Vision Festival

Photo Credit: Luciano Rossetti © Phocus. Photos of Joel Futterman courtesy of Joel Futterman
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Country and Region United StatesNew York
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival New York, New York USA
Festival Contact Information

Phone: (01) 212-696-6681
Fax: (01) 212-696-5420

Festival Description

The annual Vision Festival is New York’s premiere multidisciplinary celebration of creative jazz, dance, poetry and visual arts. It runs each June at the Abrons Art Center (466 Grand Street), a venue dedicated to the presentation of innovative artists. Afternoon performances, as well as after hours conductions, will take place at Clemente Soto Velez (107 Suffolk Street). Arts for Art will present more than 40 events in total, including innovative music and dance performances, poetry readings, visual art exhibitions.

Festival Dates June 12 - 16, 2013
Festival Links

Festival Story:

The Vision Festival is a presentation of Arts For Art, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to building the awareness of avantjazz and related expressive movements while encouraging a sense of community amongst artists and their audiences. An annual event since 1996, the festival has grown to become the city’s premier artist-run, multi-disciplinary celebration of creative improvised music and the culture that surrounds it, drawing both concertgoers and performers from around the world.

“Avant-garde jazz culture has no better colloquy in this country than the Vision Festival”, writes The New York Times’ Nate Chinen. Critics have described it as “arguably the most important free-jazz fest in the U.S.” (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader), “affordable like church, with comparable spiritual uplift” (Howard Mandel, New York Press), “unlike any other festival on the planet” (John Sharpe, and “the most exciting, adventurous musical gathering that New York has to offer” (Jason Gross, The Village Voice).

“No single event in the past decade has done more for New York free jazz than the annual Vision Festival” adds Boston Phoenix contributor Ed Hazell. “besides raising the profile of musicians who’ve been marginalized by the mainstream media, the artist-run event has provided a forum for allied artists in various media in which to explore the common political-aesthetic-spiritual underpinnings of their art directly with their audiences.”

Arts For Art, Inc was founded in 1995 by arts organizer/choreographer Patricia N. Parker, who a decade earlier, along with world-renowned bassists/composers William Parker and Peter Kowald, produced the Vision Festival precursor, the Sound Unity Festival, which was immortalized in the influential documentary film, Rising Tones Cross. Since the first Vision Festival in 1996, Arts For Art, Inc. has expanded its outreach to include other related events in New York throughout the year including the Vision Collaboration Nights each Winter, the InGardens Concert Series each Fall and the Evolving Music/Evolving Voice Series which runs all-year-round. In November 2009, Arts For Art initiated a new event called the 28 Hours Of Innovative Art, which brought together the best of New York’s Downtown community of improvising musicians, dancers, artists and poets. For her efforts, Ms. Nicholson Parker has been nominated as Producer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) three times, winning the honor in 2003 and 2007.


Festival Events:

Highlighted events 2013:
  • Milford GravesCelebrating A Lifetime Of Achievement
    June 12, 2013, at 7:30pm
    • AFA is excited to announce that Milford Graves will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. This legendary drummer, scientist, herbalist, martial artist and acupuncturist is truly a renaissance man whose work has for too long gone either under the radar or like so many great artists, has been misunderstood. His groundbreaking work and scientific approach to understanding the effect of rhythm on the heart is matched with a belief in the power of art to move and inspire. As a drummer, his roots are in latin/Cuban rhythms, which will be reflected in the first group on June 12 where he has invited David Virelles to join him with a group of 3 other Cuban musicians. The Rest of the Night will be All Stars including Kidd Jordan, DD Jackson, Charles Gayle, Roswell Rudd, Amiri Baraka, and William Parker!
  • Robert JanzCelebrating A Lifetime Of Achievement
    June 13, 2013 at ROULETTE, (509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY)
    • For the first time, Arts for Art will honor a great visual artist for a lifetime of achievement at the 18th Vision Festival in June 13, 2013. Robert Janz was born in 1932 in Ireland but received his art training in the US. He was part of the ‘Zen Generation’ led by Pacific Coast Beat artists. His work, in his own words, is ‘totemic …haikus’. Robert Janz has lived all his art always slightly under the radar, creating powerfully resonant, nomadic, overlooked, poetic, ephemeral, challenging art. And his art and philosophy has influenced generations of artists all over the world as his nomadic life led him. It is Arts for Art’s honor to shine a light on his work and creative philosophy.


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