On Friday night, keyboardist Kim Jordan and singer Evelyn Harris will step out of their normal contexts (the Gil Scott-Heron Band and Sweet Honey in the Rock, respectively) to unveil what is reported to be a "hot" duo. They will be part of an evening of song and poetry celebrating International Women's Day at All Soul's Church.
Jordan, a Detroit native who graduated from Howard University in May, has been playing with Scott-Heron for the past six months. "I met Gil about four years ago when I first came to Howard, but we never thought about working together musically until one day he asked me did I want to do a gig with him. I told him I'd see if I liked it and he told me the gig was mine if I wanted to keep it. I did it and I kept it." Jordan also performs solo at Cafe' Lautrec and Mr. Henry's Georgetown.
Evelyn Harris has been a mainstay of Sweet Honey, the wondrous a cappella quintet that celebrates black culture in general and illuminates the strengths and struggles of black women in particular. "I met Evelyn at one of Gil's concerts," Jordan recalls. "She told me she was looking for a female keyboard player and I told her I was looking for a female singer, so we started working together. The music that we'll be doing encompasses songs written by both Evelyn and myself. They are message songs and it is message music, which it will always be, but it's also a 'hope' kind of music. The flavors range from funk and gospel to a low-key, almost classical piece for vocal and keyboards. It's going to be a hot show, and we're both excited."
The Friday night program, which will benefit next summer's Sisterfire festival, also features the duo of Teresa Trull and Barbara Higbie and poets Alicia Portnoy and Yolanda Mancilla. There will be interpreters for the deaf. -- Richard Harrington FOR FUN, NOT PROFIT ----- "Back around 1972, I put an ad in the Baltimore Sun and it said, 'Dixieland jazz for fun not profit,' " recalls cornet player and band leader Paul Naden. "I got about 20 responses from as far away as the Pennsylvania border. We used to get together at my house on Wednesday nights and we just jammed. Whoever showed up -- if three tuba players came we played with three tuba players, if two banjos or whatever. It wasn't a very structured group, it was very loose.
"After we had done this about a year I got a call from my neighborhood improvement association. I thought they were calling to complain about the noise. Instead, they wanted to see if I wanted to represent the association at the first Baltimore City Fair. One of the guys said, 'Why don't we call ourselves Dow Jones and the Industrials.' " Naden discovered that the name had already been nailed down by a rock group, so the group was dubbed the Falstaff Five Plus Two, after the Pikesville street the leader lives on.
Since then the FF+2 has played several longstanding gigs at area clubs and restaurants, for weddings, for the Baltimore Orioles, for the governor and at the Baltimore Zoo. Next Saturday, noon to midnight, they will be one of 14 bands from the Washington-Baltimore area performing at the 1985 Jazz Jubilee in Market Square, the Marvin Center at GWU. An American Cancer Society benefit, the annual event is sponsored by the Potomac River Jazz Club. -- W. Royal Stokes THREE-FOR-ALL ---------- If you need a multiple dose of culture to rouse you from hibernation, you can get poetry, music and drama all in one at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Auditorium tonight. The International Poetry Forum will present a musical version of Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology" as part of its Washington-based Word/Song III series.
"Spoon River Anthology" is a collection of poems recreating the members of an imaginary town in Illinois. The work first appeared in serial form in 1914 and was published as a book the following year. In an original adaptation, the International Poetry Forum's production incorporates music by Daniel Gregory Mason, a contemporary of Masters.
Actor Marshall Mason, six-time Obie Award winner and four-time Tony Award nominee will costar with Tammy Grimes, who has two Tonys among her many credits. Grimes says of the anthology, "It's not a play, really; it's a group of poems . . . but it adapts very well to dramatic performance because each poem is about specific personalities." It is a two-person cast with no costume or scenery changes. "I play all the women's parts, and Marshall plays all the men's parts," says Grimes.
The International Poetry Forum, based in Pittsburgh, is in its 19th season. According to Anne Burnham, the Forum's Washington liaison, "It is the only independent poetry forum of its kind in the world."
There will be a reception for the audience following the performance. "The Forum is designed to create a platform for poets and writers all over the world," Burnham says. "The Word/Song III series combines poetry and music." -- Lisa Serene Gelb LIVES OF 'LITTLE WOMEN' - "I've always loved 'Little Women.' I used to read it about once a year all during junior high and high school," says Iris Rose, a New York-based performance artist whose most recent work, "Of Little Women," was inspired by Louisa May Alcott's classic tale of the four March sisters.
"I loved the book not so much for the story, but for its detailed presentation of women's everyday life," continues Rose, who, together with three other actresses, will present the piece Thursday through Sunday at d.c. space. Everyday life is very much a part of this performance, which unfolds in a kitchen setting and involves a number of domestic tasks: preparation of food (to be consumed by the audience), knitting, clearing the table, washing dishes. The milieu, however, is thoroughly contemporary and laced with deadpan humor, as befits its creator, a frequent performer in East Village night clubs and a former member of a punk rock band.
Is "Of Little Women"'s all female casting and feminist themes typcial of Rose's work as a whole? "Not at all," she replies. "I usually work with men." -- Pamela Sommers MOVING INTO MUSIC ------ "I got sidetracked into music in an absolutely ridiculous way," says James Horowitz. Soon after arriving here as a paralegal almost a decade ago, Antioch graduate Horowitz was helping a neighbor move an upright piano into her basement apartment in Mount Pleasant. "I need an accompanist," the piano's owner, a jazz and blues vocalist, revealed upon learning that Horowitz played the instrument by ear. " 'I really don't think I'm the guy for you,' " Horowitz says he insisted, "but this woman would not quit and, before I knew it, we were working and within four or five months that's all I was doing."
Horowitz, who went on as a solo act and has played many area jazz venues including the Embassy Row, the One Step Down and the Ice House Cafe, will host a "Jazz Party" in the Riverfront bar of Charlie's today at 3 p.m. Tommy Cecil will be on bass, Chuck Redd at the drums. Part of a series sponsored by Open University, through which Horowitz frequently offers jazz appreciation classes, the program will include standards, vocals, bossa novas and some "delightfully obscure masterpieces."
"I was hooked immediately," says Horowitz of his jazz performance debut after the piano-moving job, "and I quit working for the lawyer and that was the last time I did anything but play music." -- W. Royal Stokes