Will Calhoun performs at the opening reception of his AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Will Calhoun Performs at Opening Reception for Solo Exhibit AZA: Rhythm on Canvas at Casita Maria Gallery, currently on view through July 21

Art, Awards, Events, Film, Performances, Photography
"Sundance" by Will Calhoun, 2013 (48" x 33") Will Calhoun's AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

“Sundance” by Will Calhoun, 2013 (48″ x 33″)
Will Calhoun’s AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Last night, Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education, Dancing in the Streets and City Lore in collaboration with SceneFour and KCC Productions celebrated multi-Grammy award winning, Bronx musician, composer and artist-photographer Will Calhoun during the opening reception for his solo exhibition AZA: Rhythm on Canvas at Casita Maria Gallery in New York, which is on view through July 21st.

Gail Heidel, Manager of Performing and Visual Arts at Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, Will Calhoun and Christine Licata, Director of Performing and Visual Arts at Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education at the opening reception of Calhoun’s AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Gail Heidel, Manager of Performing and Visual Arts at Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, Will Calhoun and Christine Licata, Director of Performing and Visual Arts at Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education at the opening reception of Calhoun’s AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

After Calhoun played a selection of compositions that are the basis of AZA: Rhythm on Canvas, he was presented with The South Bronx Culture Trail Fusion Fest 2016 Lookin’ Up in the Boogie Down Pioneer Award.

 Will Calhoun performs at the opening reception of his AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang


Will Calhoun performs at the opening reception of his AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

The vibe was warm and friendly in the intimate gallery space during the reception with fellow Bronx born drummer Bobby Sanabria and Dr. George Preston, scholar of African art, curator, poet, enstooled Akan chief, a Founding Director of the Museum of Art and Origins, in the house.

But it turned electrifying when Calhoun began playing, as he literally lit up the night with glowing drum sticks.

Both Calhoun’s exhibition and performance are part of the South Bronx Culture Trail Fusion Fest 2016: Lookin’ Up in the Boogie Down which kicked off on April 16th and runs through May 22nd. Casita Maria Gallery is located at 928 Simpson Street, 6th Floor, Bronx, NY 10459. For more information, check out www.casitamaria.org.

Will Calhoun poses with "Ethel," named for his sister, at the opening reception of his AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Will Calhoun poses with “Ethel,” named for his sister, at the opening reception of his AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

On view in the gallery through July 21st is Calhoun’s AZA: Rhythm on Canvas collection of vividly interpretative prints that visualize the physicality within the creation of his music as well as embody the underlying poetry, psychology and socio-political concepts behind his cross-disciplinary artistic practice. Through the interplay of percussion, color and light, Calhoun transforms his signature style and original compositions into multimedia-based, abstract expressions of his rhythms onto canvas.

Silent Bliss, Ethel, Quintessence by Will Calhoun, 2013 (18" x 30")

Silent Bliss, Ethel, Quintessence by Will Calhoun, 2013 (18″ x 30″)

The languages within the aural, kinesthetic and visual arts have the capacity to “speak” to the viewer-listener in ways that verbal communication cannot achieve. Throughout the AZA: Rhythm on Canvas collection (2014) there is an interdisciplinary synthesis between all three of these diverse aesthetic vocabularies. Together they define the underlying narratives woven throughout Calhoun’s expansive musical repertoire, translating his ideas, methods and rhythms into graphically dynamic digital images with a vernacular all his own.

Will Calhoun's AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Will Calhoun’s AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Gallery Hours Mon-Fri: 10 AM – 6 PM Sat-Sun: By appointment.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Will Calhoun receives the The South Bronx Culture Trail Fusion Fest 2016 Lookin’ Up in the Boogie Down Pioneer Award at the opening reception of his AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Will Calhoun receives the The South Bronx Culture Trail Fusion Fest 2016 Lookin’ Up in the Boogie Down Pioneer Award at the opening reception of his AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

WILL CALHOUN is a two-time Grammy award winning drummer, composer and producer from the legendary rock band Living Colour. He has composed, produced, and toured with Wayne Shorter, Pharoah Sanders, The Rolling Stones, Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def, Lauryn Hill, Marcus Miller, Herb Alpert, Mike Stern, Public Enemy, Paul Simon, Stanley Jordan, Oumou Sangare, Jaron Lanier (virtual reality inventor) and many more. Calhoun’s unique approach to both acoustic and electronic drumming makes him the foremost percussionist on the scene today.

Calhoun spends most of his limited down time in West and North Africa researching ancient rhythms and musical styles. He is presently working on a recording with Indigenous sacred musicians. He is one of the world’s leading Ethnomusicologists, combining his expertise and ancestral research with many years of commercial success in jazz, rock, urban, alternative, ambient, and other music of the world into a beautiful, swirling expression of life.

He has recently broadened his artistic expression to include film scores, photography and multimedia projects including “AZA: Rhythm on Canvas,” a collection of vivid, abstract prints that visually capture his signature rhythms. His online gallery is available for viewing at willcalhounart.com.

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He just released his new jazz project “Celebrating Elvin Jones” on Motema Music and is presently in the studio with Living Colour recording their latest CD titled “SHADE” for MEGAFORCE records due to be released in the Fall of 2016. willcalhoun.com

Drumhead Magazine: Living Colour Drummer Will Calhoun, Photos by Lia Chang 

Twins pose with "Worlds Unseen" by Will Calhoun, 2013 (60" x 33") at Will Calhoun's AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Twins pose with “Worlds Unseen” by Will Calhoun, 2013 (60″ x 33″) at Will Calhoun’s AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

We were lucky enough to have him perform live. You can catch up on NBC, the week of April 25th when he appears as a guest artist with the 8G band on Late Night with Seth Myers. Check your local listings.

Will Calhoun as guest artist with the 8G band on Late Night with Seth Myers on NBC the week of April 25th, tune in!

Will Calhoun as guest artist with the 8G band on Late Night with Seth Myers on NBC the week of April 25th, tune in!

Drumhead Magazine: Living Colour Drummer Will Calhoun, Photos by Lia Chang 

Lia Chang and Will Calhoun at Calhoun's AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang and Will Calhoun at Calhoun’s AZA Exhibit at Casita Maria Gallery in New York on April 22, 2016. Photo by Garth Kravits

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Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers and musicians. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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