“Protest against the rising tide of conformity.” Bob Dylan & Joan Baez, 1963

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MORE.

JOAN BAEZ: “Arguably the world’s most famous female folk singer, known for her distinctive, sweeping soprano and her accomplished interpretive skills.”


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Joan sings The Beatles, “Let It Be”:

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Martin

1966: Martin Luther King and singer Joan Baez marching to the Grenada, Mississippi school that was being integrated. Baez supported the effort financially. ©1976 Bob Fitch/Take Stock / The Image Works.

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jOAN bAEZ

From Chris Strodder’s “The Encyclopedia of Sixties Cool”

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Joan and Bob, together,
(listen to her album of Dylan songs):
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OTHER FULL ALBUMS:


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FULL CONCERTS


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c2c48a3c8e26b46edd5d642e65d08e54 Joan sings some classic Marley ragga…

And why not trip on with caliente Cuban
“Guantanamera!”

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Poster
Artist Biography by William Ruhlmann

tumblr_nhk9fy01Yo1rzligdo1_500Joan Baez – The most accomplished interpretive folksinger of the 1960s, Joan Baez has influenced nearly every aspect of popular music in a career still going strong. Baez is possessed of a once-in-a-lifetime soprano, which, since the late ’50s, she has put in the service of folk and pop music as well as a variety of political causes. Starting out in Boston, Baez first gained recognition at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival, then cut her debut album, Joan Baez (October 1960), for Vanguard Records. It was made up of 13 traditional songs, some of them children’s ballads, given near-definitive treatment. A moderate success on release, the album took off after the breakthrough of Joan Baez, Vol. 2 (September 1961), and both albums became huge hits, as did Baez’s third album, Joan Baez in Concert, Pt. 1 (September 1962). Each album went gold and stayed in the bestseller charts more than two years.

Joan Baez in Concert, Pt. 2 From 1962 to 1964, Baez was the popular face of folk music, headlining festivals and concert tours and singing at political events, including the August 1963 March on Washington. During this period, she began to champion the work of folk songwriter Bob Dylan, and gradually her repertoire moved from traditional material toward the socially conscious work of the emerging generation of ’60s artists like him. Her albums of this period were Joan Baez in Concert, Pt. 2 (November 1963) and Joan Baez 5 (October 1964), which contained her cover of Phil Ochs’ “There But for Fortune,” a Top Ten hit in the U.K.

Farewell, Angelina Like other popular folk performers, Baez was affected by the changes in popular music wrought by the appearance of the Beatles in the U.S. in 1964 and Dylan’s introduction of folk-rock in 1965, and she began to augment her simple acoustic guitar backing with other instruments, initially on Farewell, Angelina (October 1965). It was followed by a Christmas album, Noël (October 1966), and Joan (August 1967), albums on which she was accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Peter Schickele. Baez continued to experiment in the late ’60s, releasing Baptism (June 1968), in which she recited poetry, and Any Day Now (December 1968), a double album of Dylan songs done with country backing, which went gold… READ ON AT AMG ALL MUSIC GUIDE

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RECOMMENDED FURTHER READING:

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“In his study, Markus Jaeger explores the coalescence of Joan Baez’s work as a singer and songwriter with her endeavors as a political activist throughout the last fifty years. He illustrates an American popular singer’s significance as a political activist–for her audiences and for her opponents as well as for those victims of politically organized violence who have profited from her work. Mingling popular culture with political activism can be a helpful means to achieve non-violent societal progress. Joan Baez’s work offers an excellent example for this hypothesis.” DOWNLOAD EBOOK IN PDF FROM LIBGEN.ORG (230 pgs, 2010)

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Gran Finale:
BBC’s Imagine // Joan Baez

Shaking Hands with Other People’s Pain

Gaza, July 2014

Gaza, July 2014

“Nous n’avons pas toujours assez de force pour supporter les maux d’autrui.” 
LA ROCHEFOUCAULD (1613 – 1680)

Here’s the trouble with solidarity, altruism, compassion, brotherhood and other values we often pay lip service to, while practising them so shabbily: it isn’t always easy or pleasant to join in a common struggle with some human being or community who is suffering a terrible fate. As the French moralist said: “We don’t always have enough strenght to bear other people’s sufferings.” (La Rochefoucauld) Let’s not idealize human beings: egotistical as we so often are, we would rather turn a blind eye to other people’s pains and keep paying attention only to our tiny little selves. Human as I am, when confronted by events that would disturb my peace-of-mind, like these who are flooding the news during the last weeks, my first impulse is to run for cover in the comfort of blissful ignorance. Why should I care if the Israeli army is bombing Gaza to a heap of ruins? Why should I look at the photographs of dead babies, injured women, dismembered elderly? Why shouldn’t I be allowed to choose the easiest path and retreat from these horrible occurrences, refusing to acknowledge their existence? Am I to blame if I’d rather act like an ostrich that hides its head in the sand?

Voltaire (1694 – 1778) once said that “every one is guilty of all the good he did not do”. That sounds to me a much more courageous and demanding statement than the one quoted in the epigraph. La Rochefoucauld’s phrase sounds like someone who uses a personal weakness to justify his choice of indifference. Voltaire wants us to take responsability on our hands and act on behalf of others; doing nothing may be sometimes considered a criminal cumplicity to the perpetrators of oppresion or genocide. La Rochefoucauld’s comment, on the other hand, seems to excuse a behaviour of inaction and voluntary ignorance and lassitude, when we’re confronted with “les maux d’autrui”. Myself, I can’t help but feel some contempt for the attitude of those who don’t give a damn about other people’s miseries and care only about their private little matters. My heart fills with admiration by people like Arundhati Roy or Joe Sacco, Simone Weil or Che Guevara (to mention just a few), highly sensitive and creative persons, who devote their life-works to shaking hands with other people’s pain. And acting in order to diminish human grief in our Samsarian planet (good planets are hard to find). Empathy, methinks, is a praiseworthy virtue, and one of the best definitions of it I know of is by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara: “feeling anguish whenever someone was assassinated, no matter where it was in the world, and of feeling exultation whenever a new banner of liberty was raised somewhere else.”

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Such thoughs have been fermenting in my mind during insomnias and daytime anxieties, as the numbers of injured and dead keep getting higher and higher in Palestine. But let’s not take numbers too seriously and forget the real heartfelt human suffering that numbers tell us nothing about. Let’s not allow our minds become numb with an overdose of tragic numbers. Each number is to be perceived as flesh-and-blood, as sentience and conscience, as beating heart and thinking brain, torn apart by war.

From a safe distance, I follow the news and they tell me a lot about other people’s miseries – “gunshot injuries, broken bones, amputees” (Sacco, pg 30). I feel powerless as I witness this horrors brought to me by Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and the Blogosphere. I feel impelled to do something, even though I know quite well how little difference I can make by sharing Al Jazeera videos, sending to my friends the photos of demonstrations, or writing a post in a tiny little corner of the World Wide Web. A bitter taste of powerlessness and despodency nails me down to the chair as I witness the Zionists’ latest massacres in Gaza. Then I remember Voltaire and he inspires me to decide: the fact that one person can’t do much isn’t a reason to do nothing. If only everyone did this tiny bit, perhaps it would add up to something powerful enough to bring down from their bloody pedestals all these Masters of War?…

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Sitting at home, far from refugee camps, I take a journey aboard Joe Sacco’s compelling graphic novel Palestine. Sacco takes me to see a re-presentation of what he himself has witnessed in Cairo, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Gaza etc. In Sacco’s pages, I see kids  throwing stones against tanks and getting shot at by soldiers armed with M-16s and other hi-tech rifles. My brain fills with some sort of psychic vomit when I picture such scenes. If I had been born in Gaza, if I was a Palestinian kid, wouldn’t I be the one throwing stones against the invading army? Wouldn’t I howl in rage against these grown men in uniform who only speak the language of violence? Which language would I learn to speak, in such an environment, if not the language of precocious rebellious stone-throwing? And if my best friend’s life had been taken away from this world by a bullet in the heart, wouldn’t I be angry enough to, a few years later, join a jihadist group and become a suicide-bomber on the road to glorious martyrdom?

gandhi_-_an_eye_for_an_eye_will_make_the_whole_world_blind_-_quote_large_poster__gn0097Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight for Intifadas, I fear, because no community will accept without resistance the sort of life conditions imposed by Israel in the occupied territories. Too many wounds have stirred too much rage, too much hunger for revenge, for any peace to be something reasonable to expect in the short term. Fuel keeps getting added to the fire of mutual hate. “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”, said the barefoot bald-headed pacifist Mahatmas Gandhi. But neither Zionists nor Jihadists seem to give a damn about Gandhi, especially when the wounds are fresh and the heart screams for vendetta.

I can’t begin to understand how and when all this mess began. I look back into the past, trying to get a grip of the historical roots of the conflict, but History looks like a mad circus of chaotic antagonism. It seems to me that Israel was born as a consequence of one the hugest tragedies of the 20th century – the Holocaust. The Nazi’s III Reich almost wiped-out the Jews from the face of the Earth, and when Hitler’s regime fell in 1945 it was mandatory to find the survivors a Safe Home,  in which they would be protected from ever having to be victims of such a mass-scale massacre. The “ideal” Israel would be a nation for the victims, for the survivors of that “Industry of Death”, to quote Steven Spielberg, which the Nazis set in motion in their collective psychosis of anti-semitism, racism, blind nationalism and totalitarianism.

But an old and un-answered question I’ve got is this: why should the Palestinians pay for the crimes of the Nazis? If Germany, infected by anti-semitic ideologies and imperialism, went on a killing frenzy against the Hebrews, why weren’t the Germans obliged, as the main perpetrators of the Holocaust, to offer some just compensation? Why shouldn’t Germany be made to concede, let’s say, one third of their territory for a Jewish State? Yeah: I see perfectly well that this solution wouldn’t work out. These neighbours, I suspect, wouldn’t live peacefully side-by-side with such monstruous memories of past bloody deeds haunting their coexistence. Despite the fact that Holy Jerusalem is considered a conditio sine que non by Jews: there’s no Israel without it.

Reading about these matters, I also discover, in the works of Joe Sacco and Arundhati Roy, that the plan to create a Jewish state in Palestine pre-dates the II World War. In 1917, the English minister of Foreign Relations, Lord Balfour, signs a Declaration in which the British Empire makes a commitment to create a nation for the Jews in Palestine – a place which, according to a deceitful Zionist slogan, was a “land with no people for a people with no land”. Which, of course, is bollocks. Big time bullshit. At least 700.000 Arabs were living then in this land which the Zionists’s cynicism claimed to be a desert – and promised to them by God himself. But, as Bob Dylan sang in the 60s, “you don’t count the dead when God’s on your side”.

Sacco1 Sacco2 What awes me is also how yesterday’s victims can metamorphose into today’s oppressors. How was it possible that the people who survived the Nazi Holocaust became perpetrators of a new “Palestinian Holocaust”? What Israel is doing in Gaza – bombing schools, hospitals, UN-shelters; killing hundreds of babies, children, women, elderly, civilians… – isn’t this reducing a whole community to a status of Subhumanity? People in Gaza know today how it felt for Jews in Auschwitz to be treated as less-than-human and devoid-of-basic-rights.

One could argue that Jewish experience in Europe was far from sweet and didn’t teach them much about gentleness between different cultures and nations. Pogroms, persecutions, concentration camps, gas chambers – these were some of the tragic cards the Jews were dealt throughout their wandering existence of chronic sufferers. In 1948, when they declared “Independence” and Israel was born, maybe they dreamt of Peace, finally? Anyway, if they did, the Dream has been shattered over and over again, for decades. There was never any peace. Israel is born into war and the nation’s first events, the first steps of this new-born child, have been tough as hell. Israel’s first breath was still sailing in the wind and the country was already dealing with the 1948 invasion from the Arab’s armies. After the defeat of the III Reich – who was supposed to last for a 1.000 years, according to the Nazi’s megalomania, but crumbled apart after 12 years – the Jews wouldn’t be allowed no peaceful retreat into well-deserved tranquility. They still felt endangered, they still feared annihilation, there were still enemies to fight. If they didn’t defend themselves, they feared that the Arabs would drown them all in the Sea.

Sacco3 I would argue that fear and violence often go hand-in-hand: a frightened animal is much more likely to attack than a tranquil, unafraid one. The human animal is also capable of bursting into terrible violence when he’s terribly afraid. When I look back at History’s madness, I see the Jews, after the II World War, trembling with fear and shocked with trauma. They had lost 6 or 7 million to the Nazi’s machinery of mass murder. And yet their survival instinct, their conatus (to speak in Spinozean language), was surely alive and kicking. To survive this tragedy they would need some radical means to establish themselves in some sort of safe spot. They would a massive Police State; one of Earth’s strongest armies; why not some atomic bombs? The U.S. would provide the means for Israel to become a military power whose self-confidence would be boosted by the  possession of weapons of mass destruction. Israel, then, was born like a Bunker State, warmed to the teeth, with one of the world’s most rigid and paranoid Defense Mecanisms of any nation on Earth.

But did they really believe they would build a safe haven in Israel after kicking out almost a million people from their homes in 1948? I’m sorry for my language: I’m quite aware that kicking out is not quite the right word. They did much more than kick out – they burned entire villages, they massacred entire populations, they created a huge mass of refugees, pushed very ungently, at gun point, into Gaza and the West Bank. Israel’s masterminds certainly don’t like this comparison, but this is how it feels to me: just like the Nazis deported the Jews from their homes and pushed them into the trains headed for the concentration camps, the Jews kicked out the Palestinians from their homes and pushed them into Palestine’s open-air concentration camps. Now it’s July 2014 and the world is asking in horror: is Israel applying the Final Solution? Is there anywhere or anyone in Gaza that isn’t a target?

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In the occupied territories, most of what we take for granted as civilization’s basic gifts to citizens simply don’t exist – right now, as you’re reading this, more than 1 million people in Gaza have no access to proper drinking water. Almost no one has access to electricity – especially after the only power plant in Gaza was bombed to ashes in July 29. In Joe Sacco’s book, I discover that, in the Palestinian schools, it’s forbidden by the Israelis to teach history or geography with any book that mentions Palestine – it’s not supposed to exist in the textbooks. Israel would like to erase it from the maps. Is Israel trying to accomplish in fact the lie that has been written in textbooks, that is, “Palestinians don’t exist”?

In a clinic, Joe Sacco meets two doctors who reveal that they see “a lot of respiratory illnesses from bad ventilation and overcrowding, problems related to political and social conditions” (p. 48). Life in Gaza and the West Bank can be quite cruel, unealthy, insecure, always threatned to end precociously. But the web of everyday violence is woven by acts of cruelty not only to people, but also to their means of existence. Joe Sacco draws, for example, a heartbreaking scene with decapitated olive trees, cut off by the Israelis, and then gives voice to the Palestinians’ suffering:

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“The olive tree is our main source of living… We use the oild for our food and we buy our clothes with the oil we sell… Here we have nothing else but the trees… The Israelis don’t give people from our village permits to work in Israel… The Israelis know that an olive tree is the same as our sons… It needs many years to grow, six or seven years for a strong tree… Two years ago the israelis cut down 17 of my trees… my father planted those trees… Some of them were 100 years old… They obliged me to cut the trees myself. The soldiers brought me a chainsaw and watched… I was crying… I felt I was killing my son when I cut them down.” (Sacco, pg. 62)

This personal wound may seem tiny, but we need only to multiply it to get a picture of the collective wound inflicted by 120.000 trees up-rooted by the Israelis during the first four years of the Intifada.  Besides the massive bulldozing of trees, Palestian homes were also demolished in great numbers: 1.250 of them were brought down to the ground during the same four first years of the Intifada; in the same period, no less than 90.000 Palestians were arrested and put behind Israeli barbed wire, watched by soldiers with their fingers on the trigger (Sacco, pgs. 69 and 81). All those who dared rise up against Israel were crowded into prisons, put into cages, treated not so differently than the Nazis did with the inmates of Dachau or Auschwitz. One man interviewed by Sacco remember the time he was arrested in an overcrowded tent, “a sort of hell”, “3×4 meters with 21 persons”, in which “the ventilation was very bad, just a coin-sized hole in the door for injecting gas in case of a riot.” (Sacco, pg. 84)

Eduardo Carli de Moraes @ Awestruck Wanderer
Toronto, July 2014

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(TO BE CONTINUED IN ANOTHER POST…)

Recommended reading & viewing:

Montréal International Jazz Festival 2014: 2 million hearts can’t be wrong! [EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE]

CANADIAN TOURISM COMMISSION - Signature Experiences Collection®

PULSATING TO THE SAME BEAT
by Eduardo Carli de Moraes

“Music is the universal language of human emotion.”
THEODOR REIK (1888-1969),
The Haunting Melody – Psychoanalytic Experiences in Life and Music

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“Saxophoenix”, by Yves Archambault. FIJM’s official 2014 poster.

Between June 26 and July 6, Montréal hosted the 35th edition of its world-famous International Jazz Festival. Every year, in the heart of the francophone metropolis of North America, this event attracts a huge audience of music-lovers. No less than 2 million visits are registered to its splendid outdoor site.

The 2014 Jazz Fest offered more than 300 free concerts, which took place in several different open-air stages at the magnificent Quartier Des Spectacles, beautifully adorned to receive this massive gathering of Music Worship. In addition to the wide range of free events, dozens of paid gigs happened in pubs, theaters and concert halls across the city, some of which had sold-out tickets months before the first musical note was played.

It was the dawn of the Canadian summer and the heatwave made sure there would be no shortage of sunlight and sweat during the 11 days of musical feast. During his spicy and enthusiastic concert, the Haitian singer Jean-Jean Roosevelt said jokingly that Montréal – a city where winters are quite harsh – had been promoted to the status of  Tropical Island. People all around seem to be filling quite at ease: it was possible to chill out in the grass in front of certain stages, if your legs needed some repose; or else to join the jumpin’-and-cheerin’ crowds who were in partying-mood.

Alain Simard, who founded the F.I.J.M. (Festival International de Jazz de Montréal) 35 years ago, and acts nowadays as its president, considers:

“If it has become the largest cultural and tourism event in Québec, it is especially because it represents social interaction at its best, the very essence of the now-iconic sense of joy and celebration identified with Montréal and Montrealers, and the welcome they offer to visitors from everywhere. Everyone is invited and participates with an unparalleled openness. All distinctions – ethnic, linguistic, political, economic and generational – cease to exist. Music and human warmth are the common denominator! The Festival is an inclusive, cool little urban oasis, where we can gather by the thousands and relax peacefully in a joyous musical environment, where the reigning impulses are to discover, share and celebrate together.”

Downbeat magazine ranks Montréal's Jazz Fest among the 80 coolest thing in Jazz today.

Downbeat magazine ranks Montréal’s Jazz Fest among the 80 coolest thing in Jazz today.

Québec’s Prime Minister, Philippe Couillard, also celebrates the festival’s scope: “For 35 years, the F.I.J.M. has attracted the greatest artists on the international scene. It brings together jazz legends and rising stars. Over the years, this rendez-vous has become the world’s largest jazz festival. Its success is a testamente to our values. We are an open, ambitious, passionate, and festive society, much to the delight of music lovers around the world.” (Mots des Dignitaires, p. 13) What may sound to some ears like an overstatement was actually endorsed in 2004 by the Guinness Book of Records, which considered the Montréal Jazz Festival the largest of its kind worldwide. The Downbeat magazine, in its 80th anniversary edition, in which it explores The 80 Coolest Things in Jazz Todayalso ranks F.I.J.M. as one of Earth’s greatest jazz festivals.

Montréal, the most populous city of the Canadian province of Québec, with more than 1 million and 600 thousand inhabitants, experiences during the Jazz Fest an extraordinary human effervescence, driven by the impressive amount of temporary visitors who attend the event – including musicians, sound engineers , roadies, journalists, photographers, filmmakers, dancers, artists of various strains etc. Besides, of course, the crowd of music lovers, which constitutes a multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic audience that highlights the intense cosmopolitism that’s one of the main trends of Montréal.

c2a9festival-international-de-jazz-de-montrecc81al-victor-diaz-lamich-panorama-2

fijm_logo_2011_coul_custom-9e3d41135815c9fa4f82f07610583c7661399813-s6-c30Ever since its 1st edition in 1980, the festival has been harbouring concerts by major figures in world music: F.I.J.M’s history registers performances of “myths” such as Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Astor Piazzolla, Dizzy Gillespie, Tom Jobim, James Brown, Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, Cab Callaway, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, among many others. In 2014, amongst the greatest attractions of the festival were the bluesman B. B. King, the soul diva Aretha Franklin, the pianist and singer Diana Krall, plus some artists linked to the world of rock’n’roll, but very much respected in the universe jazz – Elvis Costello, Beck Hansen and Ben Harper. This 35th edition also paid homage to the flamenco guitarist, recently deceased, Paco de Lucía (1947-2014), to whom the festival was dedicated.

The achievement of this mega-event is only possible because of public and private powers who join forces in order to make it happen with clockwork precision: Québec’s Ministries of Tourism, Transport, Culture & Communications, among others, work-in-sync with private partners like Rio Tinto Alcan, Bell, TD and Heineken. The Montréal Jazz Fest is a non-profit organization and the official publication states that “the activities are carried out with no intention of financial gain and all profits are re-injected in the operations of the festival and its free activities.” This latest edition was accomplished ​​with a budget of 25.2 million Canadian dollars and was responsible for the creation of 1,500 jobs.

A study published in 2011 by SECOR gives us an idea of the broader economic impacts of the Festival on the sectors of housing, food and transportation – all of them go through one of their biggest annual booms during Jazz celebrations in Montréal: it is estimated that the expenditure of tourists and production teams, whose presence Montréal is wholly or partly justified by the festival’s occurrence, adds up to 96 million Canadian dollars. As for the origins of visitors, the statistics show that 30% come from the U.S., 25% from the province of Québec, 18% from other regions of Canada, 18% from Europe and 9% from other countries.

"Drifter's Escape", uma obra de Jimi Hendrix. Saiba mais.

“Drifter’s Escape”, a painting by Jimi Hendrix

Despite being a festival devoted mainly to music, F.I.J.M. also makes room for other forms of artistic expression, including street-dance performances (have a taste of it on a video at the end of this post). The public also had access to a fine arts gallery, where rare paintings by Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis were on display, side by side with numerous works of artists from Québec – for example the highly talented Yves Archambault, who has been, for the last 20 years, responsible for the illustrations of the Jazz Fest posters and flyers. Below, you can see some of the most impressive works by Archambault in recent years – check it out:

2003
2008
2009
2011
2012
2013

Montréal’s Jazz Fest has also an educational mission: it aims at enabling children and youngsters to discover and cherish the world of music at an early age. The idea is to provide the newcomers-to-life with some sparks that hopefully will start in them a passionate fire of musical devotion.  Families with kids can be seen circulating quite at ease through F.I.J.M.’s welcoming spaces, and a key initiative in this regard is the Musical Playground For Children (Parc Musical Pour Les Enfants). It  seeks to provide entertainment to children while at the same time planting in their soil the seeds of love for art. In one of the attractions of the park, the kids could jump, dance and roll over the keys of a giant piano. In another, they could slide down through a huge saxophone, whose “mouth” expelled not musical notes destined to sail in the wind but rather laughing kids with veins filled with adrenaline.

Despite its various delight for the ears, the Festival was also filled with eye-candy: giant and colourful flags representing pianos were gracefully swingin’ in the breeze; the  building of the University of Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) served as a screen-of-stone for astonishing projections of photographs portraying great musicians in action; and all around the eyes could enjoy the gorgeous architecture of the Place Des Arts and its surroundings.

Another very interesting practise of the festival is its Carboneutrality, which means that Montréal Jazz Festival pledges to accomplish an event that has no deleterious effects on the environment because of increased emissions of carbon dioxide. Both F.I.J.M. and the Festival d’Été de Québec are committed to being “carboneutre”: all the pollution and dirt, resulting from the increased pace of transport, rising consumption of electricity and the largest waste production are counteracted by “green projects” supported by the festivals. I found this eco-friendliness to be truly laudable. In addition to the wide range of free cultural events provided to the general public – an excellent example that it’s possible to achieve both artistic quality and broad popular access – Québec’s summer music festivals  play an important role of ecological awareness and sustainable practices. It teaches us that, when the music is over, the job’s far from done: time to start recycling and planting trees.

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All things considered, this was by far one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had in a music festival. It was profoundly rewarding to go through these several days of musical feast in Québec’s metropolis – which has already become one of my favorite places on Planet Earth. I have a heart full of “bravo!”s for Montréal’s excellent event – and I strongly wish I can come back in the future to enjoy a brand new banquet of melodies, rhythm and people in cheerful interactions.

I especially liked how, apart from being a Jazz festival, there’s not a drop of orthodoxy or narrow-mindedness in defining what artists fit the canons of what “jazz” means. Instead, Montréal delightfully wishes diversity to reign. No purism erects borders, prohibits styles or condemns trends: Montréal’s attitude, it seems to me, is one of receiving with wide-opened arms Music in all of its diverse manifestations. There was no musical apartheid going on, but rather musical expression was taking place in a very broad ethno-cultural spectrum: I could experience the spicy African rhythms of Mokoomba, from Zimbabwe; the Australian big-band Melbourne Ska Orchestra; the Cuban group Conjunto Chappottin y Sus Estrellas, experts in salsa, mambo and rumba; the futuristic and orchestrated hip-hop ensemble Deltron 3030; the heavy blues of high-voltage of Miss Layla Zoe; the soulful rock’n’roll from L.A.’s Vintage Trouble; among many other examples.

Theodor Reik wrote in his fascinating book The Haunting Melody that “music is the universal language of human emotion.” This idea never made as much sense to me as it does now. In Montréal, during this unforgetable week in which I was a Latin American flannêur in one of the cities I loved the most to meet, I felt like some sort of human-fish swimming in a sea of people of extraordinary diversity. Humans from differents creeds, colors, roots, backgrounds, affiliations, languages, clothes, tattoos, idiosyncrasies, were coming together in a joyous celebration. It dawned on me with unprecedented force how much music has a potential of transcending apartheids and making people pulsate in the same beat. It filled me with hope that another world is possible, in which differences are not a reason to sever relations but much more an invitation to join together and co-evolve; in which all apartheids fall down and individuals salute each other with “namastê”; in which art is respected, cherished and collectively celebrated as a practical force that enables la joie de vivre; in which music’s power of transgressing borders and languages proves that it is quite possible to build precious spaces in which John Lennon’s dream – “The Brotherhood of Man” – is already alive and kicking. I still can hear its heartbeat.

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Exclusive footage:


MUSIC WITHOUT BORDERS
A film by Eduardo Carli de Moraes / Awestruck Wanderer

You might also enjoy taking at look at my
Album of photographs.

Cheers, fellow earthlings!
“Without music life would be a mistake.” (Nietzsche)

Joan Baez sings Bob Dylan (20 Songs – Full Album)

Joan Baez

Joan Baez – Vanguard Sessions – Baez Sings Dylan – 1998

01 Love Minus Zero-No Limit 0:00
02 It’s All over Now, Baby Blue. 2:43
03 You Ain’t Going Nowhere. 6:09
04 It Ain’t Me Babe. 9:11
05 I Pity the Poor Immigrant. 12:32
06 Tears of Rage. 16:20
07 Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word 20:44
08 I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine 25:12
09 Farewell, Angelina 28:29
10 Dear Landlord 31:45
11 One Too Many Mornings 34:46
12 I Shall Be Released 38:00
13 Boots of Spanish Leather 41:58
14 Daddy You’ve Been on My Mind 46:32
15 Restless Farewell 48:50
16 Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right 54:43
17 Walls of Red Wing 57:56
18 Drifter’s Escape 1:01:49
19 Walkin’ Down the Line 1:04:44
20 North Country Blues 1:08:08

NUGGETS: Original Artyfacts of the 1st Psychedelic Era (1965-1968) – One of the greatest compilations of 1960s’s rock

Nuggets-Vol.1-cover

“Turn on, tune in, and drop out”: Timothy Leary’s famous slogan may serve as a good motto to keep in mind while listening to this box of precious artyfacts from the first psychedelic era. So turn on the volume, tune in to the music coming out of your headphones or speakers, and drop-out for a while from the square-world’s grayness – because with Nuggets we are taken on a trip through the sounds of the 1960s in all their exuberance. Compiled by Lenny Kaye, music critic and guitar player in Patti Smith’s Group, this 1972 compilation does an excellent job offering a condensed experience of some the greatest underground rock songs recorded between 1965 and 1968.  Listening to these 4 CDs is similar to embarking on a train down memory lane, to a journey through the 1960s musical landscape, especially all that happened below the surface, in the underground currents of an age that was being massively inspired and shaped by the music of The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Kinks, Cream, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, The Doors – and many others.

Kaye’s collection offers an historical document of some of the best music being made by then. Most of these bands didn’t quite make it to the top, or ended up being just one-hit-wonders. But, in the efervescent years leading up to Woodstock and the Summer of Love, when hippies and LSD became widespread cultural phenomena, many of these groups were pioneering fields later to be fully explored by future artists: The Sonics and The 13th Floor Elevators, for example, were somewhat proto-punk and also precursors of what will emerge decades later, the garage rock à la The Cramps and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Many bands in the mid-sixties are already doing what the Stooges or the MC5 will soon start attempting: kicking out the jams with raw power. But here there’s also a lot of pop-inclined and melody-ridden groups trying to sound like The Beach Boys; trippy and hippy folk-rock sounding like electrified-Dylan; and some examples of noisy experimentalism with no particular regard for commercial interests. Influential and cult figures – like Love or Captain Beefheart – contribute with great tracks to this amazing collection. I’ve been listening to it for years and keep coming back to this fountain of the 1960s exuberant lyricism and enthusiastic rock’n’rolling. 

Enjoy the music! You can listen to three quarters of the whole collection in the videos below, or download HERE the whole bunch (torrent at Pirate Bay).

Bob Dylan’s “Ballad of Hollis Brown” interpreted by Nina Simone & Rise Against

Ballad Of Hollis Brown
by Bob Dylan (1963)

Hollis Brown
He lived on the outside of town (2x)
With his wife and five children
And his cabin fallin’ down

You looked for work and money
And you walked a rugged mile (2x)
Your children are so hungry
That they don’t know how to smile

Your baby’s eyes look crazy
They’re a-tuggin’ at your sleeve (2x)
You walk the floor and wonder why
With every breath you breathe

The rats have got your flour
Bad blood it got your mare (2x)
If there’s anyone that knows,
Is there anyone that cares?

You prayed to the Lord above
Oh please send you a friend (2x)
Your empty pockets tell you
That you ain’t got no friend

Your babies are crying louder
It’s pounding on your brain (2x)
Your wife’s screams are stabbin’ you
Like the dirty drivin’ rain

Your grass it is turning black
There’s no water in your well (2x)
You spent your last lone dollar
On seven shotgun shells

Way out in the wilderness
A cold coyote calls (2x)
Your eyes fix on the shotgun
That’s hangin’ on the wall

Your brain is a-bleedin’
And your legs can’t seem to stand (2x)
Your eyes fix on the shotgun
That you’re holdin’ in your hand

There’s seven breezes a-blowin’
All around the cabin door (2x)
Seven shots ring out
Like the ocean’s pounding roar.

There’s seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm (2x)
Somewhere in the distance
There’s seven new people born.