Gizelxanath & Ben Barson

"Art is a weapon in the struggle for ideas, the class struggle." -- Amiri Baraka

Art is Never Neutral in the struggle for a new world. Partners Ben and Gizelxanath combine to rhythms of Africa, Asia, and the Yaqui people to imagine a world beyond mass incarceration and ecocide --
a world where life fits.

Gizelxanath and Ben Barson debut a new project with ancient roots, the Afro - Yaqui Music Collective. Named after the indigneous music of Gizel's people, the Yaqui of northern Mexico, the band fuses music from music of first nations in the Americas with the funk, jazz, and hip hop to create a new rhythm that liberates spirit and soul.

The Afro Yaqui Music Collective features Mario Quinn and Mayan Toztil rapper Juan Jiminez on "Kolavalik."

Scientific Soul Band performs INSURREALISTA by Ben Barson, at the National Black Theater.

"Gizel de Xanath," written by Ben Barson and performed by the group Scientific Soul at the Frick Fine Art Gallery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 25th, 2014.

The Afro Yaqui Music Collective performing at the Mayan Womans' theatre Center FOMMA, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

The Zodiac Suite was one of pianist Mary Lou Williams's masterpieces--an early fusion of jazz and classical music by the prolific composer. Ben Barson performs here wih Guggenhiem fellow Geri Allen and the Univ. of Pittsburgh Orchestra.

Ben Barson performs "Living with Music" at the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, University of Hawaii, Manoa, as part of a tribute to Fred Ho. September, 2013.

Ben Barson and his Mentor, Fred Ho, at Amherst Media on April 5th, 2012.

Black Rapp Madusa and Killor Be

Black Rapp Madusa and Killor Be

Just as occurs with the flower in a plant, the capacity (or responsibility) for forming and fertilizing the germ which ensures the continuity of history lies in culture.
— - Amilcar Cabral

Sung in the Mayan language of Tzotzil, Kolavalik was composed a dear friend Natalio, who passed the song on to Gizelxanath Rodriguez.

The New York Times interviews Fred Ho and Ben Barson on the significance of Ho's Baritone Saxophone and the spirit of sound.

From the livestream of the Tribute to Fred Ho. Iyanna Jones and Ben Barson at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, University of Hawaii, Manoa.
The Eco-Liberation Quartet, featuring Craig Harris (trombone), Mixashawn Rozie (soprano sax), Bhinda Keidel (alto sax) and Ben Barson (baritone sax), performing the L. Mixashawn Rozie composition "Fridgeo" as part of the "Sanctuary Soul Session: Weaving the Circle of Culture for Planetary Transformation" on March 23, 2013 at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY.