The Jazzcat

Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith at Occidental College!

by on Apr.16, 2016, under Events, News

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.46.56 PM It is always a special time when the world gets to experience music through the many vast combinations that the world puts together. Tonight at Occidental College near Highland Park in Los Angeles was one of those times indeed!
Occidental_Thorne_HallThorne Hall at the end of the campus at Occidental College game me the impression that I have arrived after the beautiful stroll through the campus.  Our moderator this evening tells a story of G William Hume, a young man who attended Occidental College or Oxy in the early 50’s. He actually worked as director of Throne Hall for many years and was an avid stamp collector. Turns out that he left his estate to Oxy and his massive collection of stamps curated the G William Hume Fellowship of the Performance for the Arts. The existence of this  endowment has traveled through time and has transcended to art. From crazy stamp collections to pristine sound waves that connect directly to our core, Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith shape and mold vibrations of beauty into a kingdom of self discovery.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.51.44 PMIn the beginning silence, until there was sound. Two gentlemen walk on the stage, approach their instruments and proceed to engage with the atoms in the universe. Space is the trio as the three dance, play and communicate with our inner beings. The sound is a textile made for Royalty and we get to wear the crown.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.52.08 PMThe notes drift, float, hover and illuminate vibrations of light. If you come to to music with open arms, you receive and abundance of love in return. This is not song or melody or sections in a composition, it is life in a story of sonic expression. Reaching, fleeting, pulsing are the extensions of your being. Velocity, speed and its nemesis in the helix dance of the soul, with the adduction of each drop formulating our entire being bringing us back to the one.

Landscapes and silent winds swirl across colored pastels to infinate horizons that see beyond planes, that exist and connect to many dimensions. If you are thinking, you have missed the communication. You can only be, there is no other existence. One with the creators. If it were not for this then who would we be?

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.52.30 PMAll roads lead here to peace, to silence, to tension, perplexing curiosity, to resolve or not. What matters is that there is a gift that is graciously given and graciously received.


Wadada floats like a Monarch spreading wings and flying in cepia tone. Vijay is ballet on ivory and the two create a slow motion snow globe vacuum of transparency where you can see and hear your past and present while looking back from your future. Discovery aboard the vessel of your being.


From the skies to the depths of the ocean, your search for awareness slips into the realization of the sequence of moments that has lead you here. Your journey ends where it has began and you realize you have already answerd your questions.

Breathe deep, inhale sound and spread love!


LeRoy Downs


2 Comments for this entry

  • Cathy Segal-Garcia

    Leroy! You are a spiritual eloquence that has no end! Lovely perspective, lovely descriptions…thank you! xoxo your partner in art and soul, Cathy Segal-Garcia

  • Alia Medeiros


    My name is Alan and I am a musician from Brazil.

    I would like to introduce my Jazz Project to you and if you enjoy it, perhaps you can talk about it on your blog somehow? Mention us… we appreciate any support you and your blog may give us. Thank You!

    Here we go:

    Dave Salvator + Alan Suassuna = BraJazzUs
    You can now reserve your 5 CDs of Brazilian/American Jazz for only $ 50.00 – 9 Original & Tasty Songs!

    (Shipping Included – Worldwide)

    Video Link:

    To learn more about this project and support our musical journey visit:–2

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