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Jazz & Syria - A Musical Program

featuring Reese Erlich, Larry Vuckovich & Vince Delgado

Jazz interpretation of Arabic music and update on Syrian conflict

Friday, October 17, 2014, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)
Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse
2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 644-2020
$17 advance / $22 door

Tonight, with a little help from his friends, investigative journalist Reese Erlich presents Jazz & Syria, featuring classic Syrian tunes played by a stellar jazz quartet that includes piano virtuoso Larry Vuckovich, master of Arabic percussion Vince Delgado, violinist Eric Gold, and Coralie Russo on oud, as well as Reese's eye-witness account of what's happening in Syria.

Anti-war activist at Cal in the 1960s, editor at Ramparts, writer for Mother Jones, The Progressive, and The Nation, reporter for NPR, PBS, and Market Place Radio, author of such books as Target Iraq, The Iran Agenda, Dateline Havana, Conversations With Terrorists, and, most recently, Inside Syria, Reese has a long history of reporting from the front lines of armed struggle, conflict, and revolution around the world. His documentary Inside the Syrian Revolution won an award for Best Radio Explanatory Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2012 and he shared a Peabody Award for his work on the documentary Crossing East in 2006. Walter Cronkite has called him "a great radio producer and a great friend." As an outlet for his lifelong interest in jazz, he has produced the program Jazz Perspectives for public radio stations since 1995.

Larry Vuckovich is a musical treasure, a Bay Area jazz legend who has played with a pantheon of the greats, from Vince Guaraldi to Billy Higgins, from Charlie Haden to Mel Tormé. He has appeared as a sideman on 17 albums and as band leader on 13 more, including his latest, Somethin' Special, which the website Jazz Music calls "a winner, a thoroughbred, a jazz music Secretariat" and praises for its "soul and spirit." Larry is a master of straight ahead jazz, and also a pioneer in the fusion of jazz and world music.

Percussionist and composer Vince Delgado has been playing music for more than 65 years. He became the executive director of the Ali Akbar College of Music in 1968, and has performed with such artists as Ali Akbar Khan, Zakir Hussain, John McLaughlin, Necati Celik, John Santos, John Handy, and Eddie Marshall. Equally comfortable playing North Indian music, Middle Eastern music, jazz, and his own original compositions, Vince is a musical marvel.

Tonight, Reese will introduce the musicians with a short description of recent events in Syria and the people's fight against Assad. The quartet will play a set, and after a break Reese will talk about the role of Damascus as a musical center in the Arab world and the current political situation, including U.S. policy. A second set will follow.

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