Dissident Arts Festival

SAT 15 AUG Dissident Arts Festival (Raymond Nat Turner)
El Taller Latino Americano
PS 109 Arts Space 215 E. 99th Str btwn 2nd & 3rd Av
New York, NY
Day One: Saturday August 15, 7pm – 11:30pm
El Taller Latino Americano
PS109 Arts Space 215 East 99 street, between 2nd and 3rd avenue (212) 665-9460

7PM- Raymond Nat Turner- Remembrance of the Victims of Racist Police Violence
7:20-Sumari, “other-world” art music
8:05-Sana Shabazz, poetry
8:20-The Red Microphone, “liberation jazz”
9-Steve Dalachinsky, free jazz poetry
9:45-Bernardo Palombo, nueva cancion
10:30- The 12 Houses Orchestra, 15-piece expansive jazz ensemble led by Matt Lavelle

Day Two: Sunday August 16, 7pm – 10:30 PM
ShapeShifter Lab
18 Whitwell Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11215 (646) 820-9452

7:00-Trudy Silver & “Where’s the Outrage?”, improvisational music, poetry, performance art
7:45-Safiya Martinez, poetry
7:55-John Pietaro’s Literary Warrior Project, spoken word and improvised music
8:35-Patricia Nicholson-Parker with ensemble TBA, dance with improvisational music and spoken word
9:15-Chris Butters, poetry
9:30-Dissipated Face featuring Daniel Carter, no wave/hardcore music

*This year’s Festival is dedicated to the struggle for unity & the memory of Ornette Coleman*
Ensemble Personnel:
DAY 1-
Raymond Nat Turner: spoken word

Aug 16, Dissident Arts Festival representing NY Chapter of National Writers Union (NWU).

Comments from the Dissident Arts Festival:

A jazz and spoken word ensemble from San Francisco, Upsurge, blew the audience away with their powerful music and lyrics, which condemned Wall Street and the greedy banks. The leader of the group, Raymond Nat Turner, said, “This is a perfect showcase for what we’ve been doing for 20 years in the Bay Area.” This was the group’s first performance at the festival. Summing it up, festival organizer John Pietaro said, “This is the second year of the festival in New York City. People we get each year have a following. Kevin, who was with us last year, Gwen Laster, who performed at Obama’s inauguration, Upsurge, from San Francisco.”

—People’s World

UPSURGE! came all the way from San Francisco to bring the crowd to its feet. Led by jazz poets Raymond Nat Turner and Zigi Lowenberg, the ensemble presented a finely confounded emulsion of modern jazz and spoken word, at once recalling the Beat poets, John Coltrane, Gill Scott-Heron and Amiri Baraka. The end result could serve to bring the Hip Hop generation straight to jazz! They have performed their
call-to-arms smorgasbord of sound at multiple progressive gatherings in recent years and if they can arrange to travel across country each summer, they’d be a welcome part of future Dissident Arts Festivals.
Ensemble members included Tony Jones on tenor saxophone, Rudi Mwongozi on piano, Bryce Sebastian on upright bass and Larry Johnson on drums (a very hip shining kit of Gretsch drums, I might add).

—John Pietaro, Founder Dissident Arts Festival, NYC
The arts ARE a weapon for social change…….


Poets House Members

THU 30 JUL Poets House Members-only Open Mic (Zigi Lowenberg; Raymond Nat Turner)
10 River Terrace, New York, NY 10282 Tel: (212) 431-7920 Map & Directions

NYC Poetry Festival Governors Island

SAT 25 JUL NYC Poetry Festival Governors Island, Colonel’s Row
For directions to Governors Island, click here. Zigi Lowenberg; Raymond Nat Turner)

Poetry reigns in Auburn with Aaduna

Auburn, N.Y. — “Pick six words. Any words,” says poet Raymond Nat Turner. He had the students of Booker T. Washington Community Center afterschool program at Auburn High School write them down. Next he told them to pass them to someone else and he gave them six of his own words: Jazz, rainy, splash, Blues, running and brothers.

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Poetry and jazz: Surging together in Berkeley

Raymond Nat Turner: playing Friday at the Berkeley Art Festival performance space on University Avenue. Photo: courtesy Raymond Nat Turner


The unassuming apartment complex at Seventh and Allston doesn’t look much like the cradle of a creative movement, but for spoken-word artist Raymond Nat Turner the West Berkeley locale provided everything he needed to launch UpSurge!

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Whynot Jazz Room

Whynot Jazz Room’s
Why Not Experiment? Series
Presents UpSurge!
A potent brew of poetry, politics
In jazz—creating a scene 2015!
Ken Filiano, bass/Lou Grassi, drums/Marshall Sealy,
French Horn/Zigi Lowenberg, poetry/Raymond Nat
Turner, poetry
7pm Sunday 8 February
14 Christopher St @ Gay St NYC 10014
$10 cover CASH ONLY

“An ensemble that earns its exclamation point with dynamic performances” —Contra Costa Times

“TOUGH FUN” —Holly Near

“blew the audience away with their powerful music and lyrics, which condemned Wall Street and the greedy banks”
—People’s World

Anna’s Jazz Island

Anna de Leon, Barbara Dane and Angela Wellman









Are you ready to commune for an Alternative Veteran’s Day? Then join us Sunday, November 11 at Anna’s Jazz Island when UpSurge will perform several anti-war pieces including premiering a new piece, “Back on Track” by our trombonist and vocalist Angela Wellman. We’re also excited to put our UpSurge sound on classics—we will feature anti-war poems from Allen Ginsberg and Gertrude Stein.

As well, hear anti-war veteran Steve Gilbert, a founding member of the legendary anti-war army newspaper F*T*A*. Steve will speak on his experience with anti-war activism as a GI.

Get inspired, gather strength, renew our commitments to end the carnage. We’re pointing at the grassroots when we exclaim—WE WANT YOU! The best audience in the Bay. Please spread the word and tell two or three others…

Raymond Nat Turner and Zigi Lowenberg-jazzpoets; Angela Wellman-trombone and vocals; Richard Howell-saxes and vocals; Tammy Hall-piano; Ron Belcher-bass; Rob Rhodes-drums.
Sunday November 11
7:00 PM
Anna’s Jazz Island
2120 Allston Way

Freight and Salvage

Some Comments From the Freight and Salvage
September 28th 2012

Thanks for a GREAT show…can’t wait until the next ‘hello again’ tour!

GREAT concert! Great musicians! Raymond held the poetry portion on his own beautifully….but we missed Zigi! Loved the final song “Oaktown Blues!!!”

Raymond……coming out to see you is a form of filling my cup. Your writing pruns while the music is straight medicinal to my soul. I have to say last night was particularly exceptional with the musicians….such an amazing bunch on EVERY instrument. I hope you know how much I appreciate your work. East Bay won’t be the same without you – FOR SURE. Can’t wait to link up with you and Zigs again…..perhaps in NY!?


UpSurge! is poetry. UpSurge! is jazz. It’s the love of language blended with the power of fascinating rhythms and funky grooves. The BerkeleyPatch calls the group “a unique fusion of eclectic jazz and provocative poetry that reaches deep into the soul.” The City of Oakland honored the group with an official proclamation, thanking them for twenty years of celebrating “Oakland’s beauty, people, culture, and music,” as well as for “striking spiritual, emotional, and intellectual chords within us all.” The City of Berkeley declared its own UpSurge Day — “for contributions to the City of Berkeley and beyond.”

Poets Raymond Nat and Zigi Lowenberg make up the metaphors, sling the similes, and paint the word pictures, accompanied by piano, horns, drums, and bass. Raymond grew up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. Zigi grew up in the New York borough of Queens. Raymond founded UpSurge! in 1990, and Zigi soon joined him on stage. With imaginative compositions, innovative arrangements, and in-your-face commitment, their eclectic ensemble mixes jazz and poetry with politics, and freely adds musical flavors from klezmer to calypso. Their influences range from Amiri Baraka to Walt Whitman, Gil-Scott Heron to Bertolt Brecht. They’ve played jazz festivals from Monterey to Ghana and released two albums, All Hands on Deck, which earned an Indie Award nomination from the Association for Independent Music in 2000, and Chromatology.

For an evening of fearless poetry and swinging jazz, a unique, cutting-edge mix of music and the spoken word, catch UpSurge! at the Freight.

For an evening of fearless poetry and swinging jazz, a unique, cutting-edge mix of music and the spoken word, catch UpSurge! at the Freight.