. GNBM is known for their energetic, honest, and dynamic live performances, offering a refreshing take on Americana roots music.

Junebug Saddle is the passion project of singer, Val McKee, who longed to dig up the roots of her East Tennessee upbringing and bring some of her favorite musicians along to play in the dirt. Val and David Johnson pay homage to some of their favorite classic country, folk, and Americana musicians, in addition to originals and “countrifying” songs they grew up on.

Saturday, Oct. 13, starting at 8 PM:

Allen Lowe & The Orchestra perform “A Love Supine: a Dixieland Love Supreme,” first performed at Dizzy’s at Lincoln Center in February, 2018. Though the suite is somewhat of a tribute to John Coltrane, it is as much an examination of American modernism, particularly as it pertains to jazz and improvised music. A 2-CD set of this program will be released in February 2019 by the legendary jazz label ESP Disk.

Sunday, Oct. 14, Doors 6 PM, Music starts at 6:30 PM:

The Healing Drum Society is led by Brian Jarawa Gray, better known as Jarawa. Jarawa has more then 30 years of experience as a percussionist, songwriter, band leader and performing artist. He has taught world music in public and private schools and universities in Connecticut and New York. Jarawa performs Natural Centric Drumming and the music of the African Diaspora.

Little Silver released their debut album “Somewhere You Found My Name” July, 2017. Based at the time in Brooklyn and now relocated to Hamden, Little Silver’s music is built around the ethereal vocals of married duo Erika Simonian and Steve Curtis. “Somewhere You Found My Name” is a gorgeous collection of original songs that confront the shifting landscape of gaining and losing loved ones, changes in perspective, and the uncertainty of life itself. Little Silver’s sparse arrangements and beautifully understated vocals bring these everyday truths to life. Simonian and Curtis will perform as a duo for this show.

Music: Deep Hamden, a 2-day jazz festival Fri., Aug. 18, and Sat., Aug. 19

Best Video Performance Space hosts a 2-day jazz festival, Deep Hamden, on Friday, Aug. 18, and Saturday, Aug. 19.

On Friday, Ag. 18, the festival features saxophonist Allen Lowe with a big band performing Deep Hamden: A Blue Suite (starting at 8 PM; with saxophonist Jovan Alexandre). Brian Jarawa Gray (Jarawa) and The Healing Drum Society headline Saturday night, Aug. 19, performing The Healing Drum, starting at 8 PM. Pianist Rosemary Minkler and her Quartet featuring saxophonist Will Cleary perform at 6 PM. Solo accordionist (and member of Anthony Braxton’s Orchestra) Adam Matlock opens the Saturday program at 5 PM.

Tickets are $10 each night, $15 for both nights, and advance tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets.

For more information call 203-287-9286 or email allenlowe5@gmail.com

Some of the Performers:

Allen Lowe is a saxophonist and American music historian. He lectures at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and is a Visiting Professor at the Berklee School of Music. He has recorded as a leader with Julius Hemphill, David Murray, Gary Bartz, Hamiet Bluiett, Ken Peplowski, Don Byron, Doc Cheatham, and Roswell Rudd.

As an historian, David Hajdu of the New Republic has described Lowe as
“one of the most important music historians alive, an exceptional thinker who sees the entirety of American musical history with unmatched clarity. He’s unbowed as an intellectual, driven by neither vogues or ideology. His work taken as a whole is a monumental achievement. There’s no one better alive.”

John Szwed, of Yale and Columbia Jazz studies, has written:

“Allen Lowe is a genius! His work is always full of wonder, the excitement of discovery, and humor. I’m amazed by the energy and intelligence it takes to do this quantity of work at this level while on the margins of media and music. Yes, I know that the best work has always been done at the margins, by the so-called underground — Poe, Whitman, Monk, Harvey Pekar, Herbie Nichols, James Joyce, Sun Ra — but it’s still a surprise and a revelation whenever you find it.”

Brian Jarawa Gray and the New Village Drummers. Brian Jarawa Gray— Jarawa—has more then 30 years of experience as a Percussionist, Song writer, Band leader and Performing artist, He has taught world music in public, private schools and Universities in Connecticut and New York. Jarawa performs Natural Centric Drumming and the music of the African Diaspora. He is a featured artist on recordings by Oliver Lake, Pheroan Aklaff, Yosuke Yamashita, The Visions Band and His own CDs are titled Berdisha Pertasha, You’re Soo Special and Stories of Life. Jarawa has Performed at. Lincoln Center with Jay Hoggard SOBs With Pheroan Aklaff Seventh Avenue Theater With Joseph Jarmin Brooklyn Academy of Music with Chuck Davis Dance Co. and many more venues across the country.

Adam Matlock is a composer and performer, working within the realms of art music, electronics, folk, international music and traditional songwriting. He utilizes the alias G. Zarapenecko for electronic compositions and experiments, An Historic for original songs, and his own name for longer-form compositions as well as the occasional solo performance. He works with the legendary composer Anthony Braxton.

Born and raised in Waterbury, CT, Rosemary Minkler is an accomplished young pianist, composer, and audio engineer. She grew up surrounded by music and began studying piano at an early age, discovering her passion for jazz at the Litchfield Jazz Camp. She continued her studies on a full scholarship to Western Connecticut State University, where she received a degree in Audio and Music Production with a concentration in Jazz Piano.

Here, she studied jazz piano with Peter Tomlinson, classical piano with Russell Hirshfield, classical composition with Kevin Isaacs, and applied audio with Douglas O’Grady and Edward Dzubak. In addition, she worked closely with jazz guitarist/composer Jamie Begian as well as renowned jazz saxophonist Jimmy Greene. She is currently a member in Danbury-based fusion collective The Recess Bureau and often plays with other musicians in the Connecticut and New York area. Rosemary’s most recent release, Prospectus, is her debut as a bandleader, composer, and audio engineer.

Will Cleary hails from Houston, Texas, where he began his jazz studies at the Summer Jazz Workshop and Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He then obtained his Bachelor of Music degree at the Oberlin Conservatory, studying with Gary Bartz, Robin Eubanks, and Dan Wall. He received his Master of Music degree in 2010 from the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Walt Weiskopf and Bill Dobbins, and was the recipient of the Raymond and Maxine Schirmer Prize in Jazz Performance.

Will has played with Slide Hampton, Chuck Mangione, Conrad Herwig, Marvin Stamm, Marcus Belgrave, Charles McPherson, Kim Waters, Bob Sneider, Dave Glasser, and Pat LaBarbera. He has opened for Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, as well as for Jason Moran. Other significant performances include appearances at the Houston International Jazz Festival, the Detroit International Jazz Festival, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, and services at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. He is currently playing and recording with various artists in New Haven, Connecticut, and the surrounding areas.

Jovan Alexandre — who will perform with Allen Lowe’s ensemble on Friday night — is a tenor saxophonist, who made his debut as a leader at the prestigious New York City Winter JazzFest [on January 9, 2015]. He has been a soloist on recordings for drummers Ralph Peterson (Outer Reaches [2010]) and Winard Harper (Coexist, sharing the tenor spotlight with Frank Wess [2012]), and for the South African jazz singer Nonhlanhla Kheswa (Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz [2013]). His first album as a leader, Collective Consciousness, was released worldwide [on February 24, 2015][on Xippi Phonorecords, XP22540].

Alexandre’s Wallingford is fifteen miles due north of New Haven. Several times a week during his high school years, he made the further trek northward to Hartford, a city rich in jazz history, to study at the Artists Collective, a neighborhood institution founded to promote the art and culture of the African diaspora and much beloved of Hartford’s African-American and Caribbean communities. In the 1980’s, the University of Hartford’s Hartt School, a nationally prestigious conservatory, asked Jackie McLean to establish a jazz performance department. Alexandre is one of dozens of alumni of the Artists Collective to have continued their studies at Hartt. He graduated with distinction [in 2011] from the jazz program, now formally known as the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz.

Shortly after graduating from Hartt, Alexandre began to earn an almost “underground” reputation as one of the most compelling and talked- about of the new tenor saxophone soloists, through appearances with top-name musicians such as Hank Jones, Dionne Warwick, Curtis Fuller, Harold Mabern, Larry Willis, Charles Tolliver, Randy Brecker, Antoine Roney, Benito Gonzalez, Shimrit Shoshan, Ray McMorrin, Josh Evans, Curtis Torian, Tadataka Unno, and Kendrick Oliver & The New Life Jazz Orchestra.

With the release of his debut album Collective Consciousness, and more regular appearances in New York City and national and international touring on the horizon.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Friday, Aug. 4, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Sunday, Aug. 6, 11-3 PM. ART SALE—ORIGINAL PRINTS

• Wednesday, Aug. 9. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING, DAVE SCANLON, UNDERWEAR

• Thursday, Aug. 10. ALT-COUNTRY: PLYWOOD COWBOY

• Friday, Aug. 11. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN & HER BAND, ELISA FLYNN

• Sunday, Aug. 13, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Aug. 16. INDIE ROCK: FURNSSS, TRASH CAN

• Thursday, Aug. 17. STEEL DRUM MUSIC: MIMOSA

• Fridy, Aug. 18. DEEP HAMDEN—A JAZZ MINI-FESTIVAL: ALLEN LOWE & FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Saturday, Aug. 19. DEEP HAMDEN—A JAZZ MINI-FESTIVAL: AN HISTORIC; ROSEMARY MINKLER TRIO; BRIAN JARAWA GRAY

• Wednesday, Aug. 23. INDIE ROCK: ROZ & THE RICE CAKES, TEENAGE HALLOWEEN, GLAMBAT, QUIET GIANT (A TINY BOX BOOKING SHOW)

• Thursday, Aug. 24. ROCK/JAZZ/SOUL: JOE STEIN; INDIE ROCK: ALEX MCGUIRE

• Friday, Aug. 25. POP ROCK: OBERON ROSE; SINGER-SONGWRITER: CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET

• Tuesday, Aug. 29, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Aug. 31. INDIE ROCK: DISCO TEEN ’66

• Wednesday, Sept. 6. ALT-COUNTRY: JUNEBUG SADDLE

• Friday, Sept. 8. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Sunday, Sept. 10, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

Thursday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC SOUL: CHRISSY GARDNER & ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, Sept. 20. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Friday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Sept. 29. FOLK: FLINT LADDER

• Saturday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOHN GORKA (ODDBALL PRODUCTIONS)

• Sunday, Oct. 1, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Oct. 5. NORDIC/CELTIC FOLK MUSIC: GARY WIKFORS AND ANGUS MOSSMAN

• Friday, Oct. 6. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Oct. 13. FLASH FICTION: PAUL BECKMAN

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Saturday, Oct. 28. LIGHT UPON BLIGHT HALLOWEEN SHOW

• Saturday, Nov. 4. SOLO MODERN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Sunday, Nov. 5, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)