Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bluesman James Blood Ulmer Returns to Miami April 29, 2017

Miami's Tigertail -
Setting the Scene on 
Fire in South Florida!


Saturday, April 29, 2017 ~ 8:30 pm

Miami Dade County Auditorium
2901 West Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33125

Noted jazz/blues guitarist James Blood Ulmer will close Tigertail’s FIRE festival with a solo concert on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 8:30 PM at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium On.Stage Black Box, 2901 W. Flagler Street in Miami. Just prior to the concert, at 8:15 PM, the teen winner of Tigertail’s spoken word contest, What is American?, will perform their prize-winning poem in the theater lobby. Admission is $35 for General Admission and $50 for VIP (table seating and complimentary beverage). Tickets are available at or by phoning Tigertail at 305 324 4337, 9 AM to 5 PM, M-F.

James Blood Ulmer's early influences were church music and blues, picked up when he began singing and playing as a child in South Carolina. Ulmer joined his father's gospel quartet at the age of seven and, after moving to Detroit a decade later, he began playing everything from doo-wop and R&B, from pop to straight-ahead jazz. In the Motor City Ulmer met George Benson, who introduced him to Wes Montgomery's style. After moving on to Pittsburg, he was given the nickname "Youngblood," later shortened to "Blood."

It was after touring in Europe in his twenties that a new interest in free jazz led to his experimentation with "unison tuning," in which most strings are set to the same note, providing the unique sound that characterizes his guitar style. He went on to play gigs with Art Blakey, Joe Henderson and Rashied Ali, and, in the early 70's, met Ornette Coleman, who became a prime influence on his music. Likewise, Ulmer strongly influenced Coleman's "harmolodic" theory. They studied and played together throughout the 70's and into the 90's.

Ulmer has never settled on one particular musical style or setting. He freely moves from blues to jazz to songs, and from solo to trios to larger ensembles. He clearly enjoys variety and independence over the comfort of an established band or ensemble. At the age of 77, Ulmer currently performs  in the U.S. and Europe with The Memphis Blood Blues Band, the Music Revelation Ensemble and others, playing the full range of his musical styles.

Tigertail has presented James Blood Ulmer in the past in Miami – once in 1988 with Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time band as well as several times with Ulmer’s own trio. This will be his first solo appearance in Miami, giving him the opportunity to play selections from his 2005 solo Birthright album, such as "Geechee Joe," "Take My Music Back To The Church" and "White Man's Jail." Birthright was selected as the Blues Album of the Year in the 2005 Down Beat Readers' Poll.

See more about James on his 


Tigertail's FIRE festival commences on April 1, 2017, and runs for the entire month. FIRE is a month filled with site-specific events and new performance throughout Miami at theaters and unexpected locations. Events in FIRE dismantle labels and provide opportunities for audiences and Miami artists of all media to explore a dialogue between artist and participant. Along with stone tools, the controlled use of fire is the most significant technology in human evolution. It warms our homes, cooks our food, and fuels our passions. Below are the featured events among many more that will take place during the festival:

On Saturday, April 1, noted pianist and composer Frederic Rzewski will appear in a solo concert at Miami-Dade County Auditorium On.Stage Black Box. Brussels-based Frederic Rzewski (pronounced Zhév·skee), a great American composer and virtuosic pianist, will make a rare appearance in the U.S. for this single Miami concert. Rzewski is recognized both for his innovative works and for his strong political convictions. Rzewski studied with composer Luigi Dallapiccola in Florence, Italy and with Elliot Carter in Berlin. In 1966 in Rome, Rzewski co-founded the seminal ensemble Musica Elettronica Viva with fellow American composer-musicians Richard Teitelbaum and Alvin Curran.

On Wednesday, April 12, Tigertail has commissioned FIRE Gods in the Garden, a dance event by four Miami-based choreographers Marissa Alma Nick, Carla Forte, Hattie Mae Williams and Pioneer Winter. These four 5-7 minute solos will be performed sequentially, one after the other, in the gardens of Vizcaya Museum & Gardens on a moonlight evening celebration. Each artist has selected a location and their fire god/goddess, Marissa Alma Nick – Hawaiian Fire Goddess Pele, Carla Forte– Mayan Fire God Huracán, Hattie Mae Williams – Egyptian Goddess of Fire and War Sekhmet and Pioneer Winter – Greek Fire God Hephaestus.

On Friday and Saturday, April 21 & 22, Noted NYC-based choreographer Reggie Wilson brings his dance company, Fist and Heel Performance Group, to Miami-Dade County Auditorium On.Stage Black Box to perform CITIZEN. In this work, Wilson asks, "What does it mean to belong?"; and "What does it mean to NOT want to belong?", core questions of Reggie's investigations for this new evening-length dance work. In CITIZEN, Wilson drills down into the human desire to belong with exponentially expanding questions: "Do the injustices in today's America engender a feeling of belonging? What supports belonging? Is belonging solely something internal, inside the individual? Is a sense of belonging or not belonging, a private or a public matter?" CITIZEN promises to engage and compel while igniting perspectives on our compassion and humanity.
The FIRE festival closes on Saturday, April 29 at Miami-Dade County Auditorium On.Stage Black Box with a solo concert by jazz and guitar legend James Blood Ulmer. Ulmer is among the most distinctive and influential free jazz electric guitarists to emerge in the past four decades. He has worked and recorded with Ornette Coleman, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, Arthur Blythe, David Murray, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Vernon Reid and George Adams as bandleader and sideman. Ulmer is recognized as a central figure in the post-fusion movements of 1970s and 1980s jazz. Yet within this experimental framework, his guitar playing and songwriting incorporate blues, funk, and rock idioms, making it difficult to categorize his innovative musical forms.

Founded in Miami in 1979, Tigertail Productions is Florida's pioneer of innovative cultural work, and produces a full season of contemporary performance, along with projects in the literary and visual arts. Tigertail will present a full season of music, dance and spoken word events to mark its 37th year of cultural work in Miami. In these 37 years, Tigertail has commissioned and presented more than 580 artists in dance, music, theater, film and video, as well as the visual and literary arts. The 37th season will climax in the month April with the FIRE festival.
Season partners and supporters for our 37th season include: Aquarius Press; ArtBurst; The Betsy Hotel; Books & Books; Bresaro Suites; Chef Lars; The Children's Trust; Cinedans, Citizens Interested in Arts; City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council; Concrete Beach Brewery; Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Delaplaine; E.S. Moore Family Foundation; The Galler Group; Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; Inkub8; Karen Peterson and Dancers; John S. & James L. Knight Foundation; Koubek Mansion and Gardens; La Petite Fleur; Mad Studios; The William J. McKeehan Foundation; MiamiArtZine; Miami Beach Botanical Garden; Miami Beach Cinematheque; Miami-Dade County Auditorium On.Stage Black Box; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; Miami-Dade County Public Library; Miami-Dade County Public Schools; National Performance Network (NPN) Performance Residency Program; National Endowment for the Arts; National Gay & Lesbian Task Force; Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM); PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; Pridelines; Publix Super Markets Charities; Safe Schools South Florida; Shokudo; The Law Office of Linda M. Smith; South Arts; State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; The Miami Foundation; Vizcaya Museum & Gardens; WDNA & WLRN FM and our many private supporters.
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