1000 Watts
Live performance by artist Jim Watt to raise money for jazz community COVID relief

1000 WattsLive performance by artist Jim Watt to raise money for jazz community COVID relief

What: Performance of “1000 Watts” featuring Bill Frisell, Jim Watt, The Antoine Drye Trio (Antoine Drye, trumpet; Alvester Garnett, drums; Barry Stephenson, bass) and Danny Clinch, cinematographer

Where: Collab, 309 Starr Street, Brooklyn NY, 11237

When: Thursday, July 8, 2021, 8:00 PM

Cover: Suggested donation of $20

Artist Jim Watt announces a July 8 performance at Collab (a 21st-Century Design and Build Studio in Brooklyn), of “1000 Watts” with very special guest, Bill Frisell. The legendary guitarist/composer/bandleader, who recently joined fellow jazz luminaries Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Owens and jazz trumpeter Antoine Drye on the board of advisors (tasked with advising on the distribution of funds to jazz musicians), was inspired to expand his role in the project after attending a recent “1000 Watts” event in Asbury Park. About performing with Frisell, Watt stated, “It is an honor and so humbling to perform 1000w with such a visionary. His generosity and deep humanity match his musical brilliance.”

In other news, Watt proudly announces the distribution of the first $10K, with checks being issued during the week of June 28, being sent directly to jazz musicians impacted financially during the pandemic. “I feel privileged to be able to give back to a community that has give me so much inspiration,” said Watt. 

More about Jim Watt and “1000 Watts”:

Watt is creating a series of 1000 ink washes in the monochromatic Japanese Sumi ink and water as a jazz ensemble led by Drye improvise as Watt’s paints in real time. Footage of the making of the ink washes from a fixed overhead camera and Clinch’s handheld filming will be the raw material for a film — an artistic expression inspired by the expressive nature of the washes.

Spelman will be scoring the film and the art work is being sold through Watt’s New York City gallery, Jim Kempner Fine Art. Thru the sale of the ink washes, $100,000 will be donated directly to the jazz community, which has been especially hard hit during the pandemic with the closure of most venues. 

“I was inspired to do this project, much because of the pandemic and the effect it had on jazz musicians – even the best-of-the best – who suddenly found themselves without gigs to play – and at such a terrible time,” said Watt. “Late last spring, Antoine and I began hosting Jazz at The Shop, a bi-weekly donation-only outdoor jazz series at my Asbury Park studio. For many, and despite their world-class talent, it was their first opportunity to play since the world shut down in March. Onlookers were utterly awed by the level of the music. Even during non-pandemic times, one couldn’t get that caliber of music outside of the world’s finest jazz clubs.”

In all, $30,000 was raised over ten performances and all proceeds went to support the performers. “The opportunity was as much about the ability to play with peers in front of a live audience as it was about the financial,” added Watt. “I was inspired to create 1000w to continue to financially help musicians as well as to create a magical collaboration between painting, music and filmmaking.”

Though color has been a signature of Watt’s previous work, art for 1000w is entirely black-and-white – and spontaneous. Playing the scale of the project off the limitation of color, 1000w will be a thorough exploration of iteration and process, taking further ideas first touched on in Watt’s 2020 project 100w (100 watercolor works on paper harkening the coming of spring). 

Along with the creation of art and music, is the making of a film to be directed by Danny Clinch. In his storied career, Clinch has captured portraits and documented the live performances of some of the greatest musicians of our time, including Bob DylanJohnny CashBruce SpringsteenTupac ShakurThe Smashing PumpkinsBlind MelonDave Matthews BandPhish, Pearl Jam, Willie Nelson and Björk. His work has appeared in publications including Vanity Fair, Spin, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Rolling Stone.

Nothing quite captures the essence of the form—the discovery born from collaboration and improvisation—like live performance. The artists intend to capture this current with 1000w and continue to perform live in spaces, both in Asbury Park and New York City throughout the summer months and possibly beyond.