The Jazzcat

Archive for October, 2016

Xenogenesis Suite: A Musical Tribute to Octavia E. Butler

by on Oct.28, 2016, under Events, News


So excited to be here at the world famed Huntington Library and on such an incredible occasion! The Nicole Mitchell‘s Black Earth Ensemble, tonight comprised of premium musicians from Chicago Los Angeles, New York all coming together in celebration of Octavia E. Butler‘s futuristic four part Xenogenesis Series!
Science Fiction novelist Octavia Butler, wrote the stories and blended the races of humans with their alien counterparts. A take over, a revival, a resurrection and an exploration into other worlds of complicated strife and triumph.


Inspired by her work, Nicole has composed an array of compositions that delve into the mastery illusion of images, thought provoking alienonic, futuristic creativity that all are sonically being expressed and channeled through the brilliance of one woman’s imagination called The Xenogenesis Suite

Nothing is off limits when it comes to the music. The search to connect Earth with extraterrestrial life forms. A call for sounds beyond our realm, a beam of light shining down exchanging energy as we tap into each other’s galaxies. Some might say experimental but, this is music with intentional sound creating synapse firing thought into existence!


The Black Earth Ensemble: Anthony Davis, Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, Eric Reeves, Avreeayl Ra, Mankwe Ndosi, Ras G, Stephanie Richards, David Boykin

Like a galactic star cluster traveling out through the Universe discovering new sources and exchanging nuances throughout their journey. The Black Earth Ensemble does not cater, does not reminisce on nostalgia, nor entertain resolution. They are not here to comply but, to teleport us into alternate realities, new ways of feeling and thinking, discover of our own intellect and to ponder on the possibilities. Comprehension, we can all spin our own individual Pollock and provide our version of the image.

Look at the cookie cutter world we live in full of rules, routine, complacency, anger and self hatred. Music heals, transcends, and sometimes dares us to challenge ourselves and others. Openness and curiosity are good things. Exploration is a must if you seek to discover truth through any art form. Feel now and understand later, the answers reveal themselves.


The Ensemble allows you to lower your wall of insecurity and judgement and let the light and love in. These instruments speak and within the sound are hidden jewels, treasures for you!


Listen, can you “Smell the Fear”?  Our minds have been trained since infancy to think, hear and feel a certain way. Have you ever questioned that? These musicians thrive on uncharted territory, pealing back layers to unveil, absorb and as a gift, return it in an interpreted unspoken language for all to understand.

img_7538A standing O to Julia Meltzer, Clockshop and the Huntington for recognizing the power that lies in “The Sequence of Shadows”.
Imagery is a humans greatest gift. Our thoughts, dreams and introspective intuition can turn into brilliant reality. Through art, through dance, through music; what did not exist before now lives and breathes among us. eadim-huntington-library-1

A soundtrack to imagination, Nicole Mitchell and this compelling version of her Black Earth Ensemble has my mind is dancing and my body exhaling! From words to music, read and create!


LeRoy Downs

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An Evening at The Stage: An Open House Fundraiser – Saturday Oct 22nd!

by on Oct.21, 2016, under Events, News, Television

An Evening at The Stage:


An Open House Fundraiser

Saturday, October 22, 2016


As many of you already know, THE WORLD STAGE  has moved into a larger and renovated space (across the street from the original location) with a state of the art sound system.


Come out and get to know, or get reacquainted with, this cultural gem in Los Angeles. Your support will ensure it is enjoyed by generations to come. The Open House Host Committee planned this event with the goal of raising $5000 to pay for the design, materials and installation of an exterior lighted sign for the new location. Excess amount raised will go directly to TWS’ operation costs.


The suggested minimum donation is $30, which includes performances to showcase the talented artists at THE WORLD STAGE followed by a wine and cheese reception. Donations in excess of the suggested minimum are welcome and guests who donate an additional $100 or more will be invited to a private reception and performance at the sign unveiling celebration.


4-5pm: Get to Know The Stage: Meet its Board Members, Workshop Facilitators, Artists & Supporters


5-6pm: Experience the Talent: Performances by Dwight Trible, Jazz Vocalist and Executive Director of The World Stage; S.H.I.N.E. Muwasi’s Women’s African Drum Circle; The Billy McCoy Band; and other artists to be announced

6-7pm: Mingle: Wine & Cheese Reception

s-h-i-n-e-mawusiWe are hoping to raise money ($5000) for a lighted sign to go above our storefront to showcase our new location. Any excess amount raised will go directly to TWS’ operating costs. 

Please make your online donation today. 


When and if you make your payment, please indicate that you were contacted by me for this event– since we are trying to keep track of our RSVPs. If you are unfortunately unable to make the event, we would still graciously accept a donation towards our goal. 


PS— if you feel so inclined, we would greatly appreciate you to circulate this invitation to those who you feel would like to support The Stage! 


Also, please find further details regarding our schedule of events and the rich history of TWS on the invitation. Donations will also be accepted at the event.

I hope to see you at our event!

With Warmest Regards,

Mari Hashimoto

Board Member,  The World Stage

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Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Bird Calls at the Angel City Jazz Festival

by on Oct.16, 2016, under Events, Festivals, News

rdresh It’s in the blood. The sound of a country and the rise in spirit of the five human elements riding and stirring up the peace before the storm, BAM! Sensational alto rhythms in massive frequency present themselves like Morris code translations from a parallel Universe of intellect with message to enlighten.


bird-calls“Bird Calls” the latest work of art from Rudresh Mahanthappa based not as a tribute, but more like premises of inspired improvisations grounded in the cognition of Charlie Parker but, fashioned in the form of 21st century and beyond Rudreshisms that represent new shapes and textures for the thought provoking music of now.
Who is this cat on Trumpet? Adam O’farrell fearlessly moving through rhythm with the reverse polarity of a magnet repelling cliché and adducting seamless creativity as they forage through originality.

rdrsh1Bird calls, a progressive step into future based on past communications. No quotes, but an advance on formula; genius to the next power.
Thomson Kneeland is the super melodic voice on bass, Dan Weiss on drums and joining us once again adding extravagant improvisations and solid support, brother Joshua White on piano.

cparker“On the DL” based on Charlie Parker’s, “Donna Lee”.
“Talin is Thinking” inspired and written for his son sounds like pathways inside the brain of an inquisitive young one discovering truths and developing theories as he questions the world.

Josh elevates to levels on the highest plane when he takes his solos breaking the sound down into micro fragments and SPLASH, 23 golds back into the mix!


One of the premier nights of intentionally curated sound brought to you by Angel City Arts, always forward thinking, employing mind expanding artists to broaden the horizons of an ever changing landscape of sound. There are only a handful of us here in Los Angeles with the ODACITY to present cutting edge, presentations for thirsty ear Angelenos and for the last 9 years, The Angel City Jazz Festival has been one of the front liners.

Next year will mark a decade to the dedication to supreme jazz music presentation here in Los Angeles and we expect you and everyone else to show up and join us on the front line for the sound battle of superior vs a city, a state and a country of mediocrity. Live, Love Jazz Music!


LeRoy Downs

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Codes featuring Joshua White at LACC for The Angel City Jazz Festival!!

by on Oct.16, 2016, under Events, Festivals, News


A sound delicate and deliberate, a groove rooted in African soil, a story told nightly at 6, 9, 10 and 11 for the decades of our lives. Society and the life that we live here as Kings of art, music, culture, dance, invention, sport, entertainment, education and the likes fail to uphold the beauty as a whole and tend to suppress, intimidate or try to eradicate a power and spirt that is omnificent.

Inside perspectives that come to shining light fruition, in the eye of the cyclone, calm, loving and peaceful with a tumultuous exterior. Joshua White and his extraordinary band delivers a multitude of sensation at the 9th Annual Angel City Jazz Festival.


Southern Cop was based on a poem by Sterling Brown poet and Los Angeles legend and vocal pipeline to the stars Dwight Trible delivers the narrative and connecting heaven and earth through ascending sonics.

mooreralph_7519Our brother Ralph Moore,  classically piercing the veil of theimg_7196 epidermis combining his sound with our natural body waves.
Jonathan Pinson dropping poignant precious bombs of joy as his energy, smile and incredible sense of creativity work in unison with bass player Dean Hulett.


Joshua White pounding and caressing uncharted templates with breathtaking passionate deliveries. A vessel of beautiful sound driving and supporting an all star ensemble transforming the audience here at LACC’s Claussen Auditorium to the palm of the hands of the music! img_7186

From poem, to a spiritual to soul twisting fate, we are all at the mercy of the whims of the melody. Lifted, emersed and delivered unscathed by the crash, the lessons in the music are full of truth, tragedy and love. There is no turning off the picture, no turning the other way, you must feel and become the sound like one drop of crimson in a pot of purity that stains, leaving us all with the Blues.

Undoubtedly one of the most talented and creative musicians of our times. Don’t sleep on this giant because guaranteed there are new paths carved in the music. Follow the footsteps now and be a part of the discovery, or wait and get on the train everyone else, either way, your future will be enlightened!!!


LeRoy Downs

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Angel City Jazz Festival!! Two weeks of stunning Music Sept 30th – Oct 16th

by on Oct.01, 2016, under News


Listen, Learn, Love, Enjoy the music that you never hear will change your life!



ld-ford-angel-cityCome on out and enjoy all of this SUPER Fantastic Music! 2 weeks of Dynamic Sound! screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-10-46-11-pmLeRoy Downs will be hosting at LACMA the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to kick things off this Friday Sept 30th with the Angel City Young Artists Competition Winners and the LA/Chicago Project!

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-10-46-33-pmAlso at the John Ansen Ford Theater on October 2nd with  The Great Pharoah Sanders and the Gurrisonic Orchestra with Don Byron and Martha Gonzolez!

Come and get this MUSIC!

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