Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Sun, Nov 18 2018 7:30 PM


A night with ruth weiss

Hal Davis - log, Doug O'Connor - double bass, Rent Romus - saxophones/flutes, Doug Lynner - Mystery Serge Synth
Born in Germany in 1928 and escaping fascist occupation from Austria in 1939, founder of jazz beat poetry, ruth weiss began experimenting with jazz and poetry in Chicago in 1948. Later she lead the series at The Cellar in San Francisco in 1956 that would propel her contemporaries Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and others to world wide recognition. In 1996 writer Barbara Knight helped to propel ruth onto the world stage with her book "Women of the Beat Generation: The Writers, Artists and Muses at the Heart of a Revolution"
Now at 90 years her unique invention is going strong throughout the world today. weiss spells her name in lowercase as such as a symbolic protest against "law and order," since in her birthplace of Germany all nouns are spelled capitalized.

weiss's philosophy behind her work incorporates several interlinking components: being a "street poet," being a "jazz poet," the idea of non-linearity and fragmentation, the idea of discipline and the bare "bones" of language.
Her focus upon succinctness and discipline is epitomized in her focus on haikus. She relishes the haiku for the discipline it imposes upon the writer and the way it forces the "fat" to be cut away from the poem, revealing the most essential elements of language.
Similarly, this focus upon "cutting out the fat" lies at the heart of her artistic journey with DESERT JOURNAL. One person who reviewed DESERT JOURNAL described weiss as "master of the eraser." [12] It is this ability to "erase" that characterizes weiss's work and that she herself finds most pivotal to her style. weiss describes it as epitomizing the process that she goes through with all her work: the idea of non-linearity, of beginning with a core and allowing the essential fragments that develop to become the substance of the piece.
weiss also cites being inspired by the "oral tradition." She explains this in light of her close friendship and artistic connection with the famed poet Madeline Gleason. Her poetry, she says, is a performance, it is something communicated by the voice and body.
Finally, weiss declares that while she's not a "street poet" in the traditional sense, her work resonates most in "street" settings or other unexpected places. She's found that her work is often most acclaimed, connected with and called for in places ranging from streets to pizza places to gay bars, drawing a large, diverse crowd.

From Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_weiss

Cost: $10 student $15 senior $20 general
Audio samples in which musicians at this event play:
Videos featuring musicians playing at this event
From left, Heikki "Mike" Koskinen digital trumpet, Tane Kannisto saxophone, Teppo Hauta-aho double bass, Ville Rauhala double bass, Rent Romus saxophone and Simo Laihonen drums at Telakka, Tampere, Finland 31.5.2017.