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Tony Seymour

Sunday, October 17 – 7pm
Tony Seymour’s Hollywood Muse Masked Ball with Cooke+Crossman

Exclusive Limited TEN Person LIVE Audience.  $40 per ticket.  Make your paid reservation in advance with the  bookstore to guarantee a seat.  Live stream contribution of $10-20 requested for those unable to attend in person. Just use the link in the following paragraph to donate.

If you’re watching in the stream, thanks for helping us break even by donating online! Find the stream at showtime and after the fact on Bird & Beckett’s YouTube channel or Facebook page.

Everyone attending the live performance must show proof of vaccination; seats will be spaced six feet apart. The performers request that the in-person audience be 100% masked at the Hollywood Muse Masked Ball tonight!

In the Hollywood Muse Masked Ball, poet Tony Seymour takes a deep dive into an extended work inspired by his “Hollywood Muse,” enlisted for strictly inspirational purposes at a juncture when he desperately needed to get his creative juices flowing again, in a time when beautiful sunsets, swaying palms, laid back locals and planeloads of tourists weren’t nearly enough.

Seymour has poured heart and soul into his poetry for decades, always laid out with amazing forward energy & drive. In addition to his own work, in 1975 he was the publicist for City Lights’ publication of Black Panthers Huey Newton and Ericka Huggins’ Insights & Poems. a volume of poetry. He’s acted in numerous films and TV shows, coming to be something of a specialist in handling dual roles, as in The King of Love where he played a Juror, a Reporter and a Light Man, or Midnight Caller where he played a Bar Patron and a Convict, or Nash Bridges where he played a Suspected Shooter and a member of the crowd in the same scene. This trend began with Clint Eastwood’s Honkytonk Man, in which he played a patron smoking outside the bar (the best shadow in TV history!) and then a bar patron INSIDE the bar……so he was both Inside the bar and Outside the bar in that one! He’s performed poetry to live music before, including with Huey Lewis’ band Clover on Union Street (1974/75). As a next step, he recorded some of his poems to jazz in Richie Haven’s New York studio. The album “Shotgun Jazz” was released in 1988 and was performed at National Poetry Week in San Francisco with musician Mitchell Holman, on the same bill as Senator Eugene McCarthy reading his poetry. He has performed on the same bill with Richie Havens at San Francisco City Hall, Cecil Taylor, and Eddie Duran. Now, this outing with India Cooke & Bill Crossman!

Tony has always had plenty of words to sling. For years now, however, he’s been languishing in Hawaii. No real paradise in his eyes. But for a minute, he’s returned to the Bay Area to re-engage with the world that made him, and he’s induced his long-time friend, the violinist India Cooke to bring to his epic recital the stellar musical interplay of Cooke+Crossman, fully masked for the occasion.

Cooke+Crossman comprises violinist India Cooke and pianist Bill Crossman in a duo that has been performing for a dozen years.

Cooke, violinist, composer, and educator, performs improv, jazz and classical. She has performed with Pharaoh Sanders, Peter Kowald, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Pauline Oliveros, George Lewis, Joelle Leandre, Amiri Baraka and many others. She has also been a featured soloist with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. India has performed in Bay Area symphony and opera orchestras, chamber ensembles and Broadway shows. As one of California’s most respected contract artists, she has performed with the Louie Bellson Orchestra, Sarah Vaughn, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and many others. India has recorded sessions for Atlantic, Fantasy and Stax records. As a featured recording artist she can be heard on Leo Records with Sun Ra and his Arkestra, Black Saint Records on What We Live/Lisle Ellis’ lp “Fo(u)r,” Hat Music’s “Nomadic Winds,” Plainisphares’ “African Roots of Jazz” and Sparkling Beatnik Records “The Circle Trio~Live at the Meridian.” She recorded, and released to critical acclaim, her Grammy nominated debut cd as a leader, “Music and Arts’  India Cooke~Redhanded.” India is currently on the Mills College Music Department Faculty, Ensemble Directors & Lesson Instructors roster, and teaches at her private studio – India’s Music Room.

Crossman, jazz/world-music pianist, composer, and educator, is an innovator in freely-improvised jazz piano. He has performed with some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians and has appeared in performance venues and festivals from coast to coast and internationally. For over a dozen years, Bill has played with jazz violinist India Cooke in the India Cooke-Bill Crossman Duo, now renamed COOKE🔸CROSSMAN on their 2018 CD “Infinite Dimensions”. Bill can also be heard on The Troublemakers Union’s recent CD “Fight Back.” Bill’s jazz-styled musical “John Brown’s Truth,” focusing on the last year of the famed anti-slavery abolitionist’s life, has been staged throughout northern CA and in New York City. See website www.johnbrownstruthmusical.com. A poet himself, Bill’s jazz piano has accompanied poetry readings by Al Young, Genny Lim, David Meltzer, and others. He taught jazz & blues piano for years at Oakland Public Conservatory of Music (OPCM) and also led an innovative monthly free-jazz improv open-mike session there.

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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