Synergy at the Brecht Forum December 29, 8:30PM


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Sight and Sound

Amir Bey, Set Design, Costumes
Saco Yasuma, Alto, Compositions
Ras Moshe, Woodwinds; Dave Ross, Guitar
Chris Sullivan, Bass; Lou Grassi, Drums

Will Perform 2 Sets
The Brecht Forum
451 West Street between Bank and Bethune
Saturday, December 29, 2007
8:30 PM

SYNERGY Sight and Sound will give a special two set performance at The Brecht Forum as part The Music Now program on December 29, at 8:30 PM. This concert will feature earlier and recent compositions by Saco Yasuma, and elements of an installation and new costumes by Amir Bey titled “Phoenixes to the Sun". The Brecht Forum's performance area and acoustics provide an excellent venue for SYNERGY, and this promises to be an exciting theatrical happening. SYNERGY is a multi-media ensemble that weaves the melodic and improvisational Jazz of alto saxophonist and composer Yasuma with the vibrant costumes, striking masks and unusual instruments of mixed media sculptor Bey. SYNERGY'S personnel includes Ras Moshe, woodwinds, Dave Ross, electric guitar, Christopher Dean Sullivan, bass artisan, and Lou Grassi, drums. This formidable band is known for its innovative approach to music; the sounds and movements of the musicians are visually enhanced, and the audio uses of visual art are explored. Admission: $10.

Mixed media sculptor and curator Amir Bey has worked with musicians and performers since the 1970s, including set designs and costumes for Idris Ackamoor and Rodessa Jones of Cultural Odyssey, Maria Mitchell of Black Pearl Dance Company, and Lorna Littleway. Bey is based in New York, where he has organized exhibitions since 1989; he has also exhibited in Turkey, Japan, Spain, Martinique and Germany. His “Procession of Folk #3", a series of 12 faceted glass windows, is a permanent installation at the Mount Eden station on the #4 line.

Alto saxophonist and composer Saco Yasuma has written many styles of music. Yasuma was the featured composer and saxophonist for the annual Billy Parker Legacy Concert at SUNY Rockland College in 2002 to 2005. In 2007, she received a commission to compose and perform a world premier concert at the Brecht Forum, and released her critically aclaimed album, Another Rain, in June. She has been working with Ras Moshe, Matt Lavelle, Billy Bang, Roy Campbell Jr., Sabir Mateen, Steve Swell, Jackson Krall and the “Jazz poet" Golda Solomon. Currently she leads a few groups in the United States and Japan.

Ras Moshe, a third generation reed player who, although trained in earlier forms of “Jazz", says his preferred mode of improvisation is in the later or “free" developments of the music. He has led The Music Now Unit since 1999 and played with many original artists such as Billy Bang, William Parker, William Hooker, and Kali Z. Fasteau. He is a firm believer in the positive effects of the new music for social and personal change.

Bass Artisan Christopher Dean Sullivan is a versatile bassist of many musical languages. Chris is in many recordings spanning a myriad of styles such as Stanley Jordan, Odean Pope, Archie Shepp, Chaka Khan, Sonny Simmons, and Yusef Lateef. His own project, co- led with Soundrhythium Michael T.A. Thompson, Center Search Quest, can be heard on Language of Swans (Drimala), on Barbara Sfraga & CSQ's new release Timelessness Frozen in Time. Chris is a prime advocate for bringing entertainment back into Jazz.

Drummer Lou Grassi, a New York resident of long standing, has literally played from Rag- Time to No-Time...he toured with ragtime pianist Max Morath, is the leader of the Dixie Peppers and has worked with a host of Jazz avant-garde's finest including Marshall Allen, Borah Bergman, Rob Brown, Roy Campbell, Charles Gayle, Burton Greene. He is featured on many CDs and albums, including his highly acclaimed Lou Grassi Po Band.

Dave Ross attended Berklee College of music in 1991 and was a founding member of the avant garde Quantum Trio in Boston Mass. In 1993 he won a Boston music award for his work with the funk band Chuck. In 2005 Dave moved to NYC, drawn by its free improvisation scene. Dave is busy with projects in many styles: Jazz, Punk, World beat, Gospel, Blues, Ju Ju, and Rock, writing, producing & playing. He has worked with Henry Grimes, Roy Campbell Jr., Sabir Mateen, Albey Balgochian, Jackson Krall, Lawrence Cook, Rasheed Bakar, P Funk Horns, Chuck Brown, and Dennis Warren.

This story appears courtesy of Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services.
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