November 23, 2020


Roy Nathanson’s 5pm Porch Concert Ensemble:
World Of Fire – Joe’s Pub Live!

A Live Stream Event at 5 PM, EST on 12/10/2020

Video stream followed by Zoom discussion to benefit
JPMP Inc.’s and Flatbush Development Corporation’s
5PM Porch Concert music education program.

November 23, 2020—New York—Jazz icon Roy Nathanson and the 5 PM Porch Concert Ensemble is joined by student musicians in a 23-minute video documentary, World Of Fire, produced by Jazz Passengers Music Projects, Inc. (JPMP), to be presented in a world premiere, Live Stream event hosted by Joe’s Pub Live! on Thursday, December 10, 2020.  The event begins at 5 PM, EST, and will be viewable at or on Joe’s Pub YouTube channel.  This performance and arrangement of the title piece, “World of Fire,” (music by Nathanson; lyrics by Nathanson and Jeff Friedman) was commissioned by Jazz Coalition. Members of the performance ensemble will join the filmmakers for a post-stream Zoom discussion, which will also invite questions and comments from viewers.

The event is co-hosted and supported by Joe’s Pub, JPMP, Bill Bragin’s ActiveCultures, the Flatbush Development Corporation and Jazz Coalition.  The event will feature an online fundraiser for the 5PM Porch Music Program, an after-school music education program which will extend the 2020 summer experience into an ongoing music writing, poetry and performance opportunity for students in Brooklyn in the spring of 2021.




Roy Nathanson has had a varied career as a saxophonist, composer, bandleader, poet, actor and teacher.  After playing with the Lounge Lizards, Charlie Earland and performing in downtown theatre in the 80’s, Nathanson formed the Jazz Passengers with trombonist Curtis Fowlkes.  The band has been together for over thirty years, creating a variety of recordings as well various thematic performance pieces. Since the 2000s Nathanson created various text/music combinations: a song cycle, Fire at Keaton’s Bar and Grille, the Sotto Voce band’s three CDS, Sotto Voce, Subway Moon and Complicated Day, and his radio play You’re the Fool for NPR. 

After founding the music department at the NYC public school Institute for Collaborative Education in 2004 he published his first poetry book, Subway Moon.  This text/music concentration became the focus of his music education project, also named Subway Moon, and the exploration of the English word “home” in French speaking countries with the French band Papanosh. His new book of poetry, Conversations and Other Songs will be out in December 2020 as will his new recording Small Things with singer Nick Hakim.



Late March 2020: In Covid-covered New York City, saxophonist Roy Nathanson took a cue from Italians who sang to the world from their balconies, and he marched out onto his own second-storey Brooklyn porch to play Amazing Grace. He committed to playing one healing song each day, at precisely 5pm. Roy’s musician neighbors heard the call and joined him on the Flatbush sidewalk to improvise and share the music together. After an impressive 82 straight days of 5pm concerts with an expanding local audience, the musicians turned to creating a learning program for local youth, whose summer camp was cancelled and were unable to do much of anything during the lockdown. Making music together under the supervision of professional musicians revealed a remarkable outlet for the Covid blues.



World Of Fire is a 23-minute video documentary of the 5pm Porch Concert Ensemble’s first-season finale. Directed by Andrew Gurian (with videography by Jules David Bartkowski and Gabriel Garcia, sound by Jacob Burckhardt, Mike Swoop, and Hugo Dwyer), it comprises a live performance with seasoned musicians and their students. World of Fire is a pandemic-aware procession that visits a suite of diverse musical and cultural styles on the porches, driveways, yards, and sidewalks of Marlborough Avenue. It is one neighborhood’s heartfelt response to a city, a country, and a world that is now so full of Fire. After the live stream event, World Of Fire will be available on the Joe’s Pub YouTube channel and at

The professional musicians of the “World of Fire” ensemble include the brilliant Catalan transplant pianist Albert Marquès; Brooklyn-Haitian jazz legend Eddie Bourjolly; trumpeter Jackie Coleman, (Solange, Leon Bridges); Venezuelan-born bassist Bam Bam Rodriguez; blazing drummer Zack O’Farrill; renowned Pakastani percussionist/singer Saleem Muhamed; tenor saxophonist Isaiah Barr (Onyx Collective); and drummer Eric Alabaster who merges jazz and Desi music.  The brilliant young professionals who round out the ensemble include pianist Aidan Scrimgeour (Pumpkin Bread), guitarist Keyanna Hutchinson, trumpeter and vocalist Gabe Nathanson (Onyx Collective, Bakar), and tenorman Jerry Wilkes.  



JOE’S PUB, a program of The Public Theater and named for its founder Joseph Papp, opened in 1998 and plays a vital role in The Public’s mission of supporting young artists while providing established artists with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. Joe’s Pub presents the best in live music and performance nightly, continuing its commitment to diversity, production values, community, and artistic freedom. The organization also offers opportunities like New York Voices, an artist commissioning program that helps musicians develop original theater works; Joe’s Pub Working Group, an artist development initiative; The Vanguard Award & Residency, a yearlong series that celebrates the career of a prolific and influential artist; and nationwide programming partnerships. Commissioned artists have included Mx Justin Vivian Bond, Bridget Everett, Daniel Alexander Jones, Ethan Lipton, Toshi Reagon, Allen Toussaint, and more.



JPMP’s mission is to create transformative performance experiences. JPMP brings diverse students, professional artists and educators together to collaborate and bridge communities through the power of music, word and image. Among its projects is Subway Moon, sponsoring music education and concerts since 2008 in the U.S. and Europe. JPMP is grateful for the support of the Augustine Foundation.  and



The Flatbush Development Corporation (FDC) is a nonprofit In Ditmas Park, Brooklyn whose mission is to provide quality afterschool programming to families who cannot pay for arts enrichment and suffer from food and housing insecurity. FDC’s partnership with 5PM Porch Music means quality music instruction in the hands of local talented and worthy youth.



ActiveCultures is a multi-platform space for conversation about arts and culture on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, created by Bill Bragin (The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi / globalFEST). Learn more about ActiveCultures at



A collective of industry professionals, musicians, and supporters, Jazz Coalition identifies needs affecting the jazz and improvised-music community, and strategizes response solutions and opportunities. The live performance hiatus caused by COVID-19 revealed an immediate need to keep artists in the jazz community active. United behind the goal to support deserving artists and boost overall morale, Jazz Coalition launched the Commission Fund to compensate jazz artists for the creation of new works.

Dana Ware, Executive Director