In October 2012, filmmaker Joe Baker took a group of American musicians and a film crew to Jamaica and Haiti, where they spent time with some of the greatest musicians on those islands – including Earl “Chinna” Smith, Empress Apple, and Prezident Brown – creating new music collaboratively. By the end of the trip, more than 40 musicians had participated: JHAM stands for Jamaican Haitian American Musicians jamming for education.
This special event was created by Baker and volunteers as a fundraiser for two beneficiaries: Pineapple Community Education Association in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and Mission of Hope in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The CD/DVD of the film and music from the trip will be available in the near future and will also raise money for the beneficiaries.
Tonight Ashkenaz turns its stage and screen over to an extraordinary experience of musical collaborations rooted in reggae and cultural exchange as Baker presents the first full screening of the film that came out of the trip, “A Real Purpose: The Story of JHAM.” It is followed by a live concert/dance with an all-star JHAM band of some of the musicians featured in the film playing reggae dance music, including songs from the film as well as band originals. The project is a sequel to Baker’s acclaimed 2010 “The Africa Project,” a DVD/CD of a similar collaboration between African and American musicians that was staged as a film and concert at Ashkenaz two years ago.
Tonight’s band includes the four American musicians who made the trip – Jordan Feinstein on keyboards and vocals, Garrin Benfield on guitar and vocals, Chris Zanardi on guitar, and Lee “Bug” Brock on bass – plus Brian Festa on drums, Waahid Jones and Dave Eagle on percussion, John Harrington on trumpet, female backing singers, and possibly a horn section.
When & Where
Ashkenaz is the East Bay's home to world music & dance... established 1973; nonprofit since 1997. We are always all ages! Kids 12 & under are admitted free unless otherwise noted.
All of our online ticket sales are will call. We will have a list of ticket buyers at the door; you do not need to bring a printout of your ticket/order confirmation.
Doors open 30 minutes before showtime, or 30 minutes before the dance lesson if there is one, unless otherwise noted.
Ashkenaz's Café opens when doors open and offers beer (draft and bottled), wine, kombucha, juices, sodas, coffee and tea, and snacks and light meals (all vegetarian, mostly organic).