March 2005

The International Roots Music Collective has begun a weekly Roots Music Showcase on Thursday nights at café sappho, Vijzelstraat 103, from 20.00 - 23.00. Entrance is free and the program will be hosted by New Orleans guitarist/singer Clay Windham and singer Carla Van Zanten. Guest artists from Amsterdam and elsewhere will be featured and the emphasis will be on classic and traditional Jazz and Blues.

Spring 2005 here at the I.R.M.C. headquarters finds us in the middle of lots of new growth. We have begun a regular thursday showcase at Cafe Sappho in the center of Amsterdam and it has been very successful so far; the core group includes guitarist/singer Clay Windham, singer Carla Van Zanten, and bassist Yrjana Rankka. The emphasis is on old-school jazz and swing and the setting is perfect - it's a relatively small place, but has a classy, friendly, and intimate feel.

We will be regularly featuring various guest artists, Opal Fly (www.opalfly.com) helped us kick off the first show and we were happy to see our friend Noa Nirnberg, who took some time off from her theater work in Paris to sing a few tunes at our March 10th show.

So, if you are in Amsterdam, please come and join us every thursday at the Sappho!

Back at headquarters we are in the process of upgrading our studio into a fully professional facility. we have a new computer and are putting the finishing touches on Opal Fly's new album, which was recorded here in February. It sounds fantastic and will be available soon. Look for samples and more info soon on this website.

We also have recorded a new John Sinclair and Mark Ritsema album. John is currently back in the States promoting his new web radio program. Check him out at http://www.johnsinclairradio.com.

The studio is available for new projects and we even have guest facilities. We are in the process of designing a web-site for the studio with all the details - stay tuned...

The I.R.M.C. really is a "loose coalition" of musicians, artists, and technical types. We don't have any rules or dues or any other official-type stuff to worry about. We just happen to be a network of friends and serious creative people who like to hang out and do things together for the sake of doing them. We have given the idea a name and some focus but we are more a "movement" than an organization.

We have been lucky enough, though, to have the financial, spiritual, and technical support of some really gifted and committed people. A short list of names would include Roderik Schuwer, Volfango Pecoraio, Ludwig Wisch, Ibo Henk Jacobs, Henk Punter, all of whom have been essential to our common cause.

The artists who have been a part of this from the beginning include Clay Windham, Carla Van Zanten, Opal Fly, John Sinclair, Noa Nirnberg, Dale "Jack" Dempsey, and there have been many others who have been involved periodically. Thanks also to Martijn Gnirrep and we would like to welcome into the fold Yrjana Rankka, a wonderful bassist and tech wizard...

So, stay in touch, and come see us at the Sappho,

Clay Windham and the rest of the gang

Well, it's been a busy summer here at the Roots Music Collective world headquarters, with lots of guests and interesting collaborations. We had our July 4th show at the Cafe Havana in Amsterdam, where the audience was introduced to Opal Fly, who is now traveling somewhere in Germany after hanging out, traveling, and playing gigs with Clay Windham and the other Amsterdam musicians featured on the site. We even did a little recording, and we all look forward to seeing Mary again, (maybe we can talk her into staying), she is a real talent and is always welcome in our world.

The Red Gravy Jazz Band and the Clay Windham Blues Band are currently recording and getting ready for the fall season, there will be shows and dates announced very soon...

Carla Van Zanten spent a few relaxing weeks in France and is back in Amsterdam doing a lot of private parties and also preparing to record a new cd...stay tuned for fall and winter schedule.

We are happy to announce the arrival next week, August 17, of John Sinclair, legendary radical writer, poet, historian, dj, and world-class music fan and supporter. He was a dj on wwoz radio in new orleans for years, managed the MC5; legendary sixties anarchist rock and roll band, was put in prison on trumped up marijuana charges, subsequently John Lennon wrote the song "Free John Sinclair" for his cause. He has written several books and performs his poems with live accompaniment and we look forward to collaborating with John. He will be staying at the IRMC headquarters while he gets settled in Amsterdam. More on John later...

Our first year has been great, we've accomplished a lot on a shoestring. Stay tuned for more events and happenings and thanks to everyone involved. I want to personally thank Henk Punter, who designed and maintains the site and Roderik S., whose patronage has been invaluable.

Stay tuned,

Clay Windham and the gang at Roots music collective