Charles Lester Music proudly announces the release of First Ones by Positive Knowledge. Positive Knowledge is a San Francisco Bay Area-based collaboration founded by Oluyemi and Igeoma Thomas that integrates poetic spoken word and improvised vocals with free jazz.
Positive Knowledge pursues the creative and transformative power of art. On this newest release, their 5th CD to date, Positive Knowledge is joined by frequent collaborator San Francisco Bay Area drummer and multi-percussionist Spirit, and fellow Bay Area multi-reed player Ike Levin. The result is a tapestry of music propelled forward by a shared inspiration that draws from a deep reservoir of musical vocabularies and sensibilities. The rapport among the artists is evident. Each composition is a unique portrait, yet all contribute to the cohesive thread of this session.
Positive Knowledge has performed across the U.S. and Europe with such prominent artists as Wadada Leo Smith, John Tchicai, William Parker, Alan Silva, Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Roscoe Mitchell, and Edward "Kidd" Jordan.
In addition, to performing and recording music, Positive Knowledge takes an active role in education by facilitating workshops in poetry, music, and spoken word with the aim to "celebrate the rich diversity of thought that exists in the hearts and minds of children, youth, and adults, as well as validate the cultural expression of the elders and young people."
About The Artists:
Oluyemi Thomas-(Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, C-Melody Saxophone, Musette, Flute, Gong, Talking Drum, Percussion)
Mr. Thomas was born in Detroit, Michigan. He studied at Washtenaw College in Michigan where he received an Associate of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also studied music and the spiritual and physical nature of sound and silence. As a creative musician, performer, recording artist, teacher, and engineer for over two decades, Mr. Thomas seeks to express his
abiding love for the hidden power of art. His travels to Africa, the Middle East, South America, Canada, and Europe all have influenced his musical vocabulary and expressions. Mr. Thomas' has performed across the U.S and internationally with such noted artists as Cecil Taylor, Wadada Leo Smith, Alan Silva, John Tchicai, Sunny Murray, William Parker, Peter Kowald, Wilber Morris, Harrison Bankhead and others. Mr. Thomas believes "the musician's art is among those arts most worthy of the highest praise"...and that "music should lead to spirituality."
Ijeoma Thomas (Poetic vocals, gong, Percussion)
Ms. Thomas was born and raised in Washington D.C. and received a B.A. in Fine Arts and Art History from Hampton University in Virginia. Her reverence for and relationship with art and the artist began early in a home environment where poetry, music, and dance were all honored. Her appreciation for songs of the spoken word was nourished by the soul stirring sermons of her grandfather, a Baptist minister. As a poet, performance and recording artist, language arts consultant and teacher, Ijeoma is sustained and guided by the creative and transformative power of art. In addition to her work with Positive Knowledge, she has published her written works in Oxygen, World Order, Orison literary journals, as well as her own book of poems titled "OUT of the FIRE." She has taken performed around the world including China, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Spirit (Drums, Talking Drum, Percussion)
Spirit was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a teacher, poly-rhythm, and tonal percussionist, he has become a mainstay on the creative music scene in the San Francisco area, and has performed and recorded with Positive Knowledge for over two decades. Spirit is as much a tonal colorist as he is a rhythmic percussionist. He can be heard on his solo CD "Preface to God" on Edgetone Records, and "Invocation #9 on the Music and Arts label. He has also performed and recorded with some of the leading innovators in creative music including John Tchicai, Glenn Spearman, Alan Silva, Cecil Taylor, William Parker, Peter Brontzmann, and Wadada Leo Smith.
Ike Levin (Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, and Percussion)
Ike was born and raised in Chicago and moved to the San Francisco Bay area around ten years ago. He displays an aggressive, brawny approach to improvisation combining expressionistic blowing and atonal phrasing with more melodic ruminations. Levin's strong, free improvisational talents are rooted in a reverence and appreciation for the blues, bebop, and contemporary chamber music. Silence and space are as important in his musical phrases as sounds. He views improvisation as an "uncompromising profoundly spiritual experience." Ike studied with the legendary jazz Chicago saxophonist Joe Daley and Fred Anderson, co-founder of the Chicago based Association for The Advancement of Creative Music (AACM). He also studied musical composition at Roosevelt University Music Conservatory in Chicago. Ike has performed around the U.S. and Canada with such noted creative musicians as Joel Futterman, Alvin Fielder, Kash Killion, Lester Cobb, Wilbur Campbell, Von Freeman, Ed Petersen, Robert Barry, and Smiley Winters, as well as leading his own small ensembles.
For Artist Information and Performance Bookings Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.