Hélène Breschand
Joshua Abrams
Bruce Ackley
Steve Adams
Jason Adasiewicz
Jeff Albert
Dee Alexander
Gordon Allen
Marshall Allen
Scott Amendola
Fred Anderson
an_ARCHE NewMusic Ensemble
David Arner
Jean-Jacques Avenel
Renée Baker
Jim Baker
Harrison Bankhead
Lewis Barnes
Matt Bauder
Richie Beirach
John Betsch
Jacques Bisceglia
Jeb Bishop
Michael Bisio
Mwata Bowden
David Boykin
Anthony Braxton
Rob Brown
Chris Brown
Thomas Buckner
Nils Bultmann
Dave Burrell
Taylor Ho Bynum
Jean-Luc Cappozzo
César Carcopino
Daniel Carter
Gerald Cleaver
Nels Cline
Martha Colby
Leena Conquest
Jacques Coursil
Marilyn Crispell
Connie Crothers
Alvin Curran
Kamau Daaood
Steve Dalachinsky
Lowell Davidson
Vincent Davis
Ernest Dawkins
Benoît Delbecq
Michael Dessen
Alex Dézé
Jacques Di Donato
Whit Dickey
Hamid Drake
Kevin Drumm
Benjamin Duboc
Marc Ducret
Michel Edelin
Warren Ellis
Marco Eneidi
Marcus Evans
Orrin Evans
Malachi Favors
James Fei
Xu Fengxia
Alvin Fielder
Scott Fields
Denis Fournier
Lori Freedman
Fred Frith
Satoko Fujii
Tomas Fujiwara
Eddie Gale
Lionel Garcin
Joe Giardullo
Peter Giron
Malcolm Goldstein
Stéphane Gombert
Simon Goubert
Guilherme Granado
Luther Gray
Robert Griffin
Mary Halvorson
Ed Hazell
John Hébert
Sylvaine Hélary
John Herndon
Rosie Hertlein
Anna Homler
François Houle
HPRIZM/High Priest
Nicolas Humbert
Raphaël Imbert
Ludivine Issambourg
Kidd Jordan
Sylvain Kassap
Julia Kent
Carla Kihlstedt
Peter Kowald
Joseph Kubera
Mike Ladd
Marguerite Ladd
Oliver Lake
Steve Lantner
Yusef Lateef
Denis Lavant
Joëlle Léandre
Peggy Lee
Steve Lehman
Thomas Lehn
Urs Leimgruber
Lorna Lentini
Didier Levallet
Daniel Levin
George Lewis
Dave Liebman
Damon Locks
Ramon Lopez
Matthew Lux
Napoleon Maddox
Mat Maneri
Vartan Manoogian
Miya Masaoka
Sabir Mateen
Rob Mazurek
Joe McPhee
Franck Médioni
Myra Melford
Brian Melick
Dom Minasi
Nicole Mitchell
Roscoe Mitchell
John Moloney
Jemeel Moondoc
Gene Moore
Thurston Moore
AnaÏs Moreau
Ikue Mori
Joe Morris
Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris
David Murray
Bill Nace
Mankwe Ndosi
Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble
Larry Ochs
Aruán Ortiz
Marc Parisotto
William Parker
Jeff Parker
Evan Parker
Andrea Parkins
Jessica Pavone
Didier Petit
Laurence Petit-Jouvet
Barre Phillips
Alexandre Pierrepont
Oscar Pierrepont
Michel Portal
David Prentice
Hal Rammel
John Raskin
Lucia Recio
Mike Reed
Tomeka Reid
Eric Revis
Matana Roberts
Donald Robinson
Christian Rollet
Frank Rosaly
Rich Rosenthal
Rova Saxophone Quartet
Stephen Rush
Bernard Santacruz
Jenny Scheinman
Jeff Schlanger
Matthias Schubert
Jaribu Shahid
Matthew Shipp
Michael Snow
Tyshawn Sorey
Hans Sturm
Steve Swell
Mazz Swift
Tani Tabbal
Craig Taborn
Mauricio Takara
Natsuki Tamura
Hanah Jon Taylor
Chad Taylor
Claude Tchamitchian
John Tchicai
Dylan van der Schyff
Nasheet Waits
Greg Ward
David Wessel
Joan Wildman
Corey Wilkes
William Winant
Shiau-Shu Yu
Michael Zerang

Kamau Daaood


A mythic figure in the Southern California arts scene, Kamau Daáood is a performance poet, educator and community arts activist who is widely acknowledged as a major driving force behind Los Angeles' black cultural renaissance. Now with the release of his debut album, Leimert Park, Kamau unleashes his galvanizing spirit on the world.

Equal parts Griot funk, straight ahead, blues, hip hop and hard bop, Leimert Park veritably pulsates with creative energy. The album is named after the thriving Los Angeles community that is fast becoming the west coast's black cultural mecca. On his first full-length recording, Kamau captures the true essence of the community, drawing on the area's finest musicians at the apex of their decades-long collaborative history.

Thus, the album features performances by jazz drumming legend Billy Higgins, renowned west coast pianist Horace Tapscott, master bassist Dr. Art Davis, flutist James Newton, and the members of B Sharp Jazz Quartet. Also contributing are percussionist Munyungo Jackson, pianist Nate Morgan, reed players Michael Session and Phil Vieux, violinist Karen Briggs, bassist Roberto Miranda, vocalists Dwight Trible and Carmen Bradford, and drummer Willie Jones III.

The resulting album reflects Leimert Park's eclectic musical landscape. "Her," which Kamau dedicates to his wife, boasts jazzy Brazilian rhythms played by Billy Higgins on guitar, while the title track is a hip hop groove, invoking images from the vibrant neighborhood. The North African "World Music" transports the listener, while the free-jazz sounds of "Liberator of Spirit" and the hard-bop "Tears" draw us to the complex world of poetry and music. All in all, Leimert Park is the musical portrait of a community's coming of age as seen through the eyes of one of its most devoted inhabitants.

"Many of the poems explore the dichotomies of life," Kamau explains. "They talk about the relationship between struggle and transformation, suffering and healing, pain and hope. A song like 'Tears' explores the strife of artists as they work to heal themselves and their world. 'Balm of Gilead,' which is about Billie Holiday and Lester Young, deals with their common hardships and how they drew from that well and made it into this sweetness that they poured on our lives. 'Art Blakey's Drumsticks' is a call to action. It points to the community's challenges but at the same time evokes people to find solutions. In a sense, the whole album is about the artist as a healer and an agent for change."

For Kamau, Leimert Park is a deeply symbolic album, marking a long history of cultural work in the Los Angeles area. Born and raised in Los Angeles, the multi-talented artist was instrumental in transforming Leimert Park into the cultural center it is today. In 1989 he and drummer Billy Higgins teamed up with a handful of artists to establish the World Stage. Under Kamau's and Billy's leadership this store-front performance gallery became Los Angeles' black creative epicenter. The park is now home to a wealth of performance spaces, studios, galleries, shops and restaurants, and is widely viewed as the symbol of Los Angeles' rebirth. Less than a decade later, Kamau's reputation has grown to that of a folk hero. The author of two books of poetry, Ascension and Liberator of the Spirit, his work has been translated into Spanish and is featured in Ten Contemporary American Poets. An award-winning documentary film about his life, appropriately titled Life Is a Saxophone, premiered in 1985. He has been a guest artist on several recordings, including the spoken word compilation Jazz Speaks and B Sharp Jazz Quartet's Searching for the One. Kamau has taught at California State University Northridge and at Otis Art Institute for Parson School of Design, and was honored by the USC Master of Professional Writing Program for his accomplishments as a writer.

Kamau developed his literary skills as a young member of the legendary Watts Writer's Workshop. His tenure as a "word musician" with the Pan African People's Arkestra under the direction of Horace Tapscott, helped to shape his bebop-flavored poetic approach. A veteran of hundreds of readings, Kamau developed an underground following in the west coast performance circles, where he has been known to bring an audience to its feet. His readings have brought him to podiums with Gil Scott Heron, The Last Poets, Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez, and have taken him as far away as Egypt and Somalia.