William Parker and 20 Years Of Vision

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Sun Ra Arkestra

It was twenty years ago this week that avant-garde jazz bassist William Parker and his wife, dancer Patricia Nicholson-Parker staged the first Vision Festival at the Learning Alliance in downtown New York City.

Since then, Arts For Art's VF has outlasted just about every other jazz festival in New York, without ever accepting corporate sponsorship.

Henry Grimes will receive a Life Time Achievement at age 80, thirteen years after his sudden return at Vision 2003.

The Sun Ra Arkestra 60th Anniversary, and should not to be missed. Alto sax player Marshall Allen just turned 92 and is stronger than ever.

Mike Reeds Flesh and Bones, James Brandon Lewis Trio, Breath & Stone, Dave Burrell/Hamid Drake's Paradox of Freedom will also be performing this year.

There will be two panel discussions too, this year will focus on Free Jazz vs. Fascism, timely in the brief age of Trump.

Arts for Art- along with Vision Fest-now celebrating it's third decade, hopes to be around for another 20 years.

VF does focus on the "founders of Free Jazz as well as younger Free Jazz artists - while trying to pass on the ideals to new generations of artists of color, all colors," Patrica Nicholson-Parker told Black Star News.

But, as it always has been with Free Jazz, it is an "ongoing financial struggle to survive as a radical idealistic festival that of course has no corporate funding and now that there is so little foundation money for small non-profits," Parker said.

VF 21 will be held June 7-12 at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington, Square South, NYC. Check http://www.artsforart.org/ for more information.

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