Does Your House Have Lions?

"One day in the late sixties, I was on the phone with Rahsaan and mentioned to him that just that day I bought a house.
He responded by asking, "Does your house have lions?"
I said, "What?"
He said, "Lions, you know like in front of a museum or the post office. You know, concrete lions. My house has lions. Get a house with lions."

--Joel Dorn

Friday, December 5, 2014

Rounding the corner....

Greetings, everyone.  Today is my birthday, and of course, it being December 5th, also marks the day of Rahsaan's passing.  So, in honor of Rah's memory, and in celebration of my 41st, I thought I would do something which I never do, and that's give you guys an update on the book.  I usually like to keep my writing life as private as possible, but so many people want to know when the book will be finished that I feel like sharing the good news:  SOON!  Also, I signed with a terrific literary agent who is currently shopping the proposal around for the perfect home.

I am racing to the finish line with this current draft and plan to have it completed before the sun rises on 2015.  I have been asked many, many times throughout the past two decades why this process has been such a long one.  And my only honest answer is this:  I do not know.  It remains a mystery to me, this path I've been walking with Rahsaan.  Dorthaan is fond of reminding me/reassuring me that "things happen when they are supposed to."  And I am finally coming around to the wisdom of those words.  When I started the book, back in the fall of 1996, I imagined that it would take a few years to research and write.  But WTH did I know about writing a book?  I had only written college term papers.  And every morning since then, and every passing year, I think to myself that this will be the year I finish writing the book.  However, I had to go through many things I would have never imagined in order to live the story, in order to actually get to the end of the story.  

I hope that makes sense.  As my dear friend, Hannibal Lokumbe says, "Pray for me as a I pray for you."  I'm writing, writing, writing, hoping, hoping, hoping to round the corner by the stroke of midnight this new year's eve.  Please send good writing vibes my way, and I will keep you posted.

Bright Moments forever,

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rahsaan in Amsterdam!

"The Case of the Three-Sided Dream" will be screening all this week at the International Documentary Film Fest in Amsterdam.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Rahsaan in New Orleans....

Rah loved New Orleans, so I know he'd be happy about this:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Second Annual Rahsaanathon--here's the details from the press release

Hope to see you there--I'll be there for Rah's b-day, August 7th:

The Second Annual RAHSAANATHON: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk
At Cafe Stritch from August 5 through August 10, 2014

San Jose, CA – July 9, 2014 – San Jose’s Cafe Stritch is proud to present a celebration of the life and music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk from Tuesday, August 5 through Sunday, August 10.

To begin the festivities on August 5 and 6, Rahsaan biographer and multi-instrumentalist John Kruth and Rahsaan’s collaborator Betty Neals will be featured. They will join New York baritone saxophonist Claire Daly performing material from Daly’s recent Rahsaan tribute album “Rah!Rah!” with local masters Akira Tana on drums and John Wiitala on bass.

The RAHSAANATHON’S main event is three nights with trombonist Steve Turre & The Eulipion All Stars, featuring James Carter.  This ensemble will be reprising their three-night stand from last year---this time with renowned James Carter on reeds and flute. The group will be performing Turre’s arrangements of Kirk’s music August 7 (Rahsaan’s Birthday), August 8 and August 9.

Poet Betty Neals, who co-wrote “Theme for the Eulipions”, the house anthem of Cafe Stritch, will perform the song live with the band. The band includes: Charles McNeal (alto sax), Matt Clark (piano), Marcus Shelby (upright bass), Darrell Green (drums), and Terrie Odabi (vocals).

A very special edition of the Cafe Stritch Weekly Eulipions Jazz Jam will close out the week with bandleader Peppe Merolla (drums) being joined by the great Jeremy Pelt (trumpet) along with Matt Clark (piano) and Michael Zisman (upright bass). The night will include the band performing songs from Rahsaan’s The Return of the 5,000 Lb. Man as well as originals. Because this is the Sunday of the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, the jam might include other world-class players in town for the festival.

Cafe Stritch is located at 374 South First Street, San Jose, CA   408 280 6161
And LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

For a schedule and more information please visit
Tickets for all events are available at

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Rahsaan having a big moment on the facebook page, "Humans of New York"

You'll have to head over there yourself to see what all the fuss is about, but when I logged onto facebook tonight, some friends had linked the "Humans of New York" post for today, 6/22/2014, to my wall.  Anyway, there's a cool story about Rahsaan and as of this evening, the story has gotten over 160K likes and 4800 shares.

What's bringing tears to my eyes are all the comments by folks who have never heard of Rah and are now googling him and discovering him for the first time.

Bright Moments,

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Some more exciting film news...

I just got word that there's going to be more screenings of "The Case of the Three-Sided Dream."  Which means more upcoming Rahsaan sightings!  Details soon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Searching for the Old Rugged Cross

I was going through some old files today when I came across some photos from my first trip to Columbus, Ohio--a road trip with my little sister, Susie.  A trip we took in the hopes of finding Rahsaan's grave.

That trip was seventeen years ago, almost to the day.  It rained hard the day before we arrived.  The graveyard was quicksand.  We sloshed along, row by row, hoping to happen upon it.  We searched for about an hour before giving up.  It would take another trip, a solo trip a month later that turned over so many other clues, before I would actually find it.

Recently, I've been in touch with an artist--a writer and photographer named Ed Luna--who kindly allowed me to share his photo of Rah's grave here:

(And here's a link to his blog if you'd like to check out some of his other work:

Bright Moments,

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Rahsaan Roland Kirk "Seasons" in Montreux 1972

I've posted this clip of Rahsaan playing at the Montreux Jazz Festival before, but since it's one of my favorites, here it is again.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The power of Rahsaan

Tonight is the NYC premiere of Adam Kahan's film about Rahsaan, "The Case of the Three-Sided Dream."
I won't be able to make it tonight, but if you're in the area, I highly recommend it. 

This past spring, I was lucky enough to attend the film's world premiere at SXSW in Austin with Dorthaan Kirk, Rahsaan's widow.  Just after the second screening, a gentleman who was sitting next to us in theater turned to us and said, "This has been one of the greatest days of my life."  He was from Singapore and was in town for the interactive part of SXSW--the high-tech portion of the festival--and had just stumbled into the theater to see the film, having never heard of Rahsaan.  He was moved, uplifted, shaken--all of those verbs that seem to accompany the experience a person has upon first discovering Rahsaan--and it was so affirming to witness. 

As Rahsaan's friend and producer, Joel Dorn, used to say, "Nothing tops seeing him perform."  So if you're out and about in NYC tonight, looking for something to do, swing by the IFC Center at 8 pm.  There are no words adequate enough to describe what you will see.  


Monday, June 9, 2014

Great interview with Dorthaan and filmmaker Adam Kahan on WBGO about "The Case of the Three-Sided Dream"

The NYC Premiere of the film is this Wednesday!

CMPR LogoCarolyn McClair Public Relations
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For Immediate Release



NEW YORK, NY, June 5, 2014  - Don't miss the New York premiere of Rahsaan Roland Kirk: The Case of the Three Sided Dream, a documentary on the world-renowned multi-instrumentalist, at IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue at Third Street in Manhattan, on Wednesday, June 11, at 8:00 pm.

Directed by Adam Kahan, the film tells the story of Kirk, who went from a blind infant, to child prodigy, to adult visionary, political activist, and finally to paralyzed showman who toured and played music until the day he died (December 5, 1977).

Take part in a post-film discussion with Kahan, Dorthaan Kirk - Rahsaan's widow and a founding member of WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM - and trombonist Steve Turre, Kirk's long-time friend and band member.

For tickets, log on to For more information and to view the film's trailer, click here

The screening is part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival.  For more information, visit

#  #  #

Contact: Carolyn McClair
(917) 686-0854 /

Friday, June 6, 2014

My Rumpus essay about discovering Rahsaan

Today's as good a day as any to re-post an essay of mine that was published in November by the Rumpus.  It's the best introduction to how I discovered Rahsaan and remained under his spell all these years.

And just when I think I can't possibly still be moved by Rahsaan's music as I was the first day I heard in 1995, I found myself yesterday en route to the grocery store reduced to tears as I was listening to his tribute to John Coltrane from his album, "Volunteered Slavery."  Stumbling upon that song brought me back to that place I was a twenty-year old first discovering his sound.  His music is still alive and his story will be told.

Monday, March 24, 2014

More screenings of the documentary!

The world premier at SXSW was just the beginning of the "Rahsaanaisance", Joel Dorn's genius term for the Rahsaan-mania that is sure to ensue.

Here are some more screening dates for the film.  I would personally love to attend the Chicago screening. Who knows, maybe I'll make it there.

April 5 at Full Frame in Durham NC,
May 1-5 at CIMMfest in Chicago,
June 11th NYC premiere at IFC Center in conjunction with the Blue Note jazzfest,
End of July again in NYC

Check out the website for the most up-to-date information:

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Case of the Three-Sided Dream to screen April 5th during the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Rahsaan mentioned in Pete Townshend's new memoir

"Roland Kirk taught me that wen musicians pay respects they don't always do it with claps and hugs or fan letters.  Sometimes they merely listen.  If they happen to be blind, they listen with acuity."

--Who I Am, a memoir. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

One more screening left to attend at SWSX! This Saturday at the Alamo Ritz at 1:30.

And here are some pics from the premiere:

Check out the marquee:

And finally, one with Adam Kahan, the director:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

2 days until the world premier!!!

I can't believe I'm going to get to see Rahsaan on the silver screen in just 2 days.  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Top 100: Roland Kirk (Shaman?)

I have been following this amazing blog for some time now, by the artist Berry Van Boekel.  Here is a wonderful post about Rahsaan that includes an incredible painting of him.
(Also, I'm honored that Berry used a passage from my Rumpus essay about Rah.)

The Top 100: Roland Kirk (Shaman?): Rahsaan Roland Kirk 14" x 11", oil on wood, 2014 A wisdom encircled Rahsaan that had folks believing he had something gre...

Exciting News! The documentary about Rahsaan, "The Case of the Three Sided Dream" will make it's world premier at SXSW Film Festival

this year!  And, of course, I'm extra excited because it's in Austin, where I live, and I get to go and help welcome and host filmmaker and friend, Adam Kahan.  Here's a link to the updated website about the film.  Check it out:

p.s.  the biopic of Hendrix will also make it's U.S. debut at SXSW.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Another great quote about Rahsaan from Joel Dorn

"Through the years people who saw Rahsaan in person have often told me how big and powerful he was. Truth is he was about 5'10" and weighed about 160. But the size of his presence was another story. His aura could've gone one on one with Karl Malone."

--Joel Dorn