Summer music series, as great as some may be, are a dime a dozen. As summertime creeps in, music festivals and huge, commercially endorsed outdoor concerts flood New York City’s many venues, often leaving much to be desired in a city otherwise teeming with substantial cultural offerings.
Happily, lovers of jazz music have a lot to look forward to this summer with the return of the Vision Festival. The festival is an annual event that is eighteen years running, and is backed by Arts for Art, Inc. A non-profit multicultural organization, Arts for Art seeks to “build awareness and understanding of avantjazz and related expressive movements while encouraging a sense of community amongst artists and their audiences. Our principal activities are the presentation of innovative, creative music, dance, multi-media performances, spoken word, and the exhibition of visual arts and through educational efforts involve a new generation,” according to their Mission Statement.
The Vision Festival is running from June 12th through the 16th this year, returning to the Roulette in Brooklyn with jazz performances, workshops, and poetry readings. In the past, the Vision Festival has brought free performances to the Campos Plaza Housing Development on East 13th Street in NYC, with hopes of making music and art more accessible to an underserved demographic. The multi-arts festival has developed immensely over the years due to the efforts of Arts for Art, with proceeds from ticket sales and donations going towards creating visibility for avantjazz and the underrepresented artists of all ages who encompass the genre.
This year, you can expect to catch jazz drummer Milford Graves, who Arts for Art has honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the festival’s annual traditions, as well as the Roscoe Mitchell Trio, poetry from Steve Dalachinsky, and performances from some school bands, amongst many other popular avantjazz groups. The Vision Festival features a fantastic lineup, sure to entertain, as well as push the boundaries of the genre.
For more information on tickets, show times, and this year’s complete lineup, visit the Vision Festival’s full schedule.