Jim Ryan @ 80: A celebration and concert with Bay Area sonic luminary, saxophonist, and poet

by on June 27, 2014

Legendary Bay Area artist Jim Ryan celebrates his eightieth year on planet earth with two performances this Sunday evening beginning with his “Mindless Thing”, a collaboration between drummer/composer Jordan Glenn and saxophonist/band leader/poet/artist/sage Ryan. “The music, composed and conducted by Glenn, takes malleable material and filters it through a unique ensemble of strings and percussion. The result is used to create a backdrop for Ryan’s surreal and haunting poetry…”

“Poet, writer, philosopher and musician, Jim Ryan is an original member of the exploratory family of artists of the 20th century. His powerful playing style and truly original voice permeates the San Francisco Bay Area with vibrant spirit.

Jim Ryan was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and began listening to bebop at age 15. In 1958 after obtaining a degree in philosophy from the University of Minnesota, Jim was drafted into the army and sent to Europe. After serving for 21 months, Jim found himself attending the Sorbonne in Paris France. After a short time he discovered he was infected with the writing bug and became involved with the beat poet community that was blossoming in France and throughout the world, rubbing elbows with such poets as Boroughs, and Ginsberg. Nearing his mid-30’s it became more difficult to make a living writing and he found many of his former-writing friends were becoming involved in painting and other artistic endeavors. In 1968 Jim was given a wooden flute and shortly thereafter acquired a c-melody sax. At the same time many of the American new music musicians, Sonny Murray, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp, Anthony Braxton, and the AACM were given funding by the US Government and settled in Europe including France. Jim was in the right place at the right time and found himself jamming and performing with these rebels of creative music. As the migration of cutting edge American artists continued more straight ahead artists like Johnny Griffith and Steve Lacy began to arrive to take advantage of the European scene. In the early 70’s Jim participated in a yearlong workshop organized and led by Steve Lacy while continuing to develop his writing. In 1975 Jim formed the Free Music Formation, a group which performed in Paris and other European cities.

In 1975 he returned to the United States in search of a fresh start and settled in Washington, D.C. where he formed the Art Performance Group performing throughout the area. In 1987 he moved California and lived in Marin County until 1993 when he moved to Oakland and became part of the San Francisco Bay Area improv and jazz scene.

After a long hiatus, in 1997, he launched one of his current groups Forward Energy featuring stellar artists like trumpet player Eddie Gale and drummer Donald Robinson. Jim also performed with Marco Eneidi’s “American Jungle Orchestra,” and Eddie Gale’s “Orchestra for World Peace.” In 1998 he became the editor and publisher of Outside, an underground art and music zine in Oakland, which featured such artists as Positive Knowledge, Marco Emeidi, as well as many artists of Bay Area improv scene. For two years beginning in 1999 Jim was the booker for the Luggage Store Gallery Series in San Francisco. At that same time he was also booking for the Starry Plow new music series in Berkeley, 2310 Telegraph Gallery in Oakland, and he currently curates shows occasionally at 21Grand Gallery in Oakland.

In the spring of 2000, he founded the Electro/Acoustic Sextet of Oakland, which was a melding of free jazz and avant academic styles. You can hear this pivotal Bay Area saxophonist presently with his group Forward Energy which has recorded five albums for Edgetone Records since 2009, as well as his poetry work with Jordan Glenn’s Mindless Thing which began in 2012…”

The Static Illusion Methodical Madness (SIMM) Series
@ The Musicians Union Hall Local 6, 116 9th Street, San Francisco

Sunday June 29, 2014 – 7:30 PM
Jim Ryan @ 80: A celebration and concert with Bay Area sonic luminary, saxophonist, and poet…

7:30pm Jordan Glenn’s Mindless Thing
featuring poetry by Jim Ryan
Jordan Glenn- conductor, composer, percussion, Robert Lopez- vibes, percussion, Michael Coleman- piano, percussion, Damon Waitkus- dulcimer, percussion, Karl Evangelista- guitar, percussion

8:30pm Jim Ryan 4tet
Scott R. Looney piano, Jason Hoopes double bass, Jordan Glenn drums, Jim Ryan flute&sax – 21st Century New Cool and Free Style Jazz

$10 general $8 students/seniors, All ages welcome

Contributor

E. ”Doc” Smith

E. ”Doc” Smith

E. "Doc" Smith is a musician, producer and recording artist with Edgetone Records, who has worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Madonna, Mickey Hart and many others. He is also the inventor of the musical instrument, the Drummstick and makes his home in San Francisco.

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