Full-program video: Cosmic Diaspora and Steve Dalachinsky: April 19, 2018
Highlight video clips: Cosmic Diaspora (Marmer, poetry; Schott, guitar; Horowitz, accordion) performs "Taxi" | Cosmic Diaspora (Marmer, poetry; Schott, guitar; Horowitz, keyboard) performs "Anima" | Steve Dalachinsky reads "cecil taylor-derek bailey duo at tonic," in tribute to Cecil Taylor, recently passed | Steve Dalachinsky, from "son of the sun (after magic)," with John Schott impromptu on guitar
The Poetry Center Reading Room transforms into a one-night-only performance space, for a very special evening of improvised music and poetry deployed out of the spirit of the music and related impulses. It's unlikely that any one poet among us has been as immersed, and for so long, in the New York (and European) jazz and improvised music scenes, or has collaborated in some manner with as many of its extraordinary artists, as has Steve Dalachinsky. Among other participatory roles, he's been called on for liner notes for recordings by Anthony Braxton, Charles Gayle, James "Blood" Ulmer, Rashied Ali, Roy Campbell, Matthew Shipp, and Roscoe Mitchell, among others. Tonight, visiting San Francisco on a rare West Coast excursion, he'll share the bill with Bay Area poetry and music trio Cosmic Diaspora, fresh from their own turn through New York City, as part of guitarist/composer John Schott's week-long residency at The Stone, the famed improvised music space run by John Zorn, now in its revived venue at The New School in Manhattan. Besides the extraordinary Mr Schott on guitars, Cosmic Diaspora features Joshua Horowitz on keyboards and accordion, and Jake Marmer, voice and poetry.
“Steve Dalachinsky is a poet of the real world in a time when reality is despised, dismissed, not understood or lied about.” —Amiri Baraka
Steve Dalachinsky was born in Brooklyn (1946) after the last big war and has managed to survive lots of little wars. His book The Final Nite & Other Poems: Complete Notes from a Charles Gayle Notebook 1987–2006 (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006) won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. His latest CDs are The Fallout of Dreams with Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach (RogueArt, 2014) and ec(H)o-system with the French art-rock group, the Snobs (Bambalam, 2015). He has received both the Kafka and Acker Awards and is a 2014 recipient of a Chevalier D’ le Ordre des Artes et Lettres. His poem “Particle Fever” was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize. His books include: Fools Gold (feral press, 2014). A Superintendent's Eyes (revised and expanded, Autonomedia/Unbearables, revised and expanded, 2013/14). flying home, a collaboration with German visual artist Sig Bang Schmidt (Paris Lit Up Press, 2015). “The Invisible Ray” (Overpass Press, 2016) with artwork by Shalom Neuman., Frozen Heatwave, a collaboration with Yuko Otomo (Luna Bissonte Prods, 2017) and Black Magic (New Feral Pressm, 2017). His column “outtakes” appears regularly in The Brooklyn Rail. His most recent audio release is With Shelter Gone, a full length 12-inch LP on the German label Psych.KG, and his latest book is Where Night and Day Become One – the French Poems (a selection 1983-2017) (Great Weather for Media, 2018). He lives, with Yuko Otomo, in New York City.
Cosmic Diaspora: Near the close of 2017, in a burst of verbal improv, John Schott (Actual Trio, What Comes Before) wrote this:
"I love my band Cosmic Diaspora with pianist/accordionist Josh Horowitz (Veretski Pass, Budowitz) and poet Jake Marmer (Jazz Talmud). Josh and I come up with little loose compositions to serve as accompaniments to Jake's poems, which are mostly fixed but allow for spontaneous elaborations and disruptions. It's a very tricky thing, finding the right amount of activity and density, so as not to overwhelm the listener, but allow them to take in the words. I like Jake Marmer's poetry very, very much. He has the wonderful quality of savoring the English language from a non-Native speaker's perspective — he immigrated to the U.S. from Ukraine when he was a teenager. He also thoughtfully works through various Jewish and Rabbinic texts and tropes in his work, which creatively stimulate me as well. Josh Horowitz is both a virtuoso pianist and accordionist with a jaw-dropping, encyclopedic knowledge of Jewish music, Jazz, and Classical music — truly one of the most remarkable musicians I've ever met. Like, he published an article in a learned German musical journal with a ground-breaking discovery about Bach's puzzle canons. He is completely conversant with the McCoy/Herbie/Keith vocabulary, and can casually quote the opening to Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire in an improvisation. Also, he's one of the greatest authorities/educators on Jewish music in the world, period. But in this project, he's totally out of all of his boxes, and sort of free-floating in a world without definitions.
"We recently played at a very special house concert venue in Palo Alto that was filmed. Here's a selection:"
Videos, Interview, Review:
• John Tchicai and Steve Dalachinsky
• Steve Dalachinsky and Dave Liebman at The Stone
• Steve Dalachinsky and The Snobs
• Steve Dalachinsky interviewed by Lisa Chau in The Huffington Post
• Steve Dalachinsky in the New York Times