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Arts for Art Will Present The Sun Ra Arkestra on September 6

Performance is being held in tribute to NYC poet Steve Cannon

The Sun Ra Arkestra at the Newport Jazz Festival, August 2, 2019
The Sun Ra Arkestra at the Newport Jazz Festival, August 2, 2019 (photo: Marek Lazaski)

Arts for Art, in partnership with A Gathering of the Tribes, will present a special evening of performances in tribute to Poet Laureate of the Lower East Side, Steve Cannon, on September 6.

An iconoclastic mainstay in the Lower East Side, Cannon was known for opening his apartment as a gathering space for poets, artists, musicians, and people from all walks of life. He served as a mentor to many young artists and also helped nurture many careers through the founding of his multi-disciplinary arts and culture nonprofit, A Gathering of the Tribes, which he started in 1990 with help from visual artist David Hammons and writer Ishmael Reed. 

Cannon was a consistent supporter of Arts for Art, and was a featured performer at the first Vision Festival in 1996 as well as subsequent years. Steve also helped curate the poetry programming at the festival in the early 2000s.

In tribute, the Sun Ra Arkestra will perform a full set on September 6. William Parker will also perform.

A Gathering of the Tribes has curated a group of poets with close ties to Cannon for the event. They include: Yuko Otomo, Lydia Cortes, Edwin Torres, Steve Dalachinsky, Anne Waldman, Tracie Morris and Julie Ezelle Patton. Organizers noted that the City of New York and especially the Lower East Side, lost a cultural icon with Cannon’s passing on July 7, 2019.

Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased online at, or when doors open at 6 p.m.

Founded in 1996, Arts For Art is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of free jazz. Spearheaded by the Vision Festival, Arts For Art’s programming brings together multiple generations of vibrant, diverse and highly skilled artists. To further its goals of diversity and accessibility, the group fosters education initiatives and produces events that build community amongst artists and audiences.

Performance Schedule 

Friday, September 6

The Clemente Flamboyan Theater
107 Suffolk St, New York, NY 10002

6:30 p.m.    

Opening by Melanie Goodreaux & Patricia Nicholson

6:40  p.m.   

Poetry readings from: Yuko Otomo, Lydia Cortes, Edwin Torres, Steve Dalachinsky 

7:30  p.m.

William Parker’s What It Is
William Parker – bass, composition
Patricia Nicholson Parker – dance
James Brandon Lewis – tenor sax
Devin Brahja Waldman – alto sax 
Melanie Dyer – viola
Val Jeanty – percussion

8:30 p.m.     

Poetry readings from: Julie Ezelle Patton, Anne Waldman, Tracie Morris with Graham Haynes and Elliott Sharp

9 p.m.    

Marshall Allen & The Sun Ra Arkestra