Succinct and Essential Notes to 2nite’s Show

JoVia Armstrong hopes to leave her mark in Palo Alto


Earthwise presents at The Mitch a two-act bill tonite (stylized: 2nite).

The first set, 40 minutes, features the debut of Jovia Armstrong-Destiny Muhammad. The 2nd set features Amendola Vs. Blades, making its fifth appearance with Earthwise.

JoVia came to my attention in 2 ways: one, she provided the soundtrack or an audio installation to the successful The Black Index visual arts show in 2021 at The Palo Alto Art Center. two, she released a cd, “The Antidote Suite” (Black Earth, 2022) that her publicist sent word of. She is a recent PhD from UC Irvine, hailing from Chicago and Detroit. Now a tenure track professor of music at University of Virginia, she flew here from LA — she will be on a panel next week at Irvine about The Black Index. She is noteworthy for her connections to the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Nicole Mitchell, J.C. Brooks Uptown Sound and Euonia Society Music.

JoVia suggested the collaboration with Destiny Muhammad, an LA native who has made the East Bay her base for many years. Destiny cut her teeth as a busking harpist at farmers’ markets. She told me she bought her harp — she calls Paloma – from Gryphon Stringed here in Palo Alto.

JoVia and Destiny rehearsed for three hours yesterday at a studio in Palo Alto and will present a combination of originals, standards and improvisation featuring percussion(cajon), voice, harp and electronics. They hope to re-enter the studio, to record a version of 2nites’s act, someday soon (perhaps with Lions With Wings, the Earthwise digital extension). 

Scott Amendola, drums, and Wil Blades, hammond B3 organ, have played: the Mitch, The Mitch Bowl, Lytton Plaza and Palo Alto Art Center. They are the closest we might need to a house band. Amendola has appeared in shows with eight other combos: Charlie Hunter, The Sticklerphonics, DaShawn Hickman, Raffi Garabedian, Philip Greenlief, Damn Skippy, Plays Monk and TJ Kirk.

Amendola Vs Blades returns to Palo Alto and The Mitch Bowl on Sunday, September 17 with Skerik (sax) and Cyro Baptista (percussion), supported by another jazz combo featuring Eric Person (sax), Adam Klipple (organ), and Marcus Shelby, bass. 

The next Earthwise show is Friday, May 26 at The Mitch with Sonny and The Rhinestone Sunset(Sonny Smith, a noted visual artist as well as his music),  and The Suitcase Junket. 

The Earthwise EventBrite page lists 13 more concerts thru November 11, 2023. Earthwise was founded in 1994 by me, Mark Weiss and is perhaps the only for-profit concert promoter that showcases public facilities and parks. In some ways, it is a spin-off of Earth Day here; in other ways, its a reaction to watching on tv Rodney King ask “Can we all get along?” (then having the network segue to Chrysler: America’s Import).

390 words at 9:40. 

435 words at 10:03

452 words at 10:13

JoVia rehearsal set up: thanks to Jermaine Hamilton studios

I meant to leave 8 passes to 2nite at Gryphon; instead try Bell’s or just show up — $20 at door, bargain.

Wil Blades’ organ is by Pete Fallico, who is also a programmer and air talent at KCSM 91.1 in San Mateo, and Earthwise is a sponsor of KCSM, but there is no connection between these three facts. Six facts. Seven, if you count the six facts as a fact. (552 words at 11:15 — gotta go advance the show)


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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