Bird & Beckett is excited and pleased to host a free listening party with musician and bandleader Idris Ackamoor in anticipation of the upcoming concerts with his full seven-piece band, The Pyramids, augmented by a string quartet and an additional horn section at the Presidio Theater in mid-March, as well as the impending release of their new album, “Afro Futuristic Dreams.” Score your free tickets to the March concerts at the free listening party tonight!!
At Bird & Beckett on Saturday, February 25th, from 7:30 to 9:30pm, Idris will be joined by band members Sandra Poindexter (violin) and Bobby Cobb (guitar) as he narrates the band’s arc and its futuristic destiny, demonstrating key concepts with his saxophone and composition fragments. The event is free, but reservations are strongly suggested; please call the bookshop at 415-586-3733 during business hours, noon to six, Tuesday to Sunday to reserve for this momentous free event Saturday 2/25 at 7:30pm.
The Pyramids just recently returned from a 50th Anniversary European tour which included a performance November 2022 at the renowned LE GUESS WHO? Festival in Utrecht, The Netherlands as well as concerts in Germany and Italy. Inaugurating that tour, IDRIS ACKAMOORâ˜¥THE PYRAMIDS performed music from â€œAFRO FUTURISTIC DREAMSâ€ at the Utrecht Festival, which organized a visual arts exhibition in the famed Tivoli Gardens Hall detailing Idris Ackamoorâ€™s remarkable 50-year â€œCultural Odyssey,â€ told through photographs, posters, album art, writings, scores and memorabilia on display on several floors of the hall for festival goers. Read an extensive 2022 NY Times piece on the the band’s history at this link.
Idris and the Pyramids have enjoyed an incredible international renaissance of interest, respect and acclaim since about 2007, when their early records from the 1970s suddenly became hotly sought on the collectors market, with prices for the vintage vinyl soaring, remaining high to this day. Many tours of Europe have followed, often twice a year, with sold out concerts before adoring fans.
The Pyramids band was founded during a 1972 sojourn in Paris by Idris Ackamoor, flutist Margaux Simmons and bassist Kimathi Asante, students in Cecil Taylor’s early 1970s Black Music Ensemble at Oberlin College. After concerts in Amsterdam and joined by drummer Donald Robinson, The Pyramids embarked on a nine-month adventure in Africa, learning and performing, adding musicians and new instruments. The band stayed together until 1977. Exploratory self-releases by The Pyramids — Lalibela (1973), King Of Kings (1974), and Birth / Speed / Merging (1976) — had very limited runs, being sold only at concerts out of the trunks of the band members’ cars.
Although the band split up in 1977, with Idris settling in San Francisco and embarking on his Cultural Odyssey partnership with Rhodessa Jones which continues to this day, he reformed the Pyramids several times in the decades that followed, gathering new steam and finding a seemingly unstoppable trajectory in 2007 with performance and tours, and new studio albums released in the 2010s: We Be All Africans and An Angel Fell. Here’s an excellent write-up by Dean Van Nguyen from late summer 2020 of the band’s history to that point.
The new album, â€œAFRO FUTURISTIC DREAMS,â€ is a departure from any albums recorded by Idris Ackamoor with The Pyramids or his other ensembles, paying homage to the Afrofuturist movement that has embraced the science-fiction writers Octavia Butler and Samuel R. Delany, the legendary and esteemed musician Sun Ra and many other key artists. Â IDRIS ACKAMOORâ˜¥THE PYRAMIDS have themselves been celebrated as progenitors of Afrofuturism in interviews and articles.
In celebration of a half century in the performing arts beginning with the founding of his legendary band, The Pyramids in 1972, Idris Ackamoor will salute this epoch with the Bird & Beckett Special 50th Anniversary Listening Party, Composer Conversation, and Black History “TOAST”, as a prequel toâ€œAFRO FUTURISTIC DREAMS,â€ Â the 50th Anniversary commemorative double vinyl album release in 2023 for STRUT Records and its San Francisco premiere at the Presidio Theater, March 17-18, 2023 with IDRIS ACKAMOORâ˜¥THE PYRAMIDS performing the full orchestra score featuring a string quartet, an additional horn section, as well as his seven piece band. Tickets for March 17-18 concerts at the Presidio Theater and additional information can be found at https://www.presidiotheatre.org/
At Bird & Beckett on Saturday, February 25th, from 7:30 to 9:30pm, Idris Ackamoor, joined by band members Sandi Poindexter (violin) and Bobby Cobb (guitar) narrates the band’s arc and its futuristic destiny, demonstrating key concepts with his saxophone and composition fragments. The event is free, but reservations are strongly suggested; please call the bookshop at 415-586-3733 during business hours, noon to six, Tuesday to Sunday to reserve for this momentous free event Saturday 2/25 at 7:30pm!
And get your tickets now at presidiotheatre.org to hear the full seven-piece band, with string quartet and augmented horn section, section at the Presidio Theater on March 17 and 18!
Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.
The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
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Gigging musicians! You have nothing to lose but your lack of a collective voice to achieve fair wages for your work!
The IMA can be a conduit for you, if you join in to make it work.
Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site