Brava! for Women in the Arts, AIM West & Dr. Jose Cuellar present
In The Spirit of Flying Eagle: A Jim Pepper Tribute Concert
Sunday, March 22, 2015 7pm
A Stellar Lineup of Bay Area musicians pay tribute to Jim Pepper (June 18, 1941- February 10, 1992), recalling the musical genius of the American Indian saxophonist fusion jazz pioneer of Kaw and Creek descent, who integrated elements of jazz and Native American music. Although he passed away in 1992, his musical legacy of fusing Peyote chants, Powwow beats, and other traditional elements with jazz, rock, blues, and pop lives on.
Co-sponsored by American Indian Movement (AIM) West and curated by SFSU Professor of Raza Studies and musician Jose Cuellar (AKA Dr. Loco), the event will include performances by musicians Dr. Loco, Francis Wong, Hafez Modirzadeh, Melecio Magdaluyo and Special Guests including Maggie Steele, Dave Shul, John Carlos Perea, Brian Andreas, John Callloway, Tony Menjivar, Avotcja Jiltonilro, Mary Jean Robertson and All Nations Drum - playing a salient selection of Pepper’s compositions.
Jim Pepper, son of a Creek mother and a Kaw father, grew up immersed in the songs and dances of Oklahoma’s intertribal powwow circuit. Pepper made a name for himself in NY in the 60s creating what some of cited as the first jazz-rock fusion band, Free Spirits. Beginning with his near-hit 1969 version of “Witchi Tai To” -- recorded with the short-lived fusion band, Everything is Everything (then covered by Harpers Bizarre, The Supremes, Jan Garbarek, Oregon, Robert Charlebois, John-Carlos Perea with Paul Winters, Future Pilots AKA , and Effi Briest, among others), Pepper’s influence continued to expand with critically acclaimed performances and recordings with his own projects and those of Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Marty Cook, Hamid Drake, David Friesen, Bill Frisell, , Tony Hymas, Joe Lovano, Amina Claudine Myer, Paul Motian, Bob Moses, Dewey Redman, Ed Schuller, John Scofied, Collin Walcott, Mal Waldron, Kenny Werner, Nana Vasconcelos, and Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, until his death.
Bill Siegel has noted, “The music of Jim Pepper, years after his passing, continues to provide us lessons in life. Young musicians cite him as one of their primary influences — not just in playing the music, but in keeping alive the tradition of educating people, of expressing themselves through their own artistic media,” the target audience of this tribute concert are young musicians (of all orientations).
Funded in part by: San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity NAACT, SF Grants For the Arts, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, San Francisco Foundation & Zellerbach Family Foundation.