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The 25th Vision Festival Honors Amina Claudine Myers and Celebrates Many Others

courtesy of the artist

The theme for Vision Festival 25 is "Breaking Free, Coming Home" — a fitting title for an event that has always combined free license with home truths. This year's Lifetime Achievement honoree, appropriately, is composer, keyboardist and vocalist Amina Claudine Myers, who embodies both of those qualities in her music.

Myers, 79, has played the Vision Festival in various formats over the years. Here is an excerpt of a 2015 duo with bassist Henry Grimes, who had his homegoing last year. (Don't miss the beauty of an abstract section at around 8:30, and the effortless way it morphs into a walking blues. Grimes wasn't playing this way with just anybody in 2015.)

Henry Grimes & Amina Claudine Myers | Vision Festival 20 (3 of 3)

The Amina Claudine Myers Voice Choir is scheduled to perform tonight, Friday, at 6:30 p.m. At 8, she'll perform with Generation IV, featuring vocalists Richarda Abrams, Pyeng Threadgill and Luna Threadgill-Moderbacher. And at 9:30, Myers will lead her working trio with Jerome Harris on bass and Reggie Nicholson on drums.

Last October, the trio appeared on the Arts For Art series Vision Healing Soul, at La Plaza, The Clemente in New York City. From that evening, here is "Keep On Loving," a song written by Myers' brother Robert Thurman.

Amina Claudine Myers Trio | Vision Healing Soul

Other highlights of this year's festival include a reunion of
Tony Malaby’s Sabino Quartet, at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday; James Blood Ulmer's Odyssey, at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday; the James Brandon Lewis Quartet, at 7 p.m. on July 29; Trio 3 with an unnamed guest pianist, at 9:45 p.m. on July 29; the David Murray Octet, at 9:30 p.m. on July 30; and Tribute to Milford Graves, with bassist William Parker, drummer William Hooker and others, at 8:30 p.m. on July 31.

Tonight's festivities take place at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, which will also host the festival on July 29 and 30. On July 24, 25 and 31, the Vision Festival will take place at The Clemente in the Lower East Side. The festival will be presented outdoors, and also available as a livestream.

“As live shows become safer, we’ll gather and share our creative visions to make space for a more compassionate world,” Arts for Art founder Patricia Nicholson Parker says in a statement. “Vision’s message this year is about coming home to our strong self. Our home is within. The past year gave us time to listen to ourselves and now we are home.”

Find a schedule below. For more information, visit artsforart.org.

Amina Claudine Myers Lifetime of Achievement Celebration

6:30pm The Amina Claudine Myers Voice Octet

7:30pm Poet Tyehimba Jess

8:00pm Generation IV
Amina Claudine Myers – voice, piano / Richarda Abrams – voice / Pyeng Threadgill – voice / Luna Threadgill-Moderbacher - voice

9:00pm Reflections: A Portrait of Amina Claudine Myers
Documentary film by Moon Lasso, produced by Arts for Art

9:30pm The Amina Claudine Myers Trio
Amina Claudine Myers – piano, Hammond B3 / Jerome Harris - bass
Reggie Nicholson – drums

107 Suffolk St, New York

5:00pm Creative Vision Youth Ensemble

6:00pm Composers Workshop Ensemble
Warren Smith – drums, percussion / Rod Williams – piano / Larry Roland – bass, poetry / James Zollar – trumpet / Patience Higgins - tenor sax / Don Slatoff - baritone sax / Lloyd Haber – drums, percussion

7:00pm ElectroFLUTTER
Fay Victor – voice, compositions / Nicole Mitchell – flute / Jamaaladeen Tacuma – bass guitar

8:00pm Morris / Smith
Tracie Morris - poetry / Cecilia Smith - vibes

8:30pm Joe Morris & Tomas Fujiwara
Joe Morris - guitar / Tomas Fujiwara - drums

9:30pm Tony Malaby’s Sabino Quartet
Tony Malaby - tenor, soprano saxophones / Ben Monder - guitar / Michael Formanek - bass / Tom Rainey - drums

107 Suffolk St, New York

6:00pm Whit Dickey Trio
Whit Dickey - drums / Rob Brown - alto saxophone / Mat Maneri - viola

7:00pm Pheeroan akLaff Liberation Unit
Pheeroan akLaff - drums / Adegoke Steve Colson - piano / Michael Gregory Jackson - guitar

8:00pm Raymond Nat Turner
Raymond Nat Turner - poetry

9:00pm Third Landing
Ava Mendoza - guitar / Alexis Marcelo – keyboards / Luke Stewart - bass
Devin Brahja Waldman – horns / Ches Smith - drums / Abiodun Oyewole - spoken word

9:30pm James Blood Ulmer ODYSSEY
James Blood Ulmer - guitar / Charles Burnham - violin / Warren Benbow - drums

159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn

6:00pm Elder Ones
Amirtha Kidambi - voice, harmonium, synthesizer / Matt Nelson - soprano saxophone, effects / Eva Lawitts - bass, effects / Max Jaffe - drums, sensory percussion
7:00pm James Brandon Lewis Quartet
James Brandon Lewis - tenor saxophone / Aruán Ortiz - piano / Brad Jones - bass / Chad Taylor - drums

8:00pm Julie Ezelle Patton Rock Paper Twister
Julie Ezelle Patton - poetry / Janice Lowe - piano / Paul Van Curen - guitar / William Parker - bass / Nasheet Waits - drums / Special Guest - Vinie Burrows

8:45pm Mara Rosenbloom Presents Flyways
Mara Rosenbloom - piano / Anaïs Maviel - voice, surdo / Rashaan Carter - bass

9:45pm Trio 3 + Special Guest
Oliver Lake - alto saxophone / Reggie Workman - bass / Andrew Cyrille - drums + Special Guest - piano
159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn

6:00pm Brandon Lopez Trio
Brandon Lopez – bass / Gerald Cleaver – drums / Steve Baczkowski – woodwinds

7:00pm Ingrid Laubrock’s Monochromes
Jon Irabagon – saxophones / Ingrid Laubrock - saxophones
/ Zeena Parkins – harp / Tom Rainey - drums / performing with pre-recorded tapes

8:00pm fly or die
jaimie branch - trumpet, voice, percussion / Lester St. Louis - cello, voice, percussion / Jason Ajemian- bass / Chad Taylor - drums, mbira, voice

9:00pm Moten / Lopez / Cleaver
Fred Moten - poetry / Brandon Lopez - bass / Gerald Cleaver - drums

9:30pm David Murray Octet Revival
David Murray – tenor sax, compositions / Lakecia Benjamin – alto sax / Terry Greene II – trombone / Josh Evans – trumpet / Mingus Murray – guitar / David Bryant – piano / Dezron Douglas – bass / Russell Carter – drums
Commissioned by Chamber Music America

Tribute to Milford Graves

6:00pm Andrew Cyrille
Andrew Cyrille - drum set

7:00pm Joe McPhee Octet Tribute to Milford Graves
Warren Smith – vibes / Jay Rosen – drums/ Brandon Lopez, Michael Bisio– bass
James Keepnews – guitar / Jason Kao Hwang, Rosie Hertlein – violin / Joseph McPhee – reeds, brass

8:00pm Shahzad Ismaily
Shahzad Ismaily - multiple instruments

8:15pm John Zorn
John Zorn - alto saxophone

8:30pm Tribute to Milford Graves
William Parker - bass / Lee Mixashawn Rozie - woodwinds / D.D. Jackson - piano / William Hooker - drums / Francisco Mela - drums

9:30pm Drum, Horn, and Dance Tribute to Milford Graves

A veteran jazz critic and award-winning author, and a regular contributor to NPR Music.