jaimie branch’s FLY or DIE | AFA Vision Festival 25 (1 of 4)
jaimie branch – trumpet, voice, percussion / Lester St. Louis – cello, voice, percussion / Chad Taylor – drums, mbira, voice / Jason Ajemian – bass
Performing “birds of paradise,” on July 30 2021 as part of Arts for Art’s Vision Festival 25, held at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NYC, and originally released on branch’s “FLY or DIE II: Bird Dogs of Paradise” in 2019 (International Anthem).
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“We FLY together or DIE apart. That’s the crux of the vibe. There are forces out there that want to crush spirits, those who want to keep us separated to keep us from flocking up—we reject those forces and instead play harder, listen harder, love harder. This music is protest, this music is peace, this music transports and transforms. The guys in this band don’t just play music, they lift the bandstand and take off, it lifts me up and it will lift you too if you let it. FLY or DIE baby, we either moving closer to life or closer to death. So sound the trumpets, flock up, and fly, we stronger togther.” – jaimie branch
American avant-garde trumpeter Jaimie Branch was a forward-thinking performer with a style steeped in free jazz and modern creative improvisation. In addition to releasing her own albums, she is an in-demand session and touring musician in several genres. She has played with several bands including Bullet Hell, Galactic Unity Ensemble, Keefe Jackson’s Project Project, and New Fracture Quartet, and has also appeared with Spoon, TV on the Radio, and Belle Orchestre. She began recording under her own name with 2017’s acclaimed Fly or Die.
Lester St. Louis is a New York City-born and based multi-instrumentalist, composer, and curator. Lester has worked in, performed and created in artistic environments in The United States, Canada, South America, Europe and China with groups and artists such as Dré Hočevar Trio, Jaimie Branch Fly or Die, Ensemble Adapter, TAK Ensemble and many more. As a composer, Lester has been commissioned by artists such as the JACK Quartet, Mahan Esfahani and Stefan Jackiw, RAGE THORMBONES, Lauren Cauley and others. In the near future Lester will be continuing to develop groups such as MADD (with Dré Hočevar and Leafar) as well as TRANSFER (with Jordan Balaber, Daniel Brew and Rocío Bolaños) along with many new ventures.
Jason Ajemian is an acoustic bassist from the underground music scene in Chicago, playing a number of innovative improvised, noise, and experimental musics located in rock and jazz. He’s a graduate from the William Patterson University in NJ, where he researched with bassist Rufus Reid and percussionist Kevin Norton. Arriving in Chicago in nov 2000, Ajemian embraced the after that burgeoning intensifying music community. Ajemian also vocalizes and utilizes consumer electronics. His dizzying amount of credits consist of use Rob Mazurek, the Exploding Superstar Orchestra, Dragons 1976, Place AROUND It, Delivered Heller, Matt Bauder, Ken Vandermark’s Turmoil Outfit, Who Cares JUST HOW LONG You Kitchen sink, Triage, Mandarin Film, the Chicago Underground Trio, and countless others.
Chad Taylor is an American drummer, percussionist, and composer. Taylor leads both the Chad Taylor Trio with Brian Settles and Neil Podgurski and Circle Down with Angelica Sanchez and Chris Lightcap. He is a founding member of the Chicago Underground along with Jeff Parker and Rob Mazurek.
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Audio by Stephen Schmidt.
Video editing by Moon Lasso
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