Summer Series: Music

A conversation and performances from Thomas Fichter, Darius Jones, Patricia Nicholson Parker, and George Grella


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Join us for a week of conversations, performances, and readings curated by the Rail’s section editors.

In this talk

This summer, we are celebrating the sections of the Brooklyn Rail with conversations, performances, and readings curated by our editors. This 2-week YouTube video series offers a view behind the scenes with the editors, artists, and writers that make the publication.

On Friday, July 23, Music editor George Grella is joined by saxophonist and composer Darius Jones, Executive and Artistic Director of TIME:SPANS festival Thomas Fichte, and Founder of the Vision Festival Patricia Nicholson Parker for a conversation on the return of live music.

Check out the other events this week devoted to our sections Field NotesArtSeen + ArTonicArt Books, and Books. Register below to one, some, or all of these events to receive selected materials for each episode.

Thomas Fichter

A portrait of Thomas Fichter
Artistic Director of the TIME:SPANS festival Thomas Fichter is also the Earle Brown Music Foundation Charitable Trust’s (EBMF) Director and Executive Director (“Intendant”) of the Ensemble Musikfabrik in Cologne, Germany. As Director of EBMF, Thomas established the basis for research of Earle Brown’s life and work by organizing an online searchable inventory of the Earle Brown archive. Thomas also oversaw the digitization and re-issue of the legendary Contemporary Sound Series recordings originally produced by Brown. Before moving to the U.S., Thomas was Executive Director of the “Ensemble Musikfabrik” in Cologne, Germany. Under his direction the group established a fully-funded concert series of contemporary music at the West German Radio in 2003, “Musikfabrik at WDR.”

Darius Jones

A portrait of Darius Jones
Critically acclaimed saxophonist and composer Darius Jones has created a recognizable voice by embracing individuality and innovation in the tradition of African-American music. Jones has been awarded the Van Lier Fellowship, Jerome Foundation Commission, Jerome Artist-in-Residence at Roulette, French-American Jazz Exchange Award, and, in 2019, the Fromm Music Foundation commission at Harvard University. Jones has released a string of diverse recordings featuring music and images evocative of Black Futurism. His work as a new music composer for voice culminated in a major debut performance at Carnegie Hall in 2014. Jones’ music is a confrontation against apathy and ego, hoping to inspire authenticity that compels us to be better humans.

Patricia Nicholson Parker

A portrait of Patricia Nicholson Parker
Photo by Ken Weiss
Artistic and community organizer and dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker is steeped in the aesthetic of free jazz with an attention to spiritual and social responsibility. In 1981, she choreographed and organized “A Thousand Cranes Peace Opera,” with 1,000 children performing in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza for the opening of the Special Sessions on Disarmament; in the mid- and late-1980s, she responded to a lack of visibility for free jazz by helping to organize the Sound Unity Festivals. In 1996, she founded Arts for Art (AFA) and the Vision Festival to promote and advocate for free jazz, raising awareness through this notable and uncommonly visible platform. Since then, AFA has grown to be a movement that supports hundreds of artists annually working with the free jazz aesthetic.

George Grella

George Grella
Musician and writer George Grella is the Music editor for the Rail. His performing experience includes playing jazz, classical and improvised music at CBGB, the original Knitting Factory, and Weill Recital Hall. As a composer, he has produced chamber music, opera, electronic music, and has created music for dance and cartoons. He is an important voice in music criticism, serving as a critic at the New York Classical Review and the author of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, the first jazz title in the 33 1/3 series from Bloomsbury.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.