Whether it be celebrities like Terry McMillan, winner of The American Book Award, or Oscar winner Lou Gossett or newcomers like Brynn Saito or Alex Maynard, since 1990, Konch has been publishing American and international writers of the highest merit. Konch is sustained by Ishmael Reed, Tennessee Reed and our readers, granting us an independence that those zines with corporate sponsorship lack. Contributors to Konch have submitted work that is innovative and serene, but we reserve the right to be rowdy. The Jim Crow Media and literary Scene Have Failed Us
This interview with Randy Weston occurred on June 23, 2018, in Randy Weston’s Brooklyn home turned out to be his last. The meeting was arranged and recorded by Eric Frazier, a musician and concert impresario, who at the time was appearing in my latest play, ”Life Among The Aryans,” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Weston had a look and exhibited the joy of a person who had been rewarded with a life well spent, from a cook and amateur musician to an international musical icon and innovator of African American and African musical traditions. During the session, he repeated the material found in "African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston," (a John Hope Franklin Center Book), about how he expanded the art, but he kept returning to the beginnings. How much his father and mother taught him his roots and gave him a solid grounding about where he came from. He spoke as they were present in his house. He also discussed the debt he owed to his great mentors, the great pioneers, Duke, Monk, and Max Roach. When a young person, he was in awe of Charlie Parker and joined the master in a 45-minute set. The next day, I was honored when Randy came to a performance of my play.
Tennessee sent the transcribed copy to Randy. I called Rome Neal, who had directed my play and had direct contact with Randy and asked him to answer a few minor questions. Rome told me that he had died that day. Rome said that he was buried like a King.
In This Issue
Image 1: Ishmael Reed and the late Randy Weston in Brooklyn on June 24, 2018. Photograph by Eric Frazier.
Image 2: The late Randy Weston in Brooklyn on June 24, 2o18. Photograph by Ishmael Reed.
Image 3: Angola, 2018. Photograph by Barbara Lowenstein.