West Harlem Art Fund And Arts For Art Presents Free Jazz Concert Governors Island

August 17, 2023

Arts for Art proudly announces a new partnership with the West Harlem Art Fund to present In Gardens at Governors Island.

In Gardens at Governors Island will feature two afternoons of FreeJazz performances, Melanie Dyer’s Siren Xypher on August 26th and Alexis Marcelo Trio on August 27th, 2023. The performances will be a highlight within a vibrant environment of interactive outdoor activities, art shows, and children’s programs. Our partnership with the West Harlem Art Fund’s summer art residency amplifies our mission to bring the creative arts into public spaces, creating an enriching experience for the community and making FreeJazz more accessible.

Saturday Performance

Melanie Dyer (viola) is the leader of the ensemble WeFreeStrings. She has performed with Sun Ra Arkestra under Marshall Allen, William Parker, James Brandon Lewis, Gwen Laster’s New Muse 4tet, Henry Grimes, Tulivu Donna Cumberbatch, Nona Hendryx, Joe Bonner, Reggie Workman, Howard Johnson, David Haney, and many other notable musicians in Europe, South Africa, and the U.S.

The Dyer Rosenbloom Kitamura trio presents original improvised works that evince a deep connection and expansive dialogue between three skilled musicians.

Mara Rosenbloom (piano) leads both The Mara Rosenbloom Trio (feat: Sean Conly & Chad Taylor) and Flyways, a trio featuring Anais Mavïel & Rashaan Carter. In 2020, The Mara Rosenbloom Trio received The Chamber Music America Performance Plus Grant, with support from The New York Community Trust & The Doris Duke Foundation. Mara is also a member of William Hooker’s Quartet MOON, The Katie Bull Project, and Dawn Drake’s global funk ensemble ZapOte, and continues to perform with a variety of musicians across genres, including William Parker, Cooper-Moore, Sam Newsome, Ras Moshe Burnett, and many others. Her mentors at the piano include the incomparable Cooper-Moore and the late improvising pianist and life force Connie Crothers.

Kyoko Kitamura (voice) is a vocal improviser, bandleader, composer, and educator based in Brooklyn. She leads her ensemble Tidepool Fauna (featuring saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Dayeon Seok), co-leads Geometry (with Taylor Ho Bynum, Joe Morris, Tomeka Reid), and is an active side person with recent appearances on albums by William Parker, Cory Smythe, and Russ Lossing for which she has garnered stellar reviews. Kyoko is also known for her decade-long association with legendary musician, composer, and thinker Anthony Braxton and is featured on many of his releases including GTM (Syntax) 2017, the 12-hour recording of his vocal works performed by the Tri-Centric Vocal Ensemble which she directed and co-produced.

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Sunday Performance

Alexis Marcelo is a pianist who creates a soulful New York City sound. He instinctively delivers a sound representative of a wide range of influences. Alexis’s training began when he began studying with JD Parran (AACM) at the Harlem School of the Arts and continued at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he studied composition with Yusef Lateef. Alexis has performed nationally and abroad at various festivals and prestigious venues, including the North Sea Jazz Festival (Yusef Lateef), the Detroit Jazz Festival (Yusef Lateef), Etnafest (Italy-Yusef Lateef), Mediawave Festival (Hungary-The Hub), and Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Alexis has also recorded multiple albums with former professor and mentor Yusef Lateef. Recently, Alexis recorded his first album and can be heard on current recordings of Adam Rudolph’s Go Orchestra & Moving Pictures, and a new recording with Malcolm Mooney (Can). Alexis Marcelo is a very unique pianist who looks to provide a soulful experience.

Arts for Art

Founded in 1996, Arts for Art (AFA) is a New York City-based nonprofit dedicated to the promotion and advancement of FreeJazz, aka Multicultural Creative Improvised Music and Art that is recognized for its variety of highly developed and personalized improvisational languages. The music, dance, poetry and visual arts that Arts for Art presents holds deep roots in Black and multicultural creativity. Moreover, it derives its energy from the tradition and power of free improvisation that was inspired by the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950’s and 60’s. Spearheaded by the acclaimed Vision Festival, AFA’s programming brings together generations of diverse and highly skilled artists. AFA includes free education initiatives that further our goals of diversity and accessibility.

West Harlem Art Fund

West Harlem Art Fund (WHAF) is a twenty-four-year-old, public art and new media organization. Like explorers from the past, who searched for new lands and people, WHAF seek opportunities for artists and creative professionals throughout NYC and beyond wishing to showcase and share their talent. The West Harlem Art Fund presents art and culture in open and public spaces to add aesthetic interest; promote historical and cultural heritage; and support community involvement in local development. Our heritage symbol Afuntummireku-denkyemmtreku: is the double crocodile from West Africa Ghana which means unity in diversity. 

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