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

Click on image to play or stop

“All Hands on Deck”


MPEG-4 AAC 128k
High Fidelity Audio

Listen to
All Hands On Deck
in MPEG-4 on WireonFire Web Radio

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!

Click on image to play or stop




MPEG-4 AAC 128k
High Fidelity Audio

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,)

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…….