Last month John Bacon, who serves as a faculty member in the music department at Villa Maria College, announced a new, annual, region-wide jazz initiative, JAZZ IMPRESSIONS: 1968.
Curated by John Bacon, and supported by a $3000 award from the The Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation, the series asks musicians and literary artists to reflect on the impact of 1968 on the present. The artists’ exploration will attempt to answer questions to the current era of social and political turbulence, like how have we honored the struggles and achievements of 1968? Has the promise of 1968 been fulfilled? What does the legacy of 1968 mean today? Can we find answers for our current difficulties in the efforts and achievements of 1968?
During October and November of 2018, a group of Buffalo area musicians and writers will collaborate on a series of concerts reflecting on the musical, social, political, historical and artistic aspects of one of the most tumultuous years in American History.
Musical and literary artists will look at 1968 through the words and music of the time and reflect on the influence and legacy that resulted from the immense creativity of that time. This project is part of an annual initiative that began in 2017 with a celebration of the 100th birth year of composer and pianist Thelonious Monk.
Bacon is a composer, percussionist and member of some of the most prominent Jazz groups in Western New York including Star People, the Bobby Militello Quartet, the Buffalo Jazz Octet, the UB Faculty Jazz Quartet, and the Buffalo Jazz Composers Workshop.
Bacon has been honored as a composer through the New York State Foundation for the Arts (2013 Artist Fellow) and the New York State Council on the Arts (Individual Artist Composer Commission). In additional to teaching at Villa, he is also an educator at SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Fredonia.