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Davis, California

Friday, May 17, 2024

Celebrating a generation

On Oct. 7, 1955, at a student-run gallery in San Francisco called Six Gallery, a poet named Allen Ginsberg read a poem entitled “Howl” which ignited a series of stimulating shocks and ultimately, a movement known today as The Beat Generation.

And decades later, the same artistic spirit and yearning continues. From Friday at 1p.m. through Saturday until 10p.m., Davis will host its 4th annual Jazz and Beat Festival downtown.

“It’s more about the now,” said Jesse Drew, a UC Davis technocultural studies professor who will be part of the panel discussion board along with filmmaker Craig Baldwin and poet David Meltzer. “That Bohemian sensibility is very much alive today-now.”

Amid the suppression of artists during the pivotal period in the late ’50s and early ’60s, The Beat Generation gave birth to a generation of artists yearning for spontaneous creativity and release.

The Beat Generation unified all forms of artistic mediums vocally, visually and politically; where an art space was no longer a mere place to display artwork, but rather a place where artists could proudly celebrate artistic freedom and non-conformity. The Beat Generation created a ground of multi-media for painters, artists, poets and musicians-especially jazz artists.

“It’s not about looking at that period as being a dead historical period,” Drew said. “The value of it is in providing inspiration to young people today to do that kind of work and think critically about the work they create. [The Beat Generation] wasn’t just an art movement but a political movement like Ginsberg’s poem”.

In addition to a panel discussion, there will be numerous performances by live jazz musicians such as the Ross Hammond Trio, Yolo Mambo, Tony Passarell trio, the Davis High School Jazz Band and many more. The Door’s keyboardist, Ray Manzarek, will also be featured in some performance.

But perhaps what is so intriguing about The Beat Generation and this festival is the synergy of combining art with music. During live jazz performances, artists such as painter Nancy Ostrovsky will be painting simultaneously with the music-raw creation unique to the moment. And event-goers will get to witness it all.

“It’s fun watching the piece of art forming,” said Fred Lange, music teacher and conductor of the Davis High School Jazz Band. “The artists create the art while we perform the music and it’s a synergetic experience where one compliments the other. It’s two different mediums mixed together.”

Sponsored by Armadillo Music, the Cultural Action Committee, Sudwerk Brewery, Hallmark, Nestware, Aveleda Winery, Davis Commons, KDVS, Dos Coyotes, Watermelon Music, All Star Rents,and the Buckhorn Steakhouse. Admission to the event is free. Food and drinks will be available.

October 8th: Beat Generation & Beyond Conference

1-3 p.m.: Presentation by filmmaker Craig Baldwin featuring the work of Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage

3:30-5 p.m.: Panel discussion featuring filmmaker Craig Baldwin, poet David Meltzer and TCS professor Jesse Drew

7-8 p.m.: David Meltzer poetry reading, accompanied by the Tony Passarell Trio

7-9 p.m.: Opening Reception for Beat Exhibition at John Natsoulas Gallery: Reception with poetry by Michael McClure & music by Ray Manzarek and Jazz Painting Performance with Nancy Ostovskywith the Tony Passarell Trio

8-10 p.m.: Poetry readings by the winners of the Jack Kerouac Poetry Contest, Dr. Andy Jones MC, accompanied by the Tony Passarell Trio

October 9th: Davis Jazz FestivalDavis Commons Stage

12:15-1:00 p.m.: We! Bones with painter Myron Stephens

1:15-2:00 p.m.: Brubeck Institute with painter Stephanie Taylor

2:15-3:00 p.m.: Poetry reading by Michael McClure with the Door’s keyboardist Ray Manzarek and painter Nancy Ostrovsky

3:15-4:00 p.m.: Rio Americana Jazz Band with painter Jonqui Albin

4:15-5:00 p.m.: Davis High School Jazz Band with painter Jonqui Albin

Armadillo Music Stage (1st and E St.):

11:45 a.m.-2:30pm: Ross Hammond Trio

12:45-1:30 p.m.: Yolo Mambo

1:45-2:30 p.m.: Davis High School Jazz Combo

2:45-3:30 p.m.: CSUS Jazz Combo

3:45-4:30 p.m.: UC Davis Jazz Combo

4:45-5:45 p.m.: Boco do Rio

Boy Scout Cabin Stage (616 1st):

Noon: CJ and the Canyons/Tha Dirt Feeling

1:00 p.m.: Allegra Silberstein

1:15 p.m.: Indigo Moor

2:00 p.m.: Jaroba Jazz Trio

2:25 p.m.: Jaroba Jazz Trio with Brad Henderson

3:00 p.m.: Eskimo Pie

3:25 p.m.: Eve West Bessier

4:00 p.m.: Instagon

4:30 p.m.: Instagon with David Meltzer

For more information regarding scheduling or biographies of featured artists and musicians, visit www.davisjazz.com.

UYEN CAO can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


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