The JVC Jazz Festival is gone, but The Tea Lounge in Park Slope has brewed something strong and new: The Bloom Festival, curated by journalist Lara Pellegrinelli and violist Tanya Kalmanovitch. The two longtime friends had talked time and again about collaborating on various projects and finally thought the timing was right.
“Since George Wein has denied me the possibility of spending $95 to see Chris Botti again,” Kalmanovitch says, “I thought I’d do the next best thing.”
“The economy was still tanking, my plans for a lucrative career in jazz journalism had been put on hold indefinitely, and I was thinking about what my life would amount to if I died of swine flu tomorrow,” Pellegrinelli adds. “I figured the least we could do is try to have a good time. Besides, now that ER is off the air, I finally have Thursday nights free.”
All kidding aside, Pellegrinelli and Kalmanovitch came up with the name one rainy March afternoon, dreaming of spring and new musical possibilities. The duo also wanted to pay tribute to the pioneering soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom.
She’ll be headlining the festival on Friday, June 5 in a trio plus one with bassist Mark Helias, drummer Bobby Previte and special guest keyboardist Rob Ray joining the group for the second set.
Thinking it best to let sleeping jazz purists lie, Kalmanovitch cautions that The Bloom Festival will not be a jazz fest per se. “Playing jazz is a little like wearing a fur coat,” she says. “It’ll always keep you warm, but it used to be somebody else—sometimes the heads and tails are still attached. I think it’s time we shed that skin for the summer. “
The performers they have booked are pioneers, pushing the boundaries of jazz into the avant-garde, world music, rock, and pop, taking it where no man has gone before:
Drummer Allison Miller (6/4), word sleuth Sarah Deming with burlesque dancer Peekaboo Pointe (6/11), keyboardist Kris Davis (6/18), 2 Sisters, Inc, featuring baritone saxophonist Claire Daly (6/19), the Monika H Band (6/25), and singer, songwriter, and cellist Emily Hope Price (6/26). Kalmanovitch will lead her own quartet, Balaclava, on Friday, June 12.
The Tea Lounge
837 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Sets begin at 9pm and 10:30
Suggested donation $10 - $20
THE BLOOM FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
Friday, June 5
Jane Ira Bloom
Soprano saxophonist and composer Jane Ira Bloom is a pioneer in the use of live electronics and movement in jazz. The recipient of a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition and winner of the 2007 Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz lifetime service award, her distinguished career has spanned three decades.
Thursday, June 11
Sarah Deming with Peekaboo Pointe
Leave the kids at home for a naughty evening of jazz-accompanied erotica. Word sleuth Sarah Deming writes fiction and essays for children and adult readers. She is the pseudonymous author of a forthcoming series of erotic novels from St. Martin’s Press about the scandalous lives of nude models. Before becoming a writer, Sarah was a Golden Gloves boxing champion, pastry chef, mixologist, financial recruiter, yoga teacher, and technician in a sperm lab.
Burlesque artist Peekaboo Pointe began as a classically trained modern dancer studying under Bill T. Jones, Mark Morris Dance Group, and a host of other notable choreographers. She is now known as the “fastest tassel-twirler from east to west.”
Friday, June 12
Tanya Kalmanovitch and Balaclava
Violist and violinist Tanya Kalmanovitch performs contemporary jazz, classical music, and many things in between. She’s traveled frequently to India, where she has studied Karnatic music with violinist Lalgudi G. J. R. Krishnan and veena player Karaikudi S. Subramanian. Based in New York City since 2004, Kalmanovitch was named Best New Talent" by All About Jazz, while Time Out New York identified her as “the Juilliard-trained violist who’s been tearing up the scene.”
Thursday, June 18
Pianist and composer Kris Davis explores the balance between improvisation and composition; her writing and pianistic prowess have been described as “adventurous” and “refreshing.” Lloyd Sachs of the Chicago Sun Times writes: “There's color and angularity and continual movement in her approach, which entrusts her quartet – tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Jeff Davis – to work independently toward a common goal.”
Friday, June 19
2 Sisters, Inc featuring Claire Daly
How low can they go? Baritone saxophonist Claire Daly joins baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson and bassist Dave Hofstra in 2 Sisters, Inc, a trio of flowers from the same garden, nuts off the family tree. The group was featured in Downbeat Magazine’s May Masterclass and headlined at the Blues to Bop Festival in Lugano, Switzerland.
Thursday, June 25
Monika H Band
The music of vocalist and composer Monika H is experimental and psychedelic—avant- rock with jazz fringes. Time Out New York described her release, Disguised as Umbrellas, We Slept, as “a whole faceful of new songs that combine literate verse, smart attitude and punchy psychedelic-rock textures."
Friday, June 26
Emily Hope Price
Singer, songwriter and cellist Emily Hope Price is a relative newcomer to New York. Inspired by a collection of incredibly diverse musical talents -- from Sarah Vaughn and Jaqueline Du Pre to Joanna Newsom and Steve Reich, her live shows are intense with a unique strain of melancholy, silliness, and the occasional bleeding heart.
For more information about The Bloom Festival, contact Lara Pellegrinelli or Tanya Kalmanovitch at TheBloomFestival@gmail.com.