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A Fireside Chat with William Parker

By Published: May 16, 2003

WP: It hasn't gotten that much heavy duty publicity, but the festival last year was three weeks, which is very, very long for a festival. Before that, it was two weeks and this year, it is a week. You have people from all over the world coming because it fills a void. In New York now, there is no other. The Knitting Factory doesn't have a festival anymore. There is really no festival like it. The word just spread. You hear people that you won't hear at any festival. This year, singer Patty Waters is singing and she hasn't sung in New York in thirty years. You also hear people like Fred Anderson from Chicago. He comes here once a year to play and he plays at the Vision Festival. Kidd Jordan from New Orleans comes. We have had Bill Dixon. We have had orchestra pieces, small group pieces. We've had dance and music collaborations. We have had painters and sculptures and it has grown and is now established. Every year, people look forward to it.

FJ: Can I let the cat out of the bag and break that Grimes may be there this year?

WP: Yeah, we don't have a definite, definite on that, but we are working on that. That is all I can say about that just yet.

FJ: What do you foresee the theme of the festival will be this year?

WP: Last year, it was 'Vision against violence.' The theme this year is 'avant-jazz peace.' It is a extension from last year and it is a statement for world peace. I think it would have been a very nice accomplishment that when we reached the year 2000, for human beings to have world peace. That would have been a really big, nice celebration. But we reached the year 2000 and I really didn't see anything to celebrate because we hadn't accomplished that much. We had computers and we have cell phones, but we are still killing each other. They have to resolve that and then get cell phones.

FJ: And the future?

WP: Little Huey has a new record coming out on Splasc(h) Records called Spontaneous, which will be out in May. We don't work as much as we used to because I have been on the road, but I am trying to pick that up. I have a record called Scrapbook. That will be a violin trio record with myself on bass, Billy Bang, violin, and Hamid Drake on drums. It will be out on Thirsty Ear and that will be out in June. We are planning a tour in November. We are going to San Francisco and maybe we can get to LA. I will put in a bid.

Related Links
Vision Festival Links @ AAJ (interviews, news, galleries)

Photo Credit
Susan O'Connor (black & white)
Frank Rubolino (color)

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