Café Mouffe: Jane Bunnett

Set 1: Jane Bunnett with Hilario Duran and Frank Emilio. 1997. Montreal International Jazz Festival.

This week Café Mouffe has an opportunity to preview a jazz artist who appears tonight just a few blocks away. Jane Bunnett with Spirits of Havana perform at 8:00 p.m. in Kelly Hall at Antioch College. I’ll be there for sure, ice storm notwithstanding. If you’re in the neighborhood, tickets are available online and at the door.

My village probably has more jazz people per capita than any other in America except Greenwich Village. And half the folks came from there. When I think back almost 40 years, I’ve heard some mind-blowing jazz on the Kelly Hall stage: Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Jeremy Steig, Kieth Jarrett, Charlie Haden, Leroy Jenkins, Charles McPherson, and David Murray, for starters. I heard Buckminster Fuller lecture there; while it wasn’t exactly jazz, it was cosmic. And I’ve heard the master musicians who were Jane Bunnett’s mentors in her early days — Dewey Redman, Don Pullen, and Steve Lacy. If you’ve followed the Mouffe from the beginning, you may know that hearing Steve Lacy at Kelly Hall was the most amazing musical experience in my life. I expect Jane to channel Lacy’s spirit sometime tonight.

Steve Lacy inspired Bunnett to take up the soprano sax. A 1991 Canada Council grant enabled her to travel to Paris to study with Lacy. After that her attention turned to the Afro-Cuban jazz and folk music featured here. Learn more from the extensive biography on Bunnett’s MySpace page.

Set 2: Jane Bunnett with Los Jubilados.

Set 3: Jane Bunnett with Spirits of Havana. El Rio (The River).

Encore: Jane Bunnett accompanied Toronto-based singer Laura Ocampo at the 2005 Global Divas concert: Caramba; Maldito Amor; and Algarrobal y Sentimiento. Check out Laura Ocampo’s MySpace page for free downloads.

Café Mouffe opens every Friday at 3:00 p.m. Please drop by for a listen and a chat. Sometimes the embedded videos don’t work here due to bandwidth constraints, but you’ll always find links to video sources in the set notes. Try them. If you’re curious about the Mouffe, here’s the original idea behind it’s creation.

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2 Responses to Café Mouffe: Jane Bunnett

  1. tomrobertstennessee says:

    Hello Mark, I’ve been staying tuned to Blindflaneur.com for maybe 15-20 minutes per day. I´m working on landscape drawings every morning for 2-3 hours and attending Spanish classes every afternoon for 4 hours. Feasting on beans, rice and fresh fruit occupies a welcome portion of my remaining time. Its also a pleasure walking almost everywhere I go, feeling the barrio streets’ lively energy: other people walking, dogs everywhere, street vendors, latin music, loud lumbering buses. It beats the hell out of the numbing I-40 commute between Loudon and Knoxville. Kimberly is arriving at the airport today, (with the digital camera). I´ll send you a few images from San Joaquin de Flores, a lively yet laid-back Costa Rica town. I once heard Steve Lacy perform in a small venue in Knoxville, a bar with maybe 20-25 tables. I was hypnotized by his music, in particular a song entitled, “If Wishes Were Horses Then Beggars Would Ride,” which was sung by a female vocalist. Thanks for continuing to post entries on Blindflaneur. Its a powerful, communicative link for me!
    Tom

  2. Mark Willis says:

    Hey, Tom, good to hear from you. I was thinking of you yesterday as the ice glazed the trees in YS. Good to imagine you working in a tropical clime. And again last night, listening to Jane Bunnett’s hot Afro-Cuban jazz, I wondered about your Costa Rican soundscape.. Bunnett and her husband, trumpeter Larry Cramer, clearly loved their time in YS and compared the village favorably to the better parts of urban life in Toronto. Lots of dancing in the aisles at Kelly Hall. My homies seem to all have gray hair now, but they still get down. I wanted to join them but I’m trying to get over the flu. Write again when you can!

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