Warsaw (at The Polish National Home) presents a night of theatre, voice, and jazz. Brooklyn based ensemble lilac co and st john's theatre shows its new piece (HH) hamlethouse, a new work-in progress written by Sean Lewis and featuring Elisa Matula, Seth Powers, and John Morena. Also featuring the voice of Kaneng Lolang, a Nigerian-born singer and artist now living in New York City and free jazz legend Charles Gayle plays on saxophone. Warsaw's famous long bar and kitchen will be open throughout the night. Warsaw - 261 Driggs Ave in Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Thursday & Friday MAY 28, 29 8PM
lilac co and st johns theatre is an ensemble company that creates and performs original theatre pieces (Baldwin Soup Kitchen; Confessions of Zorro and Diamond; Death Series One : Sexton Says Some; Bazaar Godard; Project Whitman; Just Another Cowboy Lost in Steinland). In 2009 lilac co is developing a new work entitled (HH) hamlethouse. The ensemble focuses on the use of ready made materials, found space, observed gesture and formal manipulation in order to construct zones of autonomy where everyday perceptions and expectations are suspended and shifted. lilac co also loves to cook and feed its audiences.
Kaneng Lolang makes sonic vernacular that channels through the folklore of her Berom and Bulgarian cultures of origin, to a space inhabited by folk, blues, free jazz, the psychedelic, soulful glory of the recent past and finally to a space freed of association. She began as an entertainer in the shady bars of sunny Lagos, and has thus far found herself in New York. The greener grass that turned out just as burnt and dry.
Charles Gayle (born February 28, 1939) is a free jazz saxophonist, pianist, bass clarinetist and percussionist. He lives in New York. Gayle's history is unclear. He was apparently homeless for approximately twenty years, playing saxophone on street corners and subway platforms around New York City. In 1988, he gained fame through a trio of albums recorded by a Swedish label, Silkheart Records. Since then he has become a major figure in free jazz, recording for labels including Black Saint, Knitting Factory Records, FMP, and Clean Feed. He has also taught music at Bennington Collage. Gayle's music is spiritual, and heavily inspired by the Old and New Testaments. He has explicitly dedicated several albums to God. His childhood was influenced by religion, and his musical roots trace to black gospel music. After his church experiences, Gayle credits among his influences Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Albert Tayler, Thelonious Monk, and Art Tatum. He has performed and recorded with Cecil Taylor, William Parker, and Rashid Ali.
Gayle's most celebrated work to date remains the album Touchin' on Trane (FMP) with Parker and Ali. Though he established his reputation primarily as a tenor saxophonist, he has increasingly turned to other instruments, notably the piano (which was, in fact, his original instrument) and alto saxophone. More controversially, he has sometimes included lengthy spoken-word addresses to the audience in his concerts touching on his political and religious beliefs; for a period he was even largely performing as a mime, Streets the Clown". In 2001, Gayle recorded an album titled Jazz Solo Piano. This disc consisted mostly of straightforward jazz standards, and is a response to critics who charge that free jazz musicians cannot play bebop. In 2006, Gayle followed up with a second album of solo piano, this time featuring original material, titled Time Zones. He has also recently released several albums on Clean Feed and Ayler Records that include traditional jazz standards.
In 2006, poet Steve Dalachinsky published a book of poems written while watching Gayle play entitled The Final Nite & Other Poems: Complete Notes from a Charles Gayle Notebook 1987-2006.
Sean Lewis is the founder of lilac co and st johns theatre. He is a writer, actor and frequent collaborator with the Dome Theatre and Forrest Gillespie in residency at Zebulon Cafe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His collaborations of the last 2 years also include The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, Assassins Hours, Woman in the Mirror, The Interpreter, Death Pollution in the USA. Mr. Lewis has worked extensively with Enrique Pardo of Pantheatre, Paris, with whom he has toured Mexico City, Milan and Southern France at the Roy Hart Institute, and with whom he was an invited artist in Paris. Mr. Lewis played [man] in Shut Your Eyes, an independent film by Nikolai Galen, premiering at the International Istanbul Film Festival 2009. He has curated selections of new work at Hanger 1018 in Los Angeles and at The Eagle Theater with Lewis Khalr, Janie Geiser, Ariel Pink, John Maus and Caterina Perazzi. He went to Calarts and grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles.
Elisa Matula is an original member of lilac co and st john's theatre, and will be playing Ophelia #1 in the 2009 lilac co new work (HH) hamlethouse. She has performed in all of lilac co. shows. Elisa is a graduate of Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris and received her BFA from Swarthmore College. She is an actor, singer, and writer and has co-created and performed in original theatre works in Edinburgh, Prague, Avignon, and throughout Paris. In New York, she has performed at the Ontological Incubator, CUNY's Pen World Voices Festival, in the NY Festival Fringe, and in a new play written and directed by SITI Company's J.Ed Araiza.
Seth Powers. Lilac: hamlethouse, Zebulon. Baldwin Soup Kitchen. New York: Agamemnon at the Vortex Theater (Aegistus/Messenger), Earth in Trance at LaMama (The Swan), The Brothers Karamazov at the Connelly Theater (Dmitri Karamazov), Love is in the Air with Pig Brooch (Boffo Mysterioso); also, Dixon Place New Music Theater Festival and NYIFF. Regional: Henry V with the Actors Shakespeare Project (Henry V); Enchanted April and Merry Wives of Windsor at Shakespeare & Company (Antony Wilding; Pistol). International: Do You Like Me Europe? in Berlin. MFA, Columbia University.
John Morena is a NYC native who lives in Queens and holds the position of church Sexton at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. When not performing his Sexton duties, or working behind the bar in your favorite watering hole, John can be seen on stage with Lilac Co. working hard to bring theatre to Brooklyn and the world! Most recently seen in Bazaar Godard, and in Death Series Wun : Sexton Says Sum in the spring of 2008. John has performed throughout NYC off-broadway and in regional theatre for over a decade.
For interview requests or more information contact All About Jazz Publicity.