Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation is a platform for contemporary art, innovation and the Brooklyn Red Hook community. It is an institution dedicated to the synthesis, creation and discussion of art, science and education. Located in the former Pioneer Ironworks in Red Hook, Brooklyn the center houses exhibitions, educational programming, art and science residencies as well as an imprint for a variety of publications. Our diverse programming is designed to support cultural innovators and engage our community in productive dialogues. Pioneer Works is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization.
Ahmed, one of the most exhilarating singers of the past half century, blends traditional Ethiopian Amharic music with sixties and seventies soul, funk, and jazz. Now seventy-three, Ahmed was born to an impoverished family in Addis Ababa, and as a young boy had to shine shoes on the street to help support his family. He later worked as a handyman at a club that hosted Emperor Haile Selassie’s Imperial Bodyguard Band, and, one night in 1962, when the band’s singer did not show up, Ahmed asked to sit in on a few songs; soon afterward, he became one of the group’s front men. Following the 1974 revolution, which overthrew Selassie, the band dissolved, and Ahmed formed his own outfit, called Ibex. The next year, it released a masterpiece, “Ere Mela Mela,” which had a unique sound marked by deep, circular grooves and saturated organ lines. At the center of that album is Ahmed’s richly textured voice, which, when it reaches for a high note, can trigger spine-tingling ecstasy. He comes to Brooklyn to kick off Issue Project Room’s summer concert series at Pioneer Works. (159 Pioneer St. issueprojectroom.org. July 26.)
Tomorrow (7/17) our second #summerschool class w/ @brooklynmuseum will focus on public art projects by examining the relationships between people and public space, and how the city can be used as a framework for imagination #NancyNowacek