Upsurge Celebrates 25 Years!




















Reviews and Comments From 25th Celebration

Lincoln Bergman – It was just great! The music/poetry the poetry/music, the politics and soul and rhythm from start to finish…and O that “Loves in Need of Love Today”–great musicians and poets—very inspiring and upsurging indeed!

Pat Jameson-Amwele – A very beautiful, powerful, amazing show last night, Raymond! Congrats on UpSurge’s 25th Anniversary, Raymond & Zigi! And all those with you in the band were outstanding, as well! Thoroughly enjoyed every minute!

Carol Canter – Did it well is a major understatement. This was another knockout performance, Raymond. You and Zigi weave a web of magic with your words and sounds and movement, going very very deep, bringing key issues of the day to our heart and soul and mind. There’s no turning away, and it’s profound. Every one of your musicians was amazing as well. Keep coming back to Berkeley and Oaktown, and we’ll look forward to seeing you both this summer in Harlem!

Miranda Bergman – You definitely did do it well!! You (every band member and you and Ziggy) did it movingly, inspirationally, healing. Thank you.

“Congrats, heard you rocked it, stomped it, turned it out! ”

I really enjoyed the event in Berkeley last night, you guys laid it down. Tell Zigi I can get the I Am Poetry tee shirt when I see the artist and mail it if she likes. WM

Poetry and Jazz: Surging Together in Berkeley


All Hands On Deck

upsurge all hands on deck

“Garnering love with their landmark release…
a superb showcase of ‘song-poems’ ”

–San Francisco Bay Guardian

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“All Hands on Deck”


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All Hands On Deck
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All Hands on Deck, the CD, the debut release of UpSurge! JazzPoetry Ensemble, has been nominated for an Indie (independent music award) by the association for Independent Music (AFIM). All Hands on Deck, blending an unusual mix of swinging, cutting-edge jazz with provocative, intelligent performance poetry has received critical acclaim and is one of the five nominees in the spoken word category.

“What UpSurge! is saying needs to be heard by a wider audience”

Richard Howell


Go to upSurge! Home page
Chromatology CD

UpSurge! Chromatology

Second Release

I can’t wait to get my hands on latest UpSurge! project. Loved what I heard, want to share it.
—Afrikahn Jamal Davys, jazz radio programmer, KKUP San Jose

Available Now!

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Buy The Single!
“The Game”
“Operation Ho

Listen to Chromatology in MPEG-4 on WireonFire Web Radio!

Upsurge! – Chromatology (Abolition Media)

East Bay jazz-poetry ensemble, Upsurge!, has just delivered a new disc containing 15 tracks of well-executed and captivatingly conscious music. While I admit not being the best judge of what makes good poetry, there is some pretty thought-provoking material found here.

They take the Gil-Scott Herron formula and turn it on its ear and even stop to cover Abdullah Ibrahim’s “The Wedding.” I was really impressed with the production values and above-par musicianship. Very cool and engaging release from this East Bay institution, which also just won the Best Poet or Spoken-Word Performer Award of Best of the East Bay 2003.

—Royce Seader

Poetry In Motion!
a five-star review!
Reviewer: A music fan from San Francisco, CA USA

UpSurge is poetry, jazz, politics, and the emotion that can be generated by
each of these all rolled into one! Raymond Nat Turner and Ziggy Lowenberg
and their amazing ensemble including incredible guest artists bring to their
second CD energy, spirit, and love of language and music. Each cut provides
a new experience, one which you’ll want to come back to over and over. This
is an amazing West Coast based group that must be heard by music enthusiasts
across the country…and then around the World!

… knocked me down
… really creative.

And you know, I like creative stuff, no matter what type of music it is…it’s all good. One of my favorites is about the football player, I don’t even like football but that piece is really something. I haven’t heard anything like it. I haven’t heard anything even near what you guys are doing on that record.

—Donald “Duck” Bailey Legendary Jazz drummer (Jimmy Smith organ trio, Carmen McRae, Harold Land- Bobby Hutcherson Quartet,)