April-22nd-2010, 03:33 AM
Jazzmouth Festival - Apr 22-25
Since 2005, late April has brought a deliciously mad cyclone of creative activity to the Seacoast. The annual Jazzmouth festival feeds on the artistic energy originally sparked when late beat pioneer Jack Kerouac began reading his poems to the tune of improvised jazz from multi-instrumentalist and composer David Amram in 1957.
The sixth annual Jazzmouth Poetry and Jazz Festival takes place from Thursday to Sunday, April 22 to 25, in downtown Portsmouth.
Jazzmouth shines a bright spotlight on prominent local and national poets and musicians. That spotlight reflects back on the entire Seacoast as a unique and singular arts destination. The festival celebrates the beat tradition of combining poetry and music, but it also celebrates the exceptional diversity of talent and creativity harbored right here in our community.
Amram, a staple of the first five Jazzmouth celebrations, will not join the festivities this year, as he’s busy filming a new orchestral piece for a documentary. But Jazzmouth mastermind Larry Simon and his team of organizers have more than compensated with another spectacular lineup, including legendary beat poet Michael McClure, The Doors founder and keyboardist Ray Manzarek, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, and famed poet and activist John Sinclair.
The four-day festival kicks off with a presentation of the film “Jazz on a Summer’s Day” at Portsmouth Public Library on Thursday, April 22. Sinclair will be at The Press Room on Friday, April 23, along with local jazz vocalist Chris Humphrey.
The 2010 Jazzmouth Extravaganza, featuring Pinsky and the duo of McClure and Manzarek, takes place at The Music Hall starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 24. Bassist and poet Eric Mingus, son of jazz great Charles Mingus, will return to Jazzmouth with his horn player Catherine Sikora. The Larry Simon Ensemble will also perform, along with some of the Seacoast’s favorite spoken word artists. Other special events take place throughout each day at various venues across town.
Pinsky will be the fourth former U.S. poet laureate to appear at Jazzmouth, following Charles Simic in 2005, Billy Collins in 2008, and Donald Hall in 2009. Other past Jazzmouth participants include Andrei Codrescu, Ed Sanders, Bob Dorough, Mose Allison and Sheila Jordan, plus a delectable spread of local poets and musicians.
Our current contains interviews with McClure, Manzarek, Sinclair and Pinsky, plus the official 2010 Jazzmouth schedule. For more information, visit www.jazzmouth.org.