Lou and the Velvets on the Silver Factory couch.
1960s New York City.....Andy Warhol creates The Silver Factory as a place to make his art, make his movies, make music, and make friends. Many of those friends and assistants are people on the fringe. Gay, lesbian, and transgender acquaintances rub shoulders with the elite of NYC's socially unchallenged avant-garde. There are lots of one- percent types in this group, much to Andy's delight.
A Warhol Factory Party...rubbing shoulders and bumping ellbows.
All are 'Factory People", and their stories define a city, an era, an artist, and the impact that the artist has had, and is having on American and World Culture today.
In 2008 Planet Group Entertainment created the three part television series: 'Andy Warhol's Factory People'. The Series has been broadcast in 35 world territories, and is currently licensed to over 400 colleges and universities world-wide. To create the Series, the producers did over fifty hours of interviews with Andy's close friends, enemies, and other associates that Andy had during the Silver Factory era, from 1964 to 1968.
Recently, the production team created a 450-page Archive Notebook Portfolio related to the interview material. Now, the team is constructing short films that tell many of the true and untold stories from the era. The stories have been untold as their content was not appropriate for world television at the time. The voices in the stories are derrived from the Interview Archive comprising 50 hours of interviews created for the series. Some of the voices are presented as rough-time coded video and some are presented as they actually appeared in the Series.
This particular True Untold Tale explains how Andy met Lou Reed and helped launch his career.Yes, Lou Reed could have no doubt found his way to success without Andy Warhol, but meeting Andy dramatically changed his life. This is the true untold story of how it happened.
We have all television and theatrical rights to this amazing novel by M.P. Manilla.
Jack Dowd is an amazing American artist who has recently completed a series of portraits of music personalities who share the ironic distinction of having died at the tender young age of 27. Most recently, this being the fate of Grammy winner, Amy Winehouse. To celebrate the work, Dowd recently exhibited the portraits as a collection at the Marie Selby Gallery in Sarasota, Florida. As part of the exhibition, Dowd and his band did a musical evening of songs and rememberings related to his personal feelings about twelve of the personalities he painted. I happened to be in town for the evening and took along my trusty Samsung NV7 and managed to film a couple of their songs related to Al Wilson of Canned Heat, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain. After I looked at the footage, I thought it would be interesting to create a kind of a "sketch" as to how elements for a finished documentary on the subject could go together. Thanks for the invite Jack, and best wishes for continued success with the exhibition.
Jazz Juvenocracy...A Feature Documentary in Development
"As long as there are 10-year-olds starting their own bands and communities to support them, jazz is here to stay." -Bit Risner, Co-Founder Jazz Juvenocracy
2006...Alex (Sax), Rodney (Drums), and Bit (Trumpet) play their first gig in front of Whole Foods, Sarasota, Florida.
Jazz Juvenocracy, started by Alex Hernandez, Rodney Rocques, and Bit Risner , when she was 10 years old, has in the last six years evolved into a group of Sarasota-area high school jazz musicians who are making an international name for themselves. It’s not just their impressive talent and accomplishment so early in life that makes them the coolest of kids, but how they push boundaries, and eagerly defy expectations, tackling what might seem out of their league, even at the risk of falling short.
2013 Jazz Juvenocracy. Bit, now 16, is the only original Juvie remaining with the group.
The current group includes Bit Risner, Trumpet and Vocals; Ronan Cowan, Drums/Percussion; Mario Santana, Violin/Sax; Thomas Shepard, Tenor Sax; Mackenzie Gray, Guitar; Lamont Kaiser, Bass; and Aaron Lehrian, Piano/Keyboards.
Bit Risner, has ventured into vocals the past couple of years, and according to Carrie Seidman , the Sarasota Herald Tribune music and performance critic, “She tends to bridle when people praise her singing more than her playing, but I give kudos to both. Her skill, range and emotion in a largely solo rendition of "Angel Eyes” was electric, as she coaxed her horn from growling lows to piercing highs.
On tour, doing the European Jazz Festival circuit....
Other comments from Seidman covering the “Juvies” talent and style include, “Mario Santana set a blistering pace on violin in "Lime House Blues" and showed facility on the clarinet in "West End Blues." Lamont Kaiser was a steady, soulful presence on bass and Ronan Cowan on drums switched easily from the percussive punctuations of "I've Got Rhythm" to the erratic pacing of Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk," in an arrangement by guitarist Mackenzie Gray, a infallible contributor throughout. As for pianist Aaron Lehrian, is there anything this kid can't play? While he was clearly more comfortable with ballads ("My Foolish Heart") than ragtime (Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag"), he's clearly a beautiful blend of a classical pianist's perfectionism and a jazz musician's innovation.”
Vienne Jazz Festival, July 3, 2013
Over the six-year history of Jazz Juvenocracy, the band lost one or two players each year, some to college, some to geography, a few that just weren’t a good fit. Only Mario Santana, who joined the band in 2012, and Bit Risner, an original founder, have been along for the entire ride. This year, five out of the seven current members are leaving, placing the future of the “Juvies” as they are called in jeopardy.
The "Juvies" played their last stateside gig together June 28th, 2013 in Sarasota. This demo-shot video featurees their entire rendition of "Caravan".
With one last European jazz tour swing about to be completed, (link to tour dates) including an invitation to play at the prestigious North Sea Festival in Rotterdam, only time will tell. It’s probably up to Bit, now a junior in high school, and looking forward to entry into New York’s Julliard School of Music, to decide what the future holds for the Juvenocracy.
That’s the story for this feature documentary, now in development.