Thomas Sayers Ellis | James Brandon Lewis

November 13, 2019 19:30

PARC Performing Arts Research Centre Firenze | IT


The Thomas Sayers Ellis Poetry / James Brandon Lewis Saxophone Duo is an exchange between two artists who took a detour to discover their debt and kinship to living and passed ancestry. The duo’s vibe is full of the accidents and aims of the breathing as it comes in contact with (not follows) the motion of The All. It is their continuous effort to evaporate, creatively, all of the false boundaries that have been inserted into Tradition. This duo does not attempt to pick up where they left off, pre Heroes Are Gang Leaders, This duo is Now, is the complete present and already after-beyond tomorrow!
Since, its official founding in 2014, the Ellis / Lewis led free jazz literary troupe has released four CDs: “The Avant-Age Garde I AMs of the Gal Luxury” (2015) / dedicated to Bob Kaufman; “Highest Engines Near / Near Higher Engineers” (2016) / Dedicated to Gwendolyn Brooks; “Flukum” (2016) / Dedicated to Etheridge Knight and “The Amiri Baraka Sessions” (2019). A new project, “Artificial Happiness Button,” is forthcoming in March 2020.


Poet, photographer, professor, Thomas Sayers Ellis is the bandleader and a co-founding member of Heroes Are Gang Leaders. He is the author of “The Maverick Room,” “Skin, Inc. Identity Repair Poems” and “The Corny Toys,” a chapbook length poem. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, The Nation, Tin House as well as numerous anthologies. He has taught at numerous Universities and is the recipient of a Mrs. Giles Whiting Writers Award and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry in 2015.
James Brandon Lewis is a critically acclaimed saxophonist and composer. He has received accolades from New York Times, Q Magazine and cultural tastemakers such as Ebony Magazine, who hailed him as one of the “7 Young Players to Watch” in todays scene. Lewis has shared stages with Ken Filiano, Darius Jones, and Jason Hwang, William Parker, Hamiet Bluiett, Hamid Drake, Ravi Coltrane, Jimmy Heath, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, Marc Ribot, Anthony Coleman and many others. He has been endorsed by Jazz legend Saxophonist Sonny Rollins “Promising young player with the potential to do great things having listened to the Elders.” – Jazz Magazine (France). New York Times had this to say about Lewis “James Brandon Lewis, a jazz saxophonist in his 30’s, raw toned but measured, doesn’t sound steeped in current jazz academy values. There’s an Independence about him.” Lewis leads numerous ensembles and is the co-founder of American Book Award winning poetry music ensemble Heroes Are Gang Leaders Lewis attended Howard University and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.


An event promoted by Black History Month Florence
in collaboration with Villa Romana and PARC Performing Arts Research Centre














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