Cheryl Pyle - C flute, alto flute
Michael Eaton - soprano sax
Francois Grillot - bass
Reggie Sylvester - drums
Since its inception in 2006, the Dissident Arts Festival has been a powerful vehicle to bridge radical arts to progressive socio-political activism. Increasingly, the Festival has gained media attention over the course of its decade-long history as evidenced by press in TimeOut NY, the Indypendent, the Villager, Downtown Express, Peoples World, Chronogram and others. In 2013, noted jazz journalist Howard Mandel offered kudos in his remarks on social media. Over the years the Dissident Arts Festival has been endorsed by the Rosenberg Fund for Children, the Len Ragozin Foundation, Local 802's Justice for Jazz Artists campaign, Occupy Musicians, the Howland Cultural Center and DooBeeDooBeeDoo music blog.
Originally based in the Hudson Valley city of Beacon NY and moving to New York City in 2010, the Festival’s performers and speakers over the years included actor/raconteur Malachy McCourt, late great trumpet player Roy Campbell, folk legend Pete Seeger, filmmaker Kevin Keating, spoken word artists Steve Dalachinsky and the late Louis Reyes Rivera, the late reeds player/composer Will Connell, political satirist/activist Randy Credico , multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, hip hop ensemble ReadNex Poetry Squad, labor leader Henry Foner, punk-folk artist Lach and many more. Films screened included ‘Giuliani Time’, ‘Cultures of Resistance’, ‘Salt of the Earth’, ‘Battleship Potemkin’ and ‘Metropolis’. Other special features were tributes to Paul Robeson, Bertolt Brecht, Woody Guthrie, and Phil Ochs. The Dissident Arts Festival has also offered a voice to progressive political candidates, the Occupy movement and radical labor organizations.