Truth IS Power! with Douglas R. Ewart


Truth IS Power!

The People ARE the Power.

-Douglas R. Ewart

June 2022

The NOW Society proudly presents guest artist Douglas R. Ewart, multi-instrumentalist, instrument builder, composer and artist in a project that presents public talks, film screenings, a workshop, a new work with the NOW Orchestra, commissioned by the NOW Society, and a performance in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.


photos Tony Smith

$10/20/xx/free. Seats may be reserved here. Limited drop in seating may also be available.


  • June 19 3pm Performance with the NOW Orchestra at Oppenheimer Park - a co-production with the Carnegie Centre
  • June 20 9pm Public talk and Screening of Eternally NOW, full length, at 8EAST
  • June 22 6-7pm Improvisation Workshop at 8EAST
  • June 27 9pm CANABRAVA NOW in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival at Ironworks - a co-production with the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society


The NOW Orchestra with Douglas R. Ewart

Douglas R. Ewart - Composer, Ewart Didjeridu and Flutes, Percussion, Text, Sopranino Sax, English Horn and Concert Flute

Bruce Freedman - Alto Saxophone

Natasha Zrno - Clarinet

Johanna Hauser - Bass Clarinet

Jocelyn Waugh and Bill Clark - Trumpets

Dalannah Gail Bowen and Shruti Ramani - Voice

Lisa Cay Miller - Piano

Dr. Thokozani Mhlambi - Baroque Cello and Voice

Clyde Reed - Bass

Jamie Lee and Cesar Chew - Drums



Douglas R. Ewart - Composer, Ewart Didjeridu and Flutes, Percussion, Text, Sopranino Sax, English Horn and Concert Flute

Mankwe Ndosi - Voice

Lucy Strauss - Viola

Lisa Cay Miller - Piano

Matthew Ariaratnam - Guitar


At Ironworks, 235 Alexander Street, part of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival

cana brava: a bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris) There are approximately 2,000 species of bamboo. It comes smaller than a little finger and larger than a foot in diameter; it possesses incredible tensile strength and is used in thousands of widely varied applications, from a food and clothing source to the construction of instruments and furniture. As an ensemble, CANABRAVA NOW strives to emulate bamboo by being diverse, resilient, flexible, enduring, elegant, beautiful, unique, communal, bounteous, eternally relevant and ecologically sound. Featuring Douglas R. Ewart, composer/woodwinds/percussion, Mankwe Ndosi voice, Lucy Strauss viola, Matthew Ariaratnam guitar, and Lisa Cay Miller piano.

Curated by Douglas R. Ewart, co-produced by the NOW Society and Coastal Jazz and Blues Society.

June 27 9pm: CANABRAVA NOW in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival at Ironworks - a co-production with the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society

Tickets available through Coast Jazz and Blues Society


Eternally Now by Douglas R. Ewart

from Songs and Stories for a New Path and Paradigm        

Eternally Now was inspired and predicted on the concept and notion that we must sing, play music, visualize, say and write the positive things about human conditions, relations, and reality, which we are endeavoring to realize in order to have a full and complete civilization.




Eternally Now consists of narratives, vocal and instrumental music, videos and photographs, a plethora of human thoughts and experiences that describes just how close and inextricable our fundamental platforms are as humans, and that we must seek universal input, concepts, and solutions to our challenges and problems.

Eternally Now is created as part of NOW Society’s Creative Music Series #10, Songs and Stories for a New Path and Paradigm. From January to July 2021, 39 improvisers and 2 engineers collaborated by creating in the present, by imagining what might come and by responding. The musicians improvised in sequence in nine different cities; files moved from musician to the engineers, to the next musician and so on… The engineers created architectural master halls from the artists’ sonic and visual material, from location and space, from time folded and expanded, resulting in 36 improvised films and in the formation of new works by composer Douglas R. Ewart. The passion, generosity, vulnerability, humour and strength in these films document artists transcending separation through collaboration.

  • 36 improvised films, released these on the TV8E online episodes from Sept 18 - Dec. 4)

  • featuring 39 musicians, 2 engineers (from Vancouver, Toronto, Rimouski, St. Paul, Montréal, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Chicago, Amsterdam)

  • new works by Douglas R. Ewart (featuring 36 musicians) in various formats to be released in September 10 and December 11 and beyond by the NOW Society

Eternally Now: Composer: Douglas R. Ewart, Audio Engineer: Sheldon Zaharko, Video Engineer: Ron Ruiten, Commissioned and Produced by NOW, Artistic Director: Dr. Lisa Cay Miller


Maggie Brown - voice, Fred Jackson Jr. - saxophone, Ben LaMar Gay - cornet, Darius Savage - bass Cécile Savage - bass (Chicago) JoVia Armstrong - drums (Los Angeles) Douglas R. Ewart - Reeds. Laura Harada - violin. Michelle Kinney - cello. Mankwe Ndosi - voice (Minnesota) Yves Charuest - alto saxophone, Gabriel Dharmoo - voice, Mili Hong (Korea) - drums, Vicky Mettler - guitar, Ida Toninato - bass saxophone (Montréal), Douglas Kearney - poet (St. Paul), Éric Normand - guitar, bass (Rimouski), Elizabeth Lima - clarinet, voice (Toronto), Matthew Ariaratnam - guitar, JP Carter - trumpet, Cesar Chew (Mexico City) - drums, Bill Clark - trumpet, Dailin Hsieh - zheng, Feven Kidane - trumpet, Kimia Koochakzadeh-Yazdi - electronics, John Korsrud - trumpet, Lisa Cay Miller - piano, Brad Muirhead - bass trombone, Roxanne Nesbitt - bass, voice, John Paton - guitar, Dawn Pemberton - voice, Carol Sawyer - voice, Lucy Strauss (South Africa) - viola, Natasha Zrno - clarinet, River (Cassandra) Blondin-Burt - poet (Denendeh/Yellowknife NWT)


Douglas R. Ewart, Professor Emeritus at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1946. His life and his wide-ranging work have always been inextricably associated with Jamaican culture, history, politics, and the land itself. His father, Tom Ewart, was one of cricket’s most internationally celebrated professional umpires, eventually earning induction into the Cricket Hall of Fame. His aunt, Iris King, was a leading member of Norman Manley’s People’s National Party, and later, the first woman mayor in Jamaica.

Professor Ewart immigrated to Chicago in 1963, where he studied music theory at VanderCook College of Music, electronic music at Governors State University, and composition at the School of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. The AACM is renowned for its wide-ranging experimental approaches to music; its leading lights include Muhal Richard Abrams, Joseph Jarman, Fred Anderson, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Lester Bowie, Kalaparusha Ara Difda, George Lewis, Malachi Maghostut Favors, Roscoe Mitchell, Amina Claudine Myers, Henry Threadgill, and many others, including Professor Ewart himself, who served as the organization's president between 1979 and 1987.

Professor Ewart’s extremely varied and highly interdisciplinary work encompasses music composition (including graphic and conceptual scores as well as conventionally notated works), painting and kinetic sound sculpture, and multi-instrumental performance on virtually the full range of saxophones, flutes, and woodwinds, including the flutes, pan-pipes, rainsticks and percussion instruments of his own design and construction for which he is known worldwide. Professor Ewart’s work as composer, instrument maker and visual artist has long reflected his understanding of the importance of sustainable and natural materials, particularly bamboo, which serves not only as primary physical materials for many of his sculptures and instruments, but also crucial conceptual elements of some of his most important recordings, such as the widely influential Bamboo Meditations At Banff (1993) and Bamboo Forest (1990). His visual art and kinetic works have has been shown at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Ojai Festival, Art Institute of Chicago, Institute for Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, and many others.

His graphic/conceptual instrumental work Red Hills (1979), an homage to his native Jamaica, is very widely performed, and his work as performing instrumentalist has been presented in the Caribbean (Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti), Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Holland, UK), Japan, Bali, South America, Scandinavia, and Australia, as well as the United States and Puerto Rico, and recorded on numerous labels, including his own Aarawak recording company. Professor Ewart is the leader of such important musical ensembles as the Nyahbingi Drum Choir, Orbit, Quasar, StringNets, and the Clarinet Choir, and in addition to his AACM colleagues, Professor Ewart has performed with Cedric I Am Brooks, Ernest Ranglin, Cecil Taylor, James Newton, Anthony Davis, Robert Dick, Jin Hi Kim, Alvin Curran, Von Freeman, Yusef Lateef, Richard Teitelbaum, Mankwe Ndosi, Edward Kidd Jordan, Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Lacy, and others.

Professor Ewart’s highly communitarian work as a conceptual artist is best represented by Crepuscule (1993-present), a massive participation performance coordinated by his ensemble, Douglas R. Ewart and Inventions. Strongly informed by the Jamaican Jonkunnu tradition, Crepuscule is an all-day event that is collectively created by scores of musicians, dancers, visual artists, poets, capoeira, puppeteers, martial artists, activists, elders, children and more, in streets and parks in Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Paris, France, Guelph Canada and more. Moreover, this communitarian orientation has long included educational work in underserved communities, such as his work since 1992 in Minneapolis’s ArtStart, summer interdisciplinary arts program since its inception in 1992 and his work since 1980 at Chicago’s Urban Gateways Center for Arts Education, which was documented in the 1992 British telefilm On the Edge: Improvisation in Music.

Among his many honors, Professor Ewart was personally presented with the Outstanding Artist Award by Chicago's first African American mayor, Harold Washington. He has received two Bush Artists Fellowships (1997, 2007), three McKnight Fellowships (1992, 1994 and 2001), among others, as well as the U.S.–Japan Creative Artist Fellowship (1987), a year-long residency in Yokohama where he studied Japanese techniques of instrument building. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and others.


COVID Safety guidelines:

Please do not come to this event if:

• You have experienced any signs of being unwell in the last 5 days;

• You have been in contact with anyone suspected of having or who has COVID-19 in the last 5 days.

8EAST ventilation: open windows and doors, three air purifiers, updated HVAC system with UV lights. Mask wearing is recommend inside 8EAST and in the Chinese Cultural Centre washrooms. Masks and Hand Sanitizer will be available. Restrooms will be available to the public.

The 8EAST social space for new culture is a project of the NOW Society, located on the Territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and səlil̓wətaʔɬ Peoples, in Chinatown in Vancouver.


We recognize that access is an ongoing and evolving discussion, and acknowledge that this statement may be insufficient. Please do not hesitate to contact us with suggestions.

8EAST (8 East Pender street)

We are committed to making 8EAST a welcoming and more accessible space. We present events at 8EAST with conditions to keep our communities as safe as possible. We do not tolerate discrimination based on age, gender, neuro a-typicality, disability, place of origin, cultural background, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. We do not tolerate racism.

The 34 inch wide main entrance to 8EAST has a threshold of approximately 0.5 inches high. There is no door automation. There are no ramps or stairs to navigate. Internal floors are smooth concrete. The surface of outdoor Plaza events consists of concrete pavers and tiles, mostly smooth, some are uneven.

Provided seating, wooden stackable chairs without armrests, is easily movable to create equitable seating location accommodations. Wheelchair seating is easily accommodated. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to assist. Translation and language interpretation is available at some events.

8EAST has a wheelchair accessible, non-gendered toilet on site with a door width of 35 inches. Additional toilets are located in the adjacent hallway. They are not wheelchair accessible. If you are attending an event with food and have specific allergies, please contact Service animals are welcome.

GETTING THERE AND PARKING: 8EAST is located within 50 meters of buses 004, 007, 019, 022, 209, and N19 on Pender Street. Stops for buses 003, 008, 014, 016, 020, N8, N20, and N35 are located within 250 metres on Hastings Street. Stadium–Chinatown SkyTrain Station is approximately 400 metres away.

General metered street parking is available on surrounding streets. A passenger drop-off zone without a curb is located within 50 metres at 531 Carrall Street. For Accessible Parking locations consult:

There is a bike rack on the SW corner of Pender and Carrall Street across the street from 8EAST. It is possible to view the bike rack while inside 8EAST and also while on the 8EAST Plaza.

Covered bike parking, with electronic key card access is available at the Main Street - Science World Skytrain Station, open during all hours of Skytrain operations. The station has 90 parking spaces. The cost to use the parkades is $1 per day, with a maximum monthly charge of $8. Please refer to TransLink's Bike Parkade program for more information. From the Main Street - Science World Station, one can take the #3 bus to Pender street, then walk West down Pender to 8EAST (c. 5 mins) or one can ride one skytrain stop to Stadium - Chinatown and walk Northwest to 8EAST (c. 5 mins). Walking to 8EAST from the Science World Skytrain Station would take approximately 15 minutes.


Pender and Carrall Streets


Oppenheimer Park