John Bacon and Bob McLennan, Press Conference
Sportsmens Tavern, September 18, 2018







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Press Release
Jazz Impressions: 1968

On Tuesday, September 18, 2018, The Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation Founder and Emeritus, Dwane Hall, and current foundation president, Robert McLennan, presented a $3,000 award and provided a podium supporting the announcement of a new annual region-wide jazz initiative, JAZZ IMPRESSIONS: 1968, curated by percussionist and music educator, John Bacon.

“This supportive collaboration between the Sportsmen's Americana Music Foundation, Burchfield Penney Art Center, and the Buffalo Jazz Collective makes this initiative unprecedented,” states Bacon. “It offers a unique opportunity for the Western New York community to attend concerts and enjoy some of the area’s top jazz performers and literary artists.”

During October and November of 2018, a group of Buffalo area musicians and writers will collaborate on a series of concerts reflecting on the musical, social, political, historical and artistic aspects of one of the most tumultuous years in American History. Musical and literary artists will look at 1968 through the words and music of the time and reflect on the influence and legacy that resulted from the immense creativity of that time. This project is part of an annual initiative that began in 2017 with a celebration of the 100th birth year of composer and pianist Thelonious Monk.

John Bacon, composer and percussionist, is a member of some of the most prominent Jazz groups in Western New York including Star People, the Bobby Militello Quartet, the Buffalo Jazz Octet, the UB Faculty Jazz Quartet and the Buffalo Jazz Composers Workshop. He is a music educator at UB, Villa Maria College and SUNY Fredonia. He has been honored as a composer through the New York State Foundation for the Arts (2013 Artist Fellow) and the New York State Council on the Arts (Individual Artist Composer Commission).

Bringing together these various activities, Bacon has curated a series that asks musicians and literary artists to reflect on the impact of 1968 on the present. The artists’ exploration will attempt to answer questions to the current era of social and political turbulence. How have we honored the struggles and achievements of 1968? Has the promise of 1968 been fulfilled? What does the legacy of 1968 mean today? Can we find answers for our current difficulties in the efforts and achievements of 1968?

Calendar of Events

Thursday October 11, 2018 7:30p
Pausa Art House
19 Wadsworth St.
Buffalo NY 14201

Solos and Ensembles
A concert featuring performers from various participating groups in the JAZZ IMPRESSIONS: 1968 series.  The performers will be featured in solo and small ensemble combinations for a uniquely spontaneous musical experience.  Performers include Bobby Militello, saxophone; George Caldwell, piano; Tim Clarke, trumpet; Nelson Rivera, saxophone; Jared Tinkham, guitar; Phil Sims, trombone;  John Hasselback, trombone; Lisa Hasselback, piano; Alex MacArthur, voice; John Bacon, percussion; and, David Landrey, poet.

Thursday October 18, 2018 7:30p
UB Baird Recital Hall
University at Buffalo
The State University of New York
North Campus


Friday, October 19, 2018 7:30p
West Falls Center for The Arts
1863 Davis Rd.
West Falls, New York 14170

UB Faculty Jazz Quartet and Guests Play Music of Herbie Hancock “Speak Like A Child” and McCoy Tyner “Expansions.”
The atypical instrumental combinations and a mix of inside-outside playing are contemporaneous features of both Herbie Hancock’s “Speak Like A Child” and McCoy Tyner’s “Expansions” from 1968.  The UB Faculty Jazz Quartet (Bobby Militello, alto saxophone and flute; George Caldwell, piano; Sabu Adeyola, bass; John Bacon, drums) will be supplemented by
Mark Filsinger, trumpet;  John Hasselback Jr., trombone; and UB Music Department Chairman  Jonathan Golove, cello. Ed Cardoni, writer and executive director of Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, will provide topical readings on the era.

Tuesday October 23, 2018 11a
Villa Maria Recital Hall
Villa Maria College
240 Pine Ridge Rd.
Buffalo, NY 14225

Piano Trio Plays Music of Bill Evans “Live at Montreux” and Chick Corea “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs”.
By 1968, the Jazz Piano Trio format had reached an apex of diversity encompassing work by artists as varied as Wynton Kelly, Keith Jarrett, Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans and Chick Corea.  Lisa Hasselback, piano; Bill Staebell, bass; and, John Bacon, drums will visit the music of Bill Evans and Chick Corea and the lasting impact this music has had on the contemporary Jazz Piano Trio.  

Friday November 2, 2018 8p
The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium
Burchfield-Penney Art Gallery
1300 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14222

Buffalo Jazz Octet: The Music of 1968
The Buffalo Jazz Octet, an adventurously intriguing ensemble representing the stylistic depths of the Buffalo area Jazz scene, have crafted arrangements of well known pop songs of 1968.  This music reimagines familiar songs to create a contemporary view of our pop legacy. Joining the ensemble will be Buffalo State College music historian Charles Mancuso and poet Michael Hopkins.  
Tim Clarke, trumpet; Kelly Bucheger, alto saxophone; Nelson Rivera, soprano and tenor saxophone; Steve Baczkowski baritone saxophone and winds; Phil Sims, trombone; Michael McNeill, piano; Joe Goehle, bass;  John Bacon, drums.
With Charles Mancuso music historian and Michael Hopkins poet.

Saturday November 10, 2018 7:30p
Taylor Theatre at the Kenan Center
433 Locust St.
Lockport, NY 14094


Sunday November 11, 2018 2:30p
Buffalo History Museum
One Museum Ct.
Buffalo, New York 14216

Star People Plays Miles Davis in 1968
Star People is a group of stellar Buffalo jazz musicians that reimagines the music of Miles Davis. For this event they will feature music of Miles' 1968 recordings "Filles de Kilimanjaro" and "Miles in the Sky." In 1968, Miles Davis was on the brink of full immersion in a funk-rock-jazz amalgam. The use of electric piano, electric bass and straight eighth-note drum grooves were the first premonitions of this monumental change.  But also significantly Miles was exploring more complex musical structures including evolving vamps for solos, multi-part compositions and exotic harmonies. This concert highlights the gestation of Jazz Rock and the accumulation of energy toward its birth.

Musicians include Bobby Militello, alto saxophone and flute;  Tim Clarke, trumpet; Andy Weinzler, tenor saxophone; George Caldwell, piano; Joe Goehle, bass;  John Bacon, drums Jeff Miers, Buffalo News Music Critic, offers social commentary through music criticism of the times. Constance Caldwell, actress, interprets brief selections from James Baldwin, Denise Levertov, William Shakespeare as it it relates to 1968.

Wednesday November 14, 2018 8p

Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center
341 Delaware Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14202

The Buffalo Jazz Composers Workshop and Poetry Alliance
Featuring new works for poetry and Jazz Ensemble.
The Buffalo Jazz Composers Workshop is a collective organized by Kelly Bucheger.  The group meets twice a month to rehearse and perform new original jazz compositions.  This concert will feature newly composed music and poems by writer David Landry’s Poetry Alliance.  The music and words will be a true reflection on themes of the era of 1968. In This concert the writers and musicians will ask the important questions “Where we were in 1968?,” “Where are we today?” and “How did we get here?”.
Tim Clarke, trumpet; Kelly Bucheger, sax; Nelson Rivera, sax; Alec Dube, vibraharp; Jared Tinham, guitar;  Joe Goehle, bass; John Bacon, drums; with David Landrey, poet.

Tuesday November 20, 2018 6p

Flying Bison Brewing Co
840 Seneca St.
Buffalo, NY 14210

Jazz Impressions: 1968 - Celebration!
Musicians, writers, audience, and all collaborators in the JAZZ IMPRESSIONS: 1968 series to celebrate the act of creation!  Please join us in a party featuring music of the era including songs by Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin in festive beer hall atmosphere of Flying Bison Brewery.  The room sounds wonderful for Jazz and there will surely be guests sitting in throughout the evening.
Featuring Bobby Militello, George Caldwell, John Bacon and Alex MacArthur performing songs of 1968 with special guests to celebrate the culmination of the “JAZZ IMPRESSIONS: 1968 festival.


This series is made possible with support from the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation, The Buffalo Jazz Collective and The Cullen Foundation.  Special thanks to The Burchfield-Penney Art Gallery, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, The Kenan Cente, UB Music Department, Villa Maria College, The West Falls Center for the Arts and the Buffalo History Museum.



Individual Venue Posters
Designed by Bobby Militello
(revised September 21, 2018)