The Need for a Revision of the Concept of Musical Professionalism

Text by Dawoud Kringle

Bern NixSeveral weeks before this writing, guitar master Bern Nix passed away. He was an elder master with astonishing musical abilities, and an impressive resume behind him. Yet he was in poverty, living in dire straits for years. His is an old story that seems to keep repeating itself. 

This myth of the inevitability of the “starving artist” is self perpetuating. It seems that people on all sides of the equation have it so ingrained into their subconscious that it’s almost expected that musicians be impoverished, ignored, and mistreated. 

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Geri Allen: MFM Salutes The Maestra’s Memory and Legacy

Text by Dawoud Kringle

Geri AllenOn Tuesday, June 27th, 2017, pianist, composer, and music educator Geri Allen died. The cause of death was reported to be cancer. She was 60 years old.

Her work has earned her a reputation as one of the world’s finest jazz pianists.

Geri Antoinette Allen was born on June 12, 1957 in Pontiac, Michigan, and raised in Detroit. She began studying the piano at age seven and went on to graduate from Cass Technical High School, (the alma mater of Paul Chambers, Wardell Gray, Gerald Wilson and Donald Byrd).

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Underrated “Harmolodics” Master Guitarist Bern Nix Remembered

Bern NixText by Dawoud Kringle

The world of improvised music was shocked to learn of the passing of master guitarist Bern Nix.

Born in 1950, Nix moved to New York City, and made a living for a while as a guitar teacher. He succeeded James Blood Ulmer in Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time band, and in 1985 formed his own band. In 1993, the band released the album Alarms and Excursions. Nix released solo recordings such as Low Barometer (an acoustic recording), Less is More, and Negative Capability. Nix also performed with Jayne Cortez, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Elliot Sharp, Jemeel Moondoc, James Chance, Kip Hanrahan, and Roland Shannon Jackson. In recent years, Nix performed regularly at the Vision Festival, and at smaller local venues. He worked with his quartet The Bern Nix Quartet (featuring Matt Lavelle, François Grillot and Reggie Sylvester), Cheryl Pyle’s Beyond Group, and with ensembles led by Ras Moshe Burnett.

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